GROW-OP COVER UP | Originally broadcast January 8, 2010 on CBC-TV
Can you trust your home inspector?
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Looking for a new home? Most people call up a home inspector to check it out. It may look like a nice home in a nice neighbourhood, but it could it be hiding big secrets.

As Erica Johnson reveals, many Canadians are buying patched-up houses that disguise evidence that they were former grow-ops.

If not properly cleaned up, it can lead to six-figure repair bills, like mold, structural and electrical problems. In some cities, when police bust a grow-op, they contact the municipality to make sure it's cleaned up before it goes to market. But our research reveals that doesn't happen across the country. And even when it does, it doesn't always protect consumers. Most grow operations go undetected by police.

So we team up with contractor Mike Holmes to put home inspectors to the test. Will they spot the glaring signs of a former grow-up?
Posted on January 8, 2010 CommentBookmark, Email & Share
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Former MGO's in Ontario are subject to an Order to Comply and Make Safe, or some times refered to Order to Remedy Unsafe Building. This is normally issued to the owner of the property at the time (person, bank, etc) by the Bylaw office of the municipality they are in and placed on the property title. ESA, once aware, will order a disconnect to the hrdo. To reinstate, an Indoor Air quality clearance is required to be issued by a professional engineer, a certified industrial hygienist, or a registered occupational hygienist, NOT a home inspector ! In addition, most municipalities Bylaw Enforcement Office issue orders to provide pre and post remediation reports issued by a professional Engineer. Home inspection is an unregulated, un-enforced industry in Ontario, some inspectors look attractive because they charge $150.00 for an inspection, then people realize why after its too late ..

Due Diligence

your server is slow or something, all these shows take forever to load and its frustrating.

Lets not forget that poor code enforcement on new construction and temperate environments will saturate a home with water in less than 10 years. Regardless of its use as a grow facility.

Cheers to anyone bold enough to renovate. Better yet, build your own, and grow it too!!

Wow Holmes was told in advance that the place was a grow-op and then amazingly he discovered evidence that it was a grow up. I'm sure if the other home inspectors had also been told like Mike Holmes had in advance that it was previously a Grow Op they would have found it too.

A better test would have been to not tell Mike Holmes anything and ask him to inspect the house and see if he really discovered it.

The fact is you can have moisture in your attic for any number of reasons (e.g. a kitchen or bathroom vent that improperly vents into the attic) so it's not at all obvious that moisture in attic = grow up.

Good thing my parents bought a brand new house several years ago. I commend CBC Marketplace for shows like these.

Legalize it and your problem is solved.

I wasn't able to catch the show, but I am eager to help inform people of the health problems mould can cause. We purchased a 4 year old home and after living in it for 14 months and becoming progressively more ill, we discovered an extensive mould problem due to something that was missed in the building process. We were slowly being poisoned by the toxins let off by the mould which was hidden behind the walls and let off no smell or visible signs. It has taken us 10 months to remediate the problem and well over $100 000 (almost more than 1/2 the purchase price).

My young children's bodies have been scarred from tearing their skin off as a result of reacting to the airborne toxins from the mould and have developped a hypersensitivity to moulds now and are both on inhalers. Dr. Croft in the U.S. is researching a possible link between SIDS deaths and mould. Very scary hypothesis!

Caveat emptor

Legalize pot and let them grow legally, that would greatly reduce these issues.

The fact that any Tom Dick or Harry can be a home inspector is a problem. Obviously the majority are not qualified to perform a proper home inspection. These aren't the first home inspector horror stories out there. The most unfortunate part is that there is no accountability.

Why is it that when other working professionals are in charge of public health and safety, are accountable for their actions or inactions and these home inspectors are not?
In Ontario
Lawyers have LSUC
Doctors have CPSO
Engineers have PEO
to name a few

As a first time home buyer I'd just like to say that I'm 1) scared, and 2) of the position that there needs to be changes

I can't believe the amount of people denouncing Mike Holmes for saying that there is something wrong with the industry.

What would you suggest? That everyone just keep their mouth shut and let incompetent inspectors keep running around and costing unsuspecting home buyers thousands of dollars and their health.

The only way things can improve is if the public knows there is a problem and enough pressure is placed on the system to force it to change.

Honestly it's terrifying, I have several family members who are allergic to mold and have severe asthma, buying one of these homes would likely land them in the emergency room if not worse.

Mike might not be perfect, but he has many positives and tries to do his best. How many people out there would like to make a difference, but in the end do nothing. Not Mike. There needs to be serious changes made in the H.I industry in order to ensure a quality inspection. We do not need to rewrite the book, as if you don't follow it in the first place how is that going to make a difference. We need to have more ways to weed out the bad who are playing on the system. How can someone inspect a house, when they don't know what they are looking for. How can we change things, Mike is taking things in the right direction, public knowledge. Second, is to have inspectors who have the know how on how to spot problems, to inspect, not just a degree. Third is to have some type of government regulations with exams. Keep preaching the good word Mike I'm sure your making a difference,EYE OPENER

I love Mike Holmes. The segment on Grow ops was great. My problem is I need a lot of work done on my home, but I don't trust anyone because of Mike. Watching his shows all these years has made me suspious of almost all tradespeople and the havoc they cause these unsuspecting homeowners.

It’s buyer beware, the term “Registered Home Inspector” is misleading as as being the highest level of education. In Ontario, the highest level of training and education for home inspectors is obtained through some colleges.

I want to review Mike Holmes inspection contract to see what kind of inspection cover in his agreement. Bet you all it the same as anyone. NO GUARANTY/WARRANTY too .

let's face it, most home inspectors work for the realtor, not the home buyer. an agent can give a home inspector more work in a good month than a homeowner will in a lifetime.

so it's in the inspector's interests not to "rock the boat" by finding too many faults and scaring the buyer out of the deal. and real estate agents usually "play it smart" by recommending inspectors who won't spoil their deal.

when i bought a house, i hired an inspector who was recommended by friend, not a realtor, who stands behind his findings (paid for repairing a fault that he missed, well in excess of his inspection fee). the fact that my realtor was uncomfortable with using him was also a good sign.

when hiring a home inspector, ask them if they have ever "messed up" a sale, or been sued by a real estate agent.

If I was selling a house, the last person I would want to see coming in to do a home inspection is Mike Holmes. First, he has not provided me with any credentials to prove his qualifications other than being an actor. Second, after he finishes tearing up the carpet and bashing in walls to search for problems (which by the way is not allowed for qualified home inspectors) who will pay for the repairs to return the home to it's previous state. Mike Holmes provides a service to the public to beware of unscrupulous people via television, end of story.
By the way, when he mentioned that home inspectors simply had to write a quick online test to become qualified, I knew he had been totally misinformed. The home inspectors qualification course involves the study of 10 home system modules (45 hours study time)which is broken down into 34 one hour exams online. Try it Mike, might learn something

Inspectors average an hourly wage of about $150.00. Pretty good wage for not being held responsible for poor job performance.

($300. and up for approx. 2 hours of work?-wow!)

When the police raid a home grow op, can they not immediately have the Dept. of Health condemm the home?
I would feel bad if the owner was renting the house out and had no idea that his tennants were doing this, but if it is actually the home owner operating the grown op, then he deserves to lose the house and any future profits from the sale of the home.

Home inspectors are a joke. They are all terrible.

The home disclosure statement is not a legal document so you are allowed to lie on it. If you grew pot in your house and you say you didn't on the disclosure statement yet it is proven that you did grow, you will not be punished.

