Can I have a copy of the appraisal report, please?


Written by: Adam Lawrenson, AACI

We are often asked if we can send a copy of an appraisal report to a specific individual. It seems like a reasonable request, especially if the individual has paid for the appraisal; however, it is not as simple as one would think.

The client, as defined by CUSPAP (Canadian Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice), is “the party or parties who engage an appraiser (by employment or contract) in a specific assignment”. Furthermore, the client identified by the appraiser in an appraisal, appraisal review, or appraisal consulting assignment (or in the assignment workfile) is the “party or parties with whom the appraiser has an appraiser-client relationship in the related assignment, and maybe an individual, group, or entity.”

For example, if a mortgage broker submits the appraisal request to an appraisal firm, he/she is the appraiser’s client. This is true even if the appraisal is paid for by another party. And once this appraiser-client relationship is established, the appraisal can only be discussed with or distributed to the client, unless permission to do otherwise has been provided, in writing, by the client.

Example 1:

John Smith, a mortgage broker, orders an appraisal on behalf of Hillary Homeowner, for mortgage financing purposes.

Hilary pays for the appraisal and the report. The report is completed in two days, after which Hilary wants a personal copy of the report.

Question: Who is the client?

Answer: John Smith, the mortgage broker.

Explanation: In this situation, John initiated the first contact with the appraisal firm and has sole ownership of the report. The report is written with the reader in mind (John Smith) and may or may not include certain types of information; therefore, it is up to John whether or not he would like to release a copy of the appraisal to the homeowner. If John chooses to release the report, the appraisal company is not responsible for any other use other than its intended use, which is mortgage financing purposes. If the appraiser chooses to send a copy to anyone other than the client (ie. Hillary or another lender) without first obtaining written consent from the client, he/she may be liable for breach of the appraiser-client relationship and could potentially be sued.

Example 2:

John Smith, a mortgage broker, orders an appraisal on behalf of Hillary Homeowner. The report is completed for Lender A. The report is completed for John, but a week later, Lender A calls the appraisal company asking for a copy of the appraisal report to be sent directly to them.

Question: Should the appraiser send Lender A a copy of the report?

Answer: No, Lender A did not originally request the appraisal and is, therefore, not the client.

Question: Who is the client?

Answer: John Smith, the mortgage broker, is the client because he was the individual to initiate the assignment and engage the appraiser.

To summarize, the client is the individual/entity that engages the appraiser and not the individual that pays for the appraisal. Each appraisal report specifies who the client is and who the intended user is. If the report is used by any other person(s), it is considered null and void and is a breach of the appraiser-client relationship. Any discussions on or disclosure of information included in the report can only be done with the written consent of the appraiser’s client.

If you would like more information, please feel free to visit the Appraisal Institute of Canada’s Appraisal Consumer Guide at AIC – Appraisal Consumer Guide 2018 or contact our location.

And as always, if you have any further questions, we are always available and happy to discuss them with you – we are just a call, text, or e-mail away!




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