The Ontario Government is promising to introduce legislation this fall to require licensing for “HOME INSPECTORS”. The initial legislation to license home inspectors was lost when the Ontario Government decided to Prorogue parliament causing any pending legislation to be discarded. The Ontario Government has stated that they will re-introduce Home Inspector licensing this fall, hopefully the eventual licencing of home inspectors will be completed in a timely manner. Many groups and organizations have invested time and resources to ensure a comprehensive level of qualifications will be required to obtain a Home Inspection License.
Currently it is proposed that an Independent Administrative Authority would be created to establish to enforce the legislation and any required elements. This will ensure a minimum standard is set for home inspection reports, wording of contracts, inspection performance and any disclosures required. Although no mention has been made of the relationship between home inspectors and real estate agents, hopefully they will address any issues related to Realtors trying to influence the home inspection process.
The home buyer will benefit from a standardized inspection process by someone who has the required qualifications and training to perform a professional home inspection. When a home buyer is making such a large financial decision it is only fair that he can rely on the expertise of the person hired to inspect his home.
Understanding the knowledge a professional home inspector requires is a good first step to knowing who you should hire to inspect your property. To be a knowledgeable and professional home inspector you must be a fully trained generalist and able to understand how the building systems/components found in a home perform and wear out over time. These systems include items such as: structural components, exterior components, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning, interior, insulation and ventilation. That’s why it’s so important to receive proper training/education and continue your education to stay abreast of the continuing changes in building requirements. The Ontario Building Code will usually have a major update of building codes every five years and some yearly changes, all which can affect the results of your home inspection. Is your home inspector up to date on his training and knowledge ?
After 4 years of Home Inspection licensing in B.C. the president of CAHPI had this to say about the affect of licensing on their home inspection industry:
“Therefore, under-trained and under-qualified individuals were being supplied with B.C. licenses, and able to enter people’s homes and provide assessments on a condo, a house, or a property, so long as they promised to get training and education at some future date. The shame is that the very people that B.C. government licensing was supposed to protect consumers from were being licensed through a loophole in the licensing regulation that has now allowed yet another out of province licensing body.”
We can only hope that Ontario has taken heed of the problems that B.C. and other provinces have encountered and avoid the same mistakes when setting up Ontario’s licensing process. I think everyone always views Government Intervention with some trepidation, we know the costs of home inspections will go up due to added government fees and possible new membership requirements. Hopefully the newly created Home Inspection Board will come under the watchful eye of the Ontario Ombudsman, which will definitely bring some transparency to the process and ensure a level playing field for all.
The home buyer will end up being the “winner” if this process works, and everyone should work hard to ensure the home buyer and his investment is always protected.
For any information regarding home inspections please contact The Barrie Home Inspector
We can only hope that Doug Ford, as the new premier of Ontario will move this valuable consumer protection legislation forward.