i am trying to write disclaimers for each section of my reports, I have good ones for the roof and the heating and cooling, But I am having troubles writing them for the interior, struture, exterior and plumbing sections whatever i end up writing, I dont like it, Anyone care to share there disclaimers they use for these areas in there reports to give me a idea of what sounds great, mine suck lol…
Why not put the SOP at the beginning or end of each section?
Troy’s suggestion is a good one.
The problem with the sop is that the inspection gets very large very quick by adding it in. In my report I explain what I can see. For instance a furnace: Furnace appeared to be in good working order at time of inspection. Heat exchangers could not be seen and were not checked for cracks.
Plumbing: Supply and drains were checked for visual signs of fatigue, wear and leaks. Plumbing obscured in walls or floors is beyond te scope of inspection.
Simple and gets the point across.
There you go. This is my very latest template and it does both SOP at the front and disclaimers at the end of each section. Need anything else let me know. If you use HIP let me know and I’ll just send you the files so you can save yourself all the work.
Reference billy’s sample above:
I like the idea but if you have seen any old star trek you are starting to sound like dr. McCoy. “dammit client, I’m a home inspector not a structural engineer.”. Also the wording “feel free to find one” sounds dismissive. Maybe “we urge you to consult x person should you have concerns that fall outside the scope of a home inspection…” would sound better?
Under existing conditions you use the word apply where I think you meant imply?. Also maybe consider breaking up the text blocks a bit at the top. Just a thought…
Why must you dummy up dis-claimers by splitting them all over the report.
That looks terrible and newbie.
Just put it in your contract and mention you follow the SOP at the intro.
Having disclaimers wallpaper everywhere will not stop a law suit if you are nervous about that.
You either messed up or you didn’t.
IMO basic disclaimers in a report are useless. You are telling your client what you can’t, or won’t, do After you performed the inspection. They should know All of your limitations and exclusions Before they hire you to perform the inspection and write the report.
Why not waste your time inspecting instead of disclaiming?
It took a while and I got a lot of flack initially, but this is catching on and working out very well for many inspectors. It takes up a whole lot less space in your report than writing up all kinds of disclosures and potential problems you may get yourself into.
It also leads to potential misinterpretation unless the SOP is copied verbatim. The reason I put the state law in my report was for the lawyers that may get to look at it, and to ensure that they find their way to the rules set by the State of Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.
Eliminates the need for all kinds of photographs and disclaimers that makes you look like a scam. The law is the law and you are following the law and printing it in black and white.
I set up my report template to answer every requirement set by the state law. So before I do anything further in the report, I have to answer all the requirements or comment as to why they were not followed. It’s a checklist in narration form. You can’t make it to the next part of the report until you do the required first steps.
This is an old report sample, I have managed to compress this down to take up less room.
Give your clients the InterNACHI SOP BEFORE you do the inspection. It is better for you and for your clients to know the scope of what you will be doing before you do it than after the fact.
The disclaimers that are appropriate for the report describe conditions that prevent you from doing something that you normally would do. The disclaimers should be specific to the property and to the situation. For example, if you cannot get to a part of the attic or crawlspace because of stored materials or unsafe conditions, you should note exactly what prevented you from seeing or entering the area. Taking a few pictures is a good idea too.
I’m not a lawyer so I won’t comment on legal considerations but, aside from any legal implications, it is better to do all you can to ensure that the client understands in advance what the inspection is and isn’t all about. After the fact, you want the client to know that you did due diligence but there were things out of your control that limited your inspection in very specific ways.
Agreed. I reference the SOP I follow in my contract and in the beginning of my report. I also include the entire SOP at the end of my report so there is no question that that the client was made aware of it. I don’t see the need for extra disclaimers repeated after each section.
Any “disclaimer” that is provided to a client in a report and AFTER they have contracted for your services and/or after they have paid you is worthless.
It equates to a doctor performing a dangerous surgery and then, after you recover, informing you of the risks.
I wonder why companies put “coffee is hot” the on the side of the cup. They just ordered a hot cup of coffee, they know it’s hot, right?
Putting the warning on the cup for them to read BEFORE they open the lid and take a sip is a great idea.
Putting the warning on the bottom of the inside of the cup … to read AFTER they have already opened, spilled or drank the coffee … would be kind of dumb - just like putting a disclaimer in an inspection report AFTER it is too late for the client to know about it before agreeing to contract or pay you.
For my reports, I use the SOP a section headings. This is not the first time my client has seen them. I don’t believe having a bit of redundancy in presenting this information is worthless.
I do agree that this information should be presented to them ahead of time as well. It is sent with every PIA via email to each client. Does that email always get opened? I know my agreement doesn’t always get signed until I bring another copy to the inspection.
I just like to be able to show that I have made every attempt to let the client know the scope of what is being reported, even when they are reviewing the report. Maybe I’m completely off base, I just don’t see how it can hurt.
I am not aware of anyone saying that it can “hurt” … just that it cannot help in the event that the client asks a court to determine it to be unconscionable or to be a contract of adhesion.
Disclosures of conditions after-the-fact, that were not a part of the original contract, could reflect that there was unequal bargaining strength between the parties. Accordingly, any “disclaimer” that appears in a report that a client was not aware of at the time he contracted with the inspector could be easily dismissed as irrelevant to the agreement.
So having the scope of worked referenced in the PIA and having provided a copy of the SOP via email, or a hard copy at the inspection is sufficient?
A lawyer in your jurisdiction could give you the best advice as to how to properly address this in your locality. I have heard of cases where a client who was not informed of all of the conditions of his contract (limited liability, scope of inspection, etc) until moments before the inspection has had the contract nullified for the reason of unequal bargaining strength between the parties - so a hard copy at the inspection may not always be sufficient.
Thanks for the input James.