GTA Construction Report staff writer
Tarion Warranty Corporation is studying the feasibility of providing warranty coverage for condominium conversions.
Harry Herskowitz, chair of Tarion’s board of directors, made the announcement April 26 during Tarion’s annual public ,eeting in Toronto. While we’re proud of the warranty coverage we provide to new condominium owners, we would like to do more, if possible, to level the playing field for consumers purchasing so-called condo conversions,” Herskowitz said.
These are condos that may have started life as a commercial property, a hotel, an apartment or a schoolhouse. With varying degrees of refurbishing and new construction, they are turned into condominium units and sold to new owners. As the Tarion warranty program was conceived as a new home protection plan, Tarion at present cannot provide warranty protection for such conversion projects, the company said in a news release.
The current rules do not allow Tarion to offer coverage in older buildings, even those that have not previously contained residential units. Given the unique nature of most condo conversions, these projects present additional challenges for warranty coverage and a significant financial risk.
Tarion President and CEO Howard Bogach said: “We’ll be doing extensive research to determine the feasibility of providing statutory warranty coverage for homes in converted condominium buildings. At Tarion we are committed to always looking for better ways to serve Ontario consumers.”
Tarion expects to be able to report its findings and recommendations to Ontario’s consumer services minister this fall.