The silence is deafening

How’s that new home doing for you? Warm enough?  Cool enough?  Feel good about the purchase?  If ONE of the answers to the four questions was a “no” or negative comment you are not alone.  This is something happening that should be a concern for all new home purchasers.

There is a battle happening in Queen’s Park and while opening shots have been fired, the Ontario government is not replying.  The offices of the Honourable Margarett Best, Minister of Consumer Services have said little to nothing about how to help home owners with HVAC issues.  For home owners in the Ottawa area there seems to be very little issue, the large part of complaints are coming from the GTA.  Ellen Roseman of the Toronto Star has been covering this for some time and reading her previous columns will provide the needed background.  Last month CTV W5 aired a piece on the concern that homeowners have with their HVAC systems and lack of action from the Ministry of Consumer Services, Tarion Home Warranty Corporation and new home builders.

The biggest silence comes from the Ministry of Consumer Services; the most noise about this is coming from the opposition desks.  The Ontario PC’s have taken up this cause with Ted Chudleigh, the MPP for Halton, where many of these cases are found, fighting for his constituents.  The riding is the home of massive growth and new home and communities are springing up where fields once lay.  The problem being faced is when only one person swinging then it is not much of a fight.  A letter has been personally delivered to Minster Best from Mr. Chudleigh in the House in February and there has not been a reply from the Minister’s office since, the silence is deafening.

There is too much finger pointing taking place on the government and Tarion’s side with each finding another direction to point the blame to. “ It could be the builder” or “no it’s the inspector” or “no it’s not covered because the defect didn’t show up in the two years since installation” or “sorry you have to deal with the municipality on this one” and “no you are not the original owner – too bad!”  The end result is homeowners are feeling the cold shoulder not from the lack of heat in their homes, but from the people that should be looking after them.

Out of all this a great small organization has sprung up,  www.canadiansforproperlybuilthomes.com, (and on Twitter @CPBH01) since 2004 they have worked to resolve homeowner issues with Tarion and the Ministry of Consumer Services and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.  Just after Queens Park started sitting again (for the 1st time since the October election) in late February 2012, CPBH held a news conference in front of Queen’s park.

What is the next step you can take?  Read Ellen Roseman http://www.ellenroseman.com/?p=1210.  Watch CTV W5  http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/WFive/20120302/w5-cold-comfort-hi-velocity-hvac-systems-investigation-120303/.  Once you have done that, read the CPBH News Release http://canadiansforproperlybuilthomes.com/html/whatsnew/2012/feb/Feb26_12-HVACInvestigation.pdf asking for action THEN you can make some noise!

Contact the Minister Best’s office and ask why Tarion is representing builders more than home warranty purchasers.  Write Premier McGuinty and ask why he is not doing something to get his Minister moving.  Email Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Kathleen Wynne and ask why cities are not training inspectors better on HVAC units.  Write your own MPP and ask them to get the government working to resolve these issues NOW!

The biggest investment any one person makes in their lifetime is the purchase of a home.  A new home should come with the new smell, new hopes and new dreams. Help keep the unnecessary nightmares of home ownership away.

I can be found Twitter @robertdekker and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97. Please follow me and send your thoughts on this and other postings.

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4 thoughts on “The silence is deafening

  1. B.Captijn

    Thanks for writing the truth about this Rob.

    The Ontario court system is already too over-burdened to take on disputes with new home builders which Tarion refuses to handle.
    We as new homeowners have to pay Tarion by law for a new home warranty, and they then abdicate their responsibility to us and cozy up to power and money – on guess who’s side.
    Not only that, they hand out ego-stroking “Tarion Awards” to builders with our warranty money, and fight our warranty appeals with our money as well in the License Appeal Tribunal hearings – where a homeowner is expected to become overnight a trained lawyer to defend his interests. A totally uneven playing field.

    The Minister of Consumer Services, Ms.Margarett Best, is not reading her in-box, neither is Mr. Andre Marin, the Ombudsman of Ontario, our self-proclaimed “Watchdog” in Ontario, protecting taxpayer’s interests when dissatisfied with Ontario government services.

    Something is indeed rotten in the State of Ontario. Seems like a big cozying up to power and money on the part of the government/Tarion, relying on election campaign donations from powerful builders to keep the Liberals where they are. A big cover-up to shield builders and developers from accepting their responsibilities under Ontario law. Tarion seems, to many who’ve dealt with them, to be a major aider and abettor of this. All made possible by their loyal defenders at the “hands off Tarion” Ministry of Consumer Services.
    B.Captijn

    Reply
  2. brad maynard

    never buy a home that was built as a complete subdivision. the contractors hire companies at the lowest possible price, leaving no room for the unexpected surprises and delays; all of which result in low quality homes at high end prices. i know of these practices because i have a friend of mine that worked on these projects in windsor. the basements were moulding after only a few months of being finished.

    Reply
  3. Joe

    Absolutely agree that Tarion is a puppet of the builders. It’s amazing that with so many condos being built in Toronto, nothing is being done by the province to protect homeowners from greedy, corrupt developers and Tarion. The only thing I disagree with is thinking the Conservatives will do anything about it. The right wing Conservatives are the the party who set up Tarion in the first place and believe everything should be privatized and the market should solve all our problems. That’s the problem we have now: there isn’t enough regulation of the industry. Tarion is just a private corporation in bed with the builders who control the government by making donations during election campaigns. Incidentally, it was the Conservatives who also took public financing away from federal parties, making it easier to sway politicians by private donations.

    Reply
  4. ring jam

    I am 100 present agree i have good experiences with Tarion and found out Tarion opanally take builder side and no body stop them to doing so ,
    they used lawyer and false report against public to give benefit to builder shame on Tarion and all minister

    Reply

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