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  1. #1
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    Default Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past members

    I need some feedback please.

    Here is the situation. A professional body is not ensuring former members are not engaging in false advertising by using the associations registered trademark (logo), and protected title which are protected under an act of provincial parliament specifically the title of Registered Home Inspector.

    It is not known whether the association has taken steps requesting these former members cease and desist because the association will not provide any real meaningful answers. What they are providing is non answers and what could be termed 'the run around.' The problem has been going on since the fall of 2012 without resolve and the breach is by all appearances still occurring.

    My question is; do you think it incumbent that the association which has the power but lack of funds to prosecute these ex members and backed-up by legislation which can impose fines of up to $5000.00 of which the Crown keeps, to inform the public via a statement on its website?

    I have asked a couple of home owners if they retained a home inspector based on what they read/saw on the inspectors website which induced them to hire the inspector only to find out the inspector was no longer a member, and used the titles/logo to entice purchasers would you be upset? Consider it false advertising? Negligent misrepresentation?

    The other fact you should know is that they are ex directors of the association and should know better since the threshold of a standard of care would be much higher as they had an appreciation of the bylaws and provincial act.

    Also there appears to be a lack of interest in affiliated associations as well since they have been made aware and haven't bothered to act let alone acknowledge the issue when it was brought to their attention. It is not known why but its suspected that its due to friendships and biases.

    The legislation I spoke about above does not offer protection from liability to the association in my view since there is no inference of such in the legislation. The enabling Act imposes a positive duty onthe association to investigate and discipline anyone who is not a member misusing the title, then arguably that association could owe a privatelaw duty of care to a person in the public who has used the ex member's services.

    My question is: Do you think the association should warn the public by making a statement on its website that there are ex members abusing the Statute since they are not financially sound to act in any other manner?

    Thank you.

    NHIE Practice Exam

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    I need some feedback please.

    Here is the situation. A professional body is not ensuring former members are not engaging in false advertising by using the associations registered trademark (logo),
    While the association *should* be concerned of their reputation and that it could be negatively affected by those who are no longer a member of that association, I suspect the licensing authority (if there is one) would be the 'sheriff' you would report the 'crime' to because the 'crime' is not so much using the association's logo, etc., but the 'crime' would be of engaging in a practice which is likely not allowed by the licensing authority ... falsely advertising their qualifications, etc.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    I need some feedback please.

    Here is the situation. A professional body is not ensuring former members are not engaging in false advertising by using the associations registered trademark (logo), and protected title which are protected under an act of provincial parliament specifically the title of Registered Home Inspector.

    It is not known whether the association has taken steps requesting these former members cease and desist because the association will not provide any real meaningful answers. What they are providing is non answers and what could be termed 'the run around.' The problem has been going on since the fall of 2012 without resolve and the breach is by all appearances still occurring.

    My question is; do you think it incumbent that the association which has the power but lack of funds to prosecute these ex members and backed-up by legislation which can impose fines of up to $5000.00 of which the Crown keeps, to inform the public via a statement on its website?

    I have asked a couple of home owners if they retained a home inspector based on what they read/saw on the inspectors website which induced them to hire the inspector only to find out the inspector was no longer a member, and used the titles/logo to entice purchasers would you be upset? Consider it false advertising? Negligent misrepresentation?

    The other fact you should know is that they are ex directors of the association and should know better since the threshold of a standard of care would be much higher as they had an appreciation of the bylaws and provincial act.

    Also there appears to be a lack of interest in affiliated associations as well since they have been made aware and haven't bothered to act let alone acknowledge the issue when it was brought to their attention. It is not known why but its suspected that its due to friendships and biases.

    The legislation I spoke about above does not offer protection from liability to the association in my view since there is no inference of such in the legislation. The enabling Act imposes a positive duty onthe association to investigate and discipline anyone who is not a member misusing the title, then arguably that association could owe a privatelaw duty of care to a person in the public who has used the ex member's services.

    My question is: Do you think the association should warn the public by making a statement on its website that there are ex members abusing the Statute since they are not financially sound to act in any other manner?

