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CSA A770:16 (R2021)
Home inspection is a critical element in helping consumers understand the condition of their home, but improper home inspections can lead to serious safety and financial risks for home buyers and increased pressure for home inspectors.
There can be a high degree of variation in home inspection practices across associations and jurisdictions. This makes it difficult for home inspectors to demonstrate that their services are thorough and add value to their customers, while customers face greater uncertainty as to whether their homes have been properly inspected. Part of why these issues exist is because there hasn't been a consistent set of requirements for a proper home inspection.
Introducing CSA A770 Home Inspection, a first-of-its kind standard developed through the collaboration of home inspectors, regulators, consumer agencies, and various technical specialists, that provides guidance on the minimum requirements for a proper home inspection.
CSA A770 establishes key systems and components that need to be inspected in and around the home, and outlines general inspection methods and minimum reporting requirements for inspectors to follow.
CSA A770 aims to help foster increased consistency in home inspection practices, leading to improved service quality and consumer protection.
- Includes baseline requirements for the systems and components in and around a home that need to be inspected.
- Promotes a consistent set of practices that can lead to increased consumer protection and better-defined home inspection services
- Helps provide home inspectors with a unifying benchmark and home buyers a means to compare service providers.
- Helps home inspectors provide the best possible service to clients on a level playing field
- Supports policy development and regulatory requirements
- Covers a broad range of building systems and components in residential dwellings across Canada
- Promotes improved safety through requirements for inspecting life safety systems as well as the requirement to report items with health and safety concerns.
This is the first edition of CAN/CSA-CSA A770, Home inspection.
This Standard specifies minimum requirements for a home inspection and provides information for performing an inspection on dwellings. These inspections are typically carried out on single family homes of any building configuration, often, although not necessarily, as part of a real estate transaction. This Standard provides important and practical requirements on what items are to be inspected as part of a home inspection. This Standard is not intended to provide comprehensive requirements for the methods to be used to perform a home inspection or specific conditions to look for in a home. This information would typically be available through a recognized home inspection training program.
This Standard has been developed through the collaboration of home inspectors, regulators, consumer agencies, and various technical specialists.
CSA Group acknowledges that the development of this Standard was made possible, in part, by the financial support of Service Alberta, British Columbia Office of Housing and Construction Standards, Manitoba Securities Commission, Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, and Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan.
This Standard has been developed in compliance with Standards Council of Canada requirements for National Standards of Canada. It has been published as a National Standard of Canada by CSA Group.
This Standard specifies requirements for the physical inspection of dwellings, including
a) the systems and components in and around a home that are to be inspected as part of a home inspection;
b) the minimum extent to which a home is required to be inspected;
c) general methods to be used for
i) the examination and assessment of building components and systems at the time of the inspection; and
ii) non-invasive inspection and testing; and
d) minimum reporting requirements.
This Standard applies to both site-built and factory-built (i.e., prefabricated) dwellings including, but not limited to, all or part of
a) detached and semi-detached dwellings;
b) townhouses; and
c) duplexes, triplexes, and other dwellings in multi-unit buildings.
1) Dwellings in multi-unit buildings can be owned (e.g., as in a freehold, condominium unit, strata unit, or co-op) or rented by the occupants.
2) In this Standard, a condominium unit, strata unit, or co-op does not include portions of the building owned in common with other owners. These items may also be included in an inspection and employ this Standard by contractual agreement (see Annex A).
3) Although this Standard is for the inspection of the dwelling and associated property, some properties can include one or more ancillary buildings or structures. These may also be included in an inspection and employ this Standard by contractual agreement.
This Standard does not apply to
a) qualification, competency, or certification of individuals conducting a home inspection;
b) inspection of industrial, commercial, or institutional buildings; or
c) common elements in condominiums, strata plans, etc.
Note: Common elements in condominiums, strata plans etc., may be included in an inspection by contractual agreement and employ this Standard (see Annex A).
In this Standard, shall is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the Standard; should is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required; and may is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the Standard.
Notes accompanying clauses do not include requirements or alternative requirements; the purpose of a note accompanying a clause is to separate from the text explanatory or informative material.
Notes to tables and figures are considered part of the table or figure and may be written as requirements.
Annexes are designated normative (mandatory) or informative (non-mandatory) to define their application.
In this Standard, the terms as/where appropriate and where/if/as applicable are used. When a requirement is qualified by one of these terms, it is deemed to be appropriate or applicable, as the case might be, unless the organization or individual can document a justification otherwise.