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Building Codes and Legislation | January 16th, 2014

Legislative Changes to Home Warranties for Albertans

The “New Home Buyer Protection Act” passed and it will require builders in Alberta to provide home warranty coverage for all new homes built in the province starting February 1, 2014.

While Jandel Homes has always offered warranty coverage, not every builder has. Even though the Act will add a small surcharge onto the cost of a new home [for the online warranty registration], we believe this legislation is great for Albertans. Estimates are that up to 20% of the new homes currently built in Alberta have no warranty coverage at all.


Minimum Coverage Requirements

All new homes built in Alberta will now be mandated to provide the following minimum warranty coverage – 1 year | 2 year | 5 year | 10 year.

• 1 year. Defects in labour and materials [items such as flooring | countertops | trim]
• 2 years. Defects in labour and materials related to delivery and distribution systems [heating | plumbing | electrical] – excluding appliances [furnace, hot water tank], which are usually covered under their own manufacturer’s warranty
• 5 years. Building envelope protection [roofing | siding | fascia, etc], with a requirement for the warranty provider to offer the consumer the option to purchase two additional years of coverage
• 10 years. Coverage for major structural components, including the frame and foundation
The Act applies to new homes constructed under a building permit applied for after the February 1, 2014 in-force date of the Act.


Online Warranty Registry

The government is introducing an online warranty tracking system. As a builder, we will be required to provide every home buyer with a Certificate of Warranty Coverage so that you can apply for your building permit [unless we are doing the complete turnkey package for you]. The government has not yet announced the fees for the online registry. We will make those fees obvious for you on our itemized Features Sheets. Our buyers from Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory, North West Territories, Manitoba and north eastern British Columbia will be enabled to remove those costs from their new home purchase.


Penalties

The government will now enforce penalties against builders, warranty providers and others for not complying with the Act. Non-compliant companies can be fined up to $100,000 for the first offence and up to $500,000 for subsequent offences.


Does this Change Jandel Homes’ Existing New Home Warranty Program?

While we are still working with our factories, trade associations, insurance companies, warranty providers and sub trades to finalize the details, we believe our existing warranty program already surpasses the minimum requirements that will now be mandated by law. We don’t expect any significant changes, with the exception of foundation installation. Currently, our home buyers have the option of installing their own foundations – that may change as we go forward.

We will keep you posted!


Useful Links

• New Home Warranty Alberta 
• Government Introduces Mandatory Warranty Protection for BuyersPress Release
• New Home Buyer Protection Act
• Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the New Home Buyer Protection Act 
• Get in on the Act – The Alberta New Home Warranty Program

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