    Thank you.
    Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    While the association *should* be concerned of their reputation and that it could be negatively affected by those who are no longer a member of that association, I suspect the licensing authority (if there is one) would be the 'sheriff' you would report the 'crime' to because the 'crime' is not so much using the association's logo, etc., but the 'crime' would be of engaging in a practice which is likely not allowed by the licensing authority ... falsely advertising their qualifications, etc.
    Ontario still does not have a HI licensing authority to complain to.

    They hope to have one soon, but the process is being bogged down by bureaucracy and endless discussion. All unnecessary because they could just a chose a model from the two provinces that have licensing or from the majority of states in the US that have licensing.

    To answer the question, yes this unnamed association should take disciplinary action of some kind, if simply by naming those miscreants who haven't paid their dues but continue to advertise that they are members.

    Members who are in good standing with the association are getting shafted, so they should speak up, IMO.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    From the Act

    3RD SESSION, 35TH LEGISLATURE, ONTARIO43 ELIZABETH II, 1994
    Bill Prl58
    (Chapter Pr65Stattites of Ontario, 1994)
    An Act respecting the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors




    2) Any person in Ontario who, not being a registered member of the Association, takes or uses the designation “Registered Home Inspector” or “R.H.I.“, alone or in combination with any other word, name, title, initial or description, or implies, suggests or holds out that that person is a registered home inspector is guilty of an offence.


    (3) On conviction of an offence under sub-section (2), a person is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000.


    (4) In every case where registration is an issue, the production of a copy of the register, certified by the registrar of the Association, is sufficient evidence of all persons who are registered in lieu of the production of the original register and a certificate purporting to be signed by a person in that person’s capacity as registrar is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the person is the registrar without proof of that person’s signature or of that person being the registrar.


    (5) The absence of the name of any personfrom a copy of the register produced under subsection (4) is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the person is not registered,





  6. #6
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    This is so different from what we have in the States.... We do not have laws that govern like this when it comes to private home inspector associations.

    I can tell you first hand that it is very expensive and time consuming to police and enforce misuse of an associations logos and trademarked membership designations. ASHI spends thousands upon thousands of dollars each year and countless volunteer, staff and legal councils hours trying to keep this type of misuse under control. It is a never ending battle...

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Formerly as discipline chair of OAHI I help prosecute an ex member who was previously a director who continued to use the title RHI. OAHI did not want to prosecute, so the former discipline chair I replaced laid a private complaint before a court. Only then did OAHI become involved they wanted the maximum fine imposed of $5K. The respondent stalled and the matter went on for several weeks. Long story short the respondent agreed to the court registering a conviction and a fine of $1500. OAHI wanted to pursue the matter further and have a $5K fine imposed. I disagreed and since any fine imposed would not be paid to OAHI but would go to the Crown, I suggest they take the plea bargain and take the $1500 and a conviction. Which they agreed.

    I believe it cost OAHI close to $30k to prosecute, (mind you they were using a Bay Street lawyer) so the costs might have been less, but none the less it set a precedent.

    Now the fact remains it has come to my attention yet again that in addition to these two former members who have been on the BOD when they served in the association there are now two other former directors misusing the logo and RHI.

    This the same out fit sitting at the licencing table providing input to the government as to how things should be run when they themselves have a lot of explaining to do to their members and the public.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Formerly as discipline chair of OAHI I help prosecute an ex member who was previously a director who continued to use the title RHI. OAHI did not want to prosecute, so the former discipline chair I replaced laid a private complaint before a court. Only then did OAHI become involved they wanted the maximum fine imposed of $5K. The respondent stalled and the matter went on for several weeks. Long story short the respondent agreed to the court registering a conviction and a fine of $1500. OAHI wanted to pursue the matter further and have a $5K fine imposed. I disagreed and since any fine imposed would not be paid to OAHI but would go to the Crown, I suggest they take the plea bargain and take the $1500 and a conviction. Which they agreed.

    I believe it cost OAHI close to $30k to prosecute, (mind you they were using a Bay Street lawyer) so the costs might have been less, but none the less it set a precedent.

    Now the fact remains it has come to my attention yet again that in addition to these two former members who have been on the BOD when they served in the association there are now two other former directors misusing the logo and RHI.