This happened with my parents where they bought a $530k home and it was leak city the first time it rained. On the disclosure statement it said that they never had leaks when in fact the previous home owner (a real estate agent - go figure) had told my mother they had had leaks.

The whole industry is corrupt, from the builders/contractors, to the real estate agents to the inspectors. They are all out to rip you off...

I have been watching your show tonight on a Mike Holmes and your story on home inspectors implying that there is some sort of big problem in Home Inspectors being negligent in not identifying mold issues. I have absolutley no problem with saying that the story is negligent journalism.
The first issue is that Holmes is a self promoting business that in his regularly on TV episodes is not in complience with wearing legally mandating safety equipment such as a hard hat that every construction worker has to HAVE!!
Second is that the whole episode is staged for sunsational effect when the truth is that the percent of homes being bought that were previously grow opps is so infentesible as to be irrelevant.
Third is the fact that the previous existence of mold does not mean that there is any danger to a new owner because the humidity conditions of a grow opp are removed and the mold will die

Great show??? My question is why does our gov. not step in and automatically "BRAND" a home that has been a grow op and insure that it's been properly dealt with and repaired before it's allowed occupancy. They do it with ridiculously minor car accidents involving far less repercussions than the most significant investments that a person may ever make. I don't support the home inspectors in these cases but the real criminals are the authorities that allow these places to just slip back into the system without any "RED FLAGS" being automatically attached. The city can't dig up a street without setting up barriers and pylons around the hole, so how is it that people can poison a living space and all who know about it can just walk away and say "it's not my problem"

since there seems to be a problem with these homes and with the problem of home inspectors, the cities where these homes are located must institute a practice of either making the home owner of the property repair the damage prior to sale or demolish the home totally to protect the innocent purchaser

I agree with Mike Holmes that the industry has to be regulated & cleaned up. Home Inspectors have to expected to fulfill certain educational standards, & they need a Code of Ethics. Mike Holmes should be the first to show that he lives by some Code of Ethics. Not PROMOTING his Holmes on Holmes Home Inspection Company, by trashing all Home Inspectors. Now I would say that is UNETHICAL. I am surprised that CBC allowed that.
The other problem is if the Home Inspector deems the house was a suspected grow-op & the sale falls through they could get sued by the seller.
Mike Holmes is more interested in promoting Mike than cleaning up the industry as is quite evident by the contracting industry he has been trashing for years, and now home inspection.

The signs will change.

While I support Mike's efforts as a consumer advocate and while I have the utmost in derision for realtors in general and while i have yet to know of a satisfied recipient of a home inspection.....Mike is missing these points.
Bringing fresh air to the bottom of a woodstove doubles the heat sensibility by bringing makeup air from the basement not door and window cracks.
A spray from a pop bottle will leave a black mold stain on rafters mike claims was a non sequitor and he seems to be very cogent regarding grow-ops...maybe the police should be publishing the 'signs' because just like airline insecurity...the signs will change as the growers get wise to what is getting them busted.

Keep up the good work though, this is addendum not critisism.

I can't believe the horror stories about house inspectors!
People who have a problem with mold need to know that there is an efective "home remedy", namely a strong bleach solution. The important thing is to be sure to find and treat all the locations that are moldy.

It seems a great deal of folks on here are slamming Mike Holmes... wrong. I'm a victim of a bad RHI who I hired to ensure there was no water damage to a property because the shingles on the roof were shot. He said and I'm quoting him here "i couldn't belive there was no water in that attic.." well water usually runs downhill where I come from.. maybe he should have looked around the basement since it's what I paid him to do. Not only didn't he look there he apparently as he said when I called him back " I didn't look there, and I didn't look there, and I didn't look there." So Mr. Holmes is quite accurate as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't waste a penny on a home inspector under the Ontario Home Inspectors current guidelines. The Home Inspector course can be taken on-line.. cute. An electrical review is about 1/2 the cost of a $300 home inspection and includes a quote for deficiences

perhaps it's time for those of us who were taken by Home Inspectors to head up a class action suit against those people who educate or license them - the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors and or their provincial boards... From the show I'm not the only one left stuck with a giant bill. The home you showed in BC has nothing on what my toxicology reports said...76% mold spore content...

Having made a complaint to the OHIA I found it went no where... they said it was my fault because I did not attend the inspection - they said it was my fault because I used the content of his written report at the basis of my complaint... well sure I could have because if his report was accurate and thorough I wouldn't have a reason to complaint. Now 180K into a home I paid $154K for due to the mold and water damage, wiring (rats), and major plumbing issues that my inspector said "I didn't look there" as his excuse for not noting the damage... I have to sue him - well I did - 6 years ago... still awaiting a trail date... the real issue here is there is no question he has liability but the consumer has to sue the inspector - well actually it's his insurance company since they have no legal, legislative or ethical oblication on a third party claim to actually pay up... welcome to Canada.

Mike Holmes has some very valid points concerning home inspectors. However,he is always missing how home inspections are performed and that we have a Standards of Practice to follow and a Code of Ethics. Mike is always advertising his way and his company. Carson Dunlop,the forerunners of home inspections, provides comprehensive courses at community colleges. Home inspections do not require an engineer unless structural problems are evident, nor does it require a license in the trades as he advocates. My company does not use check list reports, we take digital photos, comprehensive report and a Home Reference Manual. It is a pity that Marketplace chose such
incompetent home inspectors to represent our industry. Instead of focusing on home inspectors we should be focusing on the people who refer the inspectors and price seems to matter, pity.

This had about the same flavour as a recent FOX Network late-night program in which the participants made a lame attempt at lampooning the Canadian Armed Forces, based upon a single remark made by one officer regarding a lack of resources. It would have been more helpful if Marketplace had made an effort to distinguish between legitimate certificate holders and untrained amateurs. But what we got instead, is Mike Holmes implying that homebuyers should avoid home inspectors because they're all idiots, and instead hire HIM. Where on earth did the CBC dig up those home inspectors anyway. That was waaay too silly. Stack the deck with four ringers, edit the heck out of a nervous volunteer exec's statement and voila! Sleazy TV. How 'bout CBC-FOX Network. That's got a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Mike Holmes is a BIG KNOW IT ALL. Yes the fireplace was a big red flag, as were the patches in the ceilings. Mold can be in the attic and that is NOT an automatic GROW UP conclusion. Home Inspectors don't pull up carpets or pull down drywall. If Mike Holmes was a certified Home Inspector he would know that and would have stated that in this one sided show.

CBC you should not be putting all your eggs in Mike Holmes' basket. He is really to full of himself and your show was so one sided the TV fell over.

Excellent show!
Government should have a list of grown-op houses, but home inspectors should be able to find out too, especially for the ones not busted, home buyers are counting on their home inspectors. I am willing to pay more for better services, more importantly, peace of mind.

The term “Registered Home Inspector” is misleading as as being the highest education as mentioned on CBC Marketplace. In Ontario, the highest level of training and education for home inspectors is obtained through some colleges, approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities. The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors has a mix of “registered” members from low quality education to high quality education. Much of the money the association collects may in fact be from registered members of the low-quality educational courses. An audit of the association should reveal interesting facts of this mess that Mike Holmes has presented. By the way, Mike Holmes is a hero!

