Home inspectors in the Greater Toronto Area and in Ontario are not mandated to be licensed, however other provinces such as British Columbia and Alberta do regulate their home inspectors with mandatory licenses.
A home inspection is a wise decision that protects buyers against such defects, but a home inspection is still not a fail safe – which is why many are calling to changes to Canada’s home inspection industry.
Currently, a home inspector cannot really be held liable for something they miss in Ontario. In the initial British Columbia case, a home inspection was conducted, but the inspector told the buyer that they can only really find visible defects, not anything that won’t be found from a bit of “poking around”.
Laws in Alberta are particularly strict, making sure home inspectors carry special insurance invcase they are sued for mistakes, and violations of home inspector laws can result in serious fines and jail time for the inspector.
But still, there is no nation-wide standard for home inspectors in Canada, and in some places a home inspector can be certified after a short online course.
Some are also calling for post-secondary courses in home inspection. One Sault St. Marie college already had a home inspection technician program in place that is similar to other trades. The dean of technology programs at the college told the CBC that, “Students go through the training they would go through to actually build a house, and know how to build it right and understand the codes from the inside out.”
Home inspectors in Ontario are as diverse as they come, with some offering a subtle “poking around” to look for problems while others take the time to find hidden problems using infrared scanners and other tools available to them. When choosing a home inspector, ensure that you put in the research by asking for references and checking them out online.
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