Keeping old reports

Do any of you keep a copy of your old reports? How long do you keep them? Is there a dbpr requirement that I can’t find? I called their customer service line today and they say there are no time requirements, but would not give me “legal advice” on what to do with 10-year old files. I have heard Nationwide that some destroy everything and others keep everything, but I want to hear from other Florida inspectors.

Who cares what anyone else does? What does YOUR Accountant and Attorney advise? You do have those, right?

Since all my reports are PDF and also within the inspection software, I just keep them. At the end of each year, I add that years inspections to a single DVD that has all my reports since I started. I keep a copy in my home safe and one in the bank safe deposit box. With the digital records, there really isn’t any reason not to keep them.

I keep my paper contracts as long as my clients own the house. When we get a good snow and I am in for a day or two, I just go through the county websites and check ownership. If they sold it, I shred the contract. If they still own it, I just keep it. Surprising how many either didn’t end up buying the home or have sold it since the inspection.

While I appreciate your responses, I posted this in Florida home inspectors so I wouldn’t get a response from Iowa or Washington. I would like to get feedback from someone who performs inspections in Florida. JJ has always provided good advice and inspection information and Steven is spot-on most of the time ������. My question was more specific about Florida requirements or non requirements

You’re welcome. At least inspector members in Washington and Minnesota care enough to reply to your queries so you have something to ponder while waiting for Florida members to get around to you.:wink:

To my knowledge, there is no “requirement” to keep your inspection reports.
I have every inspection report I have ever done on my computer, the cloud, my backup laptop, and on dvd. I have all of the pictures taken as well.

I also have them all as far as I know on the cloud in report host and insurance stuff on my computer and an external drive not the best method but since I just purchased office 365 personal and they have a 1 terabyte cloud drive I will keep most stuff there. If you ever have one demanded and you do not want to provide it just remember the flood damage you had from that burst pipe or ceiling leak :slight_smile: I get calls for copies of old insurance inspections all the time I ask they email me the request and 98% of the time I have it the other 2% I figure they did not use me and think they did :slight_smile: I always email them to them so they should be in their email and me doing their research and saving them the time of them searching through their stuff is JUST DONE AS A Courtesy and I do not feel obligated to do so, just trying to provide decent customer service when I do it. It is NOT REALLY my job to keep their records safe for them. If they are a jerk then I do not even bother with them.

Thank you for the responses. I only kept three years for the IRS, and everything else is gone. I love cleaning house!

I would keep 5 at least, trust me it is better to have it and not need it

As a licensed home inspector I have a copy of every inspection performed under that license stored and will continue to do so in perpetuity. Inspections performed prior to licensing are most likely unnecessary records that I would never willingly turn over to anyone unless directed by a court of law.

You are such a puss face Joey!
I keep them all, but I do it for tax purposes only…Not!
I keep them for a minimum of 8 years, but I’ve scanned all of the really old ones.
I’d bet I have nearly all the inspections I’ve done in some shape or form.
Why not! All of mine are in chronological order.
A flipping terabyte external drive is really affordable.
I have 3 running on this system.

As a licensed State I find it strange that your SOP does not require a time frame for record keeping. My state requires that I maintain all residential inspections for a period of 5 years

Like Eric stated I don’t think Florida Law has a time requirement.
The only one I know of is for my WDO reports & treatment contracts that must be kept for three years.
I started saving mine since 2004. :slight_smile:

Hi! My roof is messed up & the roofer says YOU should have seen that from 4 years ago.
Errr… OK, can you please send me the report so I can review it? :wink:

I am kind of surprised there isn’t a time requirement, but the HI laws seem goofy when compared to the Real Estate or Construction/ Contractor statues. A different example would be that Corporation or LLC is not the license holder with an individual person being a qualifying agent.

Agreed Mike.
DACS controls pest control/termite stuff.
The company has to have a license with a Certified Operator
in charge AND the Operator also has to have a valid license.
It’s double dipping of fees!

Our laws are goofy because we had little say in them. They were decided before we got to the table. We have little say because we cannot stay together and are not willing to spend money. Like it or not we are pawns. Until home inspectors stand together and put there money where there mouth is we will continue to be. We are pushed by the contractors, realtors, insurance companies and politicians. The hair braiders had a board and we don’t… let that sink in.

Most of Florida inspectors ask their questions on the Facebook pages now.

I like the business just the way it is, unfortunately it is a shame we adopted a licensing method which includes the lowest common denominator…

Understand this though, most independant home will never stand with those who want to commodify the profession with standardized methods and reports which only serve the multi-inspector firms. Sorry, your just gonna have to wait for us to die. :wink: :lol:

Kerry,
The primary reason you would want to maintain your records I assume like others is in the event the client presents a claim against you for breach of contract. In Florida, the statute of limitations to bring such a claim is 5 years. Your Inspection Agreement probably has a clause in it limiting the time to 1 year to bring a claim against you.
Hope this will give you some guidance.

good to know, thanks!