Ministry of Consumer Services meeting June 25th

The meeting held in Toronto, On by the Ministry of Consumer Services was an informative stepping stone for all home inspectors in Ontario. I have attached a PDF file for everyone with the key points of the meeting.

At the stage the key issue for InterNACHI is ensuring we have a seat on the panel to decide the regulations for the province. This panel is yet to be chosen, but I have no doubt InterNACHI will be represented.

Thanks Timothy very much appreciated…

No problem Roy, I am always happy to lend a helping hand.

Thanks also Timothy and much appreciated!

Thanks Tim!

So was it a “talk at you” or a “talk with you” kind of meeting? Everything seems to suggest, you guys were in the audience, they talked, you listened. This is fine for a preliminary meeting I suppose–Just curious how the whole thing went down is all…

The meeting was a little bit of both. They invited us there and presented their expectations and timelines.

We were asked for our input, questions and concerns. The meeting was about three hours and just over an hour was Q & A.

The next step for the Ministry is set up this panel (to be decided by end of July). I stayed after the meeting and personally expressed how InterNACHI can help.

Thanks TJ

I can assure you also Stuart that they need to be educated also. Consumer Services had no clue how much of a problem was created with the listed Home Inspector Associations. Timothy is right that they do want what is best and the panel of 8-12 is very important to them.
Wrong media attention will most likely be stopped in its tracks this time.
As Nick says openly we, that being InterNachi have been asked for more guidance respectfully and InterNachi is welcome in Ontario.

I am curious as to what input, concerns, questions were raised from the stakeholders and what was the response from the Government panel.

Doug, the Government panel hasn’t yet been selected.

There were a number of issues/concerns raised. None had much discussion, although in the cases of Education, Insurance vs. cost and costs to the public there were some arguments/counter arguments in the audience.

The concerns were outline in page 16 of the presentation.

The government from their perspective were concerned about the complaints THEY receive from the public. These were not based on claims, litigated or otherwise, just public consumer complaints.

As a Government they need to be seen to be doing something about those complaints.

The Government, and some of the stakeholders see the issues created by poor education of the public, between their understanding and expectations of a home inspection, and what actually transpires.

This mis-understanding was recognised, by some, as being caused by an intransigence between the Associations to create a uniform Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that was written in plain language and explained well to the clients PRIOR to any inspection starting.

It was also seen, again by some, as the failure of Associations (in general) of not properly regulating their own members to ensure they followed the standards of Practice, and to the high volume of Inspectors who are not even members of any association and therefore follow their own SoP, which in most cases is likely none.

Doug, Len just posted a reply that is 100% accurate. We raised our concerns to the ministry and they were listening. They wanted to know those concerns so they could be addressed through the panel of 8-12 individuals.

Complaints against home inspectors in Ontario is minimal and the amount tat require a payout from an insurance company due to litigation is even less. That was one of the top discussions.

Take a look at page 16 of the report that I posted, it lists those concerns that need to be addressed when the panel is in discussions.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate let me know and we can hopefully get some answers.

Thanks TJ

Thanks Len:
The complaints that the Gov’t has received did they offer any demographics. Such as the #1 complaint, where are the complaints coming from geographically, did the HI’s belong to any association(s) etc.
Also was there any mention of mandatory home inspections being introduced as part of the real estate transaction?

No, there were no detailed statistical analysis of any of the complaints shared with us, either from the government or the insurers. The only statistics from MCS were that the Ontario economy is 80% driven by consumer spending, and that 70% of Resale Home purchases had Home Inspections.
What I found surprising is this last statistic conflicts with statistics from OREA, RECO, CMHC and Carson Dunlop who all put the figure much higher.
That said, there were some graphs produced at the presentation, but they were too small to see by the audience, and these may have had more statistics not verbally conveyed. I asked the presenter if the MCS slides would be openly circulated, and was told affirmative. I have since requested these by email but as yet have had no response save the read receipt. As and when we get them, no doubt I will post them to OntarioACHI sites and TJ will post them here. That way we ensure the best coverage for inspectors in Ontario regardless of their association or preference.
I hope this answers your first question.

There was no formal mention of mandatory home inspection, but I did raise with one of the MCS team the spectre of this scenario:

Licensing + Mandatory E&O + Manadatory Bond + Mandatory College Education = Less Inspectors = Higher prices = Less people having inspections = Less public protection* = The polar opposite of what is trying to be achieved***

This is just one of the sort of data that needs to be put into the panel discussions if a fair solution for all is to be arrived at, because it projects forward what some of the decision being made will affect as a knock-on.

I hope this answers your second question

The BBB stats indicate home inspectors have a low rate of complaints compared to other service oriented businesses.

As to the attendees I am having a hard time digesting why other than associations why franchisors and education providers where on the invite list when in fact this is about licencing home inspectors, not business entities or otherwise.

For instance Carson Dunlop is a educational provider, supplier of computer reporting to Mike Holmes, home inspection.

Why was Pillar to Post in attendance. They would appear to have a high complaint rate.

