Home Inspections

April 08, 2014

Home Inspectors will require licences to operate in British Columbia as of March 31, 2009. 

Home Inspector Licensing Regulation requires the licensing of all those individuals who assess the condition of a residential dwelling or property to have a licence to practice in British Columbia.

The role of Consumer Protection BC (CPBC) will be to: assess the qualifications of and to issue licenses to home inspectors; receive and respond to complaints from consumers; monitor compliance through inspections and enforcement.

CPBC will help protect the buyer's interests, by:

-Assessing the qualifications of, and requiring mandatory licences for, home inspectors. 

-Receiving and responding to complaints from consumers. 

-Monitoring compliance through inspections and enforcement, with penalties that can range as high as $5,000. 

To learn more about licencing for Home Inspectors visit: CPBC's website: www.bpcpa.ca or call: 1.877.777.4393

If you are considering a home inspector, please consider the following:

1. For the protection of the public and all people involved referring home inspectors, we suggest that you check to determine if the home inspector is certified by the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. by calling 604-585-2788 or check out its website at www.asttbc.org or by the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (BC) at: within BC, 1-800-610-5665 or outside BC, 1-250-491-3979 or check their website at www.cahpi.bc.ca.

2. Ask friends, relatives, or neighbours for names of inspection companies with which they've worked satisfactorily. Ask the company for a list of satisfied customers.

3. Then, call several inspectors in your area and interview them in advance to ascertain their qualifications.

4. Beware of Real Estate Agent Referred Home Inspectors; there is a potential conflict of interest.

Here are some questions to ask a Home Inspector:

1. How long has the inspector been in business as a Home Inspection firm?

2. Is the inspector specifically experienced in Residental Construction?

3. Does the home inspection firm have a business licence?

4. What does the inspection include? Inspections should include visual inspections covering exterior, structure, garage, plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical, interior, insulation and ventilation. Extras include radon testing, a pest infestation survey or inspection of septic system or wells. Be sure the inspector will provide a detailed written report.

5. How much will it cost? Determine fees up front. Thorough inspections start at approximately $350 and increase depending on thoroughness, detail in reporting, size and age of the home.

6. How long will the inspection take? (Depending on size and age of the home, the average is 4 to 8 hours or longer; anything less isn't enough time to do a thorough inspection and report.)

7. Does the inspector encourage the client to attend the inspection? This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector's refusal should raise a flag.

8. What and where was the training? Does the inspector participate in continuing education programs to keep his/her expertise up to date?

9. Does the company offer to do any repairs or improvements based on its inspection? This might cause a conflict of interest.

10. Do they belong to an association that will investigate a consumer complaint?

11. Do they carry errors and omission insurance?

12. Professional engineers and architects may also be qualified to perform home inspections.