Builder messed up, and blames me!

It has been a real weird week.

Had two mold inspections. Read here for more details,

The builder was a Realtor / flipper and his “painter” brother. Both had no clue. Thought that they could remediate themselves. Then the clearence test came bad, BAD, they blame me. I told them to do what they should have done in the first place, hire a professional.

Then, a new 10 unit condo building. 5 units sold. Split faced block (not sealed), improper mortar, single wythe masonry walls, no flashing under the coping stone, bad flashing, the usual. As we walked around (the builder hired me) and I pointed out the problems (the builder was just a money guy, with no construction experience or expertize) the builder kept complaining that I was wrong.

Finally, he told me that the building was built correctly and I wasn’t finding the real problems that was causing the water. He refused to pay me.

I said, “Hey, you hired me to bring my expertize and help you. If you don’t like the truth, that is not my problem. When you get sued by the condo owners, you will see my report.”

I then went and got th condo association President’s number and will send him a letter with some of my preliminary findings and that I would be happy to do a transition inspection for them. :mrgreen:

What is it with these guys? :shock:

How do you reconcile sharing your report with the condo president with the COE?

I think he means in the future as there most likely is no Association yet at 50% sold.

It is still under Developer control I bet.

Frankly I am surprised they wanted the Building inspected.

And if he didn’t get paid, I guess he can do what he wants with the report, or information acquired.

Not necessarily.

If the client is in a dispute with the inspector over the quality of his inspection and refuses to pay…it is imprudent for the inspector to violate the COE and share the report with someone with the intent to cause harm to the client. Things may not go the way he expects them to. There are no provisions within the COE to protect the inspector and should the client file an ethics complaint against his inspector under such circumstances, the complaint could be found to be valid.

True, but Will seems to have good legal contacts. I’m sure he will cover himself.

He said he “went and got” the condo pres’s number. If this is true, he may have crossed the line. We have to stay within ethical guidelines when handling disputes with our clients.

What I do is send a letter to the person who hired me and tell him/her about needing to get paid within 10 days if I was suppose to get paid at the time of inspection. If I do not receive any money than I send a letter to the person who hired me telling him/her that I am no longer employed by him/her because of lack of payment. Then a letter goes out to the other party notifying them I do not work for that party anymore. Most of the time the other party wants to hire me. Even if I do get paid I usually will quit if the person who hired me is not doing the right thing in my opinion. I lose a lot of work this way but I sleep better at night.

There was no report. The builder never paid me and no report was issued.

Besides, it was not a (as defined by the state and the NACHI COE) a “Home inspection”. There was no pending RE contract in effect and the builder was asking for me to evaluate the reasons for the water intrusion.

This was a consultation, not a home inspection.

Hope this helps;

No contract. Just a consultation. No report made (other than my verbal comments, which the builder didn’t like because it made him look like the fool he was (WHY to people build buildings when they don’t know what they are doing?).

My lawyer put it this way.

If the inspection is as part of a RE contract, for a fee, and you inspect 2 or more systems, then it is, by state law, a home inspection and you MUST have a contract and you MUST generate a written report.

If you are asked for your opinion, and the inspection is not part of a RE transaction (i.e., contract of sale in effect), then it is not a home inspection and not governed by state law.

Hope this helps;

i.e., no pay, no contract. A contract is between two parties that spells out the duties of each. Payment is the client’s only duty. So, no payment, the contracft is void.

With regards to Jim’s well placed concern about the COE.

  1. It was not a “home inspection” as defined by Illinois state law (which the COE says supercedes NACHI COE). It was a consulation, and therefore not under the COE.
  2. There was no contract, written or verbally implied, because the client (the builder) didn’t pay me. He did not live up to his end of the contract.
  3. The “safety” of the building’s occupants was in jepordy (much mold), as well as their financial “safety” (I have had 3 buildings that had to be torn down, in just these circumstances). Do I not have a “public safety” duty to the occupants?
  4. While I was inspection a “home” (i.e., a multi-family residential building), I was doing so for the builder, not as part of a Real Estate contract and the guy never paid me because he didn’t like the reality that HE had messed up.

Hope this helps;

Sorry Will but I don’t see your public safety concern playing out here.

I would however use every legal means to get paid for the service you rendered.

Thats how I look at it too.

The only work product I produce, or where required to produce, was my opinion (walk and talk inspection, as the client asked for).

I did that, but the client didn’t like what I told him (i.e., you messed up!)

And, he did not live up to his side of the agreement, to pay me.

Besides, I can make WAY more money helping the poor guys who had already bought their condo units. Have such an inspection on Sunday. The Association pays me for my inspection and report, then they pay me to be an expert witness when they sue the builder (I charge $750 per diem for court time).

Hope this helps;

Can I ask why you didn’t get a signed consulting contract on the front side?

Illinois definition of a home inspection is not relevant.

The end of this sentence contradicts the beginning. Try again.

No. You have no right to share the results of your inspection without your client’s consent. The fact that he refused to pay you because he did not appreciate the quality of your work does not give you the right to share the results of the inspection.

Again…you performed an inspection of a home. The fact that you were not paid does not relieve you of your ethical responsibilities.

Not required, by state law or NACHI COE.

I do these all the time.

How about for your own protection regardless of state requirements?

In your opinion…

No pay, means the work, and the results of it still belong to Will to do whatever he wishes with. If he can sell that to someone else, all the more power to him.