Buyer claims roof needs replacing 5 months later

I received an email from the buyer of a home I inspected 5 months ago claiming the roof needs to be replaced and asking if I am licensed.

The roof appeared to be in order with no signs of failure.

Any suggestions on how I should reply?

Why does the roof need to replaced? Did the buyer give you a reason? Do you have photos of the roof?

Thank you for replying, I am relatively new and this is the first time this is happening.
Here is the e-mail: “Hello - I was curious as to why you only observed the roof from below. The whole roof needs to be replaced. Are you licensed?”

The subject is a double wide mobile home.
I viewed from ground level.

What does a licence have to do with it, unless she wanted to know if you are a licensed roofer?
So why did you view the roof from the ground, only? Did you clearly state the reason in your report?
Cheers

Who told the buyer the roof needs to be replaced? I would encourage you to view the roof from on the roof or at minimum from a ladder unless it is unsafe to do so. As Douglas mentioned, state in the report any limitations you had

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There are too many “unknowns” to answer you.

A roofing inspection from “ground” is extremely limited and short of very obvious defects, you will not see much, especially on low pitch roofs. This needs to be pointed out and explained to the client verbally and in the report. Depending on the SOP you follow and your PIA, you should have a good excuse not to walk the roof :slight_smile:

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Agreed.

I can’t imagine why you can’t at least view a M/H roof from the eave or similar. Mobile or manufactured home roofing systems are notorious for leakage

Also, you need to start asking some specific questions of the client, in order to determine what is actually the issue.

Does the roof leak?
Did a roofer look at it for post-leak repairs and tell the client it needs to be replaced?
Is it older than a certain age and now can’t be insured?
Did you report any defects in the roofing system, or take photos of the roof, ceilings, etc.? (Probably has some water stains somewhere…)

Where are you located?

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Dominic,

Good points, thank you.
I did not see any signs of a roof leak, no water stains on ceilings. There were no signs of defects to report. I did take photos of the roof and all ceilings. There is no attic access. I am located in Southern California, Riverside county.

You have been a HI for three years, you should know how to inspect a roof by now, the roof could be 20 years old and look good from the ground, but if you did your job and walked the roof or viewed it from a ladder you may have realized that it was nearing its life expectancy.

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Exactly, Simon!

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So let’s back up here…
Are you actually a Home Inspector, or just another Appraiser that thinks he’s a Home Inspector??

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2.8
5 google reviews

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Well that answers a bunch of questions
Cheers

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Well JJ, you must have scared him off…dang internet, anyway! :face_with_monocle: :thinking: ¡Qué lástima!

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Nah. He’s in California. He’s just gettin his dinner on!!

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I do hundred mobile home inspections a year. Your getting away from real inspection process. It’s not easy . by not going on roof you open yourself to lawsuits. Millennial?

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Try this: https://inspectortoolbelt.com/how-to-deal-with-a-client-complaint-for-home-inspectors/

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Dude, don’t let these guys get to you. Okay, mistake made. Now, how to fix it. Go there and examine the roof yourself again. You never know, perhaps it experienced some damage since your inspection. When you go there show empathy “I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this…” Do NOT accept responsibility - at least not at this time. Commit to nothing. Find out why she feels she needs a new roof. Maybe there is a roofer doing the house next door and is pushing her to do the same. Perhaps a relative or boyfriend is a know-it-all and has her nervous. You won’t know any of this until you examine it. Don’t put it off either, unreturned phone calls and emails make people think the worst. In the mean time, alert your insurance agent and follow the instructions they give you.

Remember to include any limitations to the inspection and why in your reports in the future.

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This issue has a simple response, “At the time of the inspection there were no signs that indicated a need to replace the roof”. As a Licensed Home Inspector and in accordance to the Minimum Standards of Home Inspection, we are only empower to A) Detect and Note; B) Report any Observations at the Time of Inspection and C) at the most recommend Further Inspection to be executed by a Licensed Roof or Home Remodeling Contractor. We can not and should not ‘predict’ future performance of any home dwelling system and cannot be held liable if a particular Home Subsystem fails or colapses after we have completed our site inspection, not that afternoon, not the next day and never the less five months later. We are not a Car (House) Dealer, we are not selling anyone any houses, therefore we do not provide any timeline warranties. A smart buyer should hire a smart wise Realtor that should/could negotiate a home warranty, however I have not found one that could extend such warranty to the roof system.

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Good Answer. There is no reason to be a jerk to him.

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