Home Verified: The Home History Report

Posted on: Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Over the past three years a Canadian company known as Home Verified has created a comprehensive home history report that provides important information for the various parties involved in a real estate transaction.

This report is available for homes located in major municipalities across the country and can be purchased through Teranet, which is the company that developed, owns and operates Ontario’s Electronic Land Registration System (ELRS). For real estate agents, the report can be accessed through Teranet’s GeoWarehouse. If you have a subscription the report can be purchased for an additional $30.00 after a property search is conducted. For non-subscribers, a report can be obtained through the Home Verified website for a cost of $49.95, or it can be purchased by non-subscribers and homeowners for $69.95, plus HST.

It is important to note that the home owner must provide consent to anyone who would like to purchase and/or distribute the report.

The typical home history report available from Home Verified includes the following information:
- insurance claims related to the property;
- available grow-op and meth lab records;
- claims analysis for a neighbourhood;
- local school rankings;
- neighbourhood amenities; and
- local political representatives and contact information.

One of the most notable aspects of the home history report is the fact that grow-op information is available. As discussed in previous articles on the disclosure requirements related to grow-ops (which can be accessed by clicking here. ) agents are required to disclose any material fact about a property, including if the home is a former grow op. Typically this is done by making an inquiry to the local municipal police services Freedom of Information (FOI) Coordinator, and in some cases, a formal FOI request must be submitted, which costs $5.00.

With Home Verified, the report that you are able to access contains grow-op data that is constantly updated and compiled through the information available from these various FOI requests that are made to police services across Canada, as well as database searches and public websites/ registries. The records that are available through Home Verified date back to the year 2000, which is different from most public/ online grow-op registries which only contain information related a more recent time period. With the Home Verified report not only are you able to obtain accurate information related to grow-op properties but you are also able to access insurance claims and important details related to the neighbourhood where the property is located.

The insurance claims information that is provided in the report is another important detail which should be considered. The report can provide information related to past claims associated with the property, for example water or fire damage, sewage back-ups, vandalism, break-ins, theft, building collapses/structural damage, and natural causes such as wind/hail to name a few. The insurance information provided in the report is assembled through records that are available from insurance companies across the country and can provide useful insight into the condition of the home.

HERE IS THE WARNING SECTION. While this can assist a listing agent with obtaining information on the property it should never been relied upon in place of a home inspection. Additionally, I wonder what issues might be revealed in this report that the current owner may not even be aware of. What if your seller consents to you obtaining this report and something is included in the report that would be considered a “material fact”?

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. The information does not constitute legal advice and a solicitor and client relationship is not created.

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