Pages 18 through 23: http://www.bizxmagazine.com/issues/February-2014/#p=18
CMIs dominate longest article on home inspector licensing in ON in Biz X Magazine.
Very well done guys!
This issue will be handed out to over 7500 attendees of the Home Show this month. We made sure InterNACHI & CMI were the only contenders
Plus you get mine and Nick’s handsome mugs in print. Priceless
The heavy weight division.:mrgreen:
Looks great Stephan, nice they mentioned your position at OntarioACHI.
They even have Chris Walsh in on two pages.
Looks like a good article all around.
Stephan, I will have to have you autograph my copy.
The article is misleading wherein the author states there are multiple standards, but in reality the SOP of the leading associations are actually the same. Even the courts have not found any discrepancies, so its very misleading to suggest there are multiple standards.
Raymond there was at one time a clear distinction between OAHI, CAPHI, ASHI and some others. For instance. It is stated in the SOP that they could give out quotes for the work done and perform work provided they are Qualified. Now it is interesting that the word Qualified comes up. What does that word really mean? InterNachi Inspectors have never had this on the SOP.
Nice job Stephan and Chris!
We all realise that in order for regulation to be effective it cannot impact the profession so much that Inspectors can’t be found, therefore there will be a leveling of the bar.
This bar will give minimum requirements for a Home Inspector to achieve licensing, however I don’t believe in the case of Ontario ***minimum ***will mean minimal. That said, there will still be a need for Inspectors post-licensing to show they go above and beyond that Minimum, and Nick with his quote at the end of the article reminds everyone that CMI is one way to identify that commitment to excellence.
Nice Job everyone involved. It certainly puts the case fairly and squarely. No hype, no B.S. and no-one slagging anyone else off. There may be hope for us all yet.
Ray, As part of the process of the panel meetings we went through the various SoPs, and while I would agree with you the bulk of the SoP’s and for that matter the COE were similar, there were some distinguishing differences that caused confusion for the Consumer.
The majority of the SoPs are derived from the original ASHI SoP, but recent changes to some have created some significant differences which appear to have been produced more as a marketing edge for the Associations than as a benefit to Inspector or Consumer.
While the spirit of each SoP I believe aims for the same results, the differences are part of the problem when a case goes to court. One may be worded in such a way that an expert witness, called against an Inspector, from a different association can create a subjective vision for a judge to come down against a Homie just because of the way in which the expert witnesses SoP is determined.
By unifying and simplifying the public facing SoP it takes any confusion away from the Consumer, and by creating a prescriptive, separate, but aligned Standard of Duty (e.g. the CSA A7707 standard) it removes any subjectivity from the court rooms, and therefore will reduce the costs of court cases and subsequently operating insurances to defend and settle these actions.
In my opinion, these two documents together will probably do more to reduce the negligent actions by, and frivolous or unfair claims against, home inspectors that any amount of licensing. Unfortunately in Ontario, with the fractious market, we don’t have a governance model that can get to the former without the latter.
You should also note that all of the inspectors in the article are InterNACHI members
Here it is again.
Understand that any HI licensing law, rule, or regulation is a basic, bare minimal standard. This results in basic, bare minimal, low cost reports. This is what the REA’s want, legally, so home buyers will not be alarmed, so homes will sell, so mortgage lenders and office brokers make their commissions and sales numbers. And, if HI’s are required to carry insurance, the liability is moved to the HI, because of the law itself.
As a result, 60 to 90 minute inspections will be the norm, and the REA’s are very happy, because they know that the “licensed” inspector will do a basic inspection, and not alarm the home buyer.
“CMI’s are more experienced, and charge more, but why hire or suggest them, because my inspector is licensed, and much lower in cost”.
Laws are only for the people who create them; not the consumers.
The SOP’s were created here in Kansas by board members married to the REA’s. The standards stated that we only needed to “inspect a representative number of items, which is one…” That meant that an HI had to only inspect one outlet, one switch, one window per room; one cabinet, one stairway, heck even one roof shingle per home. To heck with the rest of them, even if any of the other items were defective.
Watch out. This is coming your way.
An expert witness being a member of a different association just doesn’t happen in reality for good reason because the subject matter is the SOP for that particular association it has to be an objective review by someone who is a member of the respondents association, otherwise the court and defence would have cause to object and question the EW opinion. It all revolves the standard of care enacted.
There is no CSA standard as of this point in time (and that was one of the common comments made to MCS review) and the courts do not render opinions based on subjective review, the review must be objective based and if the trier of fact does not have the knowledge/understanding of a home inspection then a EW should be called to clarify in order the trier can render an opinion objectively.
I don’t see how any CSA standard is going to reduce court costs or insurance costs, since the current standards are suppose to protect an inspector. But having said that, this is how the courts look upon and standard, even though you follow the prescribed standard you and your insurer are not necessarily off the hook. There have been many cases where the SOP were followed and the inspector was still on the hook along with the insurer.
Ray, I’ll take your post in different replies if I may as the subject matter in this thread is really good, and I want to give each of your points the respect they deserve.
This is a valid point, and the logic to your comment is flawless. The problem with the EW system lies in your previous observations that all SOPs are the same. This (In the CanLII cases I have studied) appears to be the view of the courts too. There have been a number of cases where EW do appear for either side and argue the SOP. The court usually comes down on the side of the EW or Inspector who appears to be the most credible.
The real issue is that, as you say, if Lawyers realised that the SoP’s were distinctly different, then there would be more objections to EW being from different associations, this as yet has not been brought as a defence.
Nevertheless, the need for the EW, and the increased costs these bring to the case, is because their is no “Duty of Care” standard, and you rightly recognised this. It is this document, I understand, the CSA are trying to build.
This would then make judgements objective based upon a standard of care, not subjective based upon the credibility of a witness.
Ray, Second part:
I agree. There is no CSA Standard at this time. Never disputed. But I am led to believe it is in the final stages of the draft version.
The Courts (or Judges) frequently render opinions base upon the inability to be empirical and deciding what is in fact the truth through hard evidence.
Objectivity is provided by a standard that can be measured. If an EW is called, the fact that they have the term “Expert” in front of the witness leads the Court to believe that the witness can be relied upon to provide that objectivity standard.
The problem arises when the Standards used by the Inspector allegedly at fault and the EW is different. They are both working to a different objective standard.
Because Judges are not Home Inspectors and therefore have no intimate knowledge of the profession or requirements needed to perform the work, they base their decisions on the evidence in front of them.
Any contract, written Standards or report can be used as empirical evidence, but where an element of doubt enters the argument or where verbal evidence is entered the views of the Judge can be altered by the Subjectivity of the credibility of the witnesses.
Once Subjectivity enters into the equation, unless it is discounted, the judgements can never be 100% Objective.
It would be like building a structurally sound building on quicksand. You could argue that the building is perfect, but the fact it is built on unsound land say it isn’t.
I don’t know where your quote came from Ray, but it introduces an important aspect to the debate.
“All professionals are subject to performance standards dictated by the administrative bodies responsible for overseeing their profession. **There are also standards not necessarily prescribed in any law or code but described at any point in time as the common standards within the profession. One might assume that conformance with both types of standard would protect a professional person from legal liability, but that is not always the case. Increasingly, there are occasions where the courts are willing to find that professionals have acted negligently even though they followed the accepted practice of the day.”
**First and foremost, have the standard written into the regulation means that it will be prescribed in Law, so any decision to opt for another measure by the courts would be invalid.
Second, the fact that the courts are “**willing to find that professionals have acted negligently even though they followed the accepted practice of the day” **indicates that there is something outside of the empirical evidence that is persuading judgment. In the cases I have studiedthis has generally come down to the Judges opinion as to the credibility of witnesses. This in itself is subjective. By aligning the practice with a “standard in law” this should, although not guaranteed to, remove this piece of subjectivity.
Thanks for the comments Ray, and I look forward to more views, as this is a great topic which unfortunately, as the world becomes more litigious, more of us are likely to get exposure to as we progress in our careers.
This standard has already been defeated in B.C. and Ontario. Court rulings have declared that a “represenative number” or items inspected does not relieve the Inspector of duty of Care for items that could have been inspected but were not under the basis of this limitation.
Similarly the “minimum standard” to which inspectors are going to be asked to perform, does not necessarily mean a “minimal standard”. The positive thing about have a DAA be effective for the management of a regulation is that the standards can be tightened or relaxed as required by consumers/industry needs. The negative is it keeps the Elected Government at a distance from any screw–ups so they can plead plausible deniability for any serious issues. (Such as seen recently with the application of WSIB policies applicable to the Electrician Trade to the HI profession).
All Government communication has been met with a “it’s not our problem, talk to the DAA”.
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