First of all, as a professional real estate broker, it is my goal to find the right home for the buyer, not to sell them something. I blog all the time about the "tell tail" signs to look for. I bring inspeciton equipment during walk throughs/home viewings as a sort of pre-inspection for my client. Am I a professional carpenter/mold remediator/Mike, but I am skilled enough to find those signs that something is not right. I have even been told I am the first rep that has ever talked someone out of a sale. Well I need to sleep at night! I hate it when our reputation is tarnished because of comments during TV shows such as this. As another "poster" commented on here, there are the good and the bad in every profession.
Secondly, we are under a Code of Ethics which prevent us from telling you who to use as a home inspector, but I am not afraid to tell you WHO NOT to use!

im an american and i think mike holmes does a hell of a job he is a very honest good man we need more people like him in this world

News shows seem to miss the point a lot these days and do not spend the time investigating a story. Marketplace I am sorry to say has done the same.
I heard that Mike Holmes owns his own inspection company yet does not do any of the home inspections. He is just the front guy, doing the media work.
That Glen Gogal ... who embarrassed every hard working home inspector out there should not have been put on the air. I heard some of the members of his group actually work for the Mike Holmes inspection company. Marketplace how could you miss that. Mike Holmes insulting the home inspectors that might even be working for him.
Marketplace, please do an indepth show on grow-ops - all aspects including real estate agents, the police and how this information can be put on title & be available to the buyers before they buy. We need your help because if we wait for government it will never happen.

Let's get one thing perfectly clear. There are "the good, the bad,and the ugly!" in every profession out there. Whether you are a Home Inspector, contractor, mechanic, teacher, doctor, lawyer,CBC Reporter, Mall Santa, will always have a wide ranging level of skill, knowledge, profesionalism, within "any" group or trade. Although Glen Gogle could have presented himself and his Association better, I still feel the CBC did an "awful!" job on properly presenting both sides of the story. I feel the Association for Home Inpsectors whould be given equal time to properly present their organization and it's membership. That episode had "Mike Holmes Promo" written all over it!

First of all Mike Holmes is a Brand and the shows are one sided for entertainment purposes. The inspectors should have caught the signs of a grow op and some people should not give interviews unprepared. It is assumed here that all Grow=ops are illegal in nature, what about people who setup to grow tomatoes or violets, all legit but destructive to the interior of a home, easily hidden after the fact. You can't take a one sided snapshot of Home Inspectors, a small piece of a puzzle, hold it up, run around with it and cry out that Home Inspections don't work. I hope people are smarter than that. Mike Holmes, please keep up the fine Home Inspection business because the longer you do it the higher it drives inspection costs and that's going to be good for Home Inspectors profits everywhere!

Perhaps someone should question Mr. Holmes about his credetials. I think that we, as a whole, give too much credibilty to a person or business because they have a TV show. I'm sure that Mr. Holmes is a qualified contractor and very skilled but shame on him for gaining credibility by abusing apparent unqualified inspectors. I agree that the public should be cautious choosing an inspector because at this time, other then BC, there is no regulation. I think what bothers me most about Mr. Holmes is that he makes the home purchaser think that the inspector is allowed to open walls and move furniture and lift 'kicked in' carpets. The code of ethics and standard practices prevent inspectors from performing such tasks. Mr. Holmes, what goes around comes around. My warning to very careful. Funny how behaviour, such as yours, has a way of being corrected. Good luck.

Although Mr. Holmes had a few valid points with regards to this Dope House program, which by the way took place in Ontario, he continues in his ignorance to paint all Home Inspectors with the same brush. This was well apparent in Dec when he was the guest on CBC Radio from Halifax on how to select a '' GOOD'' inspector.He should have stuck with his shows old name Holmes On Holmes because the name Holmes Inspection has little or nothing to do with how an actual Home Inspection is performed on Canada. We do not tear out walls , ceilings or foundations to do an inspection, this show is giving the public the wrong picture and false expectations about the Home Inspection Industry, and should be stopped.He has with enough sponsor money elevaded himself to the ''all knowing guru of everything attached to home ownership and construction'',mainly because the average home owner is not knowledgable

If the Air Quality test turned out to be Ok, then whats the problem ? It is the air that we breath that is the concern, but not the lead painted walls or urea off-gasing. Next time the CBC should engage Sledge-Hammer Inspections and we could start with a CBC home and see if any house the try to sell, would. Hindsight by Mr Homes is always a 100%

The public, homebuyers should have access to grow-op houses whether it be signs to look for, and/or busted homes. This is a risky area of concern. Who is going to make this pubic and available on the internet?


No question this was a one sided show. Really Surprised. You have hurt the home inspection industry across Canada and I think that is a shame. That Gogal fellow & the other 4+1 inspectors real hurt your profession.
As a real estate agent, I try to encourage my clients to get a home inspection, and think every one buying a home should have one, no ifs ands or buts. Shop around get a good one, if your looking for cheap then thats what you get. Looking for a fast inspection - 2 hrs, thats what you get. To me, recommending a good inspector improves the chance for further good PR for the work I do. They mentioned licencing of home inspectors, totally the wrong move, it lowers the standards for the profession and lets substandard home inspectors into the field. What ever you do when you are buying a home, get a home inspection (not the cheap, uneducated ones). Agents always do!

Heard from a friend, M. Holmes was at a Calgary Conference for home inspectors. They supposedly paid him 10,000 for the appearance. Did he cut up home inspectors then? If it is such a awful profession, why did he start his own.
Mr. Gogals simplistic answers is an insult to all home inspectors. He was not prepared & the interview was humiliating to all dedicated home inspectors out there who put the interest of their customers first & are doing their job.
Asked what action he would take, Gogal's replied: "I can send out an email to our membership saying that this is the scenario, and it was four out of four, so like heads up and pay attention." What a joke, if I was a home inspector I would not let this unprofessional speak for me ever.
Did he email his group about grow-ops? After all Gogal's reply "Because you never came to us before to suggest it" Does not sound promising. WOW!

1) was each inspector investigated to find out if their creditals were accurate, like the engineer was?
2) How much did each home inspection cost?
3) Did the show only pick cheap home inspectors, what was the criteria?
4) How long was each inspection, 1 hour or 4?
5) Were the reports professional looking?
6) Did that Glen Gogal even know what a grow-op is?

My home inspector did an excellent job for me, he found so many items, took the time to explain things to me. I think if he did the inspection he would have found it.

Feel sorry for my home inspector if he is part of that Glen Gogal capi group, he was an embarassment to the home inspection profession.

When I was looking for a home, the sellers stated that it had been renovated... you think great, new and improved.
But is it?
A lot can be hidden behind a wall as we saw in the BC home. Mike mentioned the ceilings being patched but what if the entire ceiling was redone, who can see behind that. Home inspector or a potential buyer?
Mike mentioned the fireplace but what if the home had none.
My point is, sellers can hide a number of issues behind a wall or ceiling and how can anyone except for superman see it.
Home inspectors have gotten stuck holding all the blame. Yet home inspectors are one of the few resources the buyer has to help them make a wise purchase.

I agree with David Steeves and ask the same question
"I thought we knew that assets used in illegal activity were taken by the crown.
All your examples dealt with houses that were part of a criminal investigation.
How did these houses get back on the market? "
What I see is, a criminal owns a boat, it gets seized.
But when the BANK owns the home(a mortgage), THE BANK WOULD LOSE ITS INVESTMENT, THE HOUSE DOES NOT GET SEIZED and the unsuspecting buyer gets caught.
The laws protect banks, not the taxpayers. Rob a bank you get 15 yrs., child molester get 5 yrs..

Yes, grow ops are an anomaly in the real estate market. Privacy laws forbid disclosure of the house history unless you watch the news and make note of the address. Dave Mahoney lawyered up when asked about his inspection practices, given the lawsuit(s) he is facing. But keep this in mind, folks. Mike Holmes' show appears only on Ontario, Canada, work sites. You don't see him fixing homes in the NW Territories, BC, Manitoba, Labrador or the Rock - are there issues with going Canada-wide? Ontario's building code does not apply to all of Canada.

