1. Maintain a good working relationship with the Developer/Builder, since most of them want to be reasonable, do a good job, and maintain a good reputation…the Strata should be reasonable as well. It is easier to work with the Developer/Builder rather than against the Developer/Builder (i.e., be on good terms, have open communication, have mutual respect, etc.).
  2. Warranties typically expire at 12:01 am on the date of expiry, so in essence, they expire the day before the stated expiry date.
  3. Do not wait until the last minute to review the building(s) for potential unwarrantable defects (Note: If retaining a firm to complete a warranty review, begin the process 4 months before expiry of the warranty, giving 1 month to solicit proposals and award the project, and 3 month to complete the review, including questionnaire, gaining access to suites/townhouse units, and submitting a draft and final report… less time means that a full scope of review and reporting may not be possible, or at a reasonable cost).
  4. Any deficiencies thought to be possibly warrantable should be submitted in writing to both the Developer/Builder and Warranty Provider, in a form known to be acceptable to the Warranty Provider, as soon as known (duty to report in a timely manner/to minimize damage).
  5. Check how the Warranty Provider wants a claim to be submitted against their warranty, i.e., each warranty provider is somewhat different (Note: Some warranty providers only want to see a list, sequentially numbered, no photos, no background, and some want a separate list per warranty certificate, so if in a 10 block townhouse complex if each block has a separate warranty certificate, 10 separate reports/deficiency lists may be required).
  6. Identify the specific location(s) of a defect, i.e., building, suite/townhouse unit, elevation, floor; otherwise, the Warranty Provider will likely respond with “Not Warrantable” due to insufficient information.
  7. Warranty Review Reports are for the Warranty Provider, the Developer, and the Strata which is why it is helpful to have photos (i.e., for easier Developer/contractor/Strata reference), though many Warranty Providers want text-only submissions. Make sure to take this into consideration when completing tip.
  8. Always follow-up in writing to all parties to create a paper trail, particularly if the Developer or Warranty Provider commits to anything verbally.
  9. Need to notify the Warranty Provider and Developer/Builder before undergoing repairs, even for emergency repairs.
  10. Notify the Warranty Provider when repairs are completed, if not already done so by the Developer, so that extended warranty coverage (typically 1 year) can be confirmed. On a final note, be prepared for a response from the Warranty Provider of “Not Warrantable”, particularly if the above tips are not followed. If a defect has been deemed not warrantable by the Warranty Provider if Tip #1 has adhered.


From: The Strata Experts articles are written by CCI Vancouver Business Partner and Professional Members who are service providers to the strata industry. For a list of member service providers go to the Service and Business Members directory on our website or page 20 in Condo News.