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  #661  
Old 8/5/13, 8:40 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Brighton, ON
Posts: 27,272
Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

824

http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2013/08/02/could_gta_flooding_be_used_as_home_sale_escape_hat ch.html

Could GTA flooding be used as home sale escape hatch?

The recent flooding in the GTA raised important legal questions about homes that were supposed to close at the time.


Rene Johnston / Toronto Star
Ross Marsden pumps the basement of his son's home in the Royal York Rd. and Bloor St. area of Toronto. They were without power following a storm and flooding on Mon. July 8. ( July 10, 2013)
By: Mark Weisleder Real Estate, Published on Fri Aug 02 2013
The recent flooding in the GTA raised important legal questions about homes that were supposed to close at the time.
I was recently asked whether a buyer could refuse to close a deal when they suspected the home had been damaged by flooding before closing. The seller refused to let them in, since the agreement did not provide any more home visits or inspections.
Here are the questions:
1. Does a buyer have an automatic right to inspect a home before they close their purchase to find out if there have been damages since the date they signed the offer?
2. Does a buyer have the right to cancel the deal if there has been a flood in the home prior to closing?
The standard Ontario real estate contract says the buyer accepts the condition of the home on the date that they sign the offer, but the seller is responsible for any damage between the date of the offer and final closing. It goes on to say that if substantial damage occurs prior to closing, then the buyer has the right to cancel the contract or take the proceeds of any insurance policy and close the deal.
Many real estate agents will insert an extra clause into the agreement that gives the buyer the right to visit or inspect the property on one or more occasions prior to closing. The purpose could be to do with measurements, bringing in contractors or just to make sure that there has been no damage to the home since the date they signed the offer.
However, what if there is nothing written in your contract permitting you to do a pre-closing inspection? There was a case in 1979 called Harkness vs. Cooney, where a judge ruled that a buyer did have the right to inspect a home before closing. This is even though there was no additional inspection clause in the agreement.
This is not a full right to completely inspect the home, but it is a limited right to make sure that no major damages had occurred. In my opinion, this case could be used to assist a buyer when a seller refuses to permit them into a home to check to see whether there may have been a flood on the property before closing.
Would a flood be sufficient to permit a buyer to cancel the deal completely? This is not a simple answer, and would of course depend on the cause of the flood and the resulting damage. Sewage backup was perhaps one of the leading causes of a lot of the flooding that occurred in the GTA. Experts will tell you that even a few inches of water over the baseboard can result in substantial damage to a home, if the sewage touches the drywall above the baseboard or gets under the floor. The costs to remedy the mould damage alone can be thousands of dollars, not to mention the re-construction costs of the entire basement.
If a seller knows about damage to their home before closing, then the buyers should be informed immediately. Steps should be taken to repair the damages and the buyer should be given the opportunity to inspect the repairs to make sure that they were done properly. Or another solution may be to hold back sufficient money on closing to complete the repairs after closing.
Buyers should always include a clause to give them the right to inspect a home just prior to moving in, to make sure that there has been no damage that occurred since the date you signed your contract.
More real estate columns by Mark WeislederEND
Mark Weisleder is a Toronto real estate lawyer. Contact him at mark@markweisleder.com .
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  #662  
Old 8/5/13, 3:17 PM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Brighton, ON
Posts: 27,272
Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

851


Old but still a good one .. Enjoy ... Roy

Tools Explained

Drill Press: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

Wire Wheel: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, 'Oh sh -- '

Electric Hand Drill: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age.

Skill Saw: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

Pliers: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

Belt Sander: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

Hacksaw: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

Vise-Grips: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

Oxyacetylene Torch: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

Table Saw: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

Hydraulic Floor Jack: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

Band Saw: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

Two-Ton Engine Hoist: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

Phillips Screwdriver: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

Straight Screwdriver: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

Pry Bar: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

Hose Cutter: A tool used to make hoses too short.