Good show and informative on just some things to look for when buying a home. I have been a Realtor for over 29 years and always recommend a home inspection but not all inspectors can identify a grow op. There is a list available for registered grow ops with the RCMP for those of you who are interested. All grow ops can't be registered if they have not been busted so be wary of shopping for a home on your own. Realtors MUST DISCLOSE every negative aspect of every property and not all Realtors are the same so find yoursef a reputable Realtor and happy house hunting.
If you buy a grow op privately...GOOD LUCK on suing the owner. The properties are usually rented and the grow ops are operated by the tenants.

Perhaps police departments should distribute a monthly list of all houses busted as grow ops to all realtors and home inspectors. That way potential purchasers can be informed.

Extract the evidence, and then bulldoze the entire structure !! Protect the public from the peoples who are JUST in it to make a buck (this includes politicians, most realtors, and upper crust management) ignoring the health of the (usually) unwary consumer !

This show missed the whole point. Why is the government agencies not setting up a public web site for grow-op houses. Or even better, once the house has been raided & charges have been laid, the info should be attatched to the title of the home & after all repairs are done & checked by a city inspector & air quality specialist, all of it documented on the title. This information should by law be disclosed to the possible buyer & the info remain on the title forever just like a car. Why is this not happening? Is it the government protecting banks & home insurance investments not the tax payers. How can these grow-op homes be put on the market, when banks & home insurance know about it. Don't these companies have to disclose this information? Should it not be part of the real estate agent's job? A couple bought a home, tried to get home ins.,ins. knew & told the couple. No prior disclosure

As was said on the show we have Licencing in BC and you saw how well that turned out, the inspector missed the Grow-op. No extra benefit from the licencing at all. It was even stated on the show, the only recourse is to sue.

There are the good, the bad, and the ugly in every profession, be it doctors, lawyers, or auto mechanics.

I watched the show, they didn't seem to be insulting the five home inspectors involved but the whole profession and calling them a waste of money and incompetent. Except for Mike Holmes Inspection Company, the shining light.

I have never seen Marketplace do this before. If they went after a contractor, they tried to talk to that contractor. But this show, really vindictive and sad.

It is hard enough to buy a home these days, with real estate agents pressuring buyers to buy and forgo a home inspection, & marketplace is agreeing with them.

What is the point of having an inspector anyways now? I mean, clearly they are not doing their job. It's not that they are bad inspectors, I imagine some are but it's more likely that when they were taught they weren't taught correctly.

It should be law to make sure that all home inspectors are licensed and informed of new problems all the time.

A Realtor who sold you the house should be bound to refer a licensed Home Inspector into your house before you purchase it. As well, there should be some sort of way to get your money back.

Plus, when I go to buy a mattress that is advertised to have the very best cushion inside, I want that. I don't want to lie down on bricks...that's false advertising. It's the same thing.

Great advertising for the New Mike Holmes Home Inspection Franchise with his $1500 inspections when the norm is $300 to $400. Maybe business is slow at those prices or maybe the sellers won't let him in, they don't want him lifting their carpets.

Big fan of Marketplace but the show on Grow-Ops had NO journalistic integrity. It was an infomercial for the Mike Holmes Home Inspection Company. How can he be impartial if he owns his own Home Inspection Company. Even though he never mentioned his own company, it is big news that he has one. The show did not even touch on the real issue - there should be a registry set up either by the police department or Govt. Services on every raid of Grow-Op houses. But there isn't. Why are they protecting the criminals instead of providing protection for the innocent buying public.
What does a home inspector make $200-$400 while the Real Estate agent makes TENS of THOUSANDS & the Seller walks away with HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS. I had a home inspector when I was buying a home, he saved me from buying a real lemon.

After watching your Season Premiere program I am very concerned about Consumer Awareness. You may have found a few home inspectors that were unable to identify problem signs in a house. But this was a very slanted way of doing your research. Why didn't you have a group of 30 home inspectors go through a bait house set up. That would have been a more rounded way of looking at a profession.
It makes me wonder what other slants and misrepresentatin there was on your show.

Laura Montgomery

I don't get why that man im BC still had ownership of that house - he should have never been allowed to sell it. And shame on whomever robbed her of the $8,000 for the mold removal when it obviously wouldn't have done enough.

Sure, busted grow-ops should be flagged, but the inspectors need to know what to look for because not all grow-ops on the market have been busted.

Lets consider the message here. Forget grow ops for a second. I think grow ops were the focus because the damage they do is extreme and they should be easy to spot by virtually anyone, especially a "professional" who is being paid to inspect a major purchase.
Mike Holmes is trying to get a message out, that the home inspection system in Canada does not work.
How many thousands of homes are inspected where costly problems are missed ?
What is the use of hiring an inspector who stipulates that anything he/she misses is not his/her fault.
Would you pay a mechanic to fix your brakes when he stipulates he isn't providing any guarantee that the brakes will work ?
To the contributor that says Holmes is just promoting his home inspection business…. Do some research buddy.

They mentioned on the program that the inspector the home owners in Ontario hired was only at the home for around and hour. Sorry but it takes alot more than an hour to do a proper inspection. Did they check out the inspector or did they hire the one the agent recommened or the cheapest one they could find. I get alot of calls about home inspection and the first words out of the callers mouth is how much not what do you inspection and how long will it take and what type of report do you use and are you insured.All they want to know is how much. Buying a house is most likely the most exspensive purchase they will make and they want to cheap out on the cost of the inspection.

I have done over 30 inspections for the Seized Property Management Directorate (RCMP)just short time after the bust to determine the damage done to the property and repairs needed. Yes there is possible mould and defently some structral damage.
I also under stand that these grow ops are on a list which is made avalible to Real Estate Agents, but I'M not sure if Lawyers have access to this list, maybe they should.
I know first hand what type of damage these people can do to a house, but the poor unsuspecting and possibly unqualified inspector may not and the damage maybe missed or hidden from veiw.
Fortantly I have my own list of grow ops in my area an my coputer program I use will alert me to the fact I have been there before and gives me a heads up. But I will to have rely on my experiance if it's not on my list or info from agent.

Further to my last post, I wish to add that the Buyer's Agent must always attend the home inspection along with their Buyer. Realtors also are given the opportunity to take courses regarding detecting grow-ops. Further, a simple call to the local police - Freedom of Information Bureau - enquiring on a specific property ever being a grow-op is an ideal thing to do by the Seller's Agent, the Buyer's Agent and also the Buyer themselves. I have a call in to the Peel Regional Police to enquire further on this issue - and will report back with another post.
By the way, grow-ops are not just in Brampton, they are everywhere, in the finest of neighbourhoods, in apartments, in country properties and fields. So let's not tarnish the name of Brampton.

Having been a realtor, and currently studying to be a home inspector, I would like to mention a couple of things. First Mike Holmes had prior knowledge that the property was a grow op. He therefore knew what to focus on. Secondly, Mike has unlimited time and resorces. The average inspector gets about $350.00. He can't afford to spend more than a couple of hours per inspection. He also can't afford the thousands in specialised equipment that Mike Holmes has. Home inspectors do not remove carpet, or even move furniture. I agree that they should have noted that something was strange about the fire place, and that mold in the attic might be an issue. But I believe that if Mike hadn't been told that the home was a grow op, he wouldn't have come to that conclusion so quickly.

