Ontario to introduce bill that would regulate home inspectors

TORONTO – Home inspectors in Ontario could soon be regulated under legislation the Liberal government intends to introduce this fall.

Consumer Services Minister Marie-France Lalonde announced Wednesday that the bill would require home inspectors to be licensed, set minimum standards for contracts and home inspection reports, and establish a body to administer and enforce the licensing and regulations.

“We all know that buying a home is the largest investment that many of us, many consumers, will make in their lifetime,” she said. “Consumers often rely on a home inspection report in order to make informed decisions when buying or selling a home.”

The government estimates that in Ontario there are 1,500 home inspectors — one of the only professionals involved in a real estate transaction to not be provincially regulated.

“This is clearly a gap in consumer protection in Ontario’s real estate sector and this can lead to serious consequences to consumers,” Lalonde said. “If potential home buyers and sellers end up getting a substandard inspection report, they’re at risk of being left with unexpected costs.”

Ontario assembled a panel of industry experts in 2013 to draft a report on the issue and the panel recommended that inspectors be required to pass a written exam and a field test in order to become licensed. The panel also recommended having a single, clearly defined standard for all home inspections.