Agents passing out my reports

Guy calls and asked if I inspected a property at an address? I told him yes I did. (it was just last week) He started asking me questions about certain parts of the report. I asked his name, it wasn’t my client. I asked where he got the report. His agent he replies. I explain to him the report is my clients and my sole property and that the agent shouldn’t be passing it around. He told me he was putting in an offer on the house because the other buyer backed out. I told him the report the agent is passing out is obsolete but I would be happy to inspect it for him. I booked the inspection but I’m pissed about his agent passing out my report. What actions should be taken?

This is at the top of my reports."**This report is the exclusive property of this inspection company and the client(s) listed in the report title. Use of this report by any unauthorized persons is prohibited."


Get a “copy-write violation/infringement statement” at the top and bottom of your report and summary!

Explain J.J.
I would like to know more, and I am totally interested in this one.
If any one has any legal advice on how to protect your reports from being passed around, it would be great.
Robert I bet you are pissed. I would be looking for blood or to prove a point that agents are NOT ALLOWED TO DO THAT.

I believe I will even though the law doesn’t read that I need to.

What is a copyright notice? How do I put a copyright notice on my work?
A copyright notice is an identifier placed on copies of the work to inform the world of copyright ownership that generally consists of the symbol or word “copyright (or copr.),” the name of the copyright owner, and the year of first publication, e.g., ©2008 John Doe. While use of a copyright notice was once required as a condition of copyright protection, it is now optional. Use of the notice is the responsibility of the copyright owner and does not require advance permission from, or registration with, the Copyright Office. See Circular 3, *Copyright Notice, *for requirements for works published before March 1, 1989, and for more information on the form and position of the copyright notice.

Age Old Problem… Sometimes you’re lucky as you will receive this call

“Hi Tim… this is XXXX do you still have a copy of XXXX Inspection Report”

Me “Why”

“I have another buyer, they didn’t want to pay for an inspection and I know you did one there”

Me “The report is for the client that paid for it, as well as the fact that things can change in the home and you are creating liability for everyone by giving it out. I do not give out copies of reports to buyers I don’t know. But I will be happy to XXXX”

And before you can get another word out…

“That’s OK, I can find it, I just was hoping you’d email it…” Then they hang up.

I don’t market to agents and have no desire to and don’t even know this agent even though she is local. I believe I will contact her brokers office tomorrow.

Maybe I do not understand.

An Agent passed your report to a Prospective Client.

The Prospective Client calls you, and you convince him to hire you, thereby making him your new Client.

Now you are getting paid again to return and perform another Home Inspection, and you are pissed off??


Take $50 and file a suit against the agent in small claims court for the amount of at least one inspection fee and claim that the agent stole your services and provided them to a client without paying you for them.

The agent will know you are serious, will not repeat the infraction and will spread the word.

This guy called you. What about the those who didn’t or don’t?

Yes I got pissed when some guy I don’t know calls and starts asking questions about a report I did for someone else. I wasn’t pissed at him I was pissed at the agent who I don’t even know for handing out my report to her clients without me even knowing or getting paid.

You don’t have a problem with doing a inspection and then an agent just passing out your report to everyone else that comes along looking to buy that house after your paying client doesn’t buy the house.

No I too would be pissed.
What is he did not phone but used that report to justify his concerns about buying the home.
He gets a free-bee.
Yes it can be a problem and the agent violated the letter head .
Explained explicitly ( "This report is the exclusive property of this inspection company and the client(s) listed in the report title. Use of this report by any unauthorized persons is prohibited.") Its an infringement on hos work.
In God we trust ALL OTHERS PAY CASH !!!


Nothing I can really do about it.

I have other things within my control to worry about. :smiley:

Just a random question.
If you work with agents exclusively.
Would it be in your best interest to draw attention to all agents that you will pull them in to litigation if they play loosely with your reports.
instead, talking to him or her in-person and explain that was your hard work and they can be held liable and will be held liable if this thing continues.
(** in person** ) with a gun, bat, 5 angry dogs foaming at the mouth, a biker gang ( does not have to be the Hell’s Angles ) but if so desired go ahead, George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld with the American army behind them, a group of native indians on horseback all with bow and arrows yelling hair-raising war screams, and a band of vampire wild banshees changing from bats to humans to bats again and all wearing ladies panties and having ( the dreaded change of life ) to boot.
I could be wrong but to me,
I think she would get the point and apologies .

Where can I get some vampire wild banshees?:mrgreen: If I can’t find any I think I will just poke her in the eye at the inspection I booked.

As a certified residential building inspector, you should know better MR.Smith.
You can not get vampire wild banshees unless they are waring ladies panties and having ( the dreaded change of life ) to boot.
I am truly surprised the the InterNACHI ESOP did not teach you this.
Shame, Shame on you.
Call me , I will tell you were to go.:mrgreen:

You could also file a complaint with your state’s licensing agency for unethical behavior. Before I did anything, I’d get a clear understanding from the client about what her purpose was and then I’d send her an email asking for her side of the story.

I will talk to her first before I do anything else. I’m surprised she gave it to him after the first deal went sour. It may not have had anything to do with my report though.

It is irrelevant whether you are required to or not. Let’s face it, the average person has no clue that your report could even be copy-written. Hell, most people have no clue what a copy-write entails. The point is to inform them that they are in violation of the law, and there could be repercussions. Most “honest” people, once advised, will think twice before using your report. There is no way to stop a dishonest person, as they will always do as they please, until caught and prosecuted. Even then, who knows.

From my report… (thanx to the Nachi member for sharing this a few years ago)…


  1. You contract with the client and do an inpection.
  2. The agent asks for a copy, and the client signs a release that allows you to send the agent a copy of the report.
  3. The agent sends a copy to the sellers agent. This is a clear violation (except in Californiana. Go figure.)
  4. Somone, wanting to cut costs, proceeds to use your (and you paid client’s report) for their own needs, AND they want you to have the liability, if the deal goes bad. What’s up with that?
  5. I do inspections of MY paid clients and will, as a courtesy, provide the report to the agent. If the agent sends it to a third party, that is wrong, and illegal (in the U.S.) based upon my common law copywright because it is my work product to my client.
  6. If an agent, in the U.S. sends the report on to others, they are in violation of many state and federal laws. File a complaint against them and work to have their licensces revoked.

Simple, really.

Hope this helps;

My report comes this way,

Cover page and then this page on letterhead, followed by the report.

This report is the property of Safe Haven Inspections, however, the client who ordered and paid for the inspection has exclusive rights to the report. Information will not be shared with another party without specific permission of the client unless it is a serious and immediate safety concern.

The report is copyrighted by Safe Haven Inspections and is prepared solely and exclusively for our Client’s own information. Client agrees to maintain the confidentiality of the inspection report and agrees not to disclose any part of it to any other person. Without our written permission, the “summary” (and ONLY that portion of this report) may be presented to the property owner or their agent for the purpose of sale negotiations in relation to the client who purchased the inspection. If the client named, fails to purchase the property, no other person may use or retain a copy of this report for any reason.

Ownership of this report is retained by Safe Haven Inspections. Agents are
specifically advised that transfer or sale to any other potential buyer or another agent is prohibited – to do so would be a violation of U.S. Copyright laws and all legal means will be used to protect Safe Haven Inspections and their property.