OAHI reminds public Ontario government already has home inspector legislation

Despite claims that Ontario has no legislation for home inspectors, Ontario was in fact the first province in Canada to establish such legislation.

The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) has been regulating its members through the right to title of “Registered Home Inspector” established under Bill Pr158, Ontario Association of Home Inspectors Act, 1994. Unfortunately, membership in OAHI was left as optional in the original legislation resulting in a situation where non-members can claim to be a home inspector in Ontario without proper training. The original Bill Pr158 exceeds all the requirements of the newly proposed Bill 165 via membership in the OAHI.

“Bill 165 essentially reinvents the wheel at unnecessary expense to consumers and professional home inspectors. Simply mandating the requirement for all home inspectors to belong to a professional association that requires community college level training would achieve the primary goal of protecting consumers by establishing the baseline of knowledge that all home inspectors must have to begin inspecting homes in Ontario,” says Murray Parish, RHI and president of the OAHI.

OAHI has more than 500 members and the majority of home inspections in Ontario are performed by practitioners qualified under Bill Pr158. We fear that the much of time and effort invested by volunteer members, hired staff and contractors over the years will only be reinvented at higher cost to consumers and practitioners. Removing support for the Registered Home Inspector (RHI) designation will penalize Ontario’s most qualified practitioners and be disruptive to consumers and the real estate industry. Raising the bar for the least qualified inspectors should not be coupled with lowering the bar for Ontario’s most qualified 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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Contact:
Murray Parish, RHI
President
Ontario Association of Home Inspectors
CAHPI-ON
416-524-2768
president@oahi.com

 

The Benefits Of Being Involved: A Personal Testimony

When I was first starting into my long, successful career as a home inspector I became aware of the many benefits of belonging to a professional association. My mentors were OAHI members, but PACHI was strong in the Durham Region and at Durham College where I received my education. I was invited to attend the PACHI meetings where I knew former classmates, where I was welcomed as an equal, and where I was encouraged to speak out.  Speaking out is a two-edged sword, eventually I was encouraged to step up and help the association by serving as a board member. I’ve never looked back.

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Andrew Dixon, RHI chairs the OAHI/CAHPI-ON Education Conference

Helping PACHI grow and eventually merge with OAHI, and then helping OAHI become the premier home inspection association in Canada has been nothing but rewarding. I have served many roles within the association from voting member (never missed one), through committee member to board member. That service has allowed me to meet some very interesting people, most of them home inspectors from all over. I have learned more about home inspections from meeting and talking with fellow inspectors than you would imagine. There are some pretty smart inspectors out there and they have helped me become a better inspector.

OAHI is run by volunteers, people who have the time and inclination to contribute to the betterment of the home inspection profession. I know that my volunteerism has helped me, other inspectors and the association, and I have made some good friends along the way. Being involved allows you to improve the profession, right wrongs and make a difference.

There are many ways to be involved. Attending local meetings is a great first step, volunteering to organize them is another step. Serving on a committee is both rewarding and educational, committee work makes a difference. Plus the people skills you learn really come in handy, as do the continuing education units (CEUs) at renewal time.

imageYou can continue by voting on all association matters proposed; that simple action really helps as it moves the association forward and supports the efforts of the other volunteers. Oh, and you can always thank a volunteer, we all like and appreciate being recognized for our efforts.

Everyone’s situation is different, but I encourage each of you to help the association when and if you can. Don’t sacrifice your family or business, but help out as you are able. Humans are social animals; we need to interact with others. Volunteering is a positive interaction, it strengthens your character, teaches patience and it helps us all. Step up and promote the home inspection profession.

Andrew Dixon RHI, chairs the OAHI Education Committee, which organizes the OAHI/CAHPI-ON Education Conference

http://www.oahi.com

 

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

murray-parish-RHI-oahi-president
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.