Tarion Warranty Corporation released its implementation plan to address recommendations arising from Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s special audit last October. The audit criticized Tarion for ignoring thousands of requests from new homeowners who needed to resolve disputes with builders over defects, but missed restrictive deadlines.
“We have moved the needle despite the severe challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, and the improvements outlined in this plan will have meaningful benefits to homeowners,” Tarion President and CEO Peter Balasubramanian said in the report. “As an organization, we recognize we have significant work ahead of us.”
According to the plan so far, Tarion has rolled out 11 of the 25 recommendations. Improvements to date include reducing executive compensation, eliminating the backlog of investigations into illegal building and homeowner complaints, establishing a new process to complete timely investigations, a training program for staff to obtain Ontario Building Code certification and stronger oversight of builders, for instance, deeper investigations into why projects are cancelled.
Eight more recommendations are expected for completion by the end of this year. Completion on the remaining six is targeted for 2021.
Public input on 10 consumer protection initiatives is also being sought. These consultations were on hold due to the pandemic. In spring 2021, Tarion says it will also seek public input on a new warranty that will protect homebuyers who take occupancy of an unfinished house—redefining “finished house.”