Ontario Strengthens Consumer Protection for New Home Buyers and Owners
February 01, 2021
The Ontario government is designating the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) the regulator responsible for new home builders and vendors. The HCRA will help ensure that new home buyers and owners are well-informed and better protected by:
Licensing new home builders and vendors;
Expanding the existing Ontario Builder Directory to provide regulatory compliance and warranty information about thousands of builders and vendors across the province; and
Implementing a formal complaints process for the conduct of new home builders and vendors.
"When our government passed the Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, 2020 last July, we committed to establishing a regulator for new home builders that works for the people of Ontario. Today's launch of the HCRA is another great example of our commitment to strengthening consumer protection for our province," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. "The HCRA will ensure that new home builders and vendors are held to professional standards and that all buyers and owners of new homes are well-informed and feel confident that their homes have been built properly." The HCRA is designated under the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017. The creation of the HCRA as a separate authority addresses consumer concerns about potential conflicts of interest within Tarion, Ontario's new home warranty and protection program administrator.
The establishment of a separate regulator for new home builders and vendors responds to the Honourable John Douglas Cunningham’s 2016 review of the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act and Tarion.
The Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, 2020, passed on July 14, 2020, promotes higher quality new home construction, which will reduce defects and new home warranty and protection claims, while better protecting consumers from bad actors in the marketplace.
The government improved consumer protection for homebuyers in Bill-145, the Trust in Real Estate Service Act, to modernize the rules for real estate brokerages, brokers and salespersons. It was approved by the legislature in February 2020.
Tarion will administer Ontario’s new home warranty and protection program. Together, the HCRA and Tarion will provide stronger consumer protection for Ontarians.