A squeaky wooden floor was at the centre of a recent decision by the Ontario Licence Appeal Tribunal that overruled the province’s Tarion Warranty Corporation on the matter.
In July, 2012, an unnamed homebuyer and his wife took possession of a new home which they purchased from Prospect Builders Ltd., of Richmond, Ont.
Whenever they walked on certain floor areas in the house, they noticed “squeaks and crackles” in the floors. The builder told them it would resolve in time. But it did not. In fact, it got worse.
The owners’ complaint was noted in their 30-day claim form submitted to Tarion, but it was denied on the basis that there was no evidence that the “minor isolated squeaking” was the result of a defect in materials or workmanship or a violation of Tarion’s construction performance guidelines.
Following the denial of their claim, the owners appealed to the Ontario Licence Appeal Tribunal, an impartial appeal panel created for consumers by the Ontario government. The tribunal’s task was to determine whether or not the home was constructed in a workmanlike manner, or with defects in materials.
Under Tarion’s own guidelines, some squeaking resulting from normal shrinkage of material is acceptable, but floors are required to be reasonably free from squeaks caused by movement in the floor system connections.