Special interests?

Len and Tim: Here is a scenario I like!
Licensing + Mandatory E&O + Mandatory Bond + Mandatory College Education= Mandatory maintenance inspection + Mandatory pre-purchase inspection.
I know not going to happen but wouldn’t it be nice to balance the equation.
Thanks for responding to my questions. I’m sure I’ll have a few more before this is over.

Ontario inspectors need to make a quick decision.

Do you want to have a licensing law? If you do, you need to fight to get a seat at the table so that the first draft of the law contains at least some language that you would like to see. After it becomes law, of course, it will be modified by those who control your business through the law but at least, for a year or two, there will be a law that might possibly contain things that you approve of.

*Do you want to prevent a licensing law? * If you do, you need to ensure that your government understands that the “8 to 12” people at the table are only speaking for themselves and that they do not represent you. You need to alert the media to the fact that special interest groups and individuals seeking power over your industry are misrepresenting to your government that they represent you in forming a law that will harm consumers by disguising poor inspectors with “licenses”.

Whatever you do, you need to act now.

Exactly! Bingo! Thank you!

Take the Real Estate Agent and Brokers out,take the Home Inspector Franchises out, take the Training Facilities out, take the Insurance Brokers out, Leave the Veterans in and individuals that do not have a vested interest to make any extra money off the License venture.
Who do you have left at the table?
Take the rest of the Group you have left and cap what they can make out of the venture with a signed agreement by law.


Dave Bowman we appreciate your thoughts and ideas .
It would be nice to know something of your back ground .
Like are you in the home inspection industry and how long, do you or have you belonged to any Canadian associations .

I have many more questions that you might be able to help give your thoughts on. Thanks … Roy

What do you think!!! Should this guy have got a Home Inspection?

	 		 	    **By:** 		 	      [Mark Weisleder]( 				 							Real Estate, 						               Published on Fri Feb 22 2013           	

Buyers must be very careful to check for minor defects in a home by themselves, as they may not be protected if they find out about it later.

One reader complained that after closing, they learned that one of the mirrored closet doors was cracked. When they had first inspected the home, the closet doors were open, such that the cracked one was behind one that was not cracked. The buyer says that they were fooled by the seller.

Another reader complained that they did not want to disturb anything on the kitchen counter when they visited the home, only to find after closing a crack in the countertop under the spot where the coffeemaker was sitting.

This highlights the legal subject of patent or obvious defects. The general principal is that a seller does not have the obligation to disclose defects that are visible to any buyer. However, a seller cannot try to conceal obvious defects either. The following case demonstrates that this is not always easy to figure out:

Randall and Catharine Reiss bought a home from Dr. Emil and Maria Grigore in West Lorne, Ontario in January 2005. The sellers had been in the home 14 years.

The buyers had** two opportunities to visit** the home before making the offer. The second visit took at** least two hours**. As Mr. Reiss was an electrician, he did not bother with a home inspection. He had asked the sellers whether they had experienced problems with the air conditioning, furnace or plumbing systems and the answer was no.

He asked whether all the windows opened and the answer was yes. He only tested one of the windows himself. He also checked under many of the rugs in the home.

After closing the buyers discovered numerous problems with the home and sued. Some of the complaints were as follows:

There was soapy water and dishes in the kitchen sink at the time of the visits. After closing the buyers noticed that the entire sink was rusted and had to be replaced.

Some of the window cranks did not work so the windows would not open.

There was a large stain under the bed in the master bedroom, which resulted in the buyer having to replace the entire bedroom broadloom.

There were 50 cracked tiles around the bathtub and on the bathroom floor that were concealed by a combination of a rug on the floor, a vase and a stack of towels.

According to the buyers, even though these were minor defects, they were actively concealed by the sellers.

According to the sellers, they did not say anything untruthful and did not conceal anything. **They permitted the buyers as long as they needed to inspect their home **before putting in an offer. They did not have a dishwasher so it was not unusual for dishes to be piled up in the sink.

The dog slept under the bed and must have had some accidents that they were not aware of. They tried to remove the stain when they moved out and noticed it for the first time but were not able to get the stain out.

The case was decided on June 30, 2010. Justice Lynne Leitch noted that the sellers were long-standing members of the community, who had family in the area and were not trying to move away and unload a home with problems. She accepted the sellers’ explanations and denied the buyers any damages.

As to the readers who discovered the cracks in the mirrored closet door or under the coffee machine on the kitchen counter, in my opinion they would probably lose their cases as well.

The lesson is that buyers must be very careful to do their own due diligence when visiting a property, before making any offer. This includes testing all windows, looking behind pictures, under rugs and lifting anything off the counters.

Test the appliances, electrical outlets and faucets as well. Being prepared before you make an offer will prevent unwanted surprises after closing.

*Mark Weisleder is a Toronto real estate lawyer. Contact him at *


Just an observer looking in on the challenges facing the industry.

I have been reading various blogs and other testaments as to the good and bad of home inspectors and particularly this licencing issue.