conflict of interest?

I just had a call to inspect a home that I’ve worked on withing the last six months. I’ve told the prospective client that I did work on the house. Is this still considered a conflict of interest? Should I ask them to contact another inspector? Thanks.

The fact that you done the work before hand, have told your client I cannot see any reason as to why you cant do the inspection. Should there be any work required after the inspection then that’s a different matter.

I agree with Carl. IMO, as long as everthing is out in the open, have at it.


This has bothered you enough to ask the question. What are your thoughts on this?

I’m not at all bothered by doing the inspection as long as NYS has no issues with it. I seem to remember some specifics as to recent NY law regarding contractors and inspectors wearing the same hats during a specific period of time.

I do not know what work you performed but, how could you be impartial ?:slight_smile:

Yes. It’s a conflict.

I think if you have to ask, then it is a conflict. Try to avoid even the appear of a conflict. If later on there is a problem with the areas that you contracted for then they could very easily say you were not impartial to those areas during your inspection. Whether you were or not it would be questionable even for the most impartial juror. You didn’t say what exactly you did and it may be very benign.

Is it a conflict if he discloses the fact that he worked on it recently?

It also may not be the same owner at the present time.

It easy to report shoddy work But If it is your work that is not good how can you report it . Roy Cooke

I understand your point but if both parties enter into agreement with all the facts disclosed where is the conflict? That’s not to say one may overlook his previous work if he is dishonest.
Shouldn’t the buyer bare some responsibility in hiring the HI he chose?

I probably wouldn’t do it either but it would depend on a number of factors.

The best advice is probably - if there a question or it doesn’t feel right, pass on it.

So if I installed hardwoods in a house 7 months ago, I ethically can’t inspect it today ??

It is real easy to solve your problem. Go back and re-read the law the NYS set up concerning this matter. If your work that you preformed falls in the time frame then you are in conflict with the NYS law. Problem and conflict solved.

Yes it is. You cannot give an impartial opinion on work you performed as a contractor. The best you could do, short of declining the inspection, is to disclaim and not inspect the areas of work where you provided the service.

That would not matter. It’s still the same house, regardless of how often it changed hands.


You are contracting to perform an assessment of the work that You performed within the home in the last 6 months.

Can you Arguably (Legally) present a report where comments related to your work performance are not suspect?

I agree with Jeff, and I think that the fact that the author of this thread had the doubt that led him to ask the question is the most convincing evidence that this inspection raises as many questions as does eyebrows.

Building a business for the long term often means walking away from a few that could affect your reputation in an undesirable manner.

It’s a conflict.

I’ll take the other side. Perhaps the fact that the author asked shows that he is an ethical person. Ethics are like laws. There are people who break them, and people who don’t.

He didn’t state what work he did on the house, but suppose it is something as simple as replacing a disposal. If that is disclosed to the buyer, explain how it would be unethical in this case.

Something is only unethical if the purpose of the act is to deceive. Honesty is the best way to good ethics.


There are good comments on both sides of this issue. Each case is probably a bit different and its left to each inspector to make the decision within his personal ethics and in accordance with state law and governing SOPs. These discussions should help all to think through any possible conflicts they have and make an informed decision.:slight_smile:

Or what if he painted the living room, I don’t put in my reports that the living room is the ugliest color I’ve ever seen… :smiley: