Failure to Follow Up with Inspector’s Advice

No building permit for beam: RECO Discipline

The Buyer’s agent was aware that the Home Inspector had recommended that further investigation be undertaken.

The property was vacant, and it was listed by another agent at her same Brokerage.

The deal was:

a) Offer price of $745,000.00 with a $15,000.00 deposit,

b) Closing June 30, 2020,

c) Conditional on financing, sale of the Buyers’ current property, and home inspection.

The inspection found mould in the attic and that the soffits needed to be replaced. The inspection report indicated the Property was vacant at the time the inspection was done. The inspection report made no comment specifically about the newly installed beam, however, it did advise generally that further inspections be done by other professionals, such as an HVAC specialist, an electrician, and an engineer. It also recommended that copies of the building permits be obtained.

The Buyer’s agent asked the Listing agent if there were any permits obtained and apparently there were not.

Prior to closing the Building Inspector contacted the Seller to advise that a complaint had been made regarding a beam that may have been improperly installed.

The Building Inspector expressed concerns regarding the beam in question. In an email, the Building Inspector specifically outlined to Buyer’s agent that he had some concerns regarding the beam, specifically that no permits had been obtained prior to the renovations.

In an email September 8, 2020 (after closing), the Building Inspector advised the Listing agent that since no further information had been provided, he would be posting an Order to Comply regarding the building code issues.

On September 11, 2020, the Buyer received a notice indicating that no building permits had been obtained and that the issue with the beam needed to be corrected. The Order indicated a deadline date of October 13, 2020, for the Buyer to obtain the required permits and approval for construction.

The Buyer had to file a claim with his title insurance company in order to satisfy the Order from the municipality.


The buyer’s agent did not take reasonable steps to inquire

  1. as to whether the renovations had been done in accordance with the local by-laws, building code and
  2. whether a permit had been obtained.
  3. She further failed by not counselling the Buyer to retain independent professionals to inspect the property, as was recommended in the inspection report.

This conduct is contrary to sections 4, 5, and 21 of the Code of Ethics.

4. best interests

5. competent service

21. discovery of material facts

Penalty: $6,500,00 fine


All in all it fine seems low. A continuing education Program was also required to be taken.

It is interesting here, that the “beam” was the problem, although that item itself seems to have been glossed over in the Report.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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