Licensing will not Protect any one .

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Fraudulent home inspector revealed

[FONT=Arial]By Barry Stone

Q. I recently purchased a home that has turned into a nightmare of undisclosed problems. The home inspector, who was chosen by the Realtor, is totally dishonest, as I’ll explain. The home inspection included environmental tests for radon, mold and water analysis. No problems were reported. Recently, I contacted the laboratories whose names were on the inspection report. All of these companies sent letters stating they have no records of performing tests for my address. When I emailed the home inspector and asked for an explanation, he responded that he used test kits provided by those companies but that the tests were actually performed by local companies. When I asked for the names of those companies, he said he had a “handshake” relationship with those labs and was not permitted to disclose their names. Clearly, this inspector is operating fraudulently. I sent all of this information to the Realtor and her broker, but they have not responded. So I called the district attorney’s office and they said I needed to file a police report first. But I am afraid to do so, as the inspector could serve jail time, and he knows where I live. What can I do?
A. Your situation takes first place for the most egregious home inspector performance that has come to my attention. If this inspector has done all that you describe, it’s time to get out the tar and feathers.
All kidding aside, this is fraud that needs to be reported to the authorities. Letting the matter slide for fear of retribution merely assures that other homebuyers will be damaged as you have been. If this were a common criminal, such as a drug dealer, your fear of reprisal would be understandable. But people who commit business fraud are far less likely to be dangerous. This concern, however, is something you should discuss with the police before filing a complaint.
The fact that the Realtors chose the home inspector and is now ignoring your communications does not speak well for their integrity or intentions. Unless the agent and broker address the matter forthrightly, you should file a complaint with the state agency that issues real estate licenses.
Finally, you need to get full disclosure of the condition of your home. The fact that the environmental tests were fraudulent indicates that the entire home inspection report was a whitewash. Try to find a home inspector in your area who has many years of experience and a reputation for thoroughness. Much is likely to be revealed by a home inspection from a competent professional.
Q. We had our home re-piped by a licensed plumber. The building inspector signed off on the work, but now we have leaks. Who is responsible, the plumber or the inspector?
A. It is the responsibility of the plumber to repair the leaks. Building inspectors make sure plumbing is installed in accordance with code requirements. But it is possible for fittings to meet code without being tightly fitted, and loose fittings are not obvious until they actually leak. If the water source was turned off during the inspection, leaky fittings would not have been discovered. You should contact your plumber and insist proper repairs be made immediately.
• To write to Barry Stone, visit him on the web at, or write AMG, 1776 Jami Lee Court, Suite 218, San Luis Obispo, CA 94301.
Action Coast Publishing

A person recently had an inspection done by one of well established Ontario Homies who loves cash and no report.
When the gentleman moved in he found many things wrong .
He went to his neighbour and he went over and found these things wrong .
The neighbour is very handy but not an inspector.
Below is what the neighbour sent to me…


1.Exceptionally low water pressure from City water supply reducing pressure to all household taps and showers to a trickle. Requires upgrade to ¾ inch main supply line from curb stop. This is now in progress.
2.Defective water supply valve upstream from water meter now replaced with improved type.
3.Some remaining galvanized ½ inch water pipe to be replaced by ½ inch copper pipe to comply with insurance requirements…
4.Ungrounded electrical service panels now remedied.
5.Some remains of knob and tube wiring now removed.
6.Wiring damaged by rodents removed and replaced.
7.Fourteen plus, ungrounded duplex receptacles discovered to date, now remedied by new replacements with copper grounding conductor connected.
8.Non functioning natural gas furnace caused by seized ventor motor now replaced and functioning.
9.Rotted side entry porch and stairs unsafe for use requires reconstruction.
10.No soffit venting to attic space and no ridge vents.
11.Three roof leaks require attention.
12.Collapsing ceiling in apartment living room requires replacement for safety. Demolition, reframing and restoration now in process.
13.Wet basement walls due to inadequate exterior grading slope away from concrete block foundation.
14.Inadequate basement lighting. Lighting upgrade required.

15.Portion of basement wall, 24 inches high x 8 feet long with exposed rock and soil requires underpinning to prevent potential collapse of concrete block supporting wall above.

  1. Concrete face of walkway and steps at front of house has seriously deteriorated and requires extensive refacing due to extreme spalling.

If these bad inspectors did this in an unlicensed state, would that stop them?

Licensing stops no one from doing harm, but it can provide a way for swift
punishment when they are discovered. That does seem to be the whole basis
for any laws we have in our civil society. The law will punish, but it cannot
stop anything from happening.

I inspected for 15 years in a state that requires a license. It had no affect
on me for good or bad. It did protect me from unwarranted complaints
sometimes, but that was about it.

John is correct. Hence the call for licensing … it’s not how many lawsuits - it’s more about how “consumers” can be easily abused and harmed by the handful that make us all look bad.

One example - a home inspection performed for a related family member of a MP (Member of Parliament). The inspection goes bad. Imagine the implication from that alone. Sad…but true. The inspector folds up his tent, and disappears.

Yes, there’s a onus on consumers…but who or whom should they believe? Look at the current state of affairs and bashing in Ontario alone, let alone in other areas.

Thanks Claude unfortunately many of our problems are the fault of the Associations in our province they refuse to do any thing when information is sent to them about bad inspections and lying inspectors with their false advertising .
We need to clean up our own back yard immediately .
Maybe the association’s should clean up their act and have their members spend more than 1 hour doing an inspection?
BTW, how would licensing fix that?
How would licensing come to the aid to that consumer?

Well they can’t believe the associations, that is for sure. A paper trail of non responses and negligence now exists in NHICC, PHPIC and OAHI. Shameful! How is the consumer protected? You have the P2P chap sitting on the MCS panel and is on the DPPC of OAHI who have been non responsive. Real nice.
Anything goes, even more so if you have friends in high places.

Licensing solves nothing.

Licensing will only weed out those that fail to meet the licensing requirements. In other cases your mileage may vary!

It certainly is not “fool” proof.

Bad inspectors meet licensing requirements throughout the world.

Licensing solves nothing.

Claude you and I have had this discussion many times .
If Ontario does bring in??? licensing I expect they will grandfather the existing Homies and they will I expect be a better group then those who follow in the coming years .

Has never worked in the past and I do not think it will work in the future .
I am sure you have seen advertised the TV program Canada’s worst drivers .
They all have a license and for sure all should never be allowed on the road.

That about says it all.


Bad inspectors meet no requirements in areas where there is no law throughout the world.

No laws solve nothing… (I am being absurd)

Why does InterNACHI have requirements for anything? If that is what we believe then lets drop all requirements. Oh yeah, that is what Nick mocks those other associations about all the time. They have no requirements.

I listen to what I see in peoples actions, not their words. That is the problem. People hate requirements and accountability.

“If something cannot be measured, it cannot be managed”.

Many fire safety codes were written to stop human suffering. Before there was any fire safety codes in place, entire city blocks would burn to the ground because chaos ruled instead of building standards that protect human life.

Any system has human flaws in it but that is not enough to throw out law and order. There must be a balance.

Why do we list our certifications and experience for the public to see? Because everyone understands that those who have met certain conditions and attain to a certain level of education can do a better job than someone who has no experience or education.

Will certifications make a person moral and honest… NO. Human nature will always make any measurement and qualification process flawed. But don’t throw it all out the window for chaos instead.

In the history of home buying and the home inspection profession … not once, ever … in any part of the world … has a licensing law protected a home buyer or home owner from having a poor home inspection. Never.

Whether it is applied before a licensing law was enacted … or after a licensing law was enacted … the rule of “caveat emptor” has always prevailed.

The licensing of any profession or trade is not guaranteed to stop bad practice. That is a fact even recognised by the regulators.

What well formed licensing does is provide three primary things:

  1. A uniform standard to which all professionals are measure to.
  2. A single regulatory authority that is responsible for claims against, and discipline of, the licensed professional.
  3. A deterrent to bad practice for those who abide by the law and fear losing their preferred method of income.

Q. So in the Home Inspection field, how does this help the consumers ensure they are going to get a quality home inspector, performing a quality home inspection?
A. It doesn’t. However what it does do, is give the consumer the education that if they feel aggressive by the inspection, there is a regulatory body that will take the matter up. They will apply a uniform standard of practice, duty of care and code of ethics and apply it across the board to look at any complaint. They will have pre-set disciplinary rules that will be applied without foul or favour. They have the ultimate right to suspend pending further education or remove the right for the home inspector to practice. This at least ensures the home inspector cannot go on and do the same thing to others. At the same time, even though the law of home sales is Caveat Emptor, the onus for liability is transferred to the Inspector, much the same as it is now. This leaves the door open for the consumer to sue for damages in a civil case. This effectively forms a double-whammy for the bad inspectors.

So does Licensing stop all poor inspections? No. Does it provide a way for the profession to clean its act up. Yes.

There are many thoughts on this board about why Licensing doesn’t work, but they are based upon very few cases.

In Ontario alone there are an estimated 133,000 Home Inspections per year performed by approximately 1,700 inspectors, full & part-time.

This has resulted in the last year with only around 500 consumer complaints and 390 Lawsuits. This does not consider anything that was submitted to the complaints services of the Associations.

When you consider that, I’d say our profession, in comparison with others, is not that bad anyway. However does this mean that we are OK to go without licensing?

We have, in Ontario, currently 3 significantly different Standards of Practices and essential 1 Code of Ethics with some Association specific protection in each one.

When a complaint is elevated to the courts, and expert witnesses called, they are normally from different Associations. This means that the Standards of Practice, presented by the “expert witness” may be substantially different from the Inspector under scrutiny.

Courts (Judges in particular) tend to believe expert witness testimony above that of the Appellant or Respondent in a court case. So the Inspector is on decisively iffy ground from the get-go if it goes this far. Lawyers have got wise to this, and we are starting to see more cases involved expert witnesses with a differing opinion. It helps the Lawyers and their clients win cases.

On the flip side, it pushes the costs for defence up, because now the Inspectors (respondents) Lawyers have to call in “friendly” expert witnesses. This pushes up the cost of the court case, the costs in general and subsequently the insurance premiums.

