How we handle disciplinary complaints

The Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors has the power to initiate disciplinary measures like suspension or expulsion of its members.

The Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors may expel a member for serious misconduct or dishonesty.

An action that critically disrupts the organization’s goals and purposes amounts to dishonesty.

The Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors maintains expulsion guidelines and strictly adheres to those guidelines.
The guidelines are in brief as follows:

Before expulsion, a member must be served the following:

  1. a written notice of intention to proceed delivered by e-mail or regular mail or both.
  2. a recital or documentation of the charges or accusations; and
  3. a fair, impartial hearing at which the member may respond to charges, this may be held in person, or given the vast distance in Ontario and Canada via teleconference, which will be recorded.

Associations have a wide scope in defining the purposes for which they are organized and the means which they employ to accomplish those purposes, including the conditions of membership.

The Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors’ power to make, interpret and enforce bylaws includes the power to take disciplinary actions against its members for violation of rules. When a person becomes a member of The Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors, s/he submits himself/herself to the rules of this association.

Usually, courts will not interfere with the decisions of any kind of voluntary association disciplining, suspending or expelling its members where no property rights are involved.

However, courts will interfere with association action only to the extent of ascertaining whether:

  • the proceeding was pursuant to the rules and laws of such The Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors ;
  • the proceeding was in good faith; or
  • if the law of the land was violated in any sense.

It is for this reason that the Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors utilises an online auditable complaints system that allows for both complainant and member to discuss any complaint fully and allow third party examiners to use these discussions as part of the process in decisions of discipline.

In the case of association decisions of expulsion, courts will interfere only in the following cases:

  • If the decision arrived at was contrary to natural justice, denying a member an opportunity to explain his/her alleged misconduct;
  • If the rules of the association have not been observed;
  • If the action of the association was malicious, and not bona fide.

The Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors disciplinary process allows for any member to fully represent themselves or be represented by others to defend themselves against any claim brought against them.

The rules laid down by the association are followed by the rules put in place by the disciplinary process and oversight of the process by the members of the Board of Directors on matters that require severe disciplinary penalties such as fines, de-certification, retraining or expulsion.

In administering disciplinary measures, the Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors acts in a quasi-judicial manner.

The Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors confines itself to the exercise of the powers vested in it and in good faith exercises the methods prescribed by its laws.

The Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors’ disciplinary powers are like that of a judicial tribunal.

Legally, The officers preferring charges should not sit in a hearing on the matter of expulsion of a member.   However, the directors of a voluntary association are not deprived of jurisdiction to try a member although the charges are preferred by some of their members.

The disciplinary process of the Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors extends this process further to protect the member by ensuring it is handled at arms length from the Board of Directors by a separate committee formed specifically for the disciplinary process.
Restrictions exist in the disciplinary process to prohibit Board members from acting act as part of the disciplinary committee.

All decisions of any disciplinary committee that require disciplinary measures to be taken against a member will be passed to the board for acceptance or veto.

  • The board cannot veto a decision of the disciplinary committee to not discipline a member.
  • The board cannot increase the disciplinary measure recommended by the discipline committee.

Due process protection is afforded to members of the associations in disciplinary proceedings by ensuring there is:

  • absence of bad faith;
  • compliance with the constitution and by-laws of the association; and
  • compliance with the principles of natural justice.

The relationship of the Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors with its members is governed by contract law.

Judicial inquiry into the affairs of private, voluntary associations is limited to “the question whether The Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors has treated its members in accord with its bylaws and rudimentary due process”.

The Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors may provide penalties by way of fines for the neglect of duties of its members.

Penalties are determined according to the methods which the member agrees to when becoming a joining the association.
Legally, any bylaw or process imposing excessive fines can be set aside by a court as unreasonable.

In no circumstance will any fine levied by the Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors that exceeds the cost of damage, reasoned to have been caused and justifiably provable, to the Association by the acts of a member.