Someone posted recently that the number of* justified* law suits filed against home inspectors is relatively low in Ontario.
I believe that claims filed against home inspectors would even be less, if consumers would educate themselves about the real costs of home ownership before being pressured by commission-hungry real estate agents to purchase homes they actually cannot afford.
Many first time buyers make their purchasing decision only on the fact, whether or not they can afford the monthly mortgage payments. Little thought is given to the expenses involved to keep the home warm in the winter time, or cool during hot summer days. Many never think about that the water metre is ticking whenever the toilet is being flushed, or when taking a bath.
Stressed to their financial limits from the outset, regular building maintenance is often being ignored or postponed until costly repairs become unavoidable. That is the moment when most frivolous claims against home inspectors are being filed to recover the expense triggered by their own negligence.
Almost all lawsuits claim that the plaintiff would never have bought the home if the subject matter had been forecasted at the time of the inspection. Home inspectors have therefore always the burden of proof that the deficiency has simply not existed, or that the shortcoming has in fact been reported, but ignored by the claimant until it became a financial issue. Buyers’ remorse is often the actual reason to seek financial compensation from home inspectors.
The accuracy of the issued inspection report might become the one and only defence to prove that the filed claim has no merit.
**RUDOLF REUSSE **- Home Inspector since 1976 - Retired
“It does appear that home inspectors are familiar with the reality of calling on their insurance coverage (9% citing a court award or claim on them). There is also the potential for the severity of any claim, coupled with defence costs, to be substantial.”
I have been the subject of two law suits. The first was filed by the lawyer for the Canadian Auto Workers ( free legal council ). I defended myself in the London Ontario Court during a trial by judge that lasted one full day! I won, with costs levied against the complainant.
Second time was in St. Thomas Ontario Court. Again I defended myself! The case was thrown out by the judge during the preliminary hearing. He told the lawyer the case was frivilous.
My major concern is the BS from E&O insurance who settle without a fight. Both cases were frivilous. I built my first home in 1964. I do not have a pile of initials behind my name but I do have a mountain of experience.
In my personal opinion you do not make a home inspector with on line courses or community colleges. You start in the excavation and mud by putting in footings, framing walls and installing shingles. You learn on site by laying out the stakes for the excavators and doing your own grades. Most, not all mind you, who claim to be home inspectors are transplants from other professions who have lost their jobs. Most have been lured by unrealistic promises of huge profits. Many are just plain dumb asses trying to expound their knowledge to others, and not doing a very good job of that!
Then there are those who start associations and schools to lure the masses and prove their worth as the knowledgeable leaders of the industry. Oh but wait, they claim they are attempting to protect the consumer and elevate the industry. What industry? This is a service and nothing more!
And finally there are those who cannot put a simple sentence together never mind a compound complex attempt at communication. Spell check is a wonderul invention!
Although I agree with you on the background of an Inspector most of this is essential but without continuing education in the field of Inspecting you will never stay on top.
I have seen reports from Veterans that don’t stay on top of things and I have seen whiz kids that think they are on top by adding CODES these ones generally come from a background of only trade knowledge. The ones that do this will not last long and if ever caught by the Insurance Company will not be covered.