Just One More Inspection Please?

Posted on: Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

I am often contacted by agents to report that the purchasers have already used all their rights to attend at the property set out in the agreement and now they are asking to come in again. The first inclination is to say NO.

This issue has been firmly settled by the Ontario Court in 1979. The famous case is known as Harkness vs. Cooney. The Court stated in this case “I fail to see why the purchaser should have to wait to be notified by a vendor of defects in the property… It also seems ridiculous that he should have to complete the transaction and pay over his money before ascertaining whether or not he had been entitled to terminate the contract prior to completing it.”

This right of inspection is limited as it is meant to assess for damages prior to closing. It is not a right to bring in relatives, consultants or measure for drapes etc. It is simply a walk through.

The fact that the purchasers can go in right up until a few minutes before closing does not negate the need for real estate agents to include the provision for whatever number of inspections the purchasers’ desire and the vendors are willing to give in the offer. The right to visit the property set out in the agreement is a much broader right than the common law right of inspection obtained through the Cooney decision.

In fact, if there is anything to be completed by the vendor before closing I recommend that a visit be included to allow an inspection to ensure that item is completed in advance of closing.

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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