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Building Codes and Legislation | February 28th, 2014

New Home Buyer Protection Act – Reminder

As of February 1, 2014, every new home that is built [and located] in the province of Alberta must be covered by the warranty standards set out in the New Home Buyer Protection Act. This legislation was enacted in December of 2012 and went live in February.

Under the Act, a building permit cannot be issued unless appropriate warranty coverage is in place on the property. This applies to all new homes built where the building permit is applied for after February 1, 2014. Alberta Municipal Affairs issued an interpretation bulletin in February clarifying some points in regards to factory built homes. Registrar’s Bulletin

In addition, all new residential construction must be entered into the New Home Buyer Protection Public Registry. The Registry will provide users with information about the home, and the name and contact information of the builder and warranty provider. Builders need to become authorized users of the New Home Buyer Protection System’s Builder Portal. After a registration has been approved, it will become visible on the Public Search Registry.

A number of options for verifying warranty coverage or exemption are available to permit issuers. They can request that the builder provide a printed copy of the Registrar’s proof of coverage or exemption; they can use the New Home Buyer Protection Public Registry search online; or they can combine both options.

Home buyer responsibilities are also clearly outlined in the Act.

  • The Alberta government recommends that buyers complete their own due diligence by researching the builders they are considering, including how long the builder has been in business and asking for references. CMHC’s Homebuying Step by Step Guide is a great resource to support you in making a wise home buying decision.
  • In addition, under the Act, home owners need to familiarize themselves with their warranty provider, key warranty dates and home owner maintenance. Even new homes need maintenance. Regular maintenance [such as changing furnace filters] ensures that all of the systems and materials in your home stay in good working order and reduces future maintenance costs.

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