Off The Net: Inspecting Repairs & Replacements for Client

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Off The Net:

Comment:

Inspecting Repairs & Replacements for Client


Under California Civil Code Section 7197- (a) it is an unfair business practice for a home inspector, a company that employs the inspector, or a company that is controlled by a company that also has a financial interest in a company employing a home inspector, to do any of the following:
(1) To perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs to a structure on which the inspector, or the inspector's company, has prepared a home inspection report in the past 12 months.
(2) Inspect for a fee any property in which the inspector, or the inspector's company, has any financial interest or any interest in the transfer of the property.
(3) To offer or deliver any compensation, inducement, or reward to the owner of the inspected property, the broker, or agent, for the referral of any business to the inspector or the inspection company.
(4) Accept an engagement to make an inspection or to prepare a report in which the employment itself or the fee payable for the inspection is contingent upon the conclusions in the report, pre-established findings, or the close of escrow.
(5) A home protection company that is affiliated with or that retains the home inspector does not violate this section if it performs repairs pursuant to claims made under the home protection contract.
(b) This section shall not affect the ability of a structural pest control operator to perform repairs pursuant to Section 8505 as a result of a structural pest control inspection.

It should be noted that only those inspectors who wish to add a significant amount of legal liability to themselves will return to inspect (bless) repairs/ replacements made by others, a classic example of poor “risk management.”  Home buyers and sellers should look to the local authority having jurisdiction (city/ county building departments) to issue permits and perform code complying inspections for any work requiring a building permit. (see attachment)


Responses:

Didn't I read somewhere that the "seller" can do repairs?

Responses:

I don't know that it is written specifically as you are referencing but I don't believe that there is a prohibition to sellers making repairs prior to entering into a sales contract. I have chosen not to pay much attention to who did as much as what was done and how well it was done. Some homeowners are better at construction than the professionals.

The point on "blessing" repairs is one of my pet peeves with the competition in my area. Some very well known inspectors are doing this. The real problem is that once done,  agents then consider it the norm and will berate those of us that will decline.


Response:

The CAR and PRDS contracts make clear the issue of "repairs" of defects discovered and disclosed by home inspectors.  I recommend copying, downloading and printing for a quick handout when confronrted by agents who insist the inspector must return to "bless" any repairs done by others, meaning contractors, handymen, Uncle Buck, or even the home seller.


Response:
All repairs shall be made prior to Close of Escrow by a licensed contractor,

OR

Repairs to be performed at Seller’s expense may be performed by Seller

I guess in CA, the Seller can do repairs.

Response:


Yes, home sellers in CA can perform repairs, but if the repair(s) involve electrical, plumbing, heating & cooling, or structural systems then permits & inspections are required by the local AHJ.Response:


Well Good Morning All,

Interesting where this thread has gone.  I'm not sure that "who" performs repairs is pertinent to the growth of our businesses.  The focus should probably be on the re-inspection.

For 11 years I have watched the "risk protection" debate rage on, especially when it comes to inspecting repairs.  So, I have a hypothetical.

I inspected a house 4 months ago, found 5 significant items.  Deal dies.  Seller fixes those 5 items and then YOU are hired to perform an inspection for a new buyer.  Aren't YOU re-inspecting the "repairs" along with everything else?  Aren't YOU embracing that risk? 

I, for one, look to what activities can I perform that will build my business.  If my entire focus was on "risk avoidance", I could avoid it completely by staying home.

Well Good Morning All,

Interesting where this thread has gone.  I'm not sure that "who" performs repairs is pertinent to the growth of our businesses.  The focus should probably be on the re-inspection.

For 11 years I have watched the "risk protection" debate rage on, especially when it comes to inspecting repairs.  So, I have a hypothetical.

I inspected a house 4 months ago, found 5 significant items.  Deal dies.  Seller fixes those 5 items and then YOU are hired to perform an inspection for a new buyer.  Aren't YOU re-inspecting the "repairs" along with everything else?  Aren't YOU embracing that risk? 

I, for one, look to what activities can I perform that will build my business.  If my entire focus was on "risk avoidance", I could avoid it completely by staying home.  Instead, I believe our best risk avoidance is to continue our education and learning about our chosen profession and DO A GREAT JOB, every time.

My 2 cents


Response:


It is VERY CLEAR in the PDRS and CAR form/contract the procedure for repairs. WHY any inspector would reinspect and take the liability for FOUR YEARS is just beyond me. I am tired of beating a dead horse, this issue has been advised against as long as I and others have been inspecting. Some get it, some do not.

Response:


Does E&O cover reinspects?  That's the bottom line - are you and your client protected by you taking on the liability - who's got the deep pocket? 

We have all had that Client where at the end of the inspection, with so many items discovered ,the Client looks at you with those deer eyes caught in headlites and they say 'you'll come back and make sure that all the repairs are done, right'?  You look at the Agents and know the run around the Buyer's are going to get and you want to help your Client the best you can but my E&O doesn't cover re-inspections and the Client is not protected.  I have never done an inspection without E&O - to protect my Client and myself so why would I do a re-inspection without coverage?


Response:


The root of this discussion is very simple. Typically, agents put out fires that block their deal. They are looking for helpers, team mates if you will,  to assist them. The usual solution proposed is, "give the report to the listing agent and he/she will take care of it. (at no cost to the buyer) After thinking about it, the buyer wonders how well this work is being done. (duh!) This is where so many compliant home inspectors get sucked in.  Like a lamb being led to slaughter, the guy goes in and "blesses" the Buck work. Happens all the time and will continue to happen as long as there are willing 'team" players. Buyers need to be advised to take care of all contingencies before purchasing or simply ask for a credit. Only morons think that everything is going to be fixed by the seller to the highest standards.

Response:


And again I agree most buyers would be better off taking a credit against the sales price for the “fixes” even if it’s only half the amount required.  But then again, how many buyers actually spend any credits from the seller on fixing things when granite kitchen counter-tops call their name or a trip to Las Vegas or Hawaii is more appealing?  “Hagalo manana!”

Response:

We're up against a wall and those that "Bless" repairs make work for those working for Attorneys. Some might call that job security.

Response:


Re-inspection may generate some income, but it is totally unnecessary and duplicitous. The CAR purchase contract already addresses that and that "fix" is already agreed to by the parties. A HI who reinspects, in my view, is foolish to go there. In essence, you are an additional source for recourse. But, there is money to be made, and some will not turn that opportunity down, even if there is no way in hell to tell if the concealed portions of work were done correctly ...so you are simply taking a chance to line your pockets when you cannot really tell if the work was done. I want no part of that, it is not an acceptable risk. If others want to do it, best wishes to them. Personally, I would not give an ounce of weight to the fact that an AHJ inspected it in the rough. Re-inspections are not for me.