Tighter home inspection regulation a boon for buyers

The Ontario government has recently passed the Home Inspection Act 2017, which introduces minimum standards for home inspection contracts, home inspection reports, disclosures, and the performance of home inspections.

The legislation will now require professionals to be licensed and insured before conducting home inspection. Moreover, written contracts must be signed with the owners of the inspected properties, and written reports must be delivered after inspection.

Industry players lauded the enactment of the bill.

“This is a crucial, necessary step,” according to Dan Steward, president and CEO of Toronto-based firm 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 added.

“It’s also crucial to have the inspection before you buy, but with the current situation we see many would-be homeowners bypassing the inspection process and foregoing the contingency so they don’t lose the home to another bidder.”

Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors president Graham Clarke noted that the legislation will hopefully pave the way towards a greater emphasis on inspections as a vital part of the purchase process.

“Missing major items can cause a lot of issues,” Clarke said. “This is such an important issue at the moment in so many Canadian markets that we are emphasizing special offers to realtors 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.”

“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,” Clarke concluded.

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