How Regulated Home Inspection Could Help You

Posted by: Eric Van Riesen |

How Regulated Home Inspection Could Help You

The excitement of becoming a homeowner often makes people forget the basics. One of the prerequisites before buying a house is having it inspected. As an instrumental part of the homebuying process, a home inspection can save you a lot of time and money in the long run, as it will help you trace any problems lurking in places you can’t see.

While home inspections give you a chance to avoid these problems, or, at least, use the results to negotiate with the seller to pay for repairs, the home inspection sector in Ontario has been unregulated. This lack of regulation has often affected the quality of inspections being carried out as untrained and inexperienced people have entered the field to make a quick buck.

To break this trend, the Ontario government recently passed legislation that will bring the home inspection industry under regulation. At present, home inspectors are a rare example of professionals that have a role in real estate transactions and remain unregulated at the provincial level.

Bill 59, the Putting Consumers First Act, will introduce mandatory qualifications and licensing for home inspectors and set minimum standards for contracts, home inspection reports, disclosures and the performance of home inspections. The proposed legislation reflects a sixteen-member expert panel’s thirty-five recommendations, which both consumers and the industry have endorsed.

This new legislation will provide a level playing field where home buyers and sellers will have some peace of mind that the inspector they are hiring has at least some minimum requirements of education and experience. Until now, anyone could print a business card and call themselves an inspector. As a result, a number of questionable individuals entered into the business, and consumers and the industry were hurt by their lack of education, background, and experience.

As there will now be minimum standards and common regulatory requirements, fly-by-night inspectors will be a thing of the past. While this is definitely a step in the right direction, this legislation will need to weed out some of the weak links in the industry.

Currently, the legislation will not protect consumers who do not proceed with a home inspection. Hot markets like we saw in 2016 and 2017 saw buyers wave home inspections to purchase a home against multiple bidders. Perhaps making home inspections mandatory during the buying process would ensure that consumers are protected, and it is not just “buyer beware!”

In addition, this new legislation neither addresses the level of detail that Elementary Property Inspections’ house reports offer, nor does it discuss additional services that are provided. Being able to hire an inspection company that can provide other services such as mold, air quality, and asbestos testing can help immensely in the purchase of a new home, and provide additional negotiation tools during that process.

Nonetheless, we are happy with the legislation as home buyers and sellers can now demand to have a fully certified and insured inspector. Part of the research in securing a good inspector is to ask questions about their education, their experience and if they are insured. This legislation ensures they are not getting duped.

To read more about the Act to regulate home inspectors, visit the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, by clicking here.

If you have any more questions about a home inspection or the new legislation, get in touch with Elementary Property Inspectionsby clicking here. To learn more about how we can help you, please click here.