Ontario has recently introduced a bill that will regulate home repair and inspection service companies. In particular, the new rules prohibit certain door-to-door sales and reinforce payday loan rules.
The changes fall under the Putting Consumers First Act. The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) voiced its support for the bill.
“When buying a home, people have a right to expect high professional standards and government oversight of all professionals involved in a real estate transaction,” former Progressive Conservative leader and designated CEO of OREA Tim Hudak told The Canadian Press
“High standards and a clear legal framework in the home inspection industry will ensure home buyers and sellers receive reliable, informative and professional advice when making one of the largest decisions of their lives.”
The legislation bans unsolicited door-to-door sales of water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and water filters. This is an attempt to protect consumers from what the government calls “aggressive” and “high-pressure” sales tactics.
Also under the legislation, all consumer-initiated contracts (such as for roofing or home renovations) would have a 10-day “cooling-off period”. During this period, consumers are permitted to cancel the contracts without providing a reason.
If the bill is passed, home inspectors will be required to have a license. The Canadian Press
also reported that an administrative authority to oversee home inspectors will also be created under the bill that would handle complaint and enforcement processes through discipline and appeal committees. The regulatory body would also establish a code of ethics for home inspectors, as well as lay down a standard for home inspection reports and contracts. What should be examined by inspectors will also be defined by the bill, and insurance requirements will be outlined as well.
Home inspectors are the only real estate-related professionals in Ontario that are not regulated.
OREA would be funded by licensing fees once the bill is passed.
The bill would also enable payday loan registrars to restrict high-frequency borrowing. Standards to determine a borrower’s capability to repay will be set by the legislation, and repeat borrowers will be given an extended payment plan option.
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