Monday, 12 March 2012

Does your homeowner manual meet legal requirements?

Does the new home manual you typically provide meet legal requirements in British Columbia? To do so, it must:

  • Provide an Operation Manual for all components that require homeowner operation
  • Provide specific maintenance instructions for all products that require routine maintenance by homeowners

In British Columbia, builders & developers must comply with the Homeowner Protection Act when building new residential construction. Under Part 2 – Home Warranty Insurance & Statutory Protection, Section 14: Consequences of Not Providing Information, the act states:

“(1) If coverage under home warranty insurance is conditional on an owner undertaking proper maintenance, or if coverage is excluded to the extent that damage is caused by negligence on the part of the owner with respect to maintenance or repair by the owner, such conditions or exclusions apply only to maintenance requirements or procedures which have been provided to the original owner by the residential builder or warranty provider.

(2) To the extent that an original owner has not been provided with manufacturer's documentation or warranty information, or both, or with recommended maintenance and repair procedures for any component of a new home, the relevant exclusion is deemed to not apply.

[am. B.C. Reg. 126/99, s. 5.]

In short, if a homeowner is to be responsible for proper operation & maintenance of components after they take possession, they must be provided with the proper instructions to do so. If not, any damage caused by the homeowner is not covered under warranty, and theoretically would be the responsibility of the builder to fix.

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