Does Home Inspection Expire?

Out of curiosity does a home inspection expire? A buyer who is renting a home contacted me for a home inspection because their lease is ending at the end of October, and they intend on purchasing the residence between now and then.

Does anyone know the shelf life on a home inspection, thanks in advance.

You would need to do a new inspection… Things many have changed since the last inspection.

The shelf life or “duration” of a home inspection report is either until the buyer has the repairs done (or not), in which case you can do a post repair inspection on said items, the buyer purchases or back out, no longer.
This of course is my personal opinion.
Your entire inspection and report can theoretically change DURING your inspection as well as 5 minutes afterwards or 2 days after.

IMO there is no “shelf life” for an inspection.
It is simply like my camera, a snapshot in time ~ period!


It all depends on the judge if it goes to court or how good your lawyer is

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^^^^^ YEP ^^^^^ YEP ^^^^^

Since the inspection is a “snapshot in time”, it expires at the end of the inspection. Once you leave the property, you can not be certain of what the home’s condition is… did the plumbing just spring a leak? Did the water heater stop heating? The A/C quit working? I would go ahead and do the inspection, but make sure they understand it is not a warranty of future conditions…


The tenant/buyer is already very familiar with the house and is probably okay with it since they’re considering purchase. The inspection isn’t a requirement, so be sure to ask them what their concerns are (or why they feel the need to have this information to inform their decision to follow through with the purchase after staying in the house as a lessee). Otherwise, the report is pretty much normal and based on the conditions at the time of inspection. It begins its “decay” as soon as its delivered (we have to maintain our records for five frickin years, but I consider the effects of fecal alchemy and consider mine to begin rapidly deteriorating before I make it out the driveway). Anyway, the decision they need to make–obtaining financing and the like–is now, so they want the inspection now. I take it they didn’t ask for this information specifically, so give them an enlightening report, leave them with a “Now that you’ve had a home inspection” booklet (a $20ish value), a small stack of business cards, a complementary refrigerator magnet, and any other swag you have laying around, beg them for a Facebook review and a page like, and then move on to the next deserving client!

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Thanks to everyone who weighed in on this matter. Looks like this is not a typical black and white challenge. During my training we did not discuss an “expiration” date. When I passed the national exam I do not remember anything about an “expiration” date, nor was an “expiration” date mentioned when I conducted the required 25 ride a longs in my state.

I am not a lawyer; however, I doubt that this is addressed in the federal or state code. I will defer this back to the decision maker who is living in the home and ultimately needs to make the decision. I am here to support. I gathered the following ideas for recommendations from the group:

  • There is no known “expiration,” however the inspection contingency is typically in the purchase and sales agreement.

  • Early disclosure is an option with re inspection

  • And/or a home maintenance package to ensure ongoing health of the home

  • Inspection at a later date

  • Or any combination

Again thanks to all who weighed in!

The inspection report is a record of your observations at the moment that you observed them.

In that sense, the inspection report can be viewed as a permanent record of those observations made at that moment and as a historical record of those momentary observations that never “expires”, or it can be viewed as a brief observation that was subject to change (or “expire”) the moment that you pulled out of the driveway.


OP- Why would it ever expire? Your liability never expires for what you put in the report. If you report something wrong, it’s wrong forever. Unlike, things will change after the inspection.

Limitation of liability (which I think is what your getting at) can disappear at the wave of a judges hand.

Clients like this, who live in the house your inspecting are looking for another set of eyes to help them in their decision to purchase. If you want to limit the extent of your inspection, add a “Scope of Inspection:” section to your report which spells out what your there to do and the purpose of the report.

Yes it expired the second the inspector walked out of the home. Anything could have occured beyond that.