B.C. Housing Minister Moves to Shore Up Standards for Home Inspections, Globe and Mail

B.C. Housing Minister Moves to Shore Up Standards for Home Inspections, Globe and Mail. This article appeared on the Globe and Mail online on September 19th, 2014 and was written by Dene Moore.

By the end of next year, home inspectors will have to meet a standard set of professional criteria to be licenced in British Columbia.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman said Friday the improved requirements will help safeguard home buyers who rely on the inspections for making what is likely the largest investment of their lives.

Consumer Protection BC will set the education and training requirements and be responsible for testing and licensing home inspectors.

“At the end of the day, buying a home is one of the biggest purchases somebody ever makes, and we’ve always been very supportive of any move toward consumer protection in this area,” said Tayt Winnitoy, vice-president of operations for Consumer Protection BC.

In 2009, B.C. became the first jurisdiction in Canada to require licences and insurance for home inspectors, and there are now about 440 licensed in the province.

A few months later, a North Vancouver couple won an unprecedented award in the civil lawsuit they brought against their home inspector.

Three years earlier, Manuel Salgado and Nora Calcaneo bought a home for $1.095 million.

They paid $450 for an inspection, which found a number of structural deficiencies. The inspector, Imre Toth, estimated the repairs would cost them $15,000 to $20,000. They closed the deal.

When the bill came in, it totalled $213,000.

They filed suit against Toth, the sellers and the real estate agents, but settled with the previous owners and dropped their claim against the agents. Justice Grant Burnyeat said Toth’s estimate was “woefully inadequate.”

The purpose of the inspection is to provide a homebuyer with expert advice about any significant deficiencies, the judge wrote. “I have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that the plaintiffs relied upon the report received by Mr. Toth to decide whether they would purchase the property,” he wrote.

“Plainly, if prospective home purchasers did not believe that they could secure meaningful and reliable advice about the home they were considering purchasing, there would be no reason for them to retain an inspector to inspect that home.”

Currently, inspectors must pass regular examinations to obtain and keep their license but there are four different associations that can licence, each with its own evaluation process.

In a survey by the provincial Office of Housing and Construction Standards, 78 per cent of home inspectors felt the requirements for a licence are too lax. “It is clear … that action is needed to increase consumer protection and to address the challenges in the current model,” the report said.

The Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors — one of the four groups that licence inspectors — said non-existent standards improved with the 2009 regulations, but loopholes remain.

Winnitoy said home buyers can rest assured that the inspectors they’re dealing with now have met minimum training and education requirements.

“What we see now and what we’re looking forward to is a deepening and an improving of the framework to help ensure that there’s a level playing field for all home inspectors and a clear set of expectations for consumers to have.”

Kamloops Home Inspections: How to Know if Your Septic System Is Failing

Parker Bennett Home Inspector KamloopsMany homes in Kamloops are serviced by septic systems. It is sometimes hard to know if your septic system is functioning properly. These are some of the basic symptoms, which will give you the heads up that you have a serious septic issue:

• Sewage backup in your drains or toilets (usually in the lower levels of your home ). This is often a black liquid with a disagreeable odor.

• Slow flushing of your toilets. Many of the drains in your house will drain much slower than usual, despite the use of plungers

• Surface flow of wastewater. Sometimes you will notice liquid seeping along the surface of the ground near your septic system. It may have a smelly odor.

• The presence of coliform bacteria in your drinking water well. This indicates that liquid from the system may be flowing into the well through the ground or over the surface. Water testing can help to identify this issue, however depending on your well type this can be a giveaway.

• A consistent unpleasant odor around your home. Often, a failing septic system causes a buildup of disagreeable odors around the house and you may notice the smell periodically when your outside, doing yard work.

Parker Bennett, Rest Assured Home Inspections
P. 250-372-7375 E. moc.oohaynull@snoitcepsniemohderussatser

Kamloops Home Inspections: Test Your Interior Electrical Outlets For Safety

Parker Bennett Home InspectorElectrical outlets can be very dangerous resulting in fire or electrical shock. To test your electrical outlets, you’ll need a three-prong electrical outlet tester. These look like three-prong plugs with three little lights. These can be found at most any hardware store for only $10 or $15. Go room by room through the entire house, checking as many electrical outlets as possible. Ideally, you want to check every outlet.

Before touching any outlet, look to make sure that it is not physically damaged. Replace any outlet that is cracked or broken. With the rest of the outlets, take your electrical tester and plug it in.

The most common fault is a condition called reversed polarity. Reversed polarity means that the black wire and the white wire are reversed where they are connected to the outlet. Appliances plugged into an outlet with reversed polarity will still work, but there is a much greater risk of electrocution and damage to the appliance.

Parker Bennett, Rest Assured Home Inspections
P. 250-372-7375 E. ac.oohaynull@snoitcepsniemohderussatser

Kamloops Home Inspections: Tips To Keep The Critters Out

Parker Bennett Home InspectorBugs and pests are everywhere in Kamloops, however, nobody wants to have little critters crawling around their home. So the question is how do we keep these little pests from inhabiting the inside of our home?

Are you familiar with the term – don’t feed the bears? Well, the same applies for all types of critters. The most common problem that we encounter in most cases is having too much access for a free meal.

The following is a list of some good prevention tips that should help stop these little critters before they become a big problem.

  • Do not install bird feeders right next to the home. Keep vegetation away from the home. Periodically check roof vents, siding, eaves, gutters for damage that can allow bugs access into our living spaces.
  • Prevent any wood from direct contact with the earth. Keep garbage in covered containers. Keep food sealed or refrigerated. Clean up food off the floor and ensure all food in the cabinets is placed in sealed containers.
  • Homes with metal siding and metal roofs can be still be damaged by termites, carpenter ants and other insects. Periodically inspect your home and spray seams, corners and exterior wood with proper stains and sealant.
  • Be alert for their telltale signs: piles of wings (which termites lose in the spring), tunnels in wood, tunnels of dirt in foundation walls, piles of sawdust under wood furniture or siding, and the bugs themselves. Check for termites in areas around the furnace and hot water tanks, the high humidity in these areas make for hot spots. Wood soil contact in the yard will be sure to invite all types of pests, so be sure to eliminate all wood soil contact.

If you are in a termite or carpenter ant prone area, have a trained professional evaluate your home for indication of any activity, so that proper treatment can be performed before serious damage and financial cost is incurred. If you want to find out more information about pests and how to control them contact Rest Assured Home Inspections and take a pro-active approach in keeping your home free of any unwanted guests.

Parker Bennett, Rest Assured Home Inspections
P. 250-372-7375 E. ac.oohaynull@snoitcepsniemohderussatser
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