A Vancouver condo owner says a new home warranty does not protect consumers and buyers should purchase a property with their eyes wide open.
Within a month of moving into his brand new downtown condo, Matt Henry says his concrete floors started peeling.
“My wife would come back from the gym and the floor would peel off on the bottom of her heel. When you buy something brand new, it’s not supposed to do that,” he said.
Henry, who is also a licensed Realtor, immediately contacted the developer, Cressey.
Cressey sent a letter to Matt stating:
“We have been experiencing some durability issues with the applied concrete flooring product.”
The company offered to repair the floor one time, but would not provide a warranty on the repair because their experts were unable to determine why the floor was underperforming.
Cressey also offered to replace the floors with hardwood at no cost or provide a one-time cash payout of $6,000. Henry was not satisfied. He says he selected polished concrete floors when he purchased his place and wanted the floors replaced. He contacted his warranty provider, Travelers Canada, and filed a New Home Warranty claim.
READ MORE: B.C. couple says home warranty insurance offers little protection
Travelers evaluated the claim, and indicated they would not take any action.
“They told us this was holding to industry standards, this is normal wear and tear and denied our claim,” said Henry.
In B.C., homes built by licensed residential builders must have 2-5-10 year home warranty insurance.
Coverage includes two years on labour and materials, five years on the building envelope and 10 years on the structure of the home.
Strata lawyer Phil Dougan says New Home Warranty simply isn’t working.
“It doesn’t pin down who’s the one ultimately responsible. If the contractor is not prepared to do anything it will go to the warranty holder, but the warranty holder will point back to the contractor. Very few times is someone saying ‘The buck stops here, [so] let’s fix it’,” he said.
When Global BC called Cressey, it said it is still willing to repair Henry’s floor, but cannot warranty the work. Henry says he’s exhausted by the process and will accept the offer, even though it’s far from an ideal solution.
“I feel that home warranty insurance does not cover the consumer and at the end of the day it’s about the consumer,” said Henry
Global BC contacted Travelers Canada to get a comment for this story. We were told someone would return our call, but there was no response.
The BC ministry responsible for housing sent Global BC a statement for this story stating, “Homeowners may escalate their complaint to the ombudsperson of the insurance company in question.”