Today there are appoximately 450 licensed home inspectors in B.C. To be licensed as a home inspector in B.C., a person has to meet the requirements of one of four designated associations. Inspectors must pass regular examinations to obtain and keep their license but the four different associations each have their own evaluation process.
In a survey conducted by the provincial Office of Housing and Construction Standards, 78% of home inspectors felt that the requirements for a licence are too lax.
While there are minimum levels of training and certification, and standards of practice, each association has its own code of ethics and methods of handling complaints. As a result, it can be difficult for consumers to know the qualifications and competency of their home inspector, what is covered in an inspection, how to choose a home inspector and who to take complaints to and how complaints will be addressed.
Most home inspectors will agree that action is needed to increase consumer protection and to address the challenges in the current model.
Hence - The provincial government is going to be introducing new rules for homes inspectors in B.C.
These new rules will require home inspectors to describe in advance what will be covered in an inspection and they will no longer have limited liability for their inspections. Home Inspectors will be required to have valid professional and general liability insurance. There will also be standardized training and examination requirements.
'The reason it's being done this way is that we couldn't actually get agreement within the industry to come together as an industry because there were a number of professional organizations representing them so we finally said, "alright fine, we will create this licensing regime with qualifications and you'll all meet it,' said Minister of Housing Rich Coleman.
If you are purchasing a home - have an inspection done. If you need a home inspector, ask a lot of questions about their background, check their current licensing and if possible get a referal from someone who has used them before.