    This the same out fit sitting at the licencing table providing input to the government as to how things should be run when they themselves have a lot of explaining to do to their members and the public.
    If you have the proof then I would contact the new media and anyone that might listen. If the government is not going to do anything, then fight your battle in the media.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Thanks for the feedback its appreciated.

    I have sent the following to OAHI and the Min. of Consumer Service and CBC.

    Ontario Association of Home Inspectors
    Corporate Head Office
    1515 Matheson Blvd. East, Suite 205
    Mississauga, ON L4W 2P5

    Monday, November 18, 2013

    Attn: Ms. Pam Sayne
    President OAHI

    Re: Membership Registry

    As per the Act respecting the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors Pr 158 (Chapter Pr 65 Statutes of Ontario, 1994) I wish to attend your corporate office to view the membership registry as permitted in Section 8 of said Act as stated below and attached.

    8. (1) The registrar of the Association shall keep a register which shall show the names of all members of the Association in good standing, their status and their category of membership.

    (2) The register shall be open to examination by the public at the head office of the Association during normal office hours.

    Please let me know what time is convenient for me to attend.

    Thanking you in advance for your co-operation.

    Yours truly,


    Raymond Wand


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    A letter I sent to my MPP and Min. Of Consumer Services along with other contacts as well as the press.


    Good morning Ms. Jones,

    I have knowledge of a private act of the legislature, which is not being complied with by the body that the special act was granted to specifically The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors.

    3RD SESSION, 35TH LEGISLATURE, ONTARIO 43 ELIZABETH II, 1994
    Bill Prl58 (Chapter Pr65 Statutes of Ontario, 1994)
    An Act respecting the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors

    Also the OAHI is listed as under the Ontario Labour Mobility Act, 2009 - Non-Governmental Regulatory Authorities - Private Acts.

    The particular section which is not in compliance is:
    12. (1) Every member of the Association whose name appears in the register may use the designations “Registered Home Inspector” and “R.H.I.“.
    (2) Any person in Ontario who, not being a registered member of the Association, takes or uses the designation “Registered Home Inspector” or “R.H.I.“, alone or in combination with any other word, name, title, initial or description, or implies, suggests or holds out that that person is a registered home inspector is guilty of an offence.
    (3) On conviction of an offence under sub-section (2), a person is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000.

    I have brought to the attention this concern and have proof that at least four ex members are in breach of the act by continuance of the use R.H.I. in contravention of the Act. OAHI has done nothing other than possibly contacting the offenders and asking them to remove said abuse of R.H.I. This matter has been going on since the fall of 2012 with at least two of the four. These four individuals are all former directors of OAHI so the standard of care would be much higher given their knowledge of the Act and bylaws.

    My specific questions other than continuing to pester OAHI, what can the government do specifically where a private act is not in compliance? If I understand correctly OAHI could lay a complaint before a judge under the Provincial Offences Act, but apparently OAHI has not the funds nor interest to do anything.

    As you can appreciate this leaves members of the public in the lurch who may hire one of these inspectors assuming they are current members since they are using the OAHI logo and the R.H.I. designations on their websites. This is false advertising and negligent misrepresentation in my view.

    Contact with the Ministry of Consumer Services which is actively researching licencing of home inspectors, and expect to have a report on the matter released for public comment sometime before the end of the year seem oblivious to the ramifications. Since OAHI is sitting at the licencing table along with other associations providing input to MCS I think it has no right to provide any guidance.

    In addition the by-laws of the association constituted under the Act are not being followed vis-ŕ-vis enforcement and action through its discipline committee.

    I am at a loss and frustrated as to what appears to be nothing but the run-around by this group and the MCS who seem oblivious to the serious ramifications.

    In addition, since I am an active home inspector with the American Assoc. of Home Inspectors in good standing, and former member and past Discipline Chair of OAHI, I feel the public’s interest is not being protected since it could be said OAHI is a quasi-public authority.

    Is this matter something the Conservative Consumer Affairs Critic MPP can bring up in the legislature?

    Any help, assistance or direction your office can provide would be greatly appreciated by me, and other concerned inspectors.

    Thank you for your time and interest.

