I did an inspection in April in South Florida and verified waste lines as PVC at the roof, attic and fixtures. Now I’m being threatened with a lawsuit because the 2nd bathroom has cast iron waste behind the wall… House was built in 1977 and no plumbing permits are on file. Drainage flow was good at the time of the inspection. There has definitely been a partial plumbing system repair, but nothing was in the seller’s disclosure. Any help as to how to approach the conversation is appreciated. Thanks
So what are their damages?
Do you have any photos from the attic (maybe something taken for a 4 point or wind mit) that show DWV pipe?
All DWVs are PVC
Welcome back to our forum, Gene!..Enjoy!
Thanks Larry. i always appreciate your comments and insight.
What is their problem with the cast iron?
He said slow drainage and internal deterioration of the line.
1.1. A home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property (as delineated below), performed for a fee, which is designed to identify defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector.
I hope you did not put this in your report. You have no way of knowing that “all” DWVs are PVC unless you did a phase inspection before they closed the walls. The report must explain that the identification of any and all pipe is at their visible, exposed, areas only. You should also put a disclaimer explaining you cannot see and thus are not responsible for any hidden piping. Was this in your report or not? because that would be your easy defense. Your report is what the court looks at.
Hi Simon, No, I didn’t put that in my report. I always use a disclaimer about visible and accessible piping. I’m waiting to hear back from the building department about partial plumbing updates and permitting. I believe the cast iron pipes would have been known to the prior owner and should have been in the sellers disclosure. Thanks
No idea how disclosures work where you are, here the seller credits $500 in lieu of disclosure and discloses nothing. Beyond that, the buyer would have to prove the seller purposely hid something to seek any compensation. Is the seller required to disclose any known cast iron pipe where you are? Per before, your report is your defense, I would not rely on any seller disclosure to protect me. Good luck!
The seller’s disclosure in South Florida typically specifically asks if there is polybutylene or cast iron piping. I’m not familiar with a buyout option with non-disclosure.
Gene, as some have been alluding too, was the cast iron situation visible or could have been to you? If it wasn’t, you can forget about disclosures and such. The inspection is based on what you can SEE, not on what a disclosure statement may or may not state.
Here in Georgia, sellers are not required to fill out a disclosure, however, if they knowingly withhold known defects, they can be held liable if the buyer ask them if they know of any and they answer “no.”
In Florida a full written disclosure is not mandated.
Although… … you must disclose items you have knowledge of that would
affect the material value of the property.
poly - bad roof - cast iron for instance
Just how are we expected to know what is behind walls. This is a visual inspection only.
Contact joe ferry great inspector lawyer
Observation: PVC ASTM D2665 PVC Pipe. Location: Attic.
No adverse conditions observed the day of the inspection.
Limitation: Items excluded from a building inspection. Canceled plumbing.
You can ask to revisit the site. Do so.
Say NOTHING when you are there. Take pictures.
Good day sir/maam.
Hope this email finds you well.
Sorry for any misunderstand you may have concerning the inspection and report I provided you on xxxx,xx,xx. The PIA-Property Inspection Agreement expresses the scope and limitations of the condition assessment conducted on your behalf.
Due to possibility of litigation on your behalf, I will no longer be able to help address your concerns.
- The parties agree that any litigation arising out of this Agreement shall be filed only in the Court having jurisdiction in the County and city, ---------------- in which the INSPECTOR has its principal place of business.
a. In the event that CLIENT fails to prove any claims against INSPECTOR in a court of law, CLIENT agrees to pay all legal costs, expenses and fees of INSPECTOR in defending said claims. CLIENT further understands that any legal action against InterNACHI itself allegedly arising out of this Agreement or Inspectors relationship with InterNACHI must be brought only in the District Court of Boulder County, Colorado. No such action may be filed unless the plaintiff has first provided InterNACHI with 30 days written notice of the nature of the claim. In any action against INSPECTOR and/or InterNACHI, CLIENT waives trial by jury.
All said without prejudice.
Now sit back and see if they follow through.
If so, reach out to Joe ferry Inspector Lawyer.