A new national industry coalition of home inspectors has been formed with the goal of protecting Canadians at risk of missing out on a home inspection due to the current state of the real estate market.

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Canadian Home Inspectors for Consumers (CHIC) says it was formed to educate the public about the importance of a home inspection, and “advocate for Canadians who may be treated unfairly when buying a home, as prospective homebuyers find themselves in heated bidding wars, and feel the pressure to keep their offer competitive by forgoing a home inspection.”

Alan Carson, CEO of Carson Dunlop, says, “Canadians are making one of the biggest financial commitments of their lives without the information they need to make an informed decision. This creates huge financial risk with unforeseen problems lurking. From wet basements, mould in attics and structural problems, to unsafe electrical systems, obsolete HVAC or plumbing systems and worn-out roofs – the list goes on.”

The organization says many homebuyers “have put all their funds – and perhaps their parents’ savings – into down payments and may not have the resources to handle unexpected repairs. This lack of transparency creates an unfair and unacceptable situation for Canadians, as homebuyers should know exactly what they are buying by way of a professional home inspection.”

Rick Mayuk, regional owner at A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections, says homebuyers are being denied the basic due diligence afforded by a professional home inspection.

The federal government has pledged to introduce a Home Buyers’ Bill of Rights, which commits to “establishing a legal right to a home inspection to make sure that buyers have the peace of mind that their investment is sound,” says CHIC.

“Those selling their homes would also benefit from a pre-listing home inspection by making the report available to serious, well-informed prospective buyers. (This would) protect both sellers and real estate agents from lawsuits by unhappy buyers in the case of necessary and costly repairs,” says Leigh Gate, owner of Home Advantage Property Inspections and president of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors. “Home sellers who complete pre-listing home inspections create a level playing field for all parties, ensuring transparency in a significant transaction.”

CHIC is currently comprised of seven home inspection associations and companies: Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors, Alberta Professional Home Inspectors Society, Ontario Association of Home Inspectors, Carson Dunlop, A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections, Pillar to Post Home Inspectors and Mike Holmes Inspections.

8 COMMENTS

  1. The maximum amount of liability only has a limit as to what a court would set it as if a legal situation was needed. Good home inspectors carry E and O insurance for such an instance.
    This sounds like a statement encouraged by realtors.
    As for missed items in a home inspection that is something that is in the perception of the buyer. The amount of frivolous claims far outweighs actual legitimate claims. (Hub Canada)
    Don’t expect any mandates coming from the gov’t soon. Licensing for Home Inspecrors was passed in 2017 and still has not been enacted upon.JMO

  2. Buyers should never have a legal right as such. However the vendor should provide and make available a home inspection report as part of the selling process.
    That’s much easier and makes sense.
    As an owner I would never want any so called buyer to have any such legal right over my property.
    I understand home inspectors are reluctant to provide reports to be used by other people. I often wonder why? Which makes the idea of buyers having a legal right to a home inspection even more ridiculous. That means numerous reports could be requested on the same home.
    One home One report. How difficult is that?

    • Hi Chris, I do not totally disagree; but would you buy a used car without an independent mechanics safety inspection report? The other concern is your suggested scenario is your plan implies several other possible short comings – lack of consumer protection. Or perhaps another being the home owners belief that a home inspection could be detrimental and simply not exist – selling “as is”. The other being recognition of persons properly trained and qualified to provide a home inspection report by the home owner. That would likely mean some form of inspector licensing. Again even that being mandatory. Of course nothing short of true honest disclosure of the real property condition certainly would help in clearing the air about property conditions. Something sadly lacking when I see homes sold nearby that have experienced basement flooding and lack of an inspection waived in this blind bidding pressure home sales era. Who else will step forward to help protect a home buying consumer?

  3. The provision of consumer protection is a national issue in the current Real Estate marketplace. There are very qualified professionals that provide a good service to the public and follow a recognized Standard of Practice (SOP). Where licensing exists E&O is mandatory, and weasel clauses such as limitations to the inspection fee is often not looked upon unfavorably by the courts, and likewise clients should be aware of such limitations.

    CMHC helped in funding a National Certification Program for home inspection sector almost 2 decades ago for uniformity and national certification credentialing. So a model already exist for professionalizing the profession. Standards go well beyond the 4 or 5 point walk-throughs, and address what is required to adequately perform and report in a home inspection. Anything short of following the SOP is likely not covered by the inspectors insurance and certainly fails to meet the “minimum” inspection standard.

    Until there’s a clear delineation without outside influence, home inspections are tempered and influenced to the whims of Realtors! Simply “caveat emptor”……

  4. While I agree an inspection by a certified building inspector is desirable, the comment about limited liability is definitely valid. Check the fine print! And as everyone, including politicians, seems to be concerned about professionals promoting their own interests; why would inspectors get more credibility?

  5. I don’t know how the feds will accomplish this as real estate is provincially mandated, but they likely have identified some power levers that they call pull to “encourage” provinces to jump on board.

  6. These days, the consumer is seeing less value in using a home inspector, as the maximum amount of liability for any missed problems is usually maxed out at the amount paid for the inspection. In recent years, many inspectors my Buyers have hired won’t even step on to a ladder to inspect the attic and roof, nor will they disassemble the electrical panel.

    • Those points about stepping onto a ladder or taking the cover off an electrical panel and even probing into a furnace are indeed questions that need to be asked by a buyer when hiring a home inspector, before they engage that person. You want to make sure whomever you hire will do the complete job of inspecting the home.

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