1. Home owner information package for freehold homes

Protecting your most important investment​

Congratulations on purchasing a new home!

Your new home must meet or surpass the structural requirements and health and safety standards of the Ontario Building Code. And like every new home in Ontario, it is protected by mandatory warranties provided by your builder and backed by Tarion Warranty Corporation (“Tarion”).

Tarion is a non-profit, private corporation established in 1976 to protect the rights of new home buyers and regulate new home vendors and builders1 according to the terms of the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (the “Act”). Not only does the Act require builders in Ontario to provide new home warranty coverage, but they must also be registered with Tarion and enroll every new home prior to the start of construction. Tarion is also responsible for managing a guarantee fund to ensure that builders honor the statutory warranties, and for enforcing the overall terms of the Act.

Moving into your new home is an exciting and busy time, however, it is important that you set aside some of that time to carefully read through and understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to your new home’s warranty. Here, you’ll find all you need to know about your home’s statutory warranties, the responsibilities of both you and your builder, and how Tarion handles statutory warranty claims.

If you are unsure about your rights under your purchase agreement or the Act, you may wish to seek the advice of a lawyer.

If you have questions please call us at 1-877-9TARION (1-877-982-7466).

Freehold Home vs. Contract Home

For the most part, purchase of a freehold home, (i.e., lot and dwelling) and contract home, (i.e., contract to build just a new dwelling) are treated the same — although there are some differences.

Purchases of freehold homes involve situations where a purchaser has agreed in substance to buy both a parcel of land and a residential dwelling unit to be constructed on that parcel of land. Various types of dwellings fit this category, including a single family detached home, a semi-detached home, a unit in a row house or a unit in a duplex.

What is commonly called a contract home is different in that the land upon which the home is to be built is already owned by the landowner. The landowner has simply entered into a contract with a builder who will build a new home on that property. The various differences in treatment of these two forms of new home purchase are discussed in this Homeowner Information Package but a few important differences can be summarized as follows:

  • A new freehold home purchase has deposit protection.
  • Contract homes on the other hand do not have deposit protection or delayed closing compensation.
  • Instead of deposit protection, contract home arrangements have protection against financial loss. In general terms this provides protection for any losses suffered by the owner should the builder fail to complete the home. A new freehold home has delayed closing protection. If closing, (i.e., transfer of title and occupancy) is delayed beyond permitted delays, compensation may be payable.
  • For contract homes, since the landowner already controls access to the land in a contract home situation, the idea of delayed closing, (i.e., transfer of title) protection is inapplicable.
    • “Vendors” are the sellers of new homes and are deemed to give the statutory warranties to the purchaser.  “Builders” build new homes. Sometimes the vendor and builder are the same person — sometimes not. For ease of reference, we will use the term “builder” and it will include a vendor or builder as appropriate.
    • Tarion backstops a certain set of statutory warranties described in this HIP. References in this HIP to “statutory warranty” or “builder’s warranty” or your “new home’s warranty”, in each case, is a reference to the statutory warranties. Any other warranties which the builder may give a purchaser which are different or over and above the content of the statutory warranties, are not backstopped by Tarion and such supplemental warranties, if any, are a matter as between the builder and home buyer.

*Source: https://www.tarion.com/hip/homeowner-information-package/homeowner-information-package-freehold-homes

2. An outline of your warranty

​​In addition to deposit protection and delayed closing compensation, homeowners may be entitled to the following:

One Year Warranty

  • Requires a home is constructed in a workman-like manner and free from defects in material;
  • Protects against unauthorized substitutions requires the home to be fit for habitation;
  • Protects against Ontario Building Code violations; and
  • Applies for one year, beginning on the home’s date of possession even if the home is sold.

Two Year Warranty

  • Protects against water penetration through the basement or foundation walls;
  • Protects against defects in materials that affect windows, doors and caulking and defects in work that results in water penetration into the building envelope;
  • Covers defects in work or materials in the electrical, plumbing and heating delivery and distribution systems;
  • Covers defects in work or materials that result in the detachment, displacement or deterioration of exterior cladding (such as brickwork, aluminum or vinyl siding);
  • Protects against violations of the Ontario Building Code that affect health and safety; and
  • Applies for two years, beginning on the home’s date of possession.

Seven Year Warranty

Your home’s seven year warranty covers major structural defects (MSD) and begins on the date you take possession of the home and ends on the seventh anniversary of that date.  For example, if your home’s date of possession is October 23, 2005, the seven year MSD warranty begins on October 23, 2005 and remains in effect until and including October 23, 2012.

