Until April 2017 anybody with a flashlight and business card could establish a Canadian home inspection business, The Star wrote that May. This lack of regulation played on buyers’ and sellers’ nerves, although there were some exceptionally fine real estate inspectors in the pack.
The theory behind their offering was beguiling. Sellers need no longer fear their homes had hidden defects of which they were unaware. And buyers could bid in confidence because they had found an honest home. Unfortunately, there were no standards or appeal processes.
How the Ontario Home Inspection Act Regulates
The Ontario government approved the Home Inspection Act in April 2017. This laid down qualifications for real estate inspectors, and established minimum standards for home inspection contracts, reports, disclosures and performance.
The Home Inspection Act further aims to ensure that:
# Any person performing a home inspection is insured and licenced
# A written contract is in place between the parties before the work commences
# A written report is handed to the person commissioning the inspection
Regulation of Real Estate Inspectors in Calgary
The Alberta government administers real estate inspectors in our province. It defines their role as “expressing an opinion as to the condition of a dwelling based primarily on a non-invasive examination of readily accessible features and components of the dwelling.”
Alberta does not charge for an online home inspection licence, although it does require proof of qualifications. These must be either proven through a certificate, diploma or degree, or demonstrated by satisfactory completion of a test inspection. Alternatively, the individual may obtain a licence from an approved regulatory body or industry association.
Is That a 100% Guarantee of Satisfaction?
Real estate inspectors are people and human beings do make mistakes. Moreover, “a non-invasive examination of readily accessible features and components of the dwelling” cannot by definition uncover hidden defects.
However, a professional real estate inspection report can provide comfort to buyers who know little or nothing about building construction. Making an offer subject to a home inspection may make sense under these circumstances. A seller may also choose to commission an inspection as proof they are not deliberately covering things up.
Real estate inspectors may become involved at various stages in a building’s life. This could be prior to the delivery of a new structure, to after some or other disaster damaged it irretrievably.
Stonegate Equity Ltd provides this overview as a service to our clients, real estate buyers, sellers and investors. We do however not intend it to be a complete rendering of the Home Inspection Act, and its associated regulations
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