BY: VLADO HAJTOL
This week’s Reader asks: I might be making an offer on a house early next week. I was wondering whether I have to get a home inspection done. Is there a warranty that I can rely on when buying a home?
In general there are no warranties that a purchaser can rely on when buying a home and a proper home inspection is the best way to protect yourself from any unpleasant surprises.
The standard Agreement of Purchase and Sale for a resale home used by real estate agents, the OREA form 100, does not contain any warranties in regards to a physical condition of real estate property, except for a very limited warranty related to ureaformeldahyde insulation. Consequently, there are no explicit warranties given by a seller to a purchaser when it comes to the condition of real estate property, unless such warranties are negotiated and added into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale, which is very rare.
In addition to the terms written in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, in Ontario there is a long standing law that a buyer gets the property in “As Is” condition.This includes not just a physical condition of the home but also of all chattels and fixtures, such as furnace, water heaters and appliances. There are no warranties under the law that the buyer can rely on.
A good home inspector would provide you with a detailed report and advise you of any defects or potential problems. While a home inspector might not be able to identify all defects, especially hidden ones, an inspection is a good way to learn what you are buying and to assist in making an informed decision. A home inspection may provide a basis to negotiate price owing to the cost of necessary repairs or modifications.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This publication is the 21st installment of our firm’s Legal Matters series, which answers a reader’s question every week. If you have a general legal question that you would like to have addressed please send it via email to email@example.com.