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20 Osgoode Hall L. J. 155 (1982)
Protection for the Purchaser against Defects in Used Housing: The Emerging Home Inspection Profession

handle is hein.journals/ohlj20 and id is 165 raw text is: PROTECTION FOR THE PURCHASER
Buying a house is often the largest purchase that an individual makes.
Nevertheless, house buyers frequently discover defects only after their pur-
chase. Unfortunately, most are unable to avoid bearing the cost and nuisance
of correcting these defects themselves.
The first part of this paper will outline the difficulties confronting used
house buyers attempting to discover physical defects prior to purchase.
The second part will summarize the unsatisfactory state of the law in this
context and the drawbacks surrounding litigation-based remedies. The
strengths and weaknesses of various proposals that have been suggested to
relieve disappointed used house buyers, will be identified in part three. The
emerging Canadian home inspection profession will be profiled in part four.
And the final part will identify the problems confronting this new profession
and evaluate the merits of various regulatory schemes designed to address
The problem of physical defects in new houses will not be addressed in
this paper for several reasons. First, the problem has already been the subject
of considerable discussion by various organizations.' Moreover, The Building
Code Act2 ensures that minimum standards for new house construction are
met and The Ontario New Homes Warranties Plan Act3 provides new home
purchasers with a measure of statutory protection generally unavailable to
purchasers of used homes. Finally, the problem is of relatively less concern
because individuals are more likely to purchase used houses than new
o Copyright, 1982, Richard J. Nixon.
* Mr. Nixon is a member of the Ontario bar. The author would like to acknowledge
the helpful advice of Professor Barry Reiter in the course of preparing this article.
'See Ont., Report of the Ontario Law Reform Commission the Trade Sale of New
Homes (Toronto: Dept. of A.G., 1968) [Hereinafter Report of the Ontario Law Reform
Commission]; cf. The Housing and Urban Development Association, Central Mortgage
and Housing, and Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Interim Report on
Consumer Protection For New Home Buyers, Sept. 1, 1972; cf. English Law Commis-
sion, Third Annual Report 1967-1968, July 22, 1968, item VII.
2 R.S.O. 1980, c. 26.
a R.S.O. 1980, c. 350.
4 For example, there was a total of 23,466 houses sold through the Multiple Listing
Service of the Toronto Real Estate Board in 1979. Of these, 506 were new houses. See
House Price Trends and Residential Construction Costs in The Toronto Real Estate
Board Market Area And In Canada published by the Toronto Real Estate Board, 1980
at 19 and 30.

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