Hammer: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

Utility Knife: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

Damn-It Tool: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling 'DAMN-IT' at the top of your lungs.
It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.
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  #663  
Old 8/6/13, 4:58 AM
Stephan Tremblay, CMI's Avatar
Stephan Tremblay, CMI Stephan Tremblay, CMI is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Tecumseh Ontario, Canada
Posts: 870
Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcooke View Post
824

http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2013/08/02/could_gta_flooding_be_used_as_home_sale_escape_hat ch.html

Could GTA flooding be used as home sale escape hatch?

The recent flooding in the GTA raised important legal questions about homes that were supposed to close at the time.


Rene Johnston / Toronto Star
Ross Marsden pumps the basement of his son's home in the Royal York Rd. and Bloor St. area of Toronto. They were without power following a storm and flooding on Mon. July 8. ( July 10, 2013)
By: Mark Weisleder Real Estate, Published on Fri Aug 02 2013
The recent flooding in the GTA raised important legal questions about homes that were supposed to close at the time.
I was recently asked whether a buyer could refuse to close a deal when they suspected the home had been damaged by flooding before closing. The seller refused to let them in, since the agreement did not provide any more home visits or inspections.
Here are the questions:
1. Does a buyer have an automatic right to inspect a home before they close their purchase to find out if there have been damages since the date they signed the offer?
2. Does a buyer have the right to cancel the deal if there has been a flood in the home prior to closing?
The standard Ontario real estate contract says the buyer accepts the condition of the home on the date that they sign the offer, but the seller is responsible for any damage between the date of the offer and final closing. It goes on to say that if substantial damage occurs prior to closing, then the buyer has the right to cancel the contract or take the proceeds of any insurance policy and close the deal.
Many real estate agents will insert an extra clause into the agreement that gives the buyer the right to visit or inspect the property on one or more occasions prior to closing. The purpose could be to do with measurements, bringing in contractors or just to make sure that there has been no damage to the home since the date they signed the offer.
However, what if there is nothing written in your contract permitting you to do a pre-closing inspection? There was a case in 1979 called Harkness vs. Cooney, where a judge ruled that a buyer did have the right to inspect a home before closing. This is even though there was no additional inspection clause in the agreement.
This is not a full right to completely inspect the home, but it is a limited right to make sure that no major damages had occurred. In my opinion, this case could be used to assist a buyer when a seller refuses to permit them into a home to check to see whether there may have been a flood on the property before closing.
Would a flood be sufficient to permit a buyer to cancel the deal completely? This is not a simple answer, and would of course depend on the cause of the flood and the resulting damage. Sewage backup was perhaps one of the leading causes of a lot of the flooding that occurred in the GTA. Experts will tell you that even a few inches of water over the baseboard can result in substantial damage to a home, if the sewage touches the drywall above the baseboard or gets under the floor. The costs to remedy the mould damage alone can be thousands of dollars, not to mention the re-construction costs of the entire basement.
If a seller knows about damage to their home before closing, then the buyers should be informed immediately. Steps should be taken to repair the damages and the buyer should be given the opportunity to inspect the repairs to make sure that they were done properly. Or another solution may be to hold back sufficient money on closing to complete the repairs after closing.
Buyers should always include a clause to give them the right to inspect a home just prior to moving in, to make sure that there has been no damage that occurred since the date you signed your contract.
More real estate columns by Mark WeislederEND
Mark Weisleder is a Toronto real estate lawyer. Contact him at mark@markweisleder.com .

Nice article Roy. Something to chew on, especially here in Windsor Ontario as July was the wettest month ever recorded. The Mosquitos here are absolutely insane! Lol
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  #664  
Old 8/7/13, 9:21 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Location: Brighton, ON
Posts: 27,272
Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

