A City Building Inspector offers to do job, Is this legal?

Question Icon
Posted by: from Scarborough
11/28/2020 at 9:00:11 PM

A City Building Inspector has offered to do my renovation for cash - no contract. Is this legal?

User Icon
Date/Time11/29/2020 at 12:12:33 AM


Having the contractor be the inspector or knowing inspectors does not sit well with me. Are the friends really going to be sure the work is finished at the proper level.

Second the moment a city inspector offers a cash deal with no contract sets the alarm for me.

I would go with a reputable contractor such as myself, but sadly I live in Niagara Falls so I can't help you out.

If necessary get engineering plans.


James Fram owner if Fram Construction and Design Ltd.

User Icon
Jeff from Klass Drywall in Kitchener
Date/Time11/29/2020 at 8:04:50 AM

It's very unethical and I would report him.

User Icon
Date/Time11/29/2020 at 9:07:38 AM

This would definitely put up red flags for me. Feel free to reach out if you need some help.



User Icon
Date/Time11/29/2020 at 4:29:53 PM

Diane, Bottom line is no. Just because he/she is an inspector doesn't mean they are qualified. Ask if he/she has a contractors license. If not stay away. Also, a cash job doesn't protect you at all. You may save a little money but if something isn't right or goes wrong, you have nothing to fall back on. I would also report him/her because this is entirely against what an "inspector" is supposed to do and if he/she is doing o\it to you, I would think that other people are offered the same "opportunity".

User Icon
Richard in Edmonton
Date/Time11/29/2020 at 8:57:30 PM

I am an inspector also (however I work for an engineering company). When I started out (with CMHC in 1986) another (senior) inspector ran a renovation business on the side - specializing in restaurant interiors.

Lots of people have side businesses (especially firefighters) and in the renovation business it's hard to find someone who doesn't want to do a cash job and certainly there's significant savings for the customer.

Certainly it would be a conflict of interest if he was also going to be your inspector however with a reno it usually means only one (final) inspection anyway. There would definitely be a problem if he were to do work he wasn't qualified for such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC, which at least where I am require either licensed trades to pull the permits or a homeowner permit.

One important tip is not to pay anyone in advance for work/materials, etc. In Alberta it's against the law and contractors are required to be licensed prepaid contractors (with necessary bonding in place); I understand it's different in Ontario and they don't have the same thing however the same concept still applies.

So to answer your question (is it legal), safe to say the answer is no because of no workers comp, income tax, GST, etc, etc. Not sure if his employer would necessarily be concerned as long he was performing his job very well. For myself as an inspector there is nothing in our professional standards in Alberta that addresses your question.

User Icon
Chris from KP Construction in Toronto
Date/Time12/1/2020 at 3:53:52 PM

What do you think?

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get quotes from top-rated contractors