**Home inspector out$13,000 for leaky foundation advice **
A home inspector was successfullysued for more than $13,000 in British Columbia for not advising buyers of aleaking Chilliwack home to fix foundation cracks.
In a ruling released Monday,Provincial Court of British Columbia Justice Kenneth Skilnick ruled that Mr. HomeInspector Ltd.](http://www.mrhomeinspectorltd.com/), through its agent Lee Fearnley Stonegate HomeInspections Ltd., failed to meet the professional standard of care required ofhome inspectors.
Mehran Ziragi Moghadam and ShirinRoohijahroomi hired Mr. Home Inspector before buying their house in 2015 fromTamiko Charlton. The actual inspection was done by Lee Fearnley.
Moghadam and Roohijahroomi losttheir lawsuit against Charlton as the seller of the home. They alleged Charltonmisrepresented the true state of the home but Justice Skilnick found noevidence to support their case.
B.C. was the first province tointroduce mandatory licensing for home inspectors in 2009. On April 3, 2017,Ontario also passed legislation requiring home inspectors to be licensed and tohave proof of liability and errors and omissions insurance.
In B.C., the [FONT=“Noto Sans”]Home InspectorLicensing Regulation requires inspectors to state in theircontracts whether or not they will look for mold or asbestos. In the reportthat Fearnley provided on the home that Moghadam and Roohijahroomi bought,Fearnley noted he did not provide a “visible mold evaluation.”[/FONT]
Moghadam and Roohijahroomi tookpossession of their home in October 2015. In November, they noticed a mustysmell in the basement and discovered water pooling in a corner.
The following February, Fearnleyreturned to the home. The new owners let him cut away some drywall. Afterturning on a hose they determined that water was getting through the foundationcrack.
Fearnley had mentioned thefoundation crack in a report, but he did not consider it to be a “significantproblem,” Justice Skilnick wrote in [FONT=“Noto Sans”]Moghadam et al v. Mr. Home Inspector et. al. Fearnley had recommended that the cracked foundation be “monitored” andnoted there was a “chance of water damage” to the building and its contents.[/FONT]
“There appears to be a glaringomission in the recommendation of Mr. Fearnley that the situation should bemerely monitored, as opposed to sealing the cracks,” Justice Skilnick wrote.“The former approach suggests a course of action that the homeowner should waitfor damage to occur first, while the latter suggests that the homeowner shouldtake pre-emptive action to prevent the damage occurring in the first place.”
The buyers retained a differenthome inspector as an expert witness. That witness testified that Fearnleyfailed to emphasize the impact and severity of cracks in the foundation.Concluding that the water entered the home through those cracks, the plaintiffs’expert testified that the home was in an area of B.C. that was “pretty much arainforest,” and so, when a foundation cracks, it is “bound to leak when rainsreturn after summer.”
The defendant’s lawyer argued that“little weight” should be placed on the evidence of the plaintiffs’ expertwitness because that expert did not actually inspect the property. But JusticeSkilnick found that the home buyers’ expert’s conclusion was “logical,” giventhe climate in B.C. Justice Skilnick added that Fearnley’s work “does notappear to be in keeping with the duty of a reasonably prudent home inspector tomake recommendations to correct or monitor” a deficiency found in a home.