Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Home Inspector Ordered to Pay

A BC home inspector was ordered to pay close to $200 000 to couple in Vancouver for a faulty home inspection. I am happy to see this happen as there seems to be no accountability for home inspectors. Mike Holmes has a new TV show called "Holmes Inspection" about faulty home inspections in the Toronto area.

In our case the man we used, recommended to us, was a nice enough guy and seemed moderately through, but in retrospect I am amazed what he missed:

  • The basement was not permitted
  • The basement was not a legal living space
  • The attic was not permitted
  • The stairs up and down were not built to code
  • The kitchen door was not to code
  • He did not do any manner of thermal inspection to see what state the insulation was in
  • He missed the problems with the sewer connection
  • He missed the lack of venting for the downstairs bathroom
  • He missed the incorrect drain pipes and improper connection between the downstairs bathroom and kitchen plumbing
  • He missed a main support joist having been cut in two and no shoring up on either side
We bought a house that was advertised as being 3400 square feet in space but only has 1450 square feet of legal living space. Part of me thinks we should have sued the home inspector and selling realtor for not telling us that most of the house was not only not legal, but according to the City of Victoria did not exist.
An older local realtor once let me in on the reasons he uses home inspectors. The only purpose he saw for them was to use the report as a negotiating tool. He was very cynical about them and said that all home inspectors take their direction from realtors because that is where the business comes from.

I would like to see some changes to to liability on home purchases:
  • Home inspectors should be held accountible for the reports they issue - certainly the home inspector should be able to point all the work that was done without a permit and make a note of it. The home inspector should be responsible for detailing everything in a house that is not up to the building code.
  • Realtors should be held responsible for the state and condition of a property - if you are listing a house, you are responsible for finding and advertising all major defects. The selling realtor should be the one responsible for doing the home inspection and then making it available to everyone.
Realtors make a lot of money from selling houses, they need to held more accountable for what they sell. Liabilty has to lie with them for not revealing things. I feel very strongly about this because a house is the single biggest purchase most people will ever make. I am very glad to have seen this lawsuit succeed against Imre Toth the home inspector, I just wish they had also gone after the selling realtor.
Post a Comment