As a realtor of 17 years here in Brampton, my thoughts are that your show did a fine job showing what to look for in a grow-op home. Grow-op homes are all over the place. Realtors must disclose in writing if a home is or ever was a grow-op, or else they will risk being sued and losing their real estate license. This is an important reason why you should always use the services of a realtor to purchase a home vs. buying privately. As for home inspectors, I always give my Buyers a list of recommended home inspectors that my satisfied past clients used. That way the Buyer can interview a few and choose one of their liking.

Firstly this was a great program, and I'm not a fan of Mike Holmes. Alot of realtors have high prof standards and would not refer a client to a inspector "just to make the sale". We depend highly on referrals from our past clients. Most know if we don't sell the client that house, we'll sell another one.
By the way, realtors do know where to find if a house has been condemned by the health authority. If the house was never busted, its really hard sometime to tell if the renovation was done well. check out around the following;
1. look at the electrial panel real good.
2. look at the piping about the furnace and hot water heater if they have been tampered with.
3. look for loose w/w carpet...
4. walk around the house and look for loose ground and condensation along the roof line.

Realtors have seen alot, don't try buying a house on your own.

Makes one wonder if CBC Market Place has shares in the recently launched *Holmes Inspections* franchise...

The show was very good marketing for *Holmes Inspections*, not so good for the public and very bad for all home inspectors.

I have to say it is so good to see so many people see Mike Holmes for what he is. The media has made him a glorified contractor. He thinks he is the be all and end all of contracting. His stint on Dragons Den showed him for what he really is, a greedy individual who make money off of other peoples problems and ideas.

Who is this Mike Holmes I keep hearing about, is he an actual contractor or is he a paid actor that CBC has on the pay roll? I'm new to this country by I'm sure there must be thousands of homes that get submitted to this so called home inspection show and like all film, they would have to meet a certin criteria and would have to sign a contract. So how can we trust T.V. QUESTION WHAT YOU WATCH PEOPLE!

I find it ironic that a few real estate agents (REAs) throughout these threads have mentioned or inferred their Code of Ethics requires that they provide their client with three names of inspectors when requested. I have to wonder how much effort these REAs put into confirming the qualifications of these inspectors they refer and if their ethics requires them to provide names of unqualified inspectors as well as professionally qualified inspectors with industry standard credentials ie: Registered Home Inspector (RHI) and/or National Certificate Holder. All too often REAs (not all)are inclined to have the bottom line on their mind moreso then the interest of their client and pull in a wannabe inspector whose fees are an insult to the profession. Sooner or later these REAs will be before a judge next to their wannabe answering to negligent referral charges.

It seems like Mike Holmes has given every contractor in Canada A bad blessing,his show and attitude does not reflect on a good part of our industry.Who gave him the grace of god to bring his thoughts on canada?...Some contractors are not worth the paper they are written on,do not blast the whole country for a few problems.I have been in the industry for 25 years plus and never had a callback,maybe he should look a little at his work and not judge the rest of us.

I really am disappointed in the way the interview with Glenn Gogal was portrayed. He was interviewed for approximately 90 minutes. Obvioiusly, most if this ended up on the cutting room floor. They certainly used the worst to embelish their goal which certainly appears to be to tarnish all inspectors as incompetent. Glenn was definetly nrevous and did miss the mark about OAHI's grow-op education. As a province wide education based organization, multiple education opportunities are available to members throught the year on a multitude of topics including grow-ops. I would hope that all Home Unspectors agree with me that it's all about education. When we are not inspecting we are learning.
Why were we not informed who these inspectors were? How does hiding the faces protect the consumer? Has Marketplace become shock TV rather than consumer protection oriented?

On the January 8th CBC Marketplace piece, it was stated that home inspectors are not trained to recognize grow ops. I would like to inform you that in the province of British Columbia, CAHPI(BC) has not only been training its members on how to recognize grow ops, but in the last 5 years has travelled throughtout the province giving presentations to the real estate board, municipal governments, and lending organizations on how to recognize the signs of a grow op.

The purpose of this training is to increase consumer protection by assisting all facets of the home buying industry to recognize the signs of potential grow ups...

Wish I had caught the show, but I get the gist from the comments - incompetent home inspectors and the Realtors who recommend them. Fact is there are good and bad in all professions. As a Realtor myself, I've stopped recommending any Inspection company because even though we are cautioned to provide at least three, too many buyers choose to hire the cheapest of the lot. Sadly too, all buyers can't paint themselves as victims, they too are often sellers. I've found purposefully hidden issues in too many houses to suggest that some buyers who become sellers don't do the same.

Unfortunately TV shows have taught us that a Realtor is one who takes you through a house and points out the obvious- "this here is a kitchen" but a good one and a good inspector will be poking around under the sink with flashlight in hand while the buyer is busy eyeing the decor.

It seems to me that the main purpose of the Home Inspector is to provide legal protection for the seller and the real estate agent. They can use this insipid report to back-up their claims that they are not aware of structural deficiencies in the house and the buyer pays for this protection. Don't waste your money.

I think this would have been a more unbiased show if Mike Holmes had been asked to look at the home without being told it used to be a grow-op. He often comes off as being holier-than-thou on many issues. To have him come into the home and identify it as a grow-op would have put him on equal footing with the other inspectors. I wonder if Mike found issues that the other inspectors identified? Nothing about that in the report.

It is very interesting that at the time that Mike Holmes is starting up his own Home Inspection company he has chosen to besmirch the reputations of all reputable educated and diligent home inspectors whose only mandate is to inform,educate and ensure that their buyer/clients are fully aware of what they are buying. The fact that CBC chose to feature unidentified Grow Ops which are far and away the minority of homes inspected and to bring in incompetent inspectors to prove the point is unfair and missleading and puts all competent home inspectors in a negative light. As a Home inspector the majority of the leads I receive come from satisfied clients for whom I have done inspections.I bearin mind at all times that the real estate agent does not pay my fee and therefore my loyality is always to the client/home buyer.

Several points which should have been made in the Market Place presentation:
-home inspectors are not certified in Canada.Basically,the term 'certification' is bogus and means nothing.
-It's much different inspecting one or two systems in a home and being alerted what to look for in advance. HIs do not have this option and are expected to cover all major home systems in the allotted time, and not just one or two issues.
-CAHPI members are not permitted to dismantle systems within the home; pre-explain that they do not comment on mould or other hazardous materials; and are often inspecting a home which does not belong to their client.
-Few home buyers would pay the extra for inspection times beyond 3 or 4 hours, infrared testing, etc.
-Home owners would not permit destructive testing within their homes.
-HIs are expected to do it all for less than $500 and within a few hours.

I live in Kelowna, BC and get Channel 23 CBCNN, CTVBC Channel 5 and CBUT Channel 5. I missed Marketplace shown on CBCNN Friday night When it be repeated please? Thank you.

We are the victims of a grow op home in Cowichan Bay, BC. Having moved here from Denmark, we feel that the home inspector system here should be socilaized, as in, it should be a federally approved inspector. In Denmark, the inspection report is much more thorough and the report is mandatory for the SELLER to complete before the sales contract can be completed. In BC we were given a name of an inspector by our real estate agent - a mistake, since the agent obviously has a keen interest in selling the house - to get her commission! It is also mandatory in Denmark for seller and buyer to aggree to pay half each for a "change of ownership insurance" which should protect against anything that the home inspector missed. These stipulations certainly protect the consumer more than the free-for-all it is in Canada.

