PROVINCE ADVISES NEW HOME WARRANTY ACT TO COME INTO FORCE JAN. 1, 2017
Manitobans who buy a new home can be assured they have a strong warranty with their purchase after the legislation comes into force Jan. 1, 2017, Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux announced today.
“This legislation is central to our government’s commitment to stronger consumer protection for Manitobans,” said Minister Lemieux. “When people invest in a new home, they should be protected against construction defects and that’s what this legislation is designed to do.”
The new legislation will require all new homes built for sale in Manitoba to be covered by a consistent minimum standard of protection. This includes single-family, multi-family and condominium homes. Builders and warranty providers must be registered under the act and only registered builders will be allowed to build homes for sale.
Under the legislation, homes built by registered builders must be covered by a home warranty from a third-party provider. The minimum required coverage is:
materials, labour and design for one year;
plumbing, heating, electrical, mechanical systems, windows, doors, and building envelope for two years; and
structural elements for seven years.
The minister noted that while the majority of new homes in the province are well-built, construction defects do sometimes occur and consumers should be protected from unexpected repair costs.
“As a recent purchaser of a new home, I certainly welcome this legislation,” said homeowner Hamida Caringal. “I think it will give peace of mind to future home buyers knowing that their homes are covered by a mandatory home warranty.”
Manitoba home builders will benefit from a more level playing field in the industry, the minister said. Qualified, reputable builders should have little difficulty arranging affordable new warranty coverage on their homes, while unqualified individuals who build poor quality homes will find it more difficult to arrange warranty coverage. Without warranty coverage in place, home builders will be unable to sell their homes.
“Our members have always worked very closely with homeowners to ensure that any construction-related issues are addressed quickly and effectively, and will continue to do so,” said Mike Moore, president, Manitoba Home Builders Association. “This new legislation will help ensure that all home builders will have to start doing the same.”
An individual who wishes to build their own home does not need to obtain a home warranty. However, to prevent circumvention of the legislation, owner-builders will need authorization before starting construction and will have to arrange warranty coverage for their home if they wish to sell it within the warranty period.
The legislation will be administered and enforced by the Consumer Protection Office. The minister said an easy-to-use online public registry will allow Manitobans to look up the address of any home registered in the system to find out information regarding the builder and warranty coverage.