There are a variety of assessments and inspections that are completed for both residential and commercial properties. Whether you are buying a home, or running a business, ensuring the property meets established standards protects you as an owner as well as the safety of your employees or residents.
For those who think that property inspections and assessments are just an added cost and unrequired nuisance, think again. As professionally trained and licensed engineers at a leading engineering firm, we at Criterium-Jansen know that forgoing important procedures, such as commercial and residential building inspections, puts you at significant legal and financial risk, not to mention the dangers to safety! So, let’s review three risks of not doing assessments and inspections.
1. It’s dangerous.
While it might be an obvious risk, it’s also the most important. Residential building inspections, commercial building inspections, PCAs, environmental assessments, Phase 1 ESA reports, Reserve Fund studies – these are all important assessments and inspections that help determine the health of a building, both indoor as well as outdoor, or its future maintenance fund, as is the case in a Reserve Fund study.
For example, environmental assessments to determine air quality or the presence of mould or asbestos for a residential or commercial building are important for protecting the health of occupants. Asbestos, mould and other contributing factors to poor air quality may not seem immediately obvious and could impact people’s health steadily over time. But by carrying out an assessment, issues can be caught sooner rather than later and remedied, ensuring everyone within the building can enjoy the space safely.
In another example, Reserve Fund studies may not seem like a pressing assessment to carry out for a condo or housing co-op and the like, but as the tragic 2021 Florida condo collapse showed us, not keeping enough money stored for ongoing building maintenance can have grave consequences in the future, especially as we experience more issues due to climate change.
2. It leads to increased costs.
Save a few dollars now, but get ready to dish out more in the future if you opt to skip out on important assessments and building inspections, and the case is never more true than for prospective property buyers. You should never purchase a property without doing your due diligence!
Despite the stiff competition in today’s housing market, buyers should never go through with a sale without the completion of a home inspection and structural inspection, and the reasons are pretty clear. After all, there could be significant damage to the home that may not be immediately obvious that could cost thousands of dollars to fix, dollars that may not have been budgeted for.
Similarly, PCAs, or Property Condition Assessments, are a must-have for commercial building owners. PCAs look at the ins and outs of a commercial property, flagging potential problems. It goes without saying that catching an issue earlier on before it becomes a complete disaster can save you money in repairs, but you only get to reap that benefit if you are proactive and carry out regular inspections and assessments.
3. It could be illegal.
Despite the fact that carrying out building inspections as assessments lead to safer spaces and cost savings, some people still opt to avoid them entirely and take their chances. But certain building inspections and assessments are so important that many governments make them mandatory, and the last thing you want is to be on the wrong side of the law when it comes to your property.
For example, most provinces in Canada, such as Ontario and Saskatchewan, mandate that condominium corporations complete Reserve Fund studies regularly. Similarly, a Phase 1 ESA report may be required in certain situations as well where mandated by a landlord in a property lease or by the federal and provincial government.
The point is, regardless of whether a property owner or buyer wants to do their due diligence or not, others will want to protect themselves financially and legally and require the inspection or assessment be carried out.
Do your due diligence with the help of a trusted and licensed engineering firm like Criterium-Jansen Engineers.
Our decades of knowledge in structural engineering and experience assisting with important structural and environmental assessments for condominium, residential and commercial properties have made us the engineering firm of choice throughout Ontario and Saskatchewan.