Home Inspectors to be Licensed
Home inspectors to be licensed
On March 31, 2009, BC will become the first Canadian province requiring home inspectors to be licensed.
This is good news for REALTORS®. For the past decade, the BC Real Estate Association and member real estate boards have wanted to see home inspectors meet licensing and uniform education standards.
Members were concerned that training for inspectors was voluntary and anyone could call themselves a home inspector.
This created problems for home buyers who hired “professional” home inspectors who ultimately weren’t qualified. Later when problems were discovered that an inspector should have picked up but didn’t, the home buyer had no recourse.
The province’s 300 to 400 home inspectors will be required to meet the qualifications of one of the following organizations:
- the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors – BC branch;
- the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia; or
- the National Certification Program for Home and Property Inspectors.
Licensing will be under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, and home inspectors must complete examinations and field experience, undergo a criminal records check and pay a $100 licensing fee.
The Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority (BPCPA) will be the regulatory body, overseeing licensing and complaints, and will monitor compliance through inspections and enforcement. Maximum penalties for non compliance will be $5,000.
Licensing information and applications forms will be posted on the BPCPA website at www.bpcpa.ca as of February 27, 2009.
Until March 31, 2009, home inspectors who haven’t met the requirements of a BPCPA-recognized professional association or authority can apply to the BPCPA to have their experience, knowledge and ability assessed and may be issued a licence.
“Grandfathered” inspectors must meet the requirements of one of the three recognized groups by March 31, 2011.
Ask to see the licence
After March 31, 2009, when we provide a list of home inspectors to our clients, let’s make sure each inspector has a wallet-sized licence and make sure our clients ask to see it.
If our clients have a complaint about a licensed inspector they can visit the BPCPA website at www.bpcpa.ca or phone toll-free 1-888-564-9963 for assistance.