I would like to get some input on how other inspectors would handle this complaint.
I inspected an older home (1955 Vintage) on April 3rd of this year. I found numerous problems with the home (Client bought the home anyway) including a water heater that was at the end of its life. I stated in my report that the water heater was serviceable on the day of inspection but was “at the end of useful life and that they should budget for a new water heater in the near future”. I received a call from the clients fiancee on July 12. She was irate and insulting. She stated that the water heater started leaking from the top a few days after they moved in around the May 1st. I explained to her that I was on vacation and did not have access to the report and that I would be back in town on Saturday July 14 and that I would like to come by and take a look at the problem. I asked her why she waited 2 1/2 months to notify me and she said she was trying to make a claim on a home warranty policy. She claims that the Insurance Co. had sent someone out to look at the water heater and they told her that the water heater was hooked up wrong and that the home inspector should have found that, and that they were denying the claim. I asked her what was hooked up wrong and she could not tell me and she refused to let me stop by to look at the problem.
When I arrived home from vacation I looked up the report and I had specified in the report very clearly that the water heater was old and may need replacing soon. I called my client and the fiancee answered the phone. I asked to speak to my client and she said I would have to talk to her. I informed her that I needed to talk to the client that hired me to do the inspection. She did have him call me back. This client followed me around on the inspection and I asked him did he remember us discussing the age of the water heater and HVAC systems and that they could go bad at any time and I asked him if he had read this on the report. He agreed that he had. I again asked could I come by to look at the problem to ascertain if I could have missed something. He refused and said they were waiting for a plumber to look at it and then I would hear from them. The conversation then turned suddenly somewhat threatening and he stated that he was too mad to deal with me and he did not know what he would do if he had to deal with me and told me I would have to talk to his fiancee.
The contract that he signed states that he should have notified me within 10 days of finding the problem and it also states that I have the right to do a reinspection of the problem before any work is done to correct the problem.
Any input would be greatly appreciated