January 5, 2018 9:52 pm
Updated: January 5, 2018 10:19 pm

Home inspectors voice concern over higher fees but lower standards

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Home Inspectors Association B.C. is concerned standards in the industry are dropping while annual fees for home inspectors are going up.

“Ultimately, consumers are going to pay the price,” Bob Hamm, Home Inspectors Association BC president, said.

Over the next three years, annual licensing fees for home inspectors are expected to double from $525 a year to $1,025 by 2018.

“Consumers are going to suffer from that. They’re not going to have the same quality home inspectors,” Hamm said.

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Consumer Protection BC weakened home inspection standards in September 2016 when it stopped requiring inspectors to belong to a recognized association and reduced training standards, Hamm said.

“The consumer shouldn’t want to hear that. They should want to know that the home inspector they’re getting is the best trained home inspector that can be made.”

Consumer Protection BC regulates several sectors throughout the province, including debt collection and funeral services.

Hamm is concerned that home inspection licensing fees aren’t benefiting the industry.

The consumer protection agency spent less than $10,000 handling four home inspection complaints in 2016 but will collect more than $500,000 each year under the new fees, Hamm said.

“That money could be raised to educate home inspectors, to raise the standards instead of lower the standards, but it’s being funnelled off,” Hamm said.

Consumer Protection BC declined an interview but said in a statement: “These fee increases reflect our need to recover costs for additional responsibilities we took on as a result of the changes made to the home inspector regulatory model in September 2016.”

Some of those changes include taking over all consumer complaints and assessing the qualifications of new home inspectors.

Hamm is hoping with the new government to discuss a possible rollback of the fee hike, as well as concerns that home inspection standards have been weakened under the consumer protection agency.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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