077


Global insurance brokerage Hub International Limited has agreed to be acquired by a San Francisco private equity firm for $4.4 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, investment funds managed by Hellman & Friedman will hold a majority interest in the company, while members of Hub’s senior management will continue to have a significant equity position, according to the announcement from Hub.
The Chicago-based brokerage, which has roughly 6,500 employees in the United States, Canada and Brazil, is expected to have 2013 revenue of about $1.2 billion, after the annualized impact of acquisitions, according to Hub’s statement.
“Partnering with Hellman & Friedman will enable us to build upon our current strategy of enhancing our product and service capabilities and expanding our geographic footprint,” Martin Hughes, Hub’s chairman and CEO commented in a statement.
“We are excited that our new partners share our commitment to investing in our people and are dedicated to working with us to deliver even greater value to our clients,” he added. “By aligning our company with Hellman & Friedman, we are positioning Hub International for continued growth and success within our industry.”
“In partnership with the Hub International team led by Chairman and CEO Martin Hughes, Apax Funds has supported the company’s growth into a top-10 global insurance broker over the past six years,” Mitch Truwit, partner at Apax added.
“We are proud of Hub International’s tremendous growth – achieved both organically and by executing a disciplined M&A program – since our acquisition in 2007, and believe the company has exceptional opportunities before it.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed before the end of 2013. The Company’s existing debt arrangements will be replaced at closing with new debt financing that has been committed by BofA Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc. and RBC Capital Markets.
BofA Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Stephens Inc. are providing financial advice to Hub and Apax.
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  #665  
Old 8/7/13, 3:29 PM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Location: Brighton, ON
Posts: 27,272
Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

090

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KgX69ptkZTw

Look close at 223 inches and see a 25% discount on the new NEC Soft bound edition do out in October.
Cost $67;13


Paul Dobrowsky, Principal of Innovative Technology Services, has over 30 years of experience in electrical and occupational safety, machinery and equipment standards, electrical construction, maintenance, program and policy development, instructing, and over 15 years enforcing electrical codes and standards. Paul discusses his involvement in training NFPA® electrical seminars such as NFPA 79 and NFPA 70E®, as well as the importance of code adoption.
Featured Video (free registration):


Visit www.necconnect.org and get free access to:

Webinars • White Papers • Videos • Social Media Feeds •
Community Discussions • NEC Adoption Map across the US •
And much more...
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  #666  
Old 8/10/13, 3:20 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Brighton, ON
Posts: 27,272
Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

378
News / Canada http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2...of_tarion.html
MPPs from all parties would back value-for-money audit of Tarion

An ongoing Toronto Star investigation has revealed that Tarion, a private, non-profit corporation, is keeping secret records of poor or incomplete work in new homes.

Ontario Minister of Consumer Services Tracy MacCharles has said she will not ask for a review of Tarion -- the corporation created by the provincial government to protect new homebuyers.
By: Kenyon Wallace News reporter, Published on Mon Jul 15 2013 Republish
Ontario MPPs from all parties say they would support a legislative motion asking the auditor general to open the books at Tarion, the corporation created by the province to protect new homebuyers.
The pledges from Liberal, Progressive Conservative and NDP members is at odds with the stance taken by the minister responsible for overseeing Tarion, Tracy MacCharles, who said she will not ask for a review of Tarion because she believes there is little consumer dissatisfaction with the corporation.
But Liberal MPP Donna Cansfield said she would defy a minister of her government and support a motion calling for a value-for-money audit of Tarion.
“I think we’ve got a problem,” Cansfield said, referring to the fact that Tarion’s online builder profiles merely list whether deficiencies were found in a new home — not what the actual deficiencies were.
“I think they’re doing a disservice to the really good builders, the ones who follow the rules, do things right, get the right inspections,” said the member for Etobicoke Centre, noting she plans to write a “strongly worded letter” to MacCharles, the consumer services minister, outlining her belief that Ontario’s new homebuyers need greater protections.
Progressive Conservative MPP Frank Klees and NDP MPP Rosario Marchese also calling for a value-for-money audit of Tarion.
An ongoing Star investigation has revealed that Tarion is keeping secret records of poor or incomplete work in new homes. The private, non-profit corporation has recovered nearly $30 million from developers for deficiencies over the last five years, but refuses to identify the builders or say what the problems were.
Tarion says it is reviewing how much information about builders’ performance histories it shares with the public.
In a recent company-wide email, Tarion president and CEO Howard Bogach told staff it’s “up to the minister to decide” whether Tarion should be scrutinized in a value-for-money audit by the auditor general or placed under the oversight of the Ontario ombudsman.
“But the minister has been very supportive of our work and our transparency,” Bogach wrote.
Tarion spokesperson Karen Mortfield said the corporation operates “according to the highest financial standards and scrutiny with an auditor and an appointed actuary.”
“We follow recognized accounting and actuarial standards and practices for the insurance industry to ensure we have sufficient resources to meet claims as they arise,” she said.
MacCharles told the Star the vast majority of homeowner complaints are resolved by builders.
“Consumer discontent with Tarion or how it operates appears to be at a relatively low level,” she said. “I do not see a pressing need for significant changes at this time. Indeed, over the last several years, Tarion has made considerable improvements to strengthen consumer protection and more are in the process of being implemented currently.”
Klees, a long-time critic of Tarion, said if the minister won’t table a motion asking for the auditor general to review the corporation, he will.
“The fact that the minister is not willing to take that initiative concerns me,” Klees said. “As much as the minister uses the independence of Tarion as justification for not exercising oversight, the corporation is nonetheless a child of legislation.”
Tarion was created in 1976 to administer the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, which says new homes should be free from defects in work and material, building code violations, and major structural problems, among other things. Tarion is a “delegated administrative authority,” one of several arm’s length bodies set up by the province to implement and enforce legislation in certain industries.
Because Tarion does not receive government funding, it is not subject to freedom-of-information laws or oversight by the Ontario ombudsman.
Christine Pedias, a spokeswoman for the office of the auditor general, said the legislature’s public accounts committee, made up of MPPs from all parties, could also ask for a review of Tarion.
“If the government decides that the public interest would be better served by giving the auditor general access to delegated authorities, such as Tarion, we would support this, subject to the provisions of our act,” she said.
Andre Marin, Ontario’s current ombudsman, has tweeted to his nearly 14,000 followers that his office has “long believed that Tarion lacks proper oversight
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  #667  
Old 8/10/13, 8:35 AM
KEVIN WOOD, CMI KEVIN WOOD, CMI is offline
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Location: Sault Ste Marie ON
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Please Note: kwood is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with InterNACHI or its members.
Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

