Home inspection legislation reaching final stage


**Home inspection legislation reaching final stage **

By Cam Allen](http://www.thewhig.comthewhig.com/),For The Whig-Standard
Friday,March 10, 2017 12:51:14 EST PM

Iwas pleased to have been chosen to speak to the Standing Committee on SocialPolicy at Queens Park on February 27th. This committee held public hearings onBill 59, which includes, not only sections to create an Act for Licensing ofHome Inspectors, but improvements in the pay-day loan operations and howdoor-to-door sales of furnaces and other appliances are conducted.
The committee heard from the Ontario Association of HomeInspectors and the National Home Inspection Certification Council. They alsoheard from the Ontario arm of the US internet based association known asOntarioACHI. Access to the presentations was available via the Hansard Report,which was posted on line shortly after each of the three days of submissions. Iwas also sent “discreetly” the position of OAHI, before they made theirpresentation.
The committee process is designed to review legislation presentedto them. I was surprised at a number of the submissions that by-passed this andsubmitted suggested changes, based on their own individual, corporate orassociation agendas. There were four major points that arose from thesubmissions. I spoke on those, along with making recommendations to the contentof the proposed act to license home inspectors.
The issue of energy audits on resale homes has been approachedin the past and has received stiff opposition from a number of participants inthe real estate market, including the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).The current government has proposed, in another piece of legislation pending,to bring energy audits back into the process of a home sale. OREA recommendedthat the audit be included during a home inspection, to which I disagree. Ahome inspection is commonly the last step to buying a home. Adding yet anotherprocess at this point puts additional information “overload” on the potentialbuyer at the eleventh hour. I cannot count the number of clients I’ve had whoreadily admit that the information provided at a home inspection is “daunting”in its own right.
During my presentation I offered a parallel to this. By way ofexample, you buy a car without knowing the gas mileage. You have already madeyour down payment, arranged your loan and now you get your safety check(inspection). They tell you the gas mileage at this point and it is higher thanyou anticipated. You are at the last step and by now you really want the car(house). The sticker, which tells you what the gas mileage and the approximateoperating costs is on the car window for this reason; so that you know beforeyou begin the buying process. In this era of energy efficiency knowing theaverage operating costs of a home and its rating is well within the scope ofany good EnerGuide Auditor and this process is already available. New homebuilders use it every day of the week. While I fully respect that having theenergy audit be mandatory when a house is listed adds another step to the realestate sale, given the constantly increasing cost of operating a home, startingwith electricity, making this information available at the beginning will allowit to be a part of the due diligence of every home buyer.
The other concern that was brought up was testing for Radon andhow it could be addressed. The Lung Association asked for a home inspection toinclude an air quality test and specifically a radon test. While there is ampledocumentation to support the position of the Lung Association and the negativehealth effects of radon, asking a home inspector who is usually in a home for2-3 hours, to do a short term radon test is not reasonable. This test typicallytakes seven days using a canister sample that is then sent to a lab foranalysis and report. The inspector would have no way of knowing if the vendorcomplied with the test requirements. In fact, the short term tests are known tohave limitations and the 30 day test is most accurate. Further, it’s well-knownthat the best time to test for radon is from late fall through to early spring.In the real estate business this is the slowest time for home sales. Whileradon testing is worthwhile, adding it to a home inspection is not the rightway to approach this issue.
There were two home inspection associations who made theirpresentation and they, as expected, offered vastly different opinions. One ofthe recommendations from OntarioACHI was to mandate that a home inspection beprovided by the vendor. This proposal has been recommended because of in theToronto market, where the home inspection business is drying up due to the hotreal estate market. This proposal is a major mistake. The benefits the homebuyer gets from attending their inspection and being able to ask questions andunderstand their prospective home, as explained by the inspector, isinvaluable. I have watched the current process, while not perfect, work forover 18 years.
The other association, OAHI (Ontario Assn. of Home Inspectors)stood by its long standing position and I quote, “the Government of Ontario andOAHI conduct a positive discussion to clarify OAHI’s ongoing role in developingbetter home inspection professionals.” OAHI and their board simply do notaccept that their days of importance are gone. The bill clearly says to rescindthe OAHI private members bill and move ahead with a Designated Authority toadminister licensing. I could fill 2 or 3 columns on the “Fiefdom” attitude ofthis association, including my own experiences on their board of directors, andhow they have hindered licensing in the past. BC and Alberta permitted theassociations, including the sister association to OAHI, to operate within theirlicensing process. Today, both provinces are spending huge amounts of time andpublic money correcting this by taking back the licensing process andadministering it within a government structure.
The home inspection business is a trade, not a profession. Itcan be taught by college courses, which already exist. The home inspectionprocess does have now, and can continue to have, a standard of practice that isconsistent for all home buyers. Electricians, plumbers and gas technicians arelicensed by an authority and this process works. There is no reason homeinspectors cannot operate within a similar standard.
From what I was told by a couple of MPP’s, the committee processhas merit. However, it is also well known that individual agendas often cloudthe system. Bill 59, as it stands, is a good base for a DesignatedAdministrative Authority (DAA) to implement the document that the governmenthad on the shelf with respect to licensing home inspectors. This document, “ACloser Look: Qualifying Ontario’s Home Inspectors,” was developed over manymonths and submitted to the government in December 2013. It was prepared by acommittee of 16 knowledgeable professionals. All of the home inspectionassociations were represented.
The public has simply lost faith in the home inspection process.Media stars like Mike Holmes have taken this industry to task and theassociations should bear the blunt of this public perception. The informationprovided by a skilled, trained home inspector has proven invaluable, time andtime again. A licensed structure for home inspectors that the home buyingpublic can believe in is something every home buyer in Ontario deserves. When Isummarized my presentation, I clearly stated, please proceed with thislegislation as structured; let’s get the first step in place with a DAAoperating under a strong mandate to license this industry; a licensing that islong overdue. Following the process, I still hope to see this legislation backin the legislature for final reading sometime in late April.
Cam Allen, L.I.W. NHI ACI, writes Ask The Inspector and GreenTech; The Series for the Kingston Whig Standard.

