Appraisal Institute of Canada

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Complaint Resolution and Consumer Questions

Common Consumer Questions

1. I am a homeowner seeking financing. I paid for the report; why can't I get a copy?

The homeowner is the lender’s client.

  • The homeowner is able to ask its lender what the lender’s policies and practices are regarding whether or not the homeowner (the lender’s client) will:
    • pay for the report to be performed, and/or
    • get a copy of that report regardless of whether the loan is approved or denied
  • This is a business decision by the homeowner’s lender/mortgage broker.
  • An AIC member would not be aware of this information or of any arrangements made between the homeowner’s lender and the homeowner – their client.

The lender is the AIC member’s client.

  • The AIC member’s client is the party hiring the AIC member and ordering the appraisal not the party who pays for the appraisal.
  • The lender provides instructions to the AIC member regarding how the report is to be completed.
  • AIC members are required to comply with the AIC’s standards of professional practice (CUSPAP).
  • CUSPAP requires an AIC member to maintain the confidential nature of their relationship with their client.

The report belongs to the AIC member’s client.

  • The AIC member will need written authorization from their client to release the report to any third party – including the person who paid for the report.
  • Only the AIC member’s client and any intended user* identified in the report are authorized to receive a copy of and rely on the report
  • Because the AIC member is the author of the report, consent to release must also be obtained from the AIC member.

*Intended User

The AIC member’s client will tell the AIC member if there are any intended users to be identified in the report.

  • An intended user is any party authorized by the AIC member’s client to rely on the appraisal report.
  • unless the AIC member’s client consents to the release of the report to a third person
  • If there is an intended user as well as the AIC member’s client, the AIC member is required to obtain the written authorization from both their client and the intended user before releasing a copy of the appraisal report to someone else.
2. I am a homeowner seeking financing. I paid for a report, and now I am being asked to pay for a reliance letter.

The homeowner is the lender’s client.

  • Just as the homeowner’s lender has policies and procedures for who pays for the report, they will also have policies and procedures regarding who pays for a reliance letter.
    • This is a business decision by the homeowner’s lender/mortgage broker.
    • The homeowner is able ask his/her lender what their policies and practices are regarding payment for a reliance letter.

What is a reliance letter?

    • A reliance letter allows another client or intended user to rely on a report that was prepared for another AIC member’s client to make a lending decision.

A reliance letter can save the time and added expense of having another appraisal prepared.

3. I have two reports and the values vary. Is there a margin for error?
  • An appraisal does not determine market value but rather provides an estimate of market value.
  • This estimate is considered to be the most probable value that a property will garner in a specific real estate market over a specific period of time.
  • The accuracy of an appraisal is highly dependent on the availability and reliability of data, both of which will vary for each type of property and each location across Canada.
  • There is an expectation of accuracy within the parameters of the conditions and assumptions and given the availability of information at the time, however there is no specific margin of error.

For any enquiry not addressed here, or for more information contact the Associate Director, Professional Practice

Toll free: 1-888-551-5521

Phone: 613-234-6533

Fax: 613-234-7197

Email: [email protected]

Complaint Resolution FAQs

1. Who can file a complaint?

Anyone may file a complaint, including a third party that may have obtained a copy of an appraisal report, or utilizes the real property valuation services of an appraiser.

2. Can an AIC member file a complaint against a fellow AIC Member?

Yes, an AIC member can file a complaint against a fellow AIC Member. When an AIC Member submits a complaint they should be prepared to provide specific details of their concerns regarding alleged breaches to CUSPAP.

3. What types of complaints will the CRP address?

Professional Practice will investigate complaints that deal with:

  • Breaches of CUSPAP (the Standards) whether they are related to Ethics, Real Property Appraisal, Review, Consulting, Reserve Fund Study and/or Machinery and Equipment Standards
  • Any conduct that does not adhere to AIC Regulations or AIC By-laws, and which may affect the Institute, the profession or another Member.
4. What will the CRP not do?

The CRP will not:

  • act as a court of law
  • order the refund of monies
  • award damages
  • enforce contractual agreements
  • give legal advice,
  • direct the appraiser to redo the appraisal report, or
  • arbitrate the final opinion of value

Any complainant looking for these types of remedies will be advised to seek redress through other means.

5. What is “Conduct deserving of Sanction”?

Conduct deserving of sanction is considered to be any act that:

  • is detrimental to the best interests of the public
  • harms the integrity of the profession
  • violates the CUSPAP, Bylaws, Regulations, or Policies of the Institute
  • is any non-cooperation with a complaint investigation
  • is a false or misleading statement made by an AIC member to the Institute
6. What sorts of disciplines can be imposed as a Sanction?

Sanctions include:

  • Fine
    • A fine not to exceed $10,000.00
  • Education
    • A sanction intended to provide the educational foundation to permit a Member to improve their valuation practice.  It is completed at the Member’s expense.
  • Peer Review
    • An administrative review conducted in accordance with the AIC’s peer review program of a report on a professional service rendered by an AIC Member
  • Reprimand
    • A written warning calling the attention of the Member to a breach of the Institute’s Bylaws, Regulations, Policies and/or CUSPAP
  • Censure
    • A formal written expression of criticism and disapproval for a breach of the Institute’s Bylaws, Regulations, Policies or CUSPAP
  • Suspension
    • The suspension of use of a Member’s designation and/or membership
  • Expulsion
    • A permanent expulsion of the member from the Institute.  A Member that has been expelled may be considered for reinstatement of membership after a period of five (5) years
7. Are sanctions published?

Sanctions will be published on the public page of the Institute’s website for a period of twelve (12) months in the form of a Case Summary.

A Case Summary is redacted of all information that might identify the Member. However, a hearing panel may order that the Case Summary be posted unredacted on the public page for the twelve month period.

In exceptional cases where there is an overriding need to protect the public good will a Conduct Sanction be published in a local newspaper.

8. Can someone find out whether an AIC member has been sanctioned?

An AIC member’s PPC record is confidential.  The AIC will not release information about an AIC member’s PPC record to a third party unless it is in accordance with the AIC Regulations as they pertain to Disclosure.

If someone enquires about an AIC member’s standing with the Institute, the AIC will provide the following information (depending on the AIC member’s status with the Institute):

  • The AIC Member is a member in good standing.
  • The AIC Member is not a member in good standing.
  • The person is not a Member of AIC.
9. Can the administration of a complaint be delayed?

Yes, a complaint file can be placed in abeyance. The AIC member may apply to have an investigation or a hearing placed in abeyance if there are pending legal issues. This means that the administration of the complaint may be put on hold for a period of time or until the outcome of the legal matter has been decided.

10. Will I get a copy of a final Decision?

If you are the complainant and have submitted a signed consent form (found at the end of the Complaint Form) the AIC is able to send you a copy of the final decision.

Case Summaries