Im many cases the real estate agent will recommend a home inspector that they use and feel is good at their job. This can be a major conflict of interest since the agent is interested in selling the home and the inspector is not going to get repeat business from the agent if they do not pass a home. We have used inspectors on the last three houses we bought and sold only to find they missed major problems every time. Unfortunately their contracts in Ontario basically allow them to walk away from responsibility. Many home inspectors know the agents butter their bread not the buyers.


The last thing homebuyers should be thinking about is huge lawsuits when they are led to believe that they are under the good advise of self-proclaimed "Professionals". There should not BE any imbalance in the consequences when these "professionals" are negligent and incompetent. Purchasing a home is likely the single largest investment that one will pursue in their lifetime. The consumer should be dealing with formally educated business people prior to and DURING the transaction, not after.

Could you go to the police office to verify if your home is grow-up before you buy it since inspectors can't tell?

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What good is leaving a post that can be edited, or perhaps not posted at all. Why is this editing done? Seems like maybe something might come up which CBC is afraid of and will need protection from. Where has investigative journalisim gone? Any fool can report what someone else says. None of the mould found was identified to the viewer as to what spores are found. I am curious as to what moulds exactly were found.

every street everywhere has a grow-op then we should be talking about making it legal. remember moonshine made in the bathtub. it is a plant that should be grown without fear.

If these houses are busted by cops or RCMP, why in the hell are they not flagged! After they are properly repaired of mold and electrical problems, and properly inspected as a previous grow house, only then should they be put on the housing market. The law is part blame.


All the houses are "flagged" that are caught and the information is passed along to the city or towns health department who conduct an inspection. The home is usually condemed until repairs are made and the house is re-inspected. However, the problem is the undected grow-ops that people move into.

How did the house in Brampton get on their radar? can you contact local police or some other agency to find out if there has been a grow-op that has been busted in a house for sale? besides home inspections, is there any other protection to help home buyers avoid these money pits?

Every homebuyer would be prudent to evaluate & qualify a home inspector they hire.
Some simple & effective screening criteria:
1)Do they carry General Liability Insurance?
2)Do they carry Errors & Omission Insurance?
3)How much experience do they have?
4)What kind of training & experience do they have?
5)Are they certified? If so, what does their certification mean? Did it come from a simple internet test or is certification based on rigorous requirements & independently accredited like the American Society of Home Inspectors certification?
6)What, if any standard of practice do they base their inspection?
7)How long will inspection take?
8)Can the buyer attend?
9)How do they present their reports? pics?
10)What kinds of tools and techniques do they use?
11)Check the Better Business Bureau for adverse reports?
12)Look for personal referrals other than Realtors'

Grow Houses…yeah those “inspectors” were real clowns. The Kelowna inspector type is generally in great demand by agents who like quick sales.
Inspectors have been trained to get in and out of an inspection in under 2.5hrs, 4hrs Maximum. Agents train inspectors by their referral choices.
Any suggested list of inspectors is a carefully selected choice of team players.
Agents are just overly trained sales people, the moment you walk in the door you set in motion a scripted play, yes, you are getting played.
Do your own research, look for inspectors who spend at least one day.
36hr inspection turnaround would describe me but I’m biased.
Look for Report Samples and Posted Fee schedules.
Yup you are getting played by just about everyone, wouldn’t it be nice if someone was on your side.
Ted Gilmour in Vancouver

I watched that Mike Holmes on CBC Market place about the grow-ops. Well first of all let me tell you I took the first part of home inspectors course at BCIT BLDG 2915 House Inspection 1 and I learned one thing first I spent about 1500 dollars on this joke only to find out I could write the test for fifty dollars on the internet. Also the people that list these homes Real Estate people are the ones that brought in this deal. But the reason they did it was to cover their own butts and how long do you think that home inspector will be working if he keeps killing home sales. And why don’t the police issue a list to real estate companies on grow-op homes. Why not?

Because they will be told to mind their own business! I learn one thing for sure that you’re a fool to become a home inspector that’s for sure a walking law suit. .And Mike Holmes makes me laugh I worked for thirty years in the construction industry and he always talking about building better then code nice fantasy but hardly feasible when the first thing the Owner says is how cheap can you build it . Or no I do not need a building permit because my relatives will be living in the basement suite. Knowing full they plan on renting out the basement suite for a thousand dollars a month without paying tax’s on it. And why can you if you are purchasing a new home not contact the police and ask for a rap sheet on the house and have them provide it or have the city provide it.

To what standards should the public hold home inspectors?

It boils down to one of economics versus competency. Would you pay $25,000 to a home inspector and the cost of repairs to open walls and tear out flooring, like Mike Holmes did. Or $400 for an inspection, that highlights the most common faults of a home?

If you're home inspector told you not to buy the home because he says that it was a "grow op" and later on you find that it never was. Would you sue him because you lost out in buying the home? Do you think the seller should sue him, because his statement that the home was a grow op cost them the sale of a home.

How about being called into a home by a person that has owned the home for a couple of years and you see signs of a potential grow op, do you turn to him and accuse of being a dope dealer? And if he is, do you expect to get out of the home unharmed?

Yes these inspectors missed the obvious or did not comment on the visible conditions accurately. One needs to be aware that whilst many inspectors maybe competent very few are trained in mould recognition let alone remediation. There are legal cases on record where inspectors have been held libel after informing clients of the presence of mould, the clients/homeowners paid thousands of dollars to remove only to find out the substances were not mould and because the inspectors were not experts in environmental/toxic substances were court ordered to pay the costs. CBC brought in four inspectors which is not a true representive number of qualified inspectors within the GTA. For any inspector without proper environmental credentials to definitively state a substance is mould is a recipe for a law suit. It was unfortunate that the CAHPI Nation President was not interviewed while CBC was in BC

If these houses are busted by cops or RCMP, why in the hell are they not flagged! After they are properly repaired of mold and electrical problems, and properly inspected as a previous grow house, only then should they be put on the housing market. The law is part blame.

I am of two minds regarding your show dealing with grow-ops and Home Inspectors. As a home inspector myself, I am deeply concerned with the number of bad inspectors out there. That said I can't help wondering how many inspectors went through that home in Brampton before you found four that have no buisness calling themselves Home Inspectors. The show went on to paint the majority of Home Inspectors with the same brush. As an inspector who has a building construction background, as well as being well trained in Home Inspection, I can't help feeling that Erica Johnson has done a terrible injustice to good Home Inspectors, Real Estate Agents and most importantly home buyers.

Alberta's new proposed legislation for licensing home inspectors requires passing a very difficult on-site test inspection (Test inspection by peer review - TIPR). Few new home inspectors pass it the first time. It would be interesting to see if Mike Holmes could pass one of Alberta's test inspections the first time. No one is allowed to have a buddy plumber or electrician tag along. The time limit is 2 1/2 hours not 2 1/2 days and all eight systems of the home have to be reported on.

Marketplace and Mike Holmes advertised for some time to find clients that were unhappy with their home inspection. To be fair and balanced should they not also have included some of the very happy and satisfied clients which constitutes the vast majority of clientele. Marketplace needs to show the other side of the story. Unfortunately there are still unqualified home inspectors in the industry and when legislation and regulation are in place the consumer will likely have many better qualified inspectors to choose from

Shame on Marketplace for doing a very unfair and unbalanced report on the home inspectors in Canada, painting them with a broad brush of incompetence and "gotcha" interviews. On the other hand Marketplace plugged the Mike Holmes new show , "The Home Inspector should have got this" program. Isn't it easy to find problems when you have been told what to look for? I am a past three term president of CAHPI Alberta (Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors) and am also one of Alberta's six test inspectors who oversee the practical testing of potentential new home inspectors.