Yet they may be at the table for Licensing in Ontario. Now is not that a conflict of interest.
Key words in this letter are." They lack proper oversight" but no worry they only have small reports of dissatisfaction and they have sufficient resources to meet the claims as they arise.

Last edited by kwood; 8/10/13 at 8:38 AM..
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  #668  
Old 8/10/13, 10:05 AM
ROBERT YOUNG's Avatar
ROBERT YOUNG ROBERT YOUNG is online now
Certified Professional Inspector (CPI)
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 14,211
Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcooke View Post
851


Old but still a good one .. Enjoy ... Roy

Tools Explained

Drill Press: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

Wire Wheel: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, 'Oh sh -- '

Electric Hand Drill: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age.

Skill Saw: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

Pliers: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

Belt Sander: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

Hacksaw: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

Vise-Grips: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

Oxyacetylene Torch: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

Table Saw: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

Hydraulic Floor Jack: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

Band Saw: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

Two-Ton Engine Hoist: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

Phillips Screwdriver: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

Straight Screwdriver: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

Pry Bar: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

Hose Cutter: A tool used to make hoses too short.

Hammer: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

Utility Knife: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

Damn-It Tool: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling 'DAMN-IT' at the top of your lungs.
It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.
You forgot the most important tool of all Roy.
OWNERS MANUAL.

An owners manual: An cellulose bound encrypted engineered device consisting of hieroglyphic overlay to extraction basic fundamentals of logic, frustration and anxiety.



Robert Young's ​
Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
Home Inspections & Building Inspection Services. Covering on and off islands in greater Montreal and Laval. (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732.
Our Motto: Putting Information Where You Need It Most, "In Your Hands."
https://montreal-home-inspection-services.com

https://www.nachi.org/forum/f13/rece...-cooke-106880/
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  #669  
Old 8/10/13, 1:00 PM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Location: Brighton, ON
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Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

427





I’ve received many remarkable nature photographs over the years but this photo of a nesting Falcon is perhaps the most remarkable Nature shot that I’ve ever seen.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Nature is truly breath-taking!

