Chimney issues, missing mortar

A past client of mine just had a chimney sweep/inspection company check his chimney. They found some missing mortar inside the chimney & want to charge him $5000 to fix. I told him I cant speculate on repair costs, but he asked if I could take a look at the pics and give him an opinion on the defect anyhow. Of course I agreed, I want to be as helpful as I can to all of my clients. So I was hoping I could post these and get some feedback from some more experienced inspectors out there. What would you say to a client abut these pics? Thanks in advance!

I would call out “flue mortar missing, cracked and deteriorated in spots”. Recommend Level II inspection.
Normally I recommend a Level 1 inspection if I do not see any visible defects.
Since you have been asked by your client I would advise another quote but replacing flues can get costly.

I always recommend a Level II chimney, unless I can see ALL of the inside of the chimney. I think I did see it all once or twice on new home going straight up and short.

a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property or…(see link)

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