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Viper677
Certified Home Inspector

join:2012-03-22
Toronto
reply to Hall

Re: What the home insecptor found...

said by Hall:

said by Viper677:

If you know that they missed major defects then you can take them to court.

Maybe in Canada, but I don't think that's common here. They (the inspectors) will surely have a waiver in their contract that keeps them non-liable for anything they don't find. Imagine a 90-day old water heater that fails two weeks after you move in (due to a manufacturing defect), and the inspector is responsible ?
said by Viper677:

How much does this cost? Depends on who you hire for this work? How come he did not give you an estimate on these? I also give a rough estimate to my clients.

The inspectors might give some verbal, ballpark numbers, but it basically comes down to "not their job" (I don't mean that in a negative way, mind you).

Ok - it might be different where you are but I still strongly believe that home inspection standards are pretty similar in both US and Canada. You just have to do a little more research into this as to what can be done if inspector missed something big. Maybe send him an email first to see what he has to say and then go from there.

Standard of Practice are listed here (for US) and if you are getting anything less than this then you have a case.

»www.homeinspector.org/docs/standards.pdf

I dont like inspectors doing crappy inspections.

In Ontario, it does not matter what type of contract you singed, if you miss something big then the judge can order you to pay for it (not always but most likely).

At the same time, our inspection contract protects us from dead beat customers. For example, if an inspector says, you have wood siding and down the road you call the inspector and complain as to why he did not identify the type of wood siding, you are probably crazy. But if the inspector says, you have brick siding, he has to identify whether it is brick veneer or solid brick structure. This is important because brick veneer is just a siding but solid brick is part of the structure. BIG DIFFERENCE.

In your example of water heater, no the inspector will not be responsible because the water heater was just fine on the day of the inspection.

Well, "not their job' is not a good response from the inspector. If I cant give them a rough estimate at the spot, I tell them that I will include in my report after looking it up. But someone asks me how much is it going to cost to fix a leaking foundation crack then I tell them that it is a big project and they need to hire a professional (because of so many variables).
--
Certified Home Inspector
Certified Level 1 Thermographer


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
said by Viper677:

In your example of water heater, no the inspector will not be responsible because the water heater was just fine on the day of the inspection.

Well, using that logic, if it ain't "broke" on the day of the inspection, the inspector is free and clear ! Not that I disagree with that either... By stating "furnace is 18 years old and typical life is '15' years" (made up numbers for sake of discussion), if it fails a year later, the inspector did his/her job. Maybe that's why they point out older equipment or infrastructure.

What if the basement was dry, no signs of dampness or odor, on the inspection day but the first big rain you get water in the basement ? Can't blame the inspector for missing it. Of course for this scenario, the homeowner had better of disclosed that this happens.

Back to giving cost estimates for repair or replacement, as you say, there's often too many variables, but for smaller things, I imagine many will do it "unofficially" though. Our garage door needed a pulley replaced - everything else was fine. He said it's less than $10 part and can be done yourself. We simply had the realtor include it in the list of things needing fixed (by the current owner).

Viper677
Certified Home Inspector

join:2012-03-22
Toronto
said by Hall:

said by Viper677:

In your example of water heater, no the inspector will not be responsible because the water heater was just fine on the day of the inspection.

Well, using that logic, if it ain't "broke" on the day of the inspection, the inspector is free and clear ! Not that I disagree with that either... By stating "furnace is 18 years old and typical life is '15' years" (made up numbers for sake of discussion), if it fails a year later, the inspector did his/her job. Maybe that's why they point out older equipment or infrastructure.

Correct. Basically, the inspector needs to identify if the system is at the end of its useful life and then make recommendations.

What if the basement was dry, no signs of dampness or odor, on the inspection day but the first big rain you get water in the basement ? Can't blame the inspector for missing it. Of course for this scenario, the homeowner had better of disclosed that this happens.

Right and I have gotten these calls as well. But nothing can be done about it. I can not tell if basement will leak when it rains. But i always look for signs of leakage happened in the past (good home inspectors always do that). I look for dampness, use my nose for signs of moisture, any sings of efflorescence, if they have cardboard boxes on the floor see if there are any water marks on them, painted foundation walls etc. You know, you do your best for the client.