    Sincerely,

    Raymond Wand

    Attachments - Pr 158
    - OAHI bylaws


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Okay I am going public.

    Mr. Bill Mullen owner/operator of Bluewater Home Inspections and Bluewater Property Consultants who is a past member of OAHI/CAHPI and held executive positions within these organizations has repeatedly refused to comply with cease and desist orders from OAHI for logo use infringement and use of RHI (Registered Home Inspectors) for over two years. There is an extensive paper trail regarding this abuse.

    He is using RHI contrary to a Provincial Act - An Act Representing the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (Pr 158).

    BLUEWATER HOME INSPECTION
    Bluewater Property Consultants Inc | Home Inspection | Sarnia | Home

    The public is well advised to ensure that this owner and his company be avoided because they cannot be assured that his operations are ethically and professionally operating as required and is conduct unbecoming and fraudulent misuse of titles he has no legal right to use.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Okay I am going public.

    Mr. Bill Mullen owner/operator of Bluewater Home Inspections and Bluewater Property Consultants who is a past member of OAHI/CAHPI and held executive positions within these organizations has repeatedly refused to comply with cease and desist orders from OAHI for logo use infringement and use of RHI (Registered Home Inspectors) for over two years. There is an extensive paper trail regarding this abuse.

    He is using RHI contrary to a Provincial Act - An Act Representing the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (Pr 158).

    BLUEWATER HOME INSPECTION
    Bluewater Property Consultants Inc | Home Inspection | Sarnia | Home

    The public is well advised to ensure that this owner and his company be avoided because they cannot be assured that his operations are ethically and professionally operating as required and is conduct unbecoming and fraudulent misuse of titles he has no legal right to use.
    If you go to the website you will find that some of the inspectors in the named company are RHI. It would also appear that the "named" inspector has changed his bio. BLUEWATER HOME INSPECTION


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    That maybe so, but the site alludes to the fact 'they' are registered home inspectors. Secondly the second website still alludes to RHI's.

    First website - Qualified members of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors have the exclusive right to call themselves RHI's under the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors Act, 1994 (The Ontario Government Bill 158). The site instills in the reader that they are all RHI's, when in fact only one person is a RHI.

    Second website reads -
    • Bill Mullen - #NCA00001 / PHPI / RHI

    Mr. Mullen has a history of playing fast and lose with the rules. Further he lists himself on ASHI as a RHI.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Could you "please" provide a source for that second website reference?

    The matter between OAHI and/or ASHI or any other organization needs to be addressed by the respective associations. Furthermore, the matter of a professional practice complaint does not need to be addressed on a public forum.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Yes it does have to be on a public website.
    Bluewater Home Inspection - Home

    He has repeatedly given OAHI the run around.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Update

    I have notified both OAHI and NHICC as to the continuing misuse of RHI and the breach of a provincial act - An Act Representing The Ontario Assoc. of Home Inspectors.

    Both associations have failed to reply on my complaints on Mr. Bill Mullens continual breach of the provincial act. Who is protecting the public from false advertising and misuse of titles? Certainly not OAHI nor NHICC!

    If associations cannot address public complaints then these associations are hypocrites and this is one prime example of why these two associations should not be sitting at any table dealing with licencing.

    Bluewater Property Consultants Inc | Home Inspection | Sarnia | Home


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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Kevin

    Its friends protecting friends, nothing more. The associations don't stand for what they tell the public they stand for. Mr. Mullens cronies sit on the NHICC ,did you really expect NHICC to do anything?

    As for OAHI they are financially broke. Recently the Treasurer and former director were removed from OAHI for financial irregularities once again. Not the first time money has been misappropriated or absconded. But that does not alleviate them of their responsibilities either to protect RHI as per the provincial act. Its very clear that all associations are at odds with one another, its a farce.

    Associations are not the consumer advocates they like to tell the public they are.

    To add insult to injury these same people knowing the bull and lies that have gone on sit on these panels and are two faced.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Responsibility of association to ensure it acts on false advertising by past memb

    Bill Mullen has no credibility! NHICC does not even reply to complaints about his misuse of RHI and inferring he is a member of OAHI.

    From his website

    Full member (RHI) of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) since 1993

    NOT!


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