Thanks for the update Roy.

A bit funny when you think about it though. Passing a bill for defunct home inspection service providers that instill real estate consumer protection allowing a plaintiff a avenue to litage errors and omissions.

Think the next proposed bill might be on rotary phone sales persons or horse and buggy driver licenses?:roll:

Say what???

Exactly who or whom is “defunct”?

I think that Cam’s appraisal in the news article is based on his interpretation.

And incorrect information and biased views… What else is new!

Interesting I look forward to the correct information and unbiased Facts .

Interesting Patrick makes a statement he does not want to answer so he goes and adds this to his post .

( Robert Young and Roy Cooke are on my ignore list! Keeps my stress level down! )
This is new for him at

[FONT=“Verdana”]Last Activity: 3/11/17 6:59 PM [/FONT]
[FONT=“Verdana”]Current Activity:Modifying Signature [/FONT]

 Patrick Auriol, CMI, CCHI

Certified Master Inspector

Sorry Claude. Unfinished post.

From what I hear, many Ontario home inspector businesses will be defunct or longer existing the way things are going seeing many, most purchasers are disregarding a home inspection.
Many years, much time and money spent, to achieve what?

Yes, with buyers faced with a market that is largely creating bidding wars, they (buyers) are forgoing a home inspection in order to be considered.

This is based from various sources that I have gathered - it has had a significant impact on home inspections. Even the local market has heated up - where they claim there’s a shortage of listings and many buyers.

One of the downsides of an upfront sellers inspection is the choice to not disclose information. Basically that puts the seller in charge of whether to disclose or not, let alone consideration of how many will actually be interested in paying for the inspection and openly sharing it with “others”.

I always found it a disadvantage to have the owner not home to question and gain disclosures about conditions in the home. After all shouldn’t the home owner know or at least have the best, first hand knowledge of the conditions?

Much like the vendor disclosure statements. I remember countless instances where the R.E. agent wanted to go sit in their vehicle and not be party to conditions they might need to disclose, while I performed the home inspection.

Thanks Claude for the reminder .

I was originally critical of Disclosure Statementsbecause:

1.They were anobvious attempt to protect the agents. See the last sentence in the firstparagraph of the Ontario Real Estate Association ( OREA ) form: TheBroker/Sales Representative shall not be held responsible for the accuracy ofany information contained herein and see the last sentence of the lastparagraph: Note: sellers are responsible for the accuracy of allanswers .

We too had many agents who did not want to supply any info .
I too like the Owner to be there we frequently got good information and the inspection on their new home

I agree with the home owner being present. On many occasions I have encountered the owner leaving and I have invited them to stay.

If they see you do a good job, often times I have been asked to inspect their new purchase!

On the down side I have encountered just one irate ‘king of my castle’ who was down right belligerent when I pointed out some electrical deficiencies.

The selling agent never used me again, but my findings were vindicated when an ESA inspector gave a 30 day notice to the Vendor or face disconnect!

I agree with you Bryce, just last week I had an inspection of a townhouse and the washing machine hose was ready to burst so I notified the tenant…just the right thing to do! I don’t mind the owner being home at all, I only had one very un-co operative seller since 2009 JMO


Although it may at the time been an sensable obligation, in my view and humble opinion opened yourself up to liability from the vendor, agents, your SOP and likely your PIA.

Keep us posted.
IMO, poor idea.

Just one question Robert:


Inspection yesterday, owner was about to leave, I invited him to stay.

Helped by answering a few questions, he met the young buyers and everyone became friends.

Now I am inspecting the Vendor’s new purchase in my home town.

Robert’s reply is nonsense.

I assumed the tenant does not leave at the residence.

Sections 3 and 5 of your SOP.
As well, the tenant may make a remark to the purchaser that voids the deal.

It appears an inspector is being litigated for touching the washer hose that dislodged.

Mr. Bryce. No nonsense if the tenant does not own the home or live at that address.

The reported is for your client ears.
No one else is prevey the report until completed.
I take it the inspector has a certification in washing machine mechanics?

I seldom reply to posts but in this case…


Go to bed, wake up and rethink that reply!!!

Just a side note - rubber washing machine hoses can be one of a number of reasons for problems when acquiring home insurance. But related to the photo image…seems to be self explanatory!