This industry is relatively new and has had growing pains, but a lot of work by CMHC and CAHPI national has brought in a high standard of education and training and the majority of CAHPI home inspectors provide an excellent service for the consumer, they are well trained and educated.

Excellent to focus in on grow ops & home inspectors. Much work is obvioulsy needed here. BUT even if these issues are addressed, conflict resolution MUST be addressed. I do not believe the average homeowner has any possible concept of the shortcomings of the legal system when it comes to civil cases such as these. It can take years and tens of thousands of $$ even before reaching Discovery or Trial. The stress, the heartache and the sluggishness in the Judicial System combined by Inspector's Associations , Insurance Companies and the like having deep pockets, experience legal staff & an imbalance in the consequences places the Homeowner in a vunerable and weak position.

Tight regulations with consequences for the Inspectors & Insurance Companies is required

In reply to Anthony Hill - "I've done renos on former grow op houses. It mostly involves replacing a lot of drywall and sometimes wood Mold is usually treated by spraying it with bleach. I don't know if this is 100% effective but it seems to work."

You clearly have no idea what you are doing or talking about and shouldn't be in the business of renovating grow-ops! You are the reason Mike Holmes has a career uncovering botched workmanship.

Mould should never be treated with bleach. Bleach is nothing more than an oxidizer and only removes the colour from the mould, and it is inactivated by organic compounds (moulds). Mould can cause serious illness and death in people with compromised immune systems. You need to have your work area cleared by an environmental consultant before allowing anyone back into the space.

Get an IICRC certified company to handle your mould remediation.

This Comment is for Theresa Denton.
I'm sorry to hear about your house and what your going through and I hope this message reaches you. In regards to the cost of fixing the mold in your house, one option I can recommend is using closed cell spray foam insulation. What is good about closed cell spray foam insulation is that it acts as both air, vapor, and water barrier all in one. I have been currently looking into using this product to insulate my basement from dampness and after watching what you went through I thought that perhaps this product could help you with your mold problem by sealing it away. Perhaps you could look into this yourself it might be a more cost effective way of dealing with the problem. One other thing, to have a company come in and do the spray foaming can be costly but there are do it your self kit and from what I've been reading any one can use these kits.

Wow. Okay, I don't like Holmes, but wow. I've had a number of properties inspected and the Inspector always makes a point about how he can "only report on things that are visible". (So the bath tiles that fell off the wall because of moisture penetration weren't his fault, or he couldn't tell me about the snow covered roofs' condition)

This brings up a whole new can of worms. As a Realtor, I see people every day who either don't want an inspection at all (because its "too expensive") or decide to have a relative/friend inspect it instead.

Realtors have access to courses on how to recognize grow houses, so why aren't they mandatory for Inspectors

I really enjoy watching your program even though I am now living in the UK!
As I am a Canadian, I just love anything Canadian. I like watching Canadian presenters & I must say Canadian women are sweeter & prettier, although there are a few British woman presenters I like. But still I will take Canadian ladies anytime!

I am really disappointed that I cannot get the 5th estate all the time because of legal restriction! I did complain, but to no avail.

All the best to all of you at Market Place.

George Chang

People like you are what made this show happen because people like you are more worried about shows like Marketplace that expose rip-offs like you than to "educate the home buyer on what they have bought and what to expect for the next five years" NO HOME INSPECTOR TOLD ME THAT I WOULD HAVE TO ADMINISTER DRUGS TO MY CHILD FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS BECAUSE OF THE VISIBLE FLOWERING MOLD IN MY ATTIC THAT THE DUMB-A-- HOME INSPECTOR "COULDNT SEE"

Can you trust your home inspector? Well, going by this:
"she stated, for consumers to NOT use the home inspectors their Real Estate Agents recommend," I certainly trust them more than I trust Erica Johnson's advice. I'm a realtor and the people I recommend are very very good, technically. The worst idiot I dealt with had an engineering degree alright, but it had nothing to do with buildings: it was in aviation! And it showed, as he hadn't a clue. Perhaps one of Erica's advisees w2ill get this guy out of the telephone directory. Good luck.

Bingo! " Bad inspections" have been here for ever. This exposure is long over due. I have stories but more recently our son purchaced a 1946 house. He had not questioned the cement walls, but I immediatly recognized what used to be a cistern. He wondered why there was a heavily locked door cut into it. Upon entering, I counted six recepticals over a bench with water stains where pots sat. Now I'm wondering what we'll find in the attic.
Another blind inspection ? The Realtor said nothing!

I've done renos on former grow op houses. It mostly involves replacing a lot of drywall and sometimes wood Mold is usually treated by spraying it with bleach. I don't know if this is 100% effective but it seems to work. There may be other products for this. It would have been useful to discuss ways of dealing with the problems.
Holmes is a bit of a drama queen, but obviously knows his stuff.

I just watched your Season Premier tonight about Grow-ops and Home Inspections. I was flabbergasted and apolled. Who protects the buyer? I think there should be a national database that the RCMP has to post to when a Grow Op location has been found. That way, a search could be done just as if you were doing a title search on the property or a lein search on a vehicle prior to purchase. Further, if one is found, there should be a building inspection and pass required by the City indicating that the home is safe to live in. You need an inspection for new homes before you can occupy the building why not in this senario when it compromises health and finances?

The automotive industry had to deal with the issue of repaired write-offs too. The answer was a consumer searchable data base that flagged the vehicle as repaired salvage. This system isn't perfect but it seems better than relying on hundreds of independant inspectors.

Every property has a legal description, could those that bust grow-ops not flag the property in a searchable database rather than having sellers shop for the next "sucker"?

So we know Grow ops are unhealthy
I thought we knew that assets used in illegal activity were taken by the crown.
All your examples dealt with houses that were part of a criminal investigation.
How did these houses get back on the market? everyone including the neighbours knew they were unhealthy places.
Rather then ask inspectors to find a needle in a haystack, Why doesn't the crown who takes the asset burn/destroy the house , sell the lot and be done with it. Seems to me there is some laziness/greed out there in terms of the crown, first mortgage holders and realtors, all who stand to gain more from sliding the asset to the real estate market as a pristine home then a fee for service home Inspector. I like your story but I think you are after the wrong bad guy!
David Steeves

Wow, I am appalled at Home Inspector David Mahoney (and wife), in part for incompetence and not taking responsibility for blowing it. Saying "We're done" and ripping equipment out of the hands of journalists makes you look defensive - guilty - and doesn't change the facts about your botched job.

I have grown medical marijuana in my home,legally and safely , for several years now.
I have been through home inspections on two different occasions now and had my grow pass the inspection in our last home.
Although I have had the grow set up in the basement at times and done so safey, the last two homes we have lived at, have allowed us to have the grow itself, outside our house in another building.
We use only the best electrical connections and electricians and have backup safety precautions in place, like for instance a thermostat in the main room, that shuts the lights off if the room temp exceeeds 100 degrees.

Each light is on it's own breaker, we use BX (heavy duty) cables and we have fire extinguishers, C02 detectors and fire/heat alarms in the rooms with the lights in them.

The safety of both myself and my family is at stake, why take risks?

Home inspectors should all be required to have a ticket in a trade, either carpentry, electrician, or plumbing. Without certification in a trade how can they inspect a house when they have never built one?

The four inspectors selected by Marketplace were incompetent,
did not conform to standards of practice and did not
exercise duty of care.

Were these inspectors selected randomly?

Were any of these inspectors previously part of a Mike Holmes show ?
Did Mike have a part in their selection?

If you have the chance go to ...
to see a view of the relationship between Realtors and
home inspectors.