A Falcon Nesting in a Tree.
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  #670  
Old 8/10/13, 1:04 PM
Gilles Larin, ACI,CMI, NHI's Avatar
Gilles Larin, ACI,CMI, NHI Gilles Larin, ACI,CMI, NHI is offline
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Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

I remember that model. Looks like a 1962 or 1963.
G



Gilles R. Larin,
2016 InterNACHI Member of the Year.
www.inspectapro.net
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National Home Inspector Certification #378;
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  #671  
Old 8/10/13, 6:18 PM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Location: Brighton, ON
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Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

507

Could this be used for home Inspecting soon .

http://whisperdrone.com/index.html

WhisperDrone Aerial Digital Media offers clients the unique opportunity to capture images and video from vantage points not usually available.

This affordable aerial photography option enables you to use quality photographic images and movie footage to help sell properties, survey buildings, manage land and stock and even carry out archeological surveys.

If you have an event, why not capture it from above? Weddings, fairs, shows, fetes and parties are easily photographed or filmed using our hi-tech remote control equipment and trained and licensed operators.

Contact us on 07803 522114, enquiries@whisperdrone.com to discuss your requirements.
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  #672  
Old 8/12/13, 11:18 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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634

http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/08/tow_trucks_are_ready_to_seize.html
11
comments
Tow trucks are ready to seize vans of unlicensed Staten Island home improvement contractors .

An inspector takes notes while a contractor gathers belongings prior to the seizure of his van. Due to the undercover nature of the inspectors' work, we are shielding their identities in this report.Staten Island Advance/Anthony DePrimo</SPAN>
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- It's a simple question, really: Are you licensed?
But many Staten Island homeowners aren't asking it of their home improvement contractors.
By the time inspectors from the Department of Consumer Affairs ask, it's too late for the unlicensed: The tow trucks are on standby, ready to seize the contractors' vans, interrupting a job, and commencing an odyssey that's expensive and time-consuming to resolve. It's something that has happened 175 times in the last five years on Staten Island alone.
Typical was the scene that played out July 31 on Hurricane Sandy-ravaged Cedar Grove Court in New Dorp Beach. A homeowner, still living in transitional shelter nine months after Sandy, was having major interior and exterior renovations done to her townhouse. She said she was pleased with the contractor -- no problems with the job.
But during an unannounced spot check, inspectors found that the license of contractor Abbey Construction had not been renewed since it expired a month earlier. Hemming and hawing followed: There must have been a mixup; a temporary license had been issued, the contractor maintained. The inspectors listened and double checked with the central office, but none of the explanations panned out, they said. A tow truck promptly arrived and took the van away.
Within a week, Abbey settled the case and is again licensed, after paying a $1,000 fine and contributing $206.50 to the department's Home Improvement Business Trust Fund, according to Consumer Affairs officials. It's the second time the firm has been cited for operating without a license -- the first was back in 2007, officials said. At the same time, Consumer Affairs reports that Abbey has no consumer complaints on its record.
WHY THEY SEIZE VANS
Why take the van in the first place? "At the end of the day,these contractors need to know that if they set out to do unlicensed work, they might end up walking home," Consumer Affairs commissioner Jonathan Mintz told the Advance.
The spot checks that lead to van seizures are done by Consumer Affairs inspectors working undercover. They can happen at anytime of the day, and on weekends, too. The tactics vary. The Advance joined a team on July 31 for five hours as they canvassed Westerleigh, Bulls Head, New Dorp Beach and some connecting neighborhoods. Due to the undercover nature of their work, the inspectors' identities are not being disclosed in this report.
An inspector talks to contractor Chris Papachristou before seizing his vehicle. Due to the undercover nature of the inspectors' work, we are shielding their identities in this report.Staten Island Advance/Anthony DePrimo
The male-female inspector team drives around in an unmarked car, looking for home-improvement contracting work. When they see a contracting job, they first survey the scene from a distance and attempt to ascertain the license status before approaching -- sometimes just one inspector, other times posing as a couple.
The late-morning scene on Graham Avenue in Bulls Head illustrated their tactics.
Before moving on after a dead-end inquiry on one part of Graham Avenue, they heard more construction up the block and followed their senses -- "We have to smell, we have to hear, we have to watch," said the male inspector, casually dressed on a sunny morning in jeans and a polo shirt. There, they found workers for C. Papas Construction and the business' namesake, Chris Papachristou, performing renovations on a split-level home -- with no outward indication of anything other than a routine job.
But when the male inspector verified that the license had not been renewed in two years, he called to his partner to block the van with their city car while awaiting the tow truck's arrival.
They do that because some have gotten in their vans and sped away. "Yes they have, and yes they will," the inspector said. Nothing like that happened in this case, however.
Papachristou, while frustrated, was polite with the inspectors and did not raise his voice during the back-and-forth, which ended about an hour later with his white Dodge Ram van being taken away on a flatbed truck. He told the Advance he has been in the business for 28 years with a spotless record (Consumer Affairs verified that his firm has no complaints on record from the years it was licensed -- 1997-2011.). Papachristou contested the seizure at a hearing last week, but lost, according to a Consumer Affairs spokeswoman. As of Friday, he had not renewed his license.
EASY TO GET
LICENSED

