What to know about hiring a home inspector in Alberta

Buying a home is the largest investment most consumers will ever make. Before buying, you should know what condition the home is in and what repairs might be needed. Hiring a qualified home inspector to examine a home can help you to make an informed decision about its condition. Some homeowners also have their place inspected so they can get any defects fixed under their new home warranty before it runs out.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM A HOME INSPECTOR?
The home inspector’s role is to tell you the physical condition of the home. The inspector should walk through the home with you and point out any problems. This normally takes at least two hours. The inspector must give you a contract before the inspection and a written report after an inspection.

The inspector must not damage the home during the inspection unless the owner agrees in writing to allow an invasive inspection. If the inspector causes damage during the inspection and the seller has not agreed, the inspector must pay for the damage. For example, this means that the inspector usually can’t drill holes to look inside walls, ceilings or behind tiling. An inspector can look for signs that there might be problems with a home and suggest any areas that should be looked at by an expert. For example, mould and wiring behind walls usually cannot be seen directly, but there might be other signals that a trained eye would notice. Before starting the home inspection, the inspector must give you a copy of the signed contract that includes a list of what will and won’t be inspected.

You and your inspector should also ask the seller and the realtor if there are any problems with the home. The seller and realtor must answer you honestly and not hide any problems that they know about.

WHAT RULES MUST HOME INSPECTORS AND HOME INSPECTION BUSINESSES FOLLOW?

Under Alberta’s Fair Trading Act an inspector must disclose information honestly and openly, and deal with you fairly. The Home Inspection Business Regulation sets out specific rules for home inspectors and home inspection businesses. All inspectors must have completed a minimum level of education. The regulation also sets out the requirements for home inspection contracts and for the inspection report that the inspector provides to the consumer. Home inspection businesses must have:
• a licence from the Government of Alberta,
• a bond or other form of security, and
• errors and omissions insurance. Home inspectors who are working for an inspection business must have a licence. To have a licence, a home inspector must:
• be employed by a home inspection business, and
• be a Registered Home Inspector (RHI) or Certified Master Inspector (CMI), or

• have a degree, diploma, or certificate in home inspection from an approved school, and pass a test inspection by a CMI from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors Alberta, or a RHI from the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors, or
• hold an approved home inspection designation from an approved industry association, or
• a licence from an approved regulatory body. Home inspectors who are close to getting these qualifications may work with a conditional licence

Click this link to read the read the entire document from the Alberta Government

http://www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/pdf/tipsheets/hiring_a_home_inspector.pdf