OAHI Responds To Provincial Home Inspector Licensing Proposal

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Murray Parish, RHI, President of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors

The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors is looking forward to reviewing the draft legislation the provincial government will introduce this fall that would regulate Ontario’s home inspection industry.

Today Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) announced the province’s intention of continuing with Home Inspector Licensing. Just as it has for more than 20 years, OAHI looks forward to working with MGCS to continue protecting consumers who use OAHI member inspectors.

OAHI will continue to promote the high level of education and professional standards as it has since 1994, as we wait for the Provincial government to pass legislation and establish ‘minimum’ standards for Home Inspector Licensing program.

“Homebuyers are welcome to visit www.oahi.com to see the extensive, mandatory and ongoing training OAHI member inspectors must pursue to maintain their standing in the association. OAHI will also continue to advocate for well-educated, professional home inspectors in Ontario,” says Murray Parish, RHI and president of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors.

“We reiterate that OAHI supports the establishment of common competency requirements for home inspectors to operate in Ontario. Licensing offers a reasonable way of permitting an individual to begin offering home inspection services to the public with the assurance of that basic competency being in place. However, it is a permit, not a designation earned through advanced training and experience. We hope to have a positive and pragmatic discussion of OAHI’s ongoing role in helping to regulate home inspection professionals in Ontario,” adds Parish.

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Murray Parish, RHI

President

Ontario Association of Home Inspectors

president@oahi.com

416-524-2768

About the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors

Through education and advocacy, the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors cultivates a thriving home inspection industry based on the highest standards of professional development and ethical standards. In doing so, OAHI cultivates the ‘gold standard’ for home inspectors among consumers and the government. OAHI is the only provincially recognized body of home inspectors by The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors Act, 1994. OAHI is a not-for-profit association.

OAHI member inspectors see homes differently.

Backgrounder

The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) was formed thirty years ago in 1986 following advice from the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations that the industry should adopt a common Code of Ethics and Standard of Practice. The OAHI formed as a chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and adopted its standards and qualifications requirements.

By 1994, the OAHI’s success in self-regulating the profession was recognized through  the passage of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors Act and its protected designation “Registered Home Inspector” (RHI). The result was that Ontario became the only jurisdiction in North America with home inspection qualification standards based on completion of community college and building code courses, and the growth of goodwill and perceived value of the RHI designation in the marketplace.

In recent years, the OAHI has worked towards harmonizing qualification requirements with other Canadian provincial home inspection association members of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) and facilitating the transfer of out of province practitioners.

In 2013 the OAHI, under an Ontario Sector Initiatives Fund grant from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, contracted with Conestoga College as an impartial body to complete an occupational analysis and the subsequent development of a prior learning assessment tool to verify the knowledge of out of province practitioners and in determining equivalency with OAHI qualification requirements. This program has been completed and this Prior Assessment Learning Tool is being used to validate the knowledge of applicants.

The stakeholders’ panel convened by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services recommended a body and qualification system almost identical to what the OAHI has been doing since the OAHI Act was passed in 1994, only in the form of a government DAA. The committee members were instructed to leave all association partisanship at the door and no consideration was given to how the formation of a new regulatory body would affect the existence of the OAHI. The OAHI was treated just like any other association and not given any recognition as a pre-existing regulatory body.

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ESA: What to Do Before Buying or Selling a Home

ESA provides important safety information and tips for realtors and homeowners who are planning to buy or sell a home.

The Home Electrical System: Four Things to Consider

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1. Do a records search.
Before the sale is final, request a Search of Records from ESA to determine if there are any open permits on the property.  An open work order automatically transfers responsibility to the new homeowner for any outstanding permits and corrections of any defects that may exist.* Please note there are fees associated with a Search of Records.

2. Know the home’s electrical history.
This is especially important if you’re planning to renovate. A Request for Information will provide a record of electrical work that was done previously under permit, and whether the renovations were inspected by ESA. Please note there are fees associated with a Request for Information.

3. Hire the right professionals.
By law in Ontario only Licensed Electrical Contractors (LECs) can do electrical work for hire. LECs are the only companies that can take out electrical permits and provide an ESA Certificate of Inspection when the work is complete. This is important for resale and insurance, as well as peace of mind. Find an LEC using the Contractor look-up tool.

4. Know your obligations!
Virtually all electrical work requires an ESA permit and is subject to review or inspection by ESA. Inspections help ensure electrical work complies with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.

 *Please note ESA records date back only to 2000.


Article is from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)

https://www.esasafe.com/consumers/buying-selling-home/

 

 

OAHI Looking Forward to Working With the New MGCS Minister

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Murray Parish, RHI, President of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors

The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) is looking forward to working with the Hon. Marie-France Lalonde in her new role as Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

In February, the private member’s bill, Bill 165, An Act to regulate home inspectors was introduced by Han Dong, MPP. The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) would be responsible for the Act, should the Bill receive Royal Assent.

This proposed legislation gives the government ministries the power to create a Designated Administrative Authority (DAA). The DAA will set standards for licensing, qualification, performance standards, insurance and any other matters related to performing home inspections in Ontario.

Furthermore, OAHI would like to work with the provincial government to help incorporate best practices and maintain the high standards the Ontario Associations of Home Inspectors has developed to protect home buyers.

OAHI members must mentor and be mentored; have their home inspection reports reviewed, and are accountable to the OAHI Code of Ethics via the Discipline & Professional Practices Committee.

