Canadian Contractor

This contractor fought a four-year battle with Ontario’s Tarion new home warranty program.

"Tarion has a reputation for trampling on builders' legal rights," says Doug Abbott. In particular, they can come after you PERSONALLY, even if you have an incorporated company, he says.

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May 11, 2018 by canadiancontractor

Ontario’s new home warranty program, Tarion, has been under the microscope almost constantly in recent years. It is now undergoing an a well-publicized restructuring, which can’t come soon enough, according to this contractor who posted this on our site this week…

Small custom builders beware of the risk you are taking being a Tarion builder!

If you think that Tarion is an Ontario-run insurance company to protect the homeowner, your building company and you, for that matter, think again.

You personally are taking all the risk. When you sign the form on your annual Tarion renewal, it states that you are the “guarantor” for any costs that Tarion may have for a claim from one of your clients.

This means that if Tarion has any expenses related to a warranty claim, you (the guarantor) are liable. By signing this guarantor document, you are now not protected by having an incorporated company – which most of us did so we could protect ourselves and our family assets from the risks associated with being in business.

I have learned so much the past four years during my ongoing battle with Tarion. I had a client who used Tarion as a hammer to make my company do work outside the warranty. I fought a battle with Tarion that was very costly to my health and my business.

Tarion is only interested in helping the homeowner. They will fine you, charge you for costly consultants that they will retain, send you threatening letters from their legal department to your business as well as you personally (as guarantor).

A quote from my lawyer: “Tarion has a reputation for trampling on builders’ legal rights.”

I did survive – and prove Tarion wrong – but it made me rethink being a custom homebuilder.

Doug Abbott



Canadian Contractor is the independent voice of residential renovators and home builders everywhere in Canada.
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