Construction delayed on your new home? Here are some tips

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(NC) When you buy a pre-construction house or condominium unit, you and your builder agree to a date by which you’ll be able to move in. For most homes, this date is referred to as the closing date. For others such as high-rise condominiums, it is known as the occupancy date.

Your closing or occupancy date may be delayed for several reasons, for example, trade strikes or shortages of material. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the mandated business closures and physical distancing measures, many projects have experienced delays. 

Under Ontario’s new home warranty program, your builder is allowed to extend your closing or occupancy date, provided they follow certain rules. The warranty also ensures that you are compensated if your builder does not provide enough advance notice or if they delay completion of your home beyond a certain date. Note that this protection does not apply to “unavoidable delays,” which include things like strikes, fires or pandemics that are outside of the builder’s control.

Construction delays can have a huge impact on your life. Here are some things you can do that will help make the experience a lot less stressful:

  • Review the statement of critical dates in your purchase agreement. Understand what type of closing or occupancy date you have (fixed or tentative). If you have a tentative date, know when you need to be notified if there is going to be a delay.
  • Think before you sign a revised agreement with a new closing or occupancy date. If you sign an amendment or some kind of mutual agreement, you might waive your right to compensation under the warranty. Ask your lawyer for advice.
  • Know what type of compensation you might be entitled to. If you’re going to incur extra moving expenses and storage expenses on top of what you would have originally incurred to move, hold on to your receipts.
  • Know how and when you can make your claim for compensation. Approach your builder first. If you need to make your claim to Tarion, register for MyHome, their online service for new homeowners, and complete the online delayed closing or occupancy form.