Is this just unethical or is this illegal?

Ok I just got a message through InterNACHI from a property Management company that makes me feel a little uneasy. I wanted to get some other opinions of it. See below let me know what you think.

“Good afternoon. I am looking for someone that can do a visual - walk-through inspection on a multifamily property located in Alliance OH. This inspection would include interior/exterior review with pictures and completion of a 1 page inspection report form. Fee is $170.00 and would need to be completed and returned by end of day 1/15/20. If you are interested, please email me for additional information. Thank you.”

There is no way I will obliged their request. It seems at best unethical for them to try and take control of what a home inspection consistists of and what is reported on. (the absurdity of the price goes without saying) Seems they’re creating their own inspection report format and trying to farm out unwitting home inspectors to put their credentials on the line for peanuts. So do you guys think this is just unethical or is this approaching illegal?

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Good question for the Ohio Board of Home Inspectors to determin.

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That’s a pass. Leave that one to the bottom feeders.

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It’s possible you misunderstood the request, perhaps they just need a certain type of inspection (post rental, move-out, etc. ) not a full home inspection. You could ask for clarification if it’s unclear, or just pass on the request.

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Agree…

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A property management company would not be seeking a home inspection. I never did that type of inspection, but I think you have misconstrued the request for condition assessment for a rental property that belongs to their client.

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Good point, wouldn’t be the first time I misconstrued something someone said to me… just ask my wife.

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You could ask to see the form they need filled out. If you’re interested, send them a walk-through agreement to sign, you could edit it as needed.

I guess my biggest concern would be liability. If I’m only doing a partial inspection for certain things I need to have some type of agreement that outlines the scope what I will and will not inspect.
The management firm is a very large national firm. If what they’re looking for is less than a home inspection why do they even need to hire a home inspector to do it?

Because they want a 3rd party professional to document the condition. Again, ask them for clarification and then decide if it’s a service you want to provide.

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They want someone qualified, who knows what to look for, etc. You should be able to edit a walk-through agreement or component agreement to suit what you’re doing for them. We’ve done walk-throughs, addendum reports , property damage reports, for different companies, mortgage lenders, insurance companies, etc. Most times they’ll have a checklist page of things to look at, take a few photos, email to them, jobs done.

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I wouldn’t do it, but if one did, they should make sure to have a signed agreement and get some references.

I got stung once by an out of state company and asked my attorney what I could do. He advised me to get paid in advance with a signed agreement. It costs $ to try to chase out of state cash.

I did that from then on with all out of state clients and never got any push back.

But I didn’t do the “bottom feeder inspections.”

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Thanks Dominic more clarification is definitely needed. Although I have no interest in doing the job regardless of how simple it is. I’m now interested in what exactly their asking for and what will the report ultimately be used for?
Maybe I’m just a cynic but I get the feeling they’re trying get something without fully paying for it.

What’s a “bottom feeder inspection”? Charging $250 for an hour or less, to examine a few things, take a few photos, send a quick email.

Arthur if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, by all means don’t. We done a few different types, and it’s all worked out well.

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Junior Thanks for the point of view. When you put it that way it makes me sound like something I want to do. Guess I just can’t help but not trust a company like that

You’re welcome Arthur! :slight_smile:

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Typically they need the survey/report (stop calling it an “inspection” if that helps) when they are dealing with security deposits, condition prior to occupancy, etc.
Torn screens, broken glass/windows, stained carpets, missing window coverings, holes in the walls, whatever they want documented.

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Reads to fall under the “Field Services” side of the inspection industry. Common and usual.

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Howdy Mr. Jonas!

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