So how does licensing help? It is apparent from the Associations in-fighting that none are prepared to compromise and develop a unified SOP and CoE, so it’s left to an outside agency to do it. In this case the Government and it’s agencies.

By creating a unified SoP/DoC/CoE the subjectiveness is taken out of the court rooms. This streamlines the cases that go to court, reducing the costs for everyone concerned. Not only that, it stops the craft practices of lawyer who leverage the disparity between standards to amplify their earnings, and actually reduces the cases that actually get to court.

In addition, the consumer, accurately or not, feels empowered by a Government body that MUST under the statutory rights of a consumer listen and act on their complaint. Again, if the Associations operated fair, repsonsive complaints systems, then much of the problem would have disappeared. Again we failed ourselves.

Will Licensing hurt the profession?

I do not believe this to be the case. It didn’t hurt the electricians profession, it didn’t hurt the plumbers profession. Sure it hurt some electricians, and some plumbers, but the profession as a whole has benefited, and because of the structure has continued to improve. This in turn has benefited the consumer with better quality. Sure there are still some cowboy plumbers and cowboy electricians, and there will still be some cowboy home inspectors after licensing, but they don’t last long, and they don’t hurt the profession or the true professional.

The important thing is that licensing, or better put regulation, is only beneficial if it’s well formed.

We should stop complaining that it won’t fix anything.

We and our clients will be better off if we put our energies into embracing the regulation but ensuring that when it comes, and come it will, we have had a positive input into it.

So what if PiIllar to Post or OAHI or CAHPI or Uncle Tom Cobbly and all had an input into the original proposals. At the end of next week you all get to see the proposals and have your say.

Having worked on legislative regulation in the past I will tell you that if you are going to write in and complain, don’t bother. Your complaints will fall on deaf ears. If you disagree with the proposals, then have your say. State what you don’t agree with, why you disagree with it, and what you would put in place to make it better.

Remember, there are around 1,700 Inspectors in Ontario. 950 inspectors couldn’t be bothered to respond to the MCS survey so they are not likely to be bothered about the licensing proposals.

So you are a voice in 750. If you are going to have your say, don’t waste it whining about something you won’t stop. Say something positive and help make sure when it come it’s what’s best for the Home Inspection Profession AND the Consumers.

Oh and for the most part, the majority of inspectors that didn’t respond to the Survey as a percentage of Association affiliation, were InterNACHI members. That’s why, even though InterNACHI in Ontario has more registered paying members, the MCS thinks OAHI is the largest representative of Inspectors in Ontario.

While “Caveat Emptor” is the prevailing law in the home sale process James, you should not attempt to fool inspectors that this is a defence in the eyes of the Law.

The Ontario courts are full of cases where the inspector as a respondent has been found against, even in the presence of “Caveat Emptor”.

Why? Because they assume the liability as being the “expert” consultant in advising their client of the deficiencies in a property.

I tried to get the point across many times in my service on the recent Panel meetings with the Government, that the best medicine (although not complete cure) for the Home Sale issues was to invoke the clause “Caveat Venditor” in home sales.

This would put the liability back on the vendor and the vendors consultant (Realtor).

You can imagine what their response was each time I raised this.

So the liability will stay with the Inspector who is there to advise the clients of deficiencies. Miss one and Caveat Emptor won’t save you from diddly squat.

Leonard …Very interesting I am surprised by your statement
("This has resulted in the last year with only around 500 consumer complaints and 390 Lawsuits. This does not consider anything that was submitted to the complaints services of the Associations. ')
I would be most please if you can show us where you get this information.

(" The Ontario courts are full of cases where the inspector as a respondent has been found against, even in the presence of “Caveat Emptor”. ")
I again would appreciate where, you get these Cases from and would love to see some of them …
… Thanks … Roy

Caveat emptor applies to the selection of a home inspector as well as a house.

A license means nothing and a consumer who is fooled into believing otherwise is harmed by the license they foolishly depended upon instead of performing their own due diligence when selecting someone to report the condition of a home they planned to buy.

Licensing solves nothing.

These discussions will continue, even years from now, until the National Association of Realtors set the standards for all REA’s to suggest HI’s, and what determines who a home inspector is, or is not.

The first set of statistics came from the analysis of data form the SEG consultants who were tasked to do the statistical analysis for the Panel meetings. I’m hoping that as of the end of next week all this information will be in the public hands. I apologise for everyone having to wait, but TJ and I are still somewhat throttled by the terms of agreement for the meeting.

The second comment comes from a search through CanLII which exposes many instances of Inspectors getting clobbered even in the face of Caveat Emptor because of the migration of liability onto them and off of the Purchaser. (e.g. here )

Personally I was more suprised at the apathy of InterNACHI inspectors. I thought we would be more pro-active at getting our feelings across in the MCS survey, but alas it didn’t seem to be the case.

I hope this helps.

Looking at BBB figures and being on the OAHI DPPC for some time and knowing a lot of Canadian inspectors . These figures just seem to me to be wrong .
I see posts like yours and other who do not supply any facts makes me think some thing is very strange .
A small claims can be different from a law suit.
These frequently have extremely strange results