Code of Ethics

Originally Posted By: Richard Stanley
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In considering membership application, I am in disagreement with item 9 of the COE regarding pre-inspection agreement mandatory use by members. I do not personally know of anyone that uses them. I know that alot of you do, or at least say you do. I do about 300 inspections per year and never have used one, and do not intend to start now. The SOP has much less than our license requirements, so, that is not a problem. Does this mean that I should NOT apply for membership??? Item 10 states that I should comply with state requirements, if applicable, and it is, and it does NOT require a pre-inspection agreement. Anxiously awaiting an answer------


Originally Posted By: dbush
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Richard, I have used an inspection agreement on every inspection that I have done, to the point of faxing them beforehand if needed. They cover my butt, and my insurance company. I basically tell people that this gives me permission to do the inspection, and I have never had anyone argue with it yet.



Dave Bush


MAB Member


"LIFE'S TOUGH, WEAR A HELMET"

Originally Posted By: jonofrey
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Hey Richard! How are you doing?


I am certain some of the more seasoned members can answer your question more to your satisfaction. I do however have a question for you. Do I understand you correctly? Are you saying that you do not use a contract of any kind for your inspections?

John


Originally Posted By: jhagarty
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icon_question.gif



Joseph Hagarty


HouseMaster / Main Line, PA
joseph.hagarty@housemaster.com
www.householdinspector.com

Phone: 610-399-9864
Fax : 610-399-9865

HouseMaster. Home inspections. Done right.

Originally Posted By: Richard Stanley
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John, Yes, you do understand. No, I do no not use a written contract. Never have. Any one can sue anyone for anything with or without a contract. I believe that if you do a good job for your client, you probably do not have much to worry about. If you do make a mistake-deal with it. Part of doing a good job is not making mistakes. So far, so good. - Knock on wood, etc., etc. You must know your business and be bald faced honest. Tell them what you know for sure and tell them if you don’t know and keep trying to learn more. I heard about a Ca. inspector that had done over 12000 inspections- no contracts, no lawsuits, same philosophy. I have found that if you are honest and straight forward with the clients, they will respond in a like manner. Further, I have never thought that starting a relationship by telling a client about all the things you were NOT going to do was a very good business practice. Please do not interpret this as encouragement to not use a contract. Some people need them or are required to use them - so I’ve heard.


Originally Posted By: Richard Stanley
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Joe, It is only a determining factor insofar as my personal agreement to abide by and accept the COE. Or I could say “screw it - just sign me up. You will never know that I do not abide by it”. Or I could put an asterisk by it, indicating an exception. Or–


Originally Posted By: jonofrey
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Hey Richard,


I like your philosophy and agree that it's the way things should be. I think most Inspectors take the approach that you describe and always do their best. I think the big exception to the Utopian work ethic are those that would try to screw you even though you've done a good job. Those that want something for nothing. Those that refuse to accept any responsibility and need someone to blame. The pre-inspection agreement is only the first line of defense after your instincts to avoid those type jobs have failed. Personally, I feel better having one than not.

I hope you see fit to join. We could use another Tejas brother. You do at least carry GCL right? ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif)

John


Originally Posted By: mpatton
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Richard,


Forget everything else for the moment, do you carry E&O insurance? The contract is a requirement of my E&O carrier.

The sad part is I love to do business with people on a handshake and promise, but the truth of it is there are to many people that are always looking for a way that it is your fault regardless of the situation. (otherwise to heck with the E&O and contracts etc.)

By the way welcome to NACHI ![icon_smile.gif](upload://b6iczyK1ETUUqRUc4PAkX83GF2O.gif)


--
Michael Patton
AA Home Inspection
Serving Northern KY & Greater Cincinnati OH

AA@AAHomeInspection.net
www.AAHomeInspection.net

Originally Posted By: Nick Gromicko
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Richard:


I like your style. The spirit of any Code of Ethics is to protect the consumer from the inspector...not the inspector from the consumer.

