Published Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 11:31AM CST
The province is introducing a new law that aims to mandate warranties for all new homes built in Manitoba.
At minimum, the warranty would cover defects in labour, materials, and design for one year.
Electrical and plumbing and building code violations and water damage would be covered for two years.
Structural defects would be covered for seven years.
Currently, all warranties are voluntary.
The province said the law will boost protection for home buyers’ investments.
“Often the biggest purchase they will make in their lives - defects aren't always seen and they might pop up six months a year later,” said Jim Rondeau, consumer affairs minister.
“I think that really it is worth it when we think about warranties we wouldn’t buy a car, a new car or a furnace or even a new toaster if it didn't have a warranty," said Gloria Desorcy, executive director of the Consumers' Association of Canada (Manitoba).
Judy Gaus is a homeowner who ran into several problems with her house.
“There were a couple of deficiencies looked after initially. After that, the hardwoods became a major problem therefore some contention happened with the builder and they stopped all communication with us," said Gaus.
She said she complained to the builder about cracks in drywall, stucco that fell off and buckling hardwood.
Gaus said it’s been a 16-month battle and the builder hasn’t returned to fix everything.
She said she did have a warranty, but is still fighting with the builder.
“Consumers shouldn't have to exhaust themselves on a full-time basis for 16 months to get what was rightfully offered to them in the offer to purchase," said Gaus.
She isn’t optimistic about the new law mandating warranties.
The province, however, said if builders don’t comply with a legitimate warranty claim, they could face fines of up to $300,000.
The law mandating new home warranties was introduced Thursday, but might not be passed at the legislature and put into effect until 2013.
The new law also won’t be retroactive.