The license process for home improvement contractors is "incredibly simple, very straightforward," according to Consumer Affairs head Jonathan Mintz: It involves:
· A $100 fee for 2-year license.
· A 30-question exam to ensure the licensee understands his obligations to city law and consumer rights. (21 questions must be answered correctly.
· Proof of workers' compensation insurance.
· Enrollment in Consumer Affairs' trust fund or proof of a surety bond.
More information for consumers and contractors can be found on Consumer Affairs' website.

'WE DON'T TRAP PEOPLE'
On the day of our ride-along, in reflecting on the pair of vehicle seizures, the male inspector countered criticism that the stings are flimsy, or a form of entrapment. "We don't trap people," he said. The inspectors solicit a bid -- a contractor's indication that he'll do the work under the auspices of his own firm. If the contractor is not licensed, the seizure proceedings are commenced. The offer doesn't have to be in writing, and by that point it's too late for a contractor to claim he's working for someone else who does have a current, valid license. As the inspector told one protesting contractor: "Did you give me (colleague's) card? No -- you gave me your card."
Others try to lie their way out of trouble. An inspector recalled one previous instance where a contractor in violation lied about having a work van near a job site. The inspector caught up as the contractor retrieved the vehicle later. "He said, 'I didn't tell you because you'd seize my van,' the inspector recalled. "Well, guess what? I'm going to seize your van."
The inspectors say they are not out to hassle any legitimate business or issue ticky-tack fines. Aside from the pair of vehicle seizures during our ride-along, the inspectors checked out at least four other contractors who were legitimately registered.
"This problem could disappear in a minute if consumers stopped hiring unlicensed contractors," Consumer Affairs commissioner Mintz said.
Some consumers don't know to check, and others think they may be getting a better deal with a contractor who is flying under the radar. Mintz said they're wrong. He outlined three reasons why contractors may not have a license: Through laziness or neglect, they fail to renew or get a license in the first place; they may intentionally want to stay off the government's radar, or could be hiding a criminal past; or they are planning to deceive consumers.
In all three circumstances, the customers lose if they don't verify contractors' license status: "In a lot of cases you're handing someone the keys to your home -- you want to make sure they're reliable," Mintz said. Licensed contractors are accountable -- their complaints are tracked, and they can be called in for a hearing in response to homeowner complaints."
"They are responsible for making it right," he said. "They are required by law to do right by that consumer."
In terms or urging license compliance, Mintz said Consumer Affairs has a strong partner in the National Association of the Remodeling Industry's Home Improvement Contractors of Staten Island chapter.
Consumer Affairs provided two recent examples of delivering for Staten Island consumers who had disputes with licensed contractors. In one case, a Hurricane Sandy victim received $500 in restitution through mediation after she complained about quality of a contractor's work. In another case, an Islander complained that a contractor's roof repairs were inadequate. Following mediation, the contractor returned to do the job right.
Consumers can file do their own instant license status check right on Consumer Affairs' website. Complaints can be filed there, too.
---
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  #673  
Old 8/12/13, 11:33 AM
KEVIN WOOD, CMI KEVIN WOOD, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

