About the Legislation, Licensing, Ethics & Legal Issues category

Use this forum to discuss current and proposed legislation on home inspector licensing, and other legal issues affecting home inspectors. Inspectors from all associations welcome.

Good Morning! I am seeking help with growth and the liability and possible reputation issues associated with hiring another inspector. Quick back story: I have been a one-woman business for 15 years. Through the years, my realtors and buyers have come to expect a high level of thoroughness, consistency and honesty for all of their clients. They know the report will be sent at a certain time and that I will always show up and take care of the back end details. They also know they can trust me and my findings.
I find myself in a position of needing to grow. I stay anywhere from 10 days to 2 weeks booked out which means I turn down a lot of inspections. I can stay individual and work like a dog, keep the control and liability singular, or I can hire and train someone to help share the load.

For those who have been in this situation, talk to me about the liability and legal ramifications including any legalese I need to know to add to my contracts to protect my name and company if/when the new guy misses something. The person I am looking to hire does have 2 years experience and does have his own company. I would make him dissolve his business and sign a 5 year non-compete.

Tell me the good, bad and the ugly.


I am a new home inspector forming my home inspection report. I am viewing sample reports and most of them have the same verbiage that I like and that I would like to add to my report. I am trying to cross reference it to the InterNACHI’s documents that I gave attribution to and that I am in compliance with, but I am having trouble finding the information. Below, I posted the different verbiage that I would like to add, but, again, I am making sure that I am allowed to copy and paste it to my home inspecting report. Did this verbiage come of the InterNACHI website since so many home inspectors have the same documents? I would appreciate any help and I really do appreciate your time! Thank you in advance!

A common source of dissatisfaction with inspectors sometimes comes as a result of off-the cuff comments made by contractors (made after-the-fact), which often differ from ours. Don’t be surprised when someone says that something needed to be replaced when we said it needed to be repaired,replaced, upgraded, or monitored. Having something replaced may make more money for the contractor than just doing a repair. Contractors sometimes say, “I can’t believe you had this building inspected and they didn’t find this problem.” There may be several reasons for these apparent oversights: Conditions during inspection - It is difficult for clients to remember the circumstances in the subject property at the time of the inspection. Clients seldom remember that there was storage everywhere, making things inaccessible, or that the air conditioning could not be turned on because it was 60° outside. Contractors do not know what the circumstances were when the inspection was performed.*
The wisdom of hindsight - When a problem occurs, it is very easy to have 20/20 hindsight. Anybody can say that the roof is leaking when it is raining outside and the roof is leaking. In the midst of a hot, dry, or windy condition, it is virtually impossible to determine if the roof will leak the next time it rains. Predicting problems is not an exact science and is not part of the inspection process. We are only documenting the condition of the property at the time of the inspection. A destructive or invasive examination - The inspection process is non-destructive, and is generally noninvasive. It is performed in this manner because, at the time we inspected the subject property, the Client did not own, rent, or lease it. A Client cannot authorize the disassembly or destruction of what does not belong to them. Now, if we spent half an hour under a sink, twisting valves and pulling on piping, or an hour disassembling a furnace, we may indeed find additional problems. Of course, we could possibly CAUSE some problems in the process. And, therein lies the quandary. We want to
set your expectations as to what an inspection is, and what it not. We are generalists - We are not acting as specialists in any specific trade. The heating and cooling
contractor may indeed have more heating expertise than we do. This is because heating and cooling is all he’s expected to know. Inspectors are expected to know heating and cooling, plumbing, electricity, foundations, carpentry, roofing, appliances, etc. That’s why we’re generalists. We’re looking at the forest, not the individual trees.

Properties being inspected do not “Pass” or "Fail.” - The following report is based on an inspection of the visible portion of the structure; inspection may be limited by vegetation and possessions.Depending upon the age of the property, some items like GFCI outlets may not be installed; this report will focus on safety and function, not current code. This report identifies specific non-code, non-cosmetic concerns that the inspector feels may need further investigation or repair.

For your safety and liability purposes, we recommend that licensed contractors evaluate and repair any critical concerns and defects. Note that this report is a snapshot in time. We recommend that you or your representative carry out a final walk-through inspection immediately before closing to check the condition of the property, using this report as a guide.