Good point Silvia!
The city, the police, the insurance company, the municipal health inspector, ESA, the listing agent and the listing broker all have access to this information but the buyer, the buyer's agent and the home inspector do not due to the privacy act.
And should a grow-op be sold with full disclosure, when it is resold, (possibly flipped) the seller is no longer legally obligated to disclose the house was a grow-op in the past!

It is too bad Market Place and Mike Holmes are more concerned about sensationalism and ratings instead of educating the public about what a home inspection is for! If you had asked those home inspectors what their job is and what their contract says you would have found out and the inspector would have told you that he is there to educate the home buyer on what they have bought and what to expect for the next five years! No Registered Home Inspector would say I am here to protect you because we are not!
In 1998 the police estimated that one in ten homes in the GTA was a grow-op and I used to inspect 4 grow-ops a month. Today I inspect maybe one grow-op a year.
I agree those home inspectors are not very experienced and missed obvious clues but I have to wonder the last time a show like this ran they went through 50 or 60 home inspectors before they found one that made a mistake!

Its time to ban marijuana so that way it will be eliminated. Also all houses that are used for drug labs should be demolished and the perpetrators should be billed for the clean up

A grow-op is a grow-op whether it is cannibus (or tomatos as on suggests) and the features are super extensive growing and stolen electricity and destruction of the home. When a grow-op is busted that home by law, whether it be municipal, provincial or national be marked in the register as having been a grow-op. It should be evident to the realtor and customer. Following the remediation and rebuilding, all necessary officials need to sign off before the house is made habitable again and ready for re-sale. Those who sign off put themselves, their bosses and departments responsible. The home inspector should be responsible for regular thing, structure, water leaks, etc related to the building, not the grow-op.

I watched Grow Op with interest given the negative picture it paints of home inspectors. The lack of understanding of mold and its seriousness alone was disturbing, but the presence of Mike Holmes added an unnecessary element of drama. One wonders if Mr. Holmes was aware that the home he inspected was a grow op before he went in. That would make the discovery of the concealed vent holes much easier.

This report has really opened my eyes and reminded me that MOST prople may be as corrupted as the ones who operate these grow-ups. Excellent reportage, my 2010 top pick for sure! Thanks CBC

To "Trump" and "Fire Inspector":

AMEN.. TRUMP. I could not have said it better.
To Fire are absolutely correct. Glad to see there is some intelligence out there....only those with doctorates are typically qualified with "professional" why on earth do we say that home inspectors and realtors are "professionals"?????

I bought a brand new house about 2 years ago and was looking to get it inspected by a house inspector this year for my 2 year anniversery. It becomes a comment of how to find a good inspector and be able to trust anything they have to say. No creditialing, no smarts ... no honesty. What about being able to do a criminal background search on property. These types of properties should be redflagged.

As a single mother who works long hours and loves and enjoys her job...

Who cares if you are a single mother? What does that have to do with home inspection?

Yes, home inspectors should be certified and we should be able to depend on them to point out potential problems. This is what they are paid for. But, what about the overall picture? A grow-op is discovered by the police/ city. The city is aware the house has been a grow-op. Why is the house not condemned by the city and made ineligible for resale until the city’s inspectors deem it to be fit for occupancy.

Thank you Francis for giving us insight with your posted comment.

Please Francis. Your scenario is all well and fine when the property has been "discovered" as a grow op. The authorities catch very few of these operations and close them down. The growers are smart, short term rental, grow, harvest and move on. That's where the cover up comes in...

Had anyone bothered to check the contracts of almost all home inspectors they would know air quality, including the presence of mold and asbestos in the home, are not items included under the inspection standards of any of the Canadian nor Us governing bodies. [Both ASHI/CAPI section 13.2 NBR 11 AND 12] That's not to say a reputable inspector should not report and recommend a sample be sent for laboratory testing, the only way to LEGALLY confirm the presence of toxic mold or asbestos, if and when they see something that raises suspicion. I can only add that having over thirty five years in the building and renovation industry I personally felt in order to service my future clients it was still necessary to take a home inspection course to be fully prepared.

In response to Stacy. I work as a fire inspector for a municipality and it is amazing how times we attend buildings in which purchasers have had a home inspection completed and where we find numerous problems. Problems which should have been obvious to anyone with a basic understanding. Many times these inspectors were recommended by their real estate agents. These "professionals" need to be licensed and posses basic skills and understanding. I think that is the jist of the comments by MarketPlace. Its just like the purchsers that we deal with that have relied on their agents when buying properties and have been mislead with claims such as "inlaw and granny suites" only to find out they can never rent them out. Its not Market Place that gives home inspectors or even real estate agents a bad name. Its the home inspectors which are doing it.

"give real estate agents a shady image"????

I believe that the Real Estate industry has done a fine job of making themselves appear shady all by themselves. Oh to be a monopoly...............

Ya tell me about this...We were left with a huge mess after We evcited our tenents because they were busted. Its just been devating for us. Im very sick.My husabnd has worked day and night trying to clean the mess up.They not only grew in the house the tore every rug off the floor ,every door off its hinges,and left all these holes cut into the walls,.Our Insurance that we have paid for 10 years ..Of course isnt covered.I guess the insurance we have been paying for 10 years covers nothing....Well Lets just say. Its a heavey heavey weight on my husbands shoulders.
Home owners should be aware
K Grant

Yes I have seen the promotional adds for this show.
Lots of folks have issues with mold. I suspect that this show will show us a new version of "reefer madness" connecting moisture mold and criminal all in one.
I am sure it is a real problem for some.
See, should have cafe's distributing cannabis.

What if they grew tomatoes hydroponically? It would not mean a thing to any inspector. Even if they grew 200 tomato plants under ten 1000 watt bulbs, it would not matter to anyone. BUT, if they grew five cannabis plants in a window, with NO special equipment, we would need all these politics and inspectors. Insane if you ask me. What about legal licensed Health Canada patients? Do local utilities companies cut them off too? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't having plants in your home improve air quality?

Could not understande voice on video, which happens often for other segments. Love everything else, Nice to know what is coming up but the frog has to leave the throat.

I have been legally and safely growing medical marijuana in my home for 10 years now. Myths and miss information would lead the public to believe all gardens are toxic, moldy fire traps. Sick people just don't jeopardize their health and safety like this. Do not paint us all with the same brush. Do not believe everything the police and fire department claim. They grossly exaggerate and mislead the public!

Listing to CBC this morning, on my way to drop off my daughter at school I was enjoying your interview with Erica regarding the Grow Op Cver Up. UNTIL she stated, for comsumers to NOT use the home inspectors their Real Estate Agents recommend. CREA (our governing body) requires that we recommend at least 3 Home Inspectors to our clients and allow them to choose freely whom they want to use. If they don't know of any inspectors, who does she expect them to get their recommendation from exactly????? The phone book? As a single mother who works long hours and loves and enjoys her job, it's comments like Erica's and people like Erica who give Real Eate Agents a shaded image.

I bet if you had 4 Inspectors, each recommended by a Real Estate Agent. All 4 would have caught the Grow Op!!!

In Ontario, when homes are identified as a grow-op, the electrical power is disconnected by the local utility. To have it reconnected, The Electrical Safety Authority requires the home to be fit for occupancy. A report, along with signed declaration by a professional engineer, a Certifed Industrial Hygienist or a Certified Occupational Hygienist or someone with equal or better designation must be submitted to the ESA prior to reconnection. Tests by acreditted laboratory must accompany the report.

I believe this policy has eleviate most of the problems in Ontario

Looks good. Can't wait.

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