Nice Roy, maybe we will have the same thing with Home Inspection in Ontario. Not Licensed !!!....Have a nice walk home.
Before you can return to Home Inspection X amount will need to be done first.
Not only that but a team of Investigators ready to remove ones from having a License when serious complaints arise.
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  #674  
Old 8/13/13, 4:27 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

736

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/07/08/star_gets_action_minister_to_work_with_tarion_over _builders_housing_records.html

Toronto Star

News / Canada
Star Gets Action: Minister to work with Tarion over builders’ housing records

Ontario Consumer Services Minister Tracy MacCharles maintains the warranty program to which buyers of new homes in Ontario are entitled is “not broken,” but she said she would work with Tarion “to ensure they continue to improve transparency and accessibility of builders’ performance history.”

Colin McConnell / Toronto Star File Photo
Ontario Minister of Consumer Services Tracy MacCharles says she'll work more closely with Tarion -- the corporation created by the government to protect new homebuyers -- to make builders' track records more transparent.
By: Kenyon Wallace News reporter, Published on Mon Jul 08 2013
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Ontario’s consumer services minister has pledged she will work with Tarion — the corporation created by the government to protect new homebuyers — to make public more information about builders’ track records.
A Star investigation published Saturday revealed that Tarion Warranty Corp. is keeping secret records of deficiencies in new homes.
“Consumers should have easy access to information about a builder’s record to help them make informed buying decisions,” Consumer Services Minister Tracy MacCharles said in response to the Star’s findings. “One of the cornerstones of consumer protection is information and transparency.”
The minister maintained that the warranty program to which buyers of new homes in Ontario are entitled is “not broken,” but said she would work with Tarion “to ensure they continue to improve transparency and accessibility of builders’ performance history.” The minister did not say what her work with Tarion would entail.
Opposition critics say the government has long known about concerns with how Tarion administers the province’s new home warranty program and that an independent review is overdue.
“Essentially what this organization is doing is covering up for rogue builders,” said Progressive Conservative MPP Frank Klees, who is calling on Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynn to allow the auditor general to conduct a value-for-money audit of Tarion.
“At the very least what should happen is an independent review of Tarion and its mandate. Specific recommendations should be made as to how this organization can become once again realigned with its mandate.”
Klees said the fact that Tarion’s online builder database only has records of new homes by location going back three years is a red flag.
“There isn’t a quality builder I believe that would object to having their entire history of projects listed on a website. This three-year limitation is offensive,” Klees said.
“Once again, we have a ministry of this government that is failing in its responsibility of oversight. This is a chronic ailment of this government.”
Tarion declined to comment Sunday but said earlier that it is reviewing the information about builders it currently shares with consumers.
Tarion was created by the province in 1976 to administer a warranty program for new homes and condominiums that protects against defects in work and materials, loss of deposits and major structural problems, among other things.
In the past five years, Tarion recovered nearly $30 million from builders after it had to step in to fix deficiencies in new homes, but the corporation refuses to say who the developers are or what the problems were. Part of the corporation’s mandate is to “protect consumers when builders fail to fulfil their warranty obligations,” according to its website.
The corporation said it already publishes plenty of information for consumers on its website, including its database of licensed builders and the names of those who have had their licences revoked.
The Star’s investigation found several cases where Tarion determined that problems in new homes should be fixed, but records of the deficiencies are nowhere to be found on the corporation’s online builder database.
Homeowners the Star spoke to who have gone through the claims process because of problems in their new homes described an adversarial and bureaucratic system that they say appears to protect builders.
In one case, a Toronto new homebuyer who had major problems with her heating, ventilation and air conditioning system waited four years before receiving a $40,000 settlement from Tarion.
NDP MPP Rosario Marchese said if the government was serious about making sure Tarion was focused on consumer protection, it would restructure its board of directors to include more consumer advocates. Marchese has introduced four private member’s bills in the past five years calling for changes to the makeup of Tarion’s board, only to see all his proposals languish in the legislature.
Of Tarion’s 15 full-time board members, eight are chosen from a list of nominees put forward by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association, while five are appointed by the consumer services minister.
“We need to restructure Tarion in a way that puts the consumer front and centre as opposed to the primacy we give to the developers to control the board,” Marchese told the Star. “That is the most fundamental change that is required.”
He said such a change would mean the minister of consumer services would have to spearhead such a reform, a prospect for which he has little hope given that there have been five consumer ministers in the past four years.
“Ministers come and go and they don’t spend enough time to manage this file long enough to understand it and to know what they should be doing about it.”
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  #675  
Old 8/16/13, 3:49 PM
Leonard Inkster, CMI's Avatar
Leonard Inkster, CMI Leonard Inkster, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Unusual Things I have found

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcooke View Post
169...
Roy I followed up on this by sending a letter to Joe.

