Recently I had completed an inspection and after searching the public records for any permitted updates for the roof, HVAC etc., I found that there were two outstanding permits on the property for additions that were 10 years old. Permits were pulled, no inspections completed. There were also permits pulled for the roof and HVAC that were finaled. How do you handle that situation?
It is never a bad idea to tell you client what you know. Open permits should show up on the title search and will have to be closed out before they can close.
What do you think? Now that you know about the open permits…
Good question. Not part of the SOP so it shouldn’t be part of the home inspection. Your agreement should say that your inspection is not a permit search. However, if you know about it and it is something material that might affect your client, you have a responsibility to let them know. It is up to them to decide what to do with that information. It comes up more often now when you look for permits on a wind mitigation inspection. Even when no permit information is researched, I tell them in the report they should research permits especially if there were alterations on the property.
I was asking because it was not part of the SOP. I did disclose this to the client and will continue to do so if I find them. Thank you Hugo for the response. Your answer were my thoughts exactly.
I tell people all I know when I am inspecting their property.
I even tell them things I notice while doing wind mitigations and such.
I agee with Mike (did I just say that?) I tell the client everything I know, because I work for them. What they do with that info is up to them. It’s all public information.
Don’t it just kill ya
At least you are honest enough to admit it.
Many will not come hell or high water.
I have found that in this area, the permit may appear to have not been inspected and with further checking (in one or two cases I called the county), I find that it actually was. Even worse right now, Orange County’s system was just “upgraded” and it is totally f’ed up.
Very true. I found out after a couple phone calls it was finaled at the county office but not in the system.
I include info that is pertinent to the residence at time of inspection, and that is pertinent info.
You might want to be careful on what you report when revealing municipal record keeping. Some municipality’s have what they call a “legacy inspection”. Basicly this means it didn’t get inspected when it should have and now staff is just doing a cursory review of the file and if nothing blatent jumps out at them they will final under “legacy inspection”. Sounds real formal but it should be looked on as watering down the validity of the file. We used to call it “administrative final”,.
We include a full permit search record with the home inspection
**Does that include going down the the departments that do not have online services?
We get info from every jurisdiction in our area. Some are on-line, some require phone calls, others emails and still others want a fax. They are all helpful and know us well. They now laugh when I pull the permit.
We do by online, email, and fax.