#9 reads "The NACHI Inspector shall use a written contract that specifies the services to be performed, limitations of services, and fees."

I've met many home buyers (especially first-time home buyers) who were surprised to learn (after the inspection is done) that we inspectors don't inspect pool heaters and that we charge extra for wood infestation inspections. A contract is just a way for the consumer to be an informed consumer.

I wonder if Joe Farsetta would agree to dropping the word "written" for those who essentially enter into a pre-inspection verbal contract with their clients.

Nick


Originally Posted By: Richard Stanley
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Nick, Thanks - dropping the word written or converting the item to an encouragement rather than a requirement would be better than present. The examples you mentioned - inspecting pool heaters - I do that when requested, and termite - can’t do that - separate license required here.


It is my understanding that the PURPOSE of home inspectors is to protect the consumer!!! If they do not do that, contract doesn’t matter.Also, there is a mandatory statement on the front page of our promulgated reports that covers a lot of territory that a contract would cover.


http://www.trec.state.tx.us/pdf/administration/rei7A-0_980615.pdf

" The inspection of the property listed above must be performed in compliance with the rules of the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). The inspection is of conditions which are present and visible at the time of inspection, and all of the equipment is operated in normal modes. The inspector must indicate which items are in need of repair or are not functioning and will report on all applicable items required by TREC rules.
The report is intended to provide you with information concerning the property at the time of inspection. Please read the report carefully. If any item is unclear, you should request the inspector to provide clarification.
It is recommended that you obtain as much history as is available concerning this property. This historical information may include copies of any seller's disclosures, previous inspection or engineering reports, reports performed for or by relocation companies, municipal inspection departments, lenders, insurers, and appraisers. You should attempt to determine whether repairs, renovation, remodeling, additions or other such activities have taken place at this property.
Property conditions change with time and use. Since this report is provided for the specific benefit of the the client(s), secondary readers of this information should hire a licensed inspector to perform an inspection to meet their specific needs and to obtain current information concerning this property."
Joe, Mold is not a problem. If it is visible, I report its presence and tell them to clean it up.


Originally Posted By: Nick Gromicko
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Richard:


I'm starting to understand. In legaleeze, what you're using is a "notice", not an "agreement" in that the recipient need not sign it. Actually, I like it more and more. Perhaps we could change the wording to permit "notices" as well as "agreements"

Thank you.

Where's Joe Farsetta?

Nick


Originally Posted By: jhagarty
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icon_question.gif



Joseph Hagarty


HouseMaster / Main Line, PA
joseph.hagarty@housemaster.com
www.householdinspector.com

Phone: 610-399-9864
Fax : 610-399-9865

HouseMaster. Home inspections. Done right.

Originally Posted By: dconstant
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I think you will find that you will not qualify for E&O insurance, unless you do use a contract. This may only apply to certain insurance companies, however, from experience I can tell you when I started my HI business I applied and stated I was not using a contract agreement…and was denied coverage.



Doug Constant


Constant Home Inspections LLC


http://www.constant-inspections.com

Originally Posted By: jfarsetta
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Quote:
The NACHI Inspector shall use a written contract that specifies the services to be performed, limitations of services, and fees.


Richard, why do you find this to be objectionable? Where do you inform your client as to what you're charging them and what is included in the inspection?

Regarding the COE and the need for a contract is that you need to convey to your client precisely what is included, and more importantly, NOT INCLUDED within the scope of the inspection. There should be a signed acknowledgement as well.

I think of the agreement along the lines of a Statement of Work, or a Scope of Work. If your report contains information regarding what you have performed and what is excluded, and your client signs a copy, then you are in the clear. If you are performing a wholesale inspection or are acting as a subcontractor, the client need not sign anything, as you are actually working for the prime, who should be informing the client.

As far as E&O insurance goes, I too must have a signed inspection agreement in place for each inspection, or I am not indemnified by the insurer. It's standard fare.

