The COVID 19 risk is a moving target, and the approach to inspections may change with COVID 19 risk :
As at April, 2021 the ProVantage Property Inspection approach is:
COVID-19 Precautions. These precautions over-ride any lesser precautionary measure in the standard protocol.
The COVID-19 risk is constantly evolving, and the approach to inspections may change with the COVID-19 risk. It appears as we start April, Ontario is not doing well and we are heading back towards a “lock-down”. Real estate transactions are classed as an essential service in Ontario.
As at April, 2021 the ProVantage Property Inspection approach is to perform home inspections with the following precautions:
- The house must be vacant during the entire inspection time, being the full 4 hours or more. The only people in the house should be the buying client, the buying agent and the inspector.
- All attendees, including buyer and buying agent must wear a mask when inside the house.
- The inspector will wear a mask when inside the house
- The inspector will wear thin work gloves when inside the house.
- The inspector will wear indoor slippers or shoes when inside the house.
This protocol is intended for real estate salespeople involved in transactions where ProVantage Property Inspection Inc. is performing the home inspection. The purpose is to explain the inspection procedure, ownership of information, and communication protocol.
Before the inspection
Information for the sellers and/or occupants and preparing the house.
- The inspection is mostly visual, however it involves much activity throughout the house and understandably may be regarded as invasive by the occupants. It is strongly recommended that the home be vacated for the inspection. In most cases no information is required from the homeowner to facilitate the inspection. If the homeowners or occupants choose to remain at the home, they are not permitted to join in the inspection and must not interfere with the inspection.
- If the occupants choose to remain at the home, they should not follow the inspector, turn off any switches, close doors, or otherwise get involved in the inspection process.
- The duration of the inspection is not negotiable. The time recommended by the inspector to the client during the booking process is the required inspection time. Four hours is the minimum recommended inspection booking duration. For larger or unique houses, the time could be longer. Check with the buyer to confirm the requested time.
- The inclusions in the inspection, and the inspection procedure are not negotiable. The inspection involves standard methods that must be consistently applied to all inspections. There are no partial inspections performed.
- The inspection includes taking many photographs and some video footage.
- All areas of the house will be accessed. Specifically access to the following areas should be cleared in advance of the inspection: electrical panel, attic hatch, water meter, front of furnace. Gates to the back yard should be unlocked. The garage must be accessible. Keys should be provided for all exterior doors. All interior doors must be unlocked.
- Electrical power, water, and heating fuel will be consumed during the inspection.
- Heating and cooling systems may be run during the inspection and this could result in uncomfortable temperatures for a short period of time.
- The main house electrical power switch in most cases will be turned OFF as part of the electrical inspection, typically for 5 minutes or less.
- It is assumed that all parts of the house are in working order, and so they will be tested. If part of the house is not in working order and this may cause damage if it is tested, it should be clearly labeled as such. If water supply is shut off to a fixture, it will not be opened by the inspector. The report will document that the fixture was not in service.
During the inspection
All the information belongs to the paying client. No information from the inspection will be shared with the salespeople or the seller. The client is paying for the inspector’s service and the final product which is the inspection report. The client will determine what they want to discuss with the salespeople and sellers.
Salespeople and sellers are not permitted to join in the inspection process. This includes following the inspector or lingering in the background. The inspection is a private service that the client has paid for. Only the client and anyone invited by the client may join in the inspection. It is the duty of the buying agent to ensure full undisturbed time is provided for the inspection.
After the Inspection
The inspector’s work at the house is only the data collection phase, and the process is not complete at this time. The inspector’s work continues after the time at the house, with review of photographs, further research on complicated issues, and compiling the report. The final report is the only official report
The inspector will not give a verbal summary or answer questions at the end of the inspection. The written report is the only report that will be provided, and this is provided only to the client within the agreed upon time frame.
The inspector will not get involved in negotiations. This includes commenting on written amendments that may result from an inspection.
The inspector will not respond to questions from sellers or salespeople. If clarification of any report issues is required, the inspector will respond only to emails that are routed through the client’s email, indicating the client’s approval to answer the question.