NY Contractor Found To Be Inspecting Without A License

[FONT=Trebuchet MS,Verdana,Helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=Trebuchet MS,Verdana,Helvetica,sans-serif]The following is from the NY DOS[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=Trebuchet MS,Verdana,Helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=Trebuchet MS,Verdana,Helvetica,sans-serif][/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=Trebuchet MS,Verdana,Helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=Trebuchet MS,Verdana,Helvetica,sans-serif]Contractor Found To Be Inspecting Without A License [/FONT][/FONT]

In a September 2007 decision, the Department of State Office of Administrative Hearings has ordered a central New York contractor to cease and desist performing home inspections without a license.

According to the DOS web site, buyers hired a contractor that had done work for them in the past to evaluate a home that they were attempting to purchase. The contractor provided a one page report on his findings. The DOS administrative law judge found, in part, that since the contractor was not there to provide estimates for work, but rather to evaluate the condition of the property, he had performed an inspection.

The judge’s decision in this case clearly draws a line between what a contractor may legally do and when he/she crosses over into home inspecting.

An excerpt from the decision is included below. The entire ruling can be viewed at: http://www.dos.state.ny.us/ooah/decisions/homeinspector/Neubauer_Josef.htm

*"In this case, the respondent was not providing the Coles with an estimate for repairs or renovations to the property they were contracting to purchase. The respondent was observing and assessing several external and internal components of the property in order to provide the Coles with objective information about those components. The respondent conducted his inspection for compensation and provided the Coles with a written report (which he described as a “home evaluation”) identifying which systems and components of the property he observed along with his findings. *

Although the respondent may have innocently believed he was appearing for the Coles solely as a contractor, his actions and representations spoke otherwise. To hold that he was not acting as a home inspector would permit any contractor to provide occasional home inspections without being licensed. More importantly, it would lead to the respondent (and other contractors) not being held accountable if his inspection was incompetently or negligently performed. Had the Coles not been satisfied with the respondent’s evaluation or had they purchased the property based on respondent’s assessment and then realized that respondent had committed errors, they would not have had any recourse against him.

Clearly, the intent of the Legislature in enacting The Home Inspection Professional Licensing Act is so that home buyers such as the Coles are assured that the person they hire to evaluate and address their concerns about their prospective new home is a professional, qualified home inspector who will be held accountable for that inspection. Simply because Patti Coles knew the respondent from having previously hired him to do contracting work for her, does not necessarily mean that he had the necessary background, qualifications and experience to inspect the property."

Good. Let’s locate the others…

A precendent that may well be cited in other cases throughout the country.