Settling into your brand new home should be one of the most joyful events in your life. However, sometimes you can get caught off guard with the unknowns, like how to deal with warranty concerns and who to consult for help.
During the first year, and under your developer’s warranty program, you should address all warranty concerns by inspecting your home and its systems thoroughly.
Brand new homes typically include the standard 12-month in-suite warranty coverage, which covers any defects in components of your home that do not meet normal building standards, subject to the warranty company’s judgment as some limitations may apply. Normal wear and tear and consequential damage are excluded from warranty coverage.
You could perform the inspection yourself, but you may want to consider hiring a qualified professional, since most of us wouldn’t be qualified to inspect a home. Your hired inspector will also provide you with a detailed report on the findings.
Once you’ve identified potential warranty claims, you can then submit your claim(s) to your developer’s customer service department and also the Warranty Company. You must submit your claim before the warranty expiry date to qualify for consideration.
The contact information of your developer’s customer service team and Warranty Company should be included in your homeowner’s manual and sometimes basic warranty information is included in your disclosure statement.
Also, your developer would have provided you with your strata lot specific Warranty Certificate, which contains your in-suite warranty expiry date and claim process.
Read the warranty coverage carefully, to be certain you understand your rights and obligations. You may also visit reputable warranty companies’ websites to learn more on how they handle claims and what advice they have for homeowners.
It’s important to note that your Strata Corporation will not manage your strata lot issues nor will they act on your behalf to file your in-suite warranty claims. The Strata Corporation is responsible for repairing and maintaining common property only.
In a multi-dwelling Strata building the common area warranties will also provide added protection for owners. In-suite systems, such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc. are tied into the main building systems and will normally have longer warranty periods. The building will also have a five-year envelope warranty coverage that will provide protection for water penetration events.
If your warranty claim becomes contentious and if you and the Warranty Company disagree on certain items, seek legal advice.
Remember, knowledge is power and the more you know about your home and your community the more enjoyment you’ll get out of it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As one of the founding members of the Associa British Columbia New Construction Team, Laszlo continues to pilot projects, enhance systems and workflow processes to better serve clients. He specializes in all areas of transitioning new developments from Developer to Homeowners, including forward planning, consulting, budget planning, warranty consultation and the operation of phased, sectioned and airspace parcel developments. Laszlo’s main focus is to deliver best practices and services to Associa clients. These efforts include client appreciation seminars on various topics, including warranties; client retention strategies, as well as training, mentoring and evaluating Strata manager teams.