From its inception in the ‘90s under The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors Act, 1994, OAHI has been committed to the thorough and mandatory education of home inspectors. In addition to mandatory educational / training requirements, home inspectors must earn a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education credits yearly.

Backgrounder

Dec.10, 2013, the document “A Closer Look: Qualifying Ontario’s Home Ispectors” Home Inspector Panel Report and Recommendations was presented to The Honourable Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Consumer Services

Feb. 22, 2016, Bill 165, An Act to regulate home inspectors, was introduced by Mr. Han Dong, MPP Trinity Spadina as a Private Member’s Bill and received first reading

March 3, 2016, Bill 165 received second reading and was referred to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills

About the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors

Through education and advocacy, the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors cultivates a thriving home inspection industry based on the highest standards of professional development and ethical standards. In doing so, OAHI cultivates the ‘gold standard’ for home inspectors among consumers and the government. OAHI is the only provincially recognized body of home inspectors by The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors Act, 1994. OAHI is a not-for-profit association.

OAHI member inspectors see homes differently.

http://www.oahi.com

Home Sellers and Disclosure

Courts have long recognized that a seller has an obligation to disclose certain information to a buyer in the context of a real estate transaction.

With respect to defects, the extent of the seller’s obligation to disclose information to the buyer will depend on whether the defect is patent (obvious or visually observable) or latent (hidden or not visually observable).

A patent defect is an obvious flaw that would be discovered by a reasonably prudent buyer without disrupting the property (i.e. a crack on the side of the home, a hole in the wall). It is a visually observable defect. A seller has no obligation to bring patent defects to the attention of a buyer but must not take steps to deliberately hide such defects. As such, a buyer assumes the risk of a defect which was visually observable. This means that it is the buyer’s responsibility to examine the property and discover patent defects.

A latent defect, on the other hand, is one that is hidden and not readily apparent to a buyer upon a reasonable inspection (i.e. a leaky foundation, covered electrical or plumbing). Being that latent defects are not visually observable during an ordinary inspection, a seller may not be aware of their existence. A seller cannot be held liable for an unknown latent defect or for a defect that developed after the closing of a transaction. However, if a seller is aware of a latent defect, the seller must disclose such a defect to the buyer.

In Ontario, a buyer has 2 years from the day on which a latent defect was discovered to commence a lawsuit against the seller. This 2 year period starts to run on the day on which the buyer first knew of the defect or on the day on which a reasonable person with the abilities and in the circumstances of the buyer would have become aware of the defect. A buyer will, however, lose all legal recourses if the buyer commences a lawsuit for a defect after the 15th anniversary of the day on which the seller should have disclosed the defect to the buyer, regardless of the date on which the buyer discovered the defect.

When a latent defect is discovered by a buyer, there is often a presumption against the seller that the seller knew about the latent defect. As such, the seller is required to show that he/she could not possibly have known of the defect, rather than the buyer having to show that the seller knew about the defect. However, if it can be shown that the seller could not have known about the defect and was not willfully blind to the existence of the defect, then the buyer’s claim will not succeed.


Prepared for the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors by Pierre Champagne partner at GOWLING                        WLG and  Julie Paquette of GOWLING WLG

Cottage Inspections

Thoughts of cottage life invoke relaxation and the best of summer: enjoying the great Canadian outdoors, whether that includes views of the lake, the sounds of loons, or cooking over an open fire.

But before you can pull up a Muskoka chair on your favourite dock, have your cottage inspected by a member of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI).

“We do them all the time. We are experienced on all the aspects of these beautiful rural properties. Cottages and homes will be different: water systems, wells, septic systems, heating, docks, structures, barns and other outbuildings. Working around a waterfront, we can provide solid advice,” says William J. Handley, RHI of Handley Home Inspections Ltd.

Cottages are not like your typical urban home— thankfully— and have unique issues. Here are some of the areas a qualified home inspector may check to insure your time at the cottage is a calming one:Septic_System_Setback_Picture-2

  • Decks
  • Drainage
  • Electrical
  • Foundations
  • Grey Water
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Oil Tanks
  • Pests
  • Plumbing
  • Roof Covering
  • Septic Systems
  • Structure
  • Water Testing
  • Wells
  • W.E.T.T. Wood Stoves

 

Ask your OAHI member inspector what experience they have inspecting cottages so your time on the dock will be peaceful.

OAHI member inspectors see cottages differently.

Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Home Inspector Who is a Member of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) 

1. Many OAHI member home inspectors have worked in construction trades or engineering and all OAHI members are trained to spot potential issues before they can become big problems.

2. OAHI member home inspectors are not interested in selling homes, but protecting you. Members of OAHI must abide by Professional Practice and Conflict of Interest Guidelines.

3. Home inspectors view homes with technically trained eyes and ears, not their heart for a clearer picture of deficiencies and red flags.

4. OAHI member home inspectors are required to obtain continuing education units (CEUs), and update their training regularly in various areas such as: electrical, the Ontario Building Code, plumbing, air quality, mechanical systems, roofing and solar panels, along with new tools and technologies. Their training is verified.

5. The Registered Home Inspector (RHI) designation is not purchased; it is earned.

6. Members of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors must abide by the OAHI Standards of Practice.

7. OAHI member home inspectors know how to report, photograph, and communicate the positives and negatives of the home.

8. OAHI member home inspectors can advise which defects need to be addressed immediately, soon, and in the future.

9. Because OAHI member home inspectors have seen hundreds, sometimes thousands of homes, they know what to look for.

10. An OAHI member home inspector’s report on defects and potential problems can save homebuyers money, time, and grief, in the long run.

OAHI members see homes differently