DON'T BLAME HOME INSPECTOR FOR MOULD FOUND AFTER CLOSING

 

 MARK WEISLEDER

 OCTOBER 2014 NEWSLETTER

 

 

October 2, 2014 

 

 

 

 

Real Estate Salespeople, Beware
NEW, 2012 Edition  

 

It has never been more challenging to be a real estate salesperson. Real estate lawyer, columnist, and lecturer Mark Weisleder shows real estate professionals how to serve their clients in a manner that protects their deals, increases their success, and keeps them out of trouble.


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Landlord Guide




Mark has developed an easy to follow guide for residential landlords, whether you are renting an apartment, house or condominium unit. The guide explains the basic principles under the Residential Tenancies Act that you need to know when preparing any lease, an up to date standard residential lease agreement. rental application form and questions to ask when interviewing potential tenants.

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Put the Pen Down:  What Homebuyers and Sellers need to know before signing on the dotted line




Mark Weisleder's book, Put the Pen Down!, is now available for purchase. This book is designed to properly prepare buyers and sellers by giving them the information they need to know before they ever enter into an agreement to buy or sell their home or condominium.

For more information or to purchase this book, click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't blame home inspector for mould found after closing


When you buy an old home, you must be aware of the possibility of mould behind the walls. If you are suspicious, have the proper tests done during the home inspection. It is not easy to sue a home inspector later if problems arise after closing.

Here's why:

David McCarthy and Debbie MacNeil bought a home in Halifax in May 2013. They had received a positive report from their home inspector.  Later that year, significant amounts of mould began to develop around many of the windows in the home. It appeared that there was a moisture build up problem. The solution recommended was to retrofit the house with a Heat Recovery Ventilation System that cost $5,000.

The buyers then sued the home inspector for this amount because the buyers claimed that they were not alerted to the potential problem. There was no visible evidence of mould during the inspection. It turns out that the home was not occupied for some time prior to closing, and as a result, very little moisture was being generated from cooking or showers.

The inspector noted that the fans in the bathroom were working and that the range hood in the kitchen was not connected to the outside. This complied with the building code when the house was built.

In a decision dated August 19, 2014, Adjudicator Eric Slone indicated that in his opinion, the inspector should have advised the buyers that since the kitchen range hood did not ventilate to the outside, this could lead to potential problems, especially since there were new windows in the home, which cause less leakage of air.

As a result, the judge would have allowed this claim against the home inspector, however, since the inspection report had a clear disclaimer stating that the limit of any liability was $400, that is all the buyers recovered.

In my opinion, this decision was wrong on many levels. Mould can be caused by so many things. In fact, many people install new windows for the purpose of reducing heat loss. I suppose that this could result in excess moisture in the home, if you do not make sure that the home is properly ventilated at the same time. For example, if you do not leave your windows open and generate a lot of moisture, whether by cooking or having lots of indoor plants, mould can occur. A home inspector cannot see behind walls. If a buyer is concerned about possible excess moisture, they can pay for a thermal imaging test to check for this.

Home inspectors will generally look at the grading outside your home and the downspouts, to make sure that water is being carried away from your home, to avoid potential water problems in the foundation that could later lead to leaks.

Buyers need to understand that home inspectors are not magicians and cannot see through walls. It is also standard that most inspection reports do have this limitation of liability clause so it is difficult to sue a home inspector in most cases, unless you can prove that they were very negligent in their report.

If you are buying an older house, consider having some additional tests done for moisture and then after closing, when you are contemplating any renovations, speak with your contractors about how to find ways to both reduce your energy costs and at the same time, keep your home properly ventilated, for a healthy home for you and your family.

Click here to view and/or print a PDF copy of this article

 

 

 

 

My Law Practice, Speaking Engagements 

I have received many inquiries about my law practice, providing legal services to real estate buyers, sellers and investors. Working with Real Property Transaction Centres, I am now able to close real estate transactions throughout the GTA. If you require any assistance on a transaction that you are working on, please email me at mark@markweisleder.com
 
If you or your clients are looking for a written quote for all legal services, please visit www.realproperty.ca and search under "How much does it cost" or contact Suzanne at 1-877- 219-9618, ext. 231.

 

I am also delivering seminars on the new FINTRAC requirements and Anti-Spam legislation as it affects your business. One of the topics is how to survive a FINTRAC audit. Please contact me directly at mark@markweisleder.com to set up a session at your brokerage.

 

 

 

| mark@markweisleder.com | http://www.markweisleder.com
62 Hillmount Ave.
Toronto, M6B 1X4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Diane Walker

Diane Walker

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CENTURY 21 Today Realty Ltd., Brokerage*
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