Back to giving cost estimates for repair or replacement, as you say, there's often too many variables, but for smaller things, I imagine many will do it "unofficially" though. Our garage door needed a pulley replaced - everything else was fine. He said it's less than $10 part and can be done yourself. We simply had the realtor include it in the list of things needing fixed (by the current owner).

I dont tell if it is a DIY project because I dont know their 'handy skill level'. But I do tell them how to fix it and based on their body language and their repose to my feedback, I establish if its a major or minor project for them.

Having your realtor include that in the offer is a good strategy).

--
Certified Home Inspector
Certified Level 1 Thermographer

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to Viper677
said by Viper677:



In Ontario, it does not matter what type of contract you singed, if you miss something big then the judge can order you to pay for it (not always but most likely).

when my lawyer drew up my contract we have a binding arbitration clause, my collegue had that stand up in court when he got sued. He told the judge that the customer agreed to the arbitration clause at signing and still proceded to sue, judge threw the case out.

Viper677
Certified Home Inspector

join:2012-03-22
Toronto
said by telco_mtl:

said by Viper677:



In Ontario, it does not matter what type of contract you singed, if you miss something big then the judge can order you to pay for it (not always but most likely).

when my lawyer drew up my contract we have a binding arbitration clause, my collegue had that stand up in court when he got sued. He told the judge that the customer agreed to the arbitration clause at signing and still proceded to sue, judge threw the case out.

That might be the case but like I said earlier, it depends on the nature of the dispute. Hey - I am all up for zero liability but unfortunately that is not the reality.

The only way that you can be safe is when you can prove to the court that you had sent your contact to your client well in advance to give them time to review and if you have them sign or initial a statement that says the liability on the inspector is not more than the fee for the inspection. So they have to sign the contact and initial/sign by this statement. If you do this then the judge will most likely dismiss the case. (I am not a lawyer, this is coming from experience, stories and case studies).

Plus, if it was that easy then why would inspectors be required to have E&O insurance? Just sign the contact before the inspection and make as many mistakes you want, right?
--
Certified Home Inspector
Certified Level 1 Thermographer

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
said by Viper677:

said by telco_mtl:

said by Viper677:



In Ontario, it does not matter what type of contract you singed, if you miss something big then the judge can order you to pay for it (not always but most likely).

when my lawyer drew up my contract we have a binding arbitration clause, my collegue had that stand up in court when he got sued. He told the judge that the customer agreed to the arbitration clause at signing and still proceded to sue, judge threw the case out.

That might be the case but like I said earlier, it depends on the nature of the dispute. Hey - I am all up for zero liability but unfortunately that is not the reality.

The only way that you can be safe is when you can prove to the court that you had sent your contact to your client well in advance to give them time to review and if you have them sign or initial a statement that says the liability on the inspector is not more than the fee for the inspection. So they have to sign the contact and initial/sign by this statement. If you do this then the judge will most likely dismiss the case. (I am not a lawyer, this is coming from experience, stories and case studies).

Plus, if it was that easy then why would inspectors be required to have E&O insurance? Just sign the contact before the inspection and make as many mistakes you want, right?

we have e&o as well, but my collegue who has been in the business 15 years and has been taken to court has yet to touch his inusrance. a well worded contract that is straightforward with a rider at the bottom that has to be initialled separately about arbitration is the best protection. As well operating yourself with a holding and operating company to limit liability also helps.

Viper677
Certified Home Inspector

join:2012-03-22
Toronto
said by telco_mtl:

we have e&o as well, but my collegue who has been in the business 15 years and has been taken to court has yet to touch his inusrance. a well worded contract that is straightforward with a rider at the bottom that has to be initialled separately about arbitration is the best protection. As well operating yourself with a holding and operating company to limit liability also helps.

Ok yes, a well worded and simple contract is better than a 3 page declaration of independence.
--
Certified Home Inspector
Certified Level 1 Thermographer

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
said by Viper677:

said by telco_mtl:

we have e&o as well, but my collegue who has been in the business 15 years and has been taken to court has yet to touch his inusrance. a well worded contract that is straightforward with a rider at the bottom that has to be initialled separately about arbitration is the best protection. As well operating yourself with a holding and operating company to limit liability also helps.

Ok yes, a well worded and simple contract is better than a 3 page declaration of independence.

we have found judges , at least here in quebec, like the arbitration clause. better than some of these abusive things you see in contracts