Since 1974, the Program pioneered the concept of new home warranty that recently became mandatory in Alberta by virtue of the New Home Buyer Protection Act.
Implemented in February 2014, the Act reflects the Government’s desire to ensure all new home buyers receive warranty protection, clear expectations and an ownership experience protected from unpleasant surprises – the benefits our Builder Members’ customers have been enjoying for over 40 years.
The warranty products and services described in this section apply only to Program-warrantied homes whose building permits were applied for prior to February 1, 2014. For information concerning homes whose building permits were applied for after February 1, 2014, see Mandatory Warranty.
What coverage do I have under pre-mandatory warranty?
When you and a Builder Member of the Program enter into a contract for a new home or condominium and you give that builder a legally refundable deposit to bind the agreement, your deposit is protected. The Program provides coverage for the deposit amount up to 20% of the purchase price of a single-family home (to a maximum of $100,000) or up to 15% of the purchase price of a multi-family unit (to a maximum of $30,000).
We encourage you to consult with your real estate lawyer about putting conditions in writing to deal with deposit amounts that exceed the Program's protection limits.
Coverage begins when your builder issues a Deposit Protection Receipt. Each time you make a deposit, your builder must complete the Deposit Protection Receipt. Be sure to retain copies of all deposit receipts.
Builder performance protection
Available for single-family homes only, Builder Performance Protection (BPP) takes effect when all purchase conditions are removed and will apply until you take possession of your new home. In the unlikely event that a Builder Member fails to complete a home build as contracted, BPP assists you with completion costs and the discharge of the builder’s liens.
To minimize risk, please ensure your lawyer retains appropriate holdbacks on every payment to your builder.
Every Builder Member of the Program must have a service and warranty program in place to address customer concerns. Acquaint yourself with the particulars of your builder’s program – how to request service or warranty work, your builder’s typical response time and so on. Coverages are outlined in your Warranty Certificate.
Addressing Pre-Occupancy Defects
Our Builder Members understand that prompt attention to items noted in your Occupancy Inspection is a customer satisfaction essential. You can expect your builder to address issues within a reasonable timeframe after occupancy – generally within a month unless the work is seasonal or materials must be special-ordered. You can expedite the process by working with the Completion Work Coordinator to arrange access to your home.
Dealing with deficiencies
Our Builder Members know that deficiencies warrant prompt attention so you can fully enjoy your new home as soon as possible.
Items incomplete or missing at the time of your Occupancy Inspection often result from seasonal conditions, as exterior work like pouring concrete, landscaping, applying stucco, parging and painting cannot be completed in winter or wet weather. Ask your builder about their schedule and policy for completing seasonal deficiencies.
If you and a Builder Member of the Program are unable to work through an issue, you may request the Program’s assistance at any time during construction or post-possession until your warranty coverage expires. If your home has pre-mandatory warranty coverage, we offer three methods of finding solutions and settling issues: mediation, conciliation and arbitration.
Mediation is effective in resolving most issues between our Builder Members and their customers. There is no fee for this service, in which an impartial moderator facilitates discussion and explores solutions between purchasers and builders.
Learn more about dispute resolution.
Homeowners may apply the unused portion of their First Year Materials & Workmanship warranty coverage to the costs of repairing major structural defects (i.e., any defect in material or workmanship that results in damage due to the failure of a load-bearing component to provide stable and adequate support in the home or that creates a health and safety issue due to non-compliance with the Alberta Building Code in effect at the date the building permit was issued).
Living expense protection
If your new home is uninhabitable as a result of a defect or while warranty work is underway, the Program will reimburse up to $6,000 for pre-approved, verifiable living expenses.