Monday, 30 January 2012

Must BC Builders Provide New Home Maintenance Manuals?

According to The Homeowner Protection Office (HPO), BC Homeowners must be provided with a new home maintenance manual, or builders risk having to pay warranty claims out of their own pockets.

The HPO Fall 2011 newsletter recently highlighted a key section of the Homeowner Protection Act (HPA); mandatory new home maintenance. Under the act, every new home requires homeowners to perform routine operation & maintenance or risk having their new home warranty compromised. It goes on to say that if the home owner is not given proper Maintenance instructions by the builder then the home owner is not responsible for doing the maintenance. Presumably, the builder would now be responsible for doing the maintenance and if they do not, then the item may not be covered under the new home warranty coverage.

HPO states, “Under BC law, residential builders and warranty providers have a responsibility to provide maintenance information to the original buyers of a new home, if they want to make home warranty coverage conditional upon proper maintenance. If they don’t provide a maintenance manual, the homeowner cannot be held responsible for not doing the maintenance.”

It appears a maintenance manual is mandatory, but what does it need to contain to satisfy the requirement? Is a Maintenance Manual the same as or part of a Home Owner Manual? Part 2 of our blog series will examine what a maintenance manual means to homeownership, and ultimately what it must provide to a homeowner.

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