My email went:

"I was recently passed copy of your report in the Toronto Star (19th July 2013) that outlines the importance of Home Buyers engaging a Home Inspector prior to buying a home in Ontario.
We fully agree with you in this respect, and the importance of a fully qualified home inspector performing an thorough home inspection must never be doplayed. My concern was more in the bias that was perceived by many of our members and members of other Associations who support these aims, with your specific mentioning of only the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors and their Ontario Chapter the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors.

While both of these organisations provide well qulified Inspectors, they are not the only ones. Our own Organisation, the Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors (http://ontaiorachi.ca ), as well as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (http://internachi.org), the Canadian Association of Certified Home Inspectors (CanNACHI) and the Professional Home & Property Inspectors of Canada (http://phpic.ca) all have quality Certification programs which ensure their members can be held to standards that support professional inspection services.

In addition, two inspection association independent bodies, the National Home Inspector Certification Council (http://www.nationalhomeinspector.org/) and the Master Inspection Certification Board (http://certifiedmasterinspector.org/) exist to award Home Inspector designations regardless of the Association affiliation.

Pretty much all of these bodies have a set of Standards of Practices and Code of Ethics that are so similar, the reasons for differences is beyond me, and we earlier in the year sent out an open letter to them all to try to remedy this in the public interest.

In addition, many of them have the ability for a member of the public to search and identify Certified Home Inspectors in their location.

While writing your original piece as a Journalist goes a long way to showing home buyers that a Home Inspection from a Qualified Home Inspector is not only the right, but also the most sensible thing to do, limiting the information to two organisations, that are in effect, in Ontario, the same one misleads the public. If the same information is being given out by you in your posistion as the RECO registrar to the Real Estate Boards and Brokerages here in Ontario, it could be viewed that you are using incorrect or inadequate information to create a monoploly.

I’m sure this was unintentional on your part, which is the reason for this non-partisan onformation to correct your position.

You might also like to know that in the Provinces that are already licenses both the CAHPI, MICB, and OntarioACHI preffered certification processes (RHI, CMI and CCHI) have already been accepted as provable standards towards licensing, and as the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services has had the foresight to involved all of the aforementioned bodies to the initial talks on moving forward with Licensing here in Ontario, I would expect the same consideration from RECO and from Journalists who publish information in the papers.

I have copied this email to the executives in all of the mentioned bodies as well as our Executive so you have contact points to validate the accuracy of this information. Feel free to contact me for any further information."


Joe wrote back;


"Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me. Your point is well taken and the reason why the following was added in the most recent publication in The Toronto Star. As you can appreciate, it was not possible to list every organization in the clarification.

Update: My July 20 column addressed the importance of a home inspection and directed readers looking for a qualified home inspector to two home inspector associations. It should be noted that there are more home inspector associations than the two listed in the column. Consumers are always encouraged to do their research.

RECO appreciates the commitment you and your colleagues make to maintaining high standards for home inspectors to best assist home buyers"


I have subsequently responded:


"Joe,

Thanks for the quick response. I didn’t see the clarification, so thank you for forwarding that copy too.

Am I right in assuming the same changes were made to the information, but obviously in greater detail, with respect to the recommendation to the Real Estate Boards and Brokerages from your position as registrar at RECO?

Regards,

Len"




Future Proof Property Inspections Inc.

Leonard Inkster, CMI, CITP, CCHI, CPI, IAC2

Any information posted by me on this site should be considered a personal opinion.

Web: http://fppi.ca
Mail: leni@fppi.ca

"Every man always has handy a dozen glib little reasons why he is right not to sacrifice himself..." - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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