The Ontario government has passed legislation to regulate the home inspection industry and establish qualifications for home inspectors. The Home Inspection Act 2017 establishes minimum standards for home inspection contracts, home inspection reports, disclosures and the performance of home inspections.
Under the new law, anyone performing a home inspection must be licensed and insured. A written contract with the homeowner must be signed and a written report has to be delivered after the inspection.
“This is a crucial, necessary step,” says Dan Steward, president and CEO of Toronto based Pillar To Post Home Inspectors. “Can you imagine finding out that your dentist took a one-day course in dentistry? Your home is your single biggest investment so you absolutely have to protect it with a thorough home inspection before putting down your hard earned money.”
Steward says, “It’s also crucial to have the inspection before you buy, but with the current situation (in some hot markets) we see many would-be homeowners bypassing the inspection process and foregoing the contingency so they don’t lose the home to another bidder.”
“We understand the competitive nature of supply and demand,” said Steward, “Buyers are afraid that if they put in an offer contingent on the outcome of a home inspection, they may lose the home to three or four other bidders who are willing to take the risk of buying the home without that contingency. We cannot emphasize enough what a big mistake it is to buy any home without having a home inspection. For those that just won’t adhere to this advice, they should immediately call in a home inspector once they take possession of the home to see what’s happening inside of it.”
Graham Clarke, president of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) says, “With such a supply and demand issue, it is a real dilemma for Realtors as well. They want to protect their buyer clients from making a huge mistake, which could mean thousands of dollars in repairs later down the road, but they also don’t want to lose the insistent client. They can only do their best to assert their warning on the dangers of buying without a home inspection.”
Steward says the company is making special offers to real estate salespeople “to have one of our home inspectors come out to the new homeowner right after closing. If they find problems early enough, repairs can be, hopefully limited to a minimum.”