The latest round of Ontario Home Inspector regulation started back in 2013 at the Enoch turner Schoolhouse under the then mantle of Ms. Tracy McCharles, Minister of Consumer Services. Nearly three and a half years later and a few km across Toronto at Campbell House, another heritage property, the Hon. Marie-France Lalonde MPP, Minister for Government and Consumer Services has announced that the Liberal Party would table a government Bill in the Fall of 2016 to regulate the Home Inspection Profession.
Liberal MPP Han Dong (Trinity-Spadina), who had been pushing private member’s legislation to regulate home inspections, said the law will be “great news” for prospective homeowners.
The proposed regulations will:
- Require home inspectors to be licensed with proper qualifications
- Set minimum standards for contracts, home inspection reports, disclosures, and the performance of home inspections
- Establish an independent Administrative Authority to administer and enforce the home inspection licensing legislation and associated regulations
These changes will ensure consumers benefit from quality advice, are protected from surprise costs and aware of safety issues before buying a home. This will also create a level playing field for the home inspection industry, preventing inspectors with little or no training from competing with qualified professionals by offering lower rates.
As promised, in early November, the Minister introduced Bill 59, Putting Consumers First Act (Consumer Protection Statute Law Amendment), 2016 which included as schedule 1, the Home Inspection Act, 2016. After eight days of debate, the Bill passed the second reading unanimously (90 votes to nil).
Hon. Marie-France Lalonde had the option to refer it directly to third reading but, again, in line with her promises to the Home Inspection Profession, referred the bill to the Standing Committee of Social Policy.
The Standing Committee on Social Policy sits on Mondays from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Bill 59 is queued behind Bill 7 for the committee, which is due to dispose of that Bill by 6th December.
While the house recesses on December 8th until February 21, 2017, the committee can sit at usual times between December 9 to 23, and 27 to 30, January 4 to February 12. If directed by the to read Bill 59 during the recess, this gives the committee 6 meeting days before recommencement of the house in 2017.
OntarioACHI as registered to present to the committee, and as with Ms Tracy McCharles MPP, Mr David Orazietti MPP and Mr Han Dong MPP OntarioACHI will continue to fully support these initiatives and work with the government to ensure the regulations work for the consumer and the profession.
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