CoVid-19 Awareness Update #10

To all members:

Provinces continue to take increased and ongoing measures with the Government of B.C. following other provinces in issuing a list of essential services on Friday afternoon. As in the cases of Ontario and Quebec appraisers were not specifically listed. In Ontario we did confirm with the Premier’s office that appraisers were included in Banking and related activities. When B.C. posted its essential services list Friday afternoon, we made a number of inquiries and it is our understanding the situation in B.C. is similar to Ontario, that appraisers are included in Banking and credit granting services.

Despite the above we note the following paragraph included in the B.C. announcement:

The PHO has ordered some types of businesses to close. Any business or service that has not been ordered to close, and is also not identified on the essential service list, may stay open if it can adapt its services and workplace to the orders and recommendations of the PHO.

In other words, ensure you are strictly adhering to “Physical Distancing” protocols as recommended by the Public Health Officer.

RECA has announced that the Alberta Appraisers are on the Essential Services List, and as such are able to continue to work, but must also follow “Physical Distancing” protocols, and other guidelines as set out by Alberta Health Ministry and Health Canada.

We have heard of instances from across the country of appraisers that are operating business as usual and entering homes. Banks, mortgage lenders and other stakeholders have stated that just as much as appraisers do not want to enter homes, homeowners do not want appraisers walking through their homes. The risk of being exposed to COVID-19, or even worse inadvertently exposing the home owner can be devastating to the appraiser and the industry as a whole. We are also aware of one or two lenders that still expect the appraiser to complete a full report with interior inspection. CNAREA finds this unacceptable and as such we are explicitly stating that members are not to enter homes until Federal and Provincial governments and health authorities relax physical distancing protocols. If members receive requests that do not comply with Physical Distancing, please contact the CNAREA office with details and we will deal with those involved accordingly.

Appraisers play a vital role in ensuring Canadians obtain credit facilities that will help them or their businesses get through these challenging times but not at the expense of health and safety. Both associations, banks, AMC’s, mortgage lenders, mortgage insurers, regulators and other stakeholders have all stated that the health and safety of clients, homeowners, tenants etc., and appraisers is first and foremost. The market place has adjusted to accepting full appraisals that do not include the inspection of the interior of a home by the appraiser which means that the appraiser should be looking at alternative methods of obtaining this information; please refer to previous announcements for details.

We are continuing to remind members that no matter the report format, “Modified” Full Report, Drive-By or Desktop, you are providing an opinion of value and are taking on as much, if not more risk, and are advised to guide yourselves accordingly. We also expect that appraisers will be receiving requests from lenders that they have either not heard of or have not worked for and as such we are recommending that members take the time to become familiar with these potential clients…Know Your Client.

Please ensure you, your families, and your clients remain safe and healthy. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us at 888.399.3366.