Why you should get a home inspection

Mourning

There is a case in British Columbia from 2007 that addressed the old concept of “caveat emptor” or “Buyer Beware”. In British Columbia, as in Ontario, it is the buyer’s obligation to determine whether there is anything wrong with a house before purchase; it is not the seller’s duty to disclose anything that is what is called patent, or discoverable. If you, or a qualified home inspector, could have discovered that there was mould, or mice, or a rusted furnace, the seller is not responsible for compensating you even if you chose not to get a home inspection, unless the seller prevented you from getting a home inspection.

In Cardwell et al. v. Perthen et al., the court confirmed this rule. In that case, the buyers found after purchasing a home that there was shoddy workmanship, leaks, deterioration of structural components and mould. They chose not to get a home inspection at the time they bought, but the court determined that they had the right to obtain a home inspection and that their choice not to do so should not shift the obligation over to the seller. The moral of the story? Always get a home inspection if you are buying: what you don’t know can, in fact, hurt you.

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