A major structural defect is defined in the The Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act as:

In respect of a post June 30, 2012 home, any defect in work or materials in respect of a building, including a crack, distortion or displacement of a structural load-bearing element of the building, if it,

(i) results in failure of a structural load-bearing element of the building,

(ii) materially and adversely affects the ability of a structural load-bearing element of the building to carry, bear and resist applicable structural loads for the usual and ordinary service life of the element, or

(iii) materially and adversely affects the use of a significant portion of the building for usual and ordinary purposes of a residential dwelling and having regard to any specific use provisions set out in the purchase agreement for the home

The seven year MSD warranty includes significant damage due to soil movement*, major cracks in basement walls, collapse or serious distortion of joints or roof structure and chemical failure of materials. In addition to the general exclusions, the seven year MSD warranty specifically excludes: dampness not arising from failure of a load-bearing portion of the building; damage to drains or services; and damage to finishes.

Common Elements

For most condominium projects, warranty coverage also includes the shared areas of the building, referred to as Common Elements.

*Soil movement means subsidence, expansion or lateral movement of the soil not caused by flood, earthquake, “acts of God” or any other cause beyond the reasonable control of the builder.

Coverage Limits

The maximum statutory warranty coverage available for freehold homes and condominium units is $300,000.

The maximum coverage for condominium common elements is $50,000 times the number of units, up to a maximum of $2.5 million.

The maximum combined coverage for a condominium project (units and common elements) is $50 million.

There is a maximum of $15,000 for warranted damage caused by environmentally harmful substances or hazards and a maximum of $25,000 for coverage of septic systems.

Source: https://www.tarion.com/homeowners/your-warranty-coverage/warranty-outline

Construction performance Guidelines:

The purpose of the Construction Performance Guidelines is to provide advance guidance as to how Tarion will decide disputes between homeowners and builders regarding defects in work or materials. The Construction Performance Guidelines are intended to complement the Ontario Building Code. They are supplemented by any applicable guidelines or standards produced by industry associations. They do not replace manufacturer warranties.

Please refer for more details CPG Tarion website: https://www.tarion.com/resources/construction-performance-guidelines

To request warranty service:

  • Complete your 30-Day / Year-End Form
  • Submit your completed form to your Warranty Service Office and Tarion*
  • A&R Development Group will schedule your service appointments

*Note: Tarion requires you to submit your form prior to your anniversary date. Forms can be found in your PDI Package and other forms online at http://www.tarion.com.

*Source: https://www.tarion.com/

3) Maintaining your new home

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist


  • Clean furnace filter and heat recovery ventilator (HRV)
  • Check attic
  • Check sump pump (if installed)
  • Clean humidifier
  • Remove snow and ice from overhang and vents
  • Check and reset ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors


  • Check eavestroughs and downspouts
  • Clean furnace filter and HRV
  • Clean humidifier
  • Inspect basement or crawl spaces
  • Check roof for loose or cracked shingles
  • Check driveways and walks for frost damage
  • Check water heater for leaks
  • Turn on exterior water supply
  • Plan landscaping to avoid soil settlement and water ponding
  • Check and reset GFCI
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors


  • Inspect fences
  • Check caulking for air and water leaks
  • Lubricate weatherstripping
  • Check exterior finishes
  • Check windows and screens are operating properly
  • Check septic system (if installed)
  • Check and reset GFCI
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

Summer Home Maintenance Checklist


  • Inspect air conditioning
  • Check roof
  • Check sheds and garages
  • Check sealing around windows and doors
  • Check septic system and clean if necessary
  • Fertilize lawn
  • Check water heater
  • Check and reset ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors


  • Air out damp basements on dry, sunny day
  • Clean air conditioner
  • Check exhaust fans
  • Check water heater for leaks
  • Check and reset GFCI
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors


  • Clean air conditioner filter
  • Air out damp basements on dry, sunny days
  • Inspect driveways and walks
  • Inspect doors and locks
  • Check and reset GFCI
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist


  • Check exterior finishes
  • Check garage door tracks and lubricate bearings
  • Check caulking for air and water leaks
  • Plant new lawn
  • Check fireplace and chimney
  • Check basement or crawl spaces
  • Have humidifier, furnace and HRV serviced
  • Check clothes dryer vent
  • Check and reset ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors


  • Check windows and screens
  • Drain exterior water lines
  • Check roof including shingles, flashing and vents
  • Check weatherstripping
  • Check sealing around windows and doors
  • Check septic system
  • Winterize landscaping and remove leaves
  • Clean furnace filter and HRV
  • Clean water heater
  • Shut off exterior water supply
  • Check eavestroughs and downspouts
  • Clean humidifier
  • Check and reset GFCI
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors


  • Check attic inspect floor drains to ensure trap is filled with water
  • Clean furnace filter and HRV
  • Check for condensation and humidity
  • Check and reset GFCI
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

Winter Home Maintenance Checklist


  • Check air ducts
  • Check for excessive snow on roof
  • Clean furnace filter and heat recovery ventilator (HRV)
  • Clean humidifier
  • Check and reset ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors


  • Clean furnace filter and HRV
  • Check furnace fan belt
  • Check water heater
  • Check exhaust fans
  • Clean humidifier
  • Remove snow and ice from roof overhang/vents
  • Check and reset GFCI
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors


  • Clean furnace filter and HRV
  • Check inside surfaces
  • Remove snow and ice from roof overhang/vents
  • Check and reset GFCI

Avoiding Moisture Damage

Today’s energy-efficient homes are built tightly to seal out the cold weather in winter and keep in the air conditioning in summer. Because of this, it is possible that a new home can be severely damaged by lack of ventilation or by excess moisture.

It is important to remember that moisture damage caused by improper or inadequate use of your ventilation system, is not covered by the new home warranty.

What causes moisture damage?

Your home can be damaged if weather-related water is allowed to enter and remain in the structure. Water from leaking pipes or fixtures that is not immediately cleaned up, and indoor humidity levels that are not properly controlled, can have serious consequences. Sometimes this damage is easily seen, at other times the damage is hidden inside wall and roof spaces. Regardless of where it occurs, moisture damage can lead to serious problems, such as rot, mold, and even structural failure.​

How can I control moisture?

Always use your home ventilation system to control moisture. In a typical home, over 20 liters of water are added to the indoor environment every day. That’s 7,300 liters in a year, enough to fill a medium-sized swimming pool. Bathroom fans, kitchen range hoods and packaged ventilators such as heat-recovery ventilators are specifically installed in your home to help you control moisture and contaminants. Regular use of your home ventilation system will exhaust excess airborne moisture caused by bathing, showering, doing laundry and cooking.​

What else can I do to control moisture?

Here are some extra tips you can follow to help prevent moisture damage to your home.

Outside the Home

  1. Keep flowerbeds or landscaping at least six inches or 150 mm away from the top of the foundation. Placing soil near or above the top of the foundation allows moisture to come into direct contact with the structure of the building.
  2. Ensure that land adjacent to the foundation slopes away from the home so that rainwater and snow melt will run away from the foundation.
  3. Clear eaves troughs of debris regularly and extend downspouts so that water is directed away from the building. Water flow can erode the ground near the foundation and create depressions where water collects. Standing water near the foundation can force its way into the basement.
  4. Fix the caulking around windows and doors and on the roof if it becomes cracked or separated.
  5. Have your roof inspected regularly to ensure shingles, flashing and chimney caps are in place and sealed properly.

Inside the Home

  1. In the winter, keep the relative humidity in your home in the range of 30-45%. Lower humidity levels may affect your health and cause things made of wood to shrink. Excess humidity can cause condensation on windows and damage the surrounding wall. When using a humidifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. In the summer, dehumidify the basement to avoid condensation buildup on the cool foundation walls. Relative humidity levels should not exceed 60%.
  3. Repair leaky pipes and fixtures immediately. Clean and completely dry any areas that are dampened or wet within 48 hours.
  4. Store organic materials such as newspapers and clothes away from cool, damp areas. Keep storage areas tidy so that air circulates freely.
  5. Purchase a “hygrometer” to monitor the relative humidity in your home.
  6. If you are adding a hot tub to your home, or have a large collection of plants, consider the amount of moisture they will add to your indoor air and ventilate accordingly.
  7. Never vent your clothes dryer inside your home. If you have a gas- or propane-fired dryer you may also be venting carbon monoxide inside your home!
  8. Investigate and identify any musty smells and odors. They are often an indicator that there is a hidden moisture problem.​

*Source: https://www.tarion.com/


4) After hours emergency Service

A&R Development Group Ltd warranty service office is pleased to assist you with all your warranty concerns during regular business hours 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.  However, we do understand client inconvenience if they arise after working hours. When problems arise outside of business hours will be considered “emergencies” and may require our immediate assistance.  Please call our After Hours Emergency Support Line if you experience any of the following outside of business hours:

  • Complete loss of heat during winter months
  • Complete loss of electricity
  • Complete loss of water or sewer blockage
  • Basement flooding or water penetration into the home
  • Any plumbing Leaks
  • Safety hazard related to major grading issue

Hours of Operation:

5:00 PM to 11:00 PM – Weekday evenings

9:00 AM to 6:00 PM – Weekends and Holidays

IMPORTANT:  For fire, gas leaks, and carbon monoxide leaks contact your local Fire Department or 911.

During these times, A&R Development Group representative will respond within one hour. Our intention will be to have the original contractor correct the problem.

If this cannot be arranged, we will help you manage the situation until we can address it during the next business day.

Any item not mentioned above is not considered an emergency, Our Warranty Service Office will be happy to serve you during regular business hours from Mondays to Fridays.

*Source: https://www.tarion.com/