As far as "suggesting" anything, I am not in favor of changing this requirement within the COE. Its a good rule and the ethical thing to do. However you inform them is your business. Whatever instrumentality you use, whether a separate agreement or a Scope of Work embedded within your report, so long as the client gets a copy of it and you have a signed acknowledgement, you are covered.

So, in answer to your question, yes its a requirement. Its about informing the client as to what you are rsponsible to do and what they are NOT getting as a part of the inspection. Too many inspectors perform their job on a wing and a prayer, and either mislead the consumer or perform a shoddy inspection. The agreement provides the inspector with informed consent, while limiting their liability, and also frames the duties of the inspector.

Joe Farsetta
Chairperson, NACHI Ethics Committee


Originally Posted By: Nick Gromicko
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Joe sure is the right guy for COE Chairman.


Nick


Originally Posted By: jfarsetta
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Quote:
Also, there is a mandatory statement on the front page of our promulgated reports that covers a lot of territory that a contract would cover.


Richard,

I had the chance to analyze the mandated verbiage you embedd within your report, and I must tell you that I still believe it does not sufficiently state what is covered and not covered during the inspection process. If anything, I think it sets an awful lot of responsibility on the Client's shoulders, and says litle as to the scope of the actual inspection process.

Quote:
The inspector must indicate which items are in need of repair or are not functioning and will report on all applicable items required by TREC rules.

Why not state what the TREC rules are?


Quote:
It is recommended that you obtain as much history as is available concerning this property. This historical information may include copies of any seller's disclosures, previous inspection or engineering reports, reports performed for or by relocation companies, municipal inspection departments, lenders, insurers, and appraisers.


Previous inspection reports? Engineering reports? Relo company reports? AHJ Inspection reports? Sellers disclosures?


Quote:
You should attempt to determine whether repairs, renovation, remodeling, additions or other such activities have taken place at this property.


Isnt that a part of what WE do?

Oh yeah... Where is it that we tell them what we're inspecting for them and what we're gonna charge for it?


So, I still believe that the contract requirement is reasonable, justifyable, and ethical. The content of the COE was formulated by myself and four NACHI members who represented several geographically diversed area. We were all in agreement on the entire content, including the need for this reasonable requirement.

Joe Farsetta


Originally Posted By: Nick Gromicko
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Jeeeezzze. I’m glad this Farsetta guy’s on our side. Roberta (Joe’s wife), feed him already! icon_smile.gif


Nick


Originally Posted By: rstanley
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If you really want to know…


http://www.trec.state.tx.us/pdf/rules/535.227_231.pdf


http://www.trec.state.tx.us/pdf/rules/TRECrules.pdf


Originally Posted By: rking
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not agree with working without a contract myself



Muskoka Home Inspections


“Wisdom is the Anticipation of the Consequences”


Steering Committee Member At Large

Originally Posted By: rray
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Richard might be in an enviable position since Texas has licensing for home inspectors and licensing requires that they abide by the TREC’s requirements for home inspections. That in and of itself might qualify as a contract of some type. However, I would like him to weigh in on whether or not he is carrying E&O and GL insurance. My carriers also require me to have a contract, and my BBB membership highly encourages me having a contract; they might even require it but I don’t know since I was able to send them a copy when they asked for one. Perhaps they would have denied me membership without a contract.


When I worked as a consultant in the wireless telecommunications industry, I learned the importance of contracts. When we were signing up new Clients, their RFP stated exactly what we were going to do, when we were going to do it, generally how we were going to do it, what we were not going to do, and how much much we were going to charge. In our response to their RFP, we stated exactly what we were going to do, when we were going to do it, generally how we were going to do it, what we were not going to do, and how much much we were going to charge. If they liked our contract (especially the money part), they signed us up.

Those things are exactly what my home inspection contract also states.


--
Home inspections. . . .
One home at a time.