Originally Posted By: rray
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
Since neither I nor my attorneys are