Use Form 820
The SPIS has now fallen into disuse. You would rarely come across it today. It had been a mandatory requirement by a number of Boards but not TRREB. That was 10 years ago.
Some of the questions were vague. Agents often didn’t assist their clients with respect to completion or explain that it was not a required document, no matter what their Board might have said.
Frequently, it was filled out in a couple of minutes when truly it should have taken 90 minutes or more.
There are well over 500 lawsuits all based on the SPIS. So rather than reduce litigation, it encouraged litigation. It has been criticized by numerous Judges, and is the foundation of a lawsuit against an Agent by the Sellers in Canada’s leading agent’s negligence case which went before the Supreme Court of Canada.
I am called frequently to testify in Court in respect to Real Estate Agent’s negligence claims, and most of the SPIS cases are well in the past.
Today, registrants should be using Form 820 (and following) as a Checklist. It’s basically the SPIS document without the Seller’s signature. That would be an up to date professional best practice.
There are times when an SPIS would be helpful. It should be customized and address simply a couple of points, ie. well water, septic system etc. Used in this way, it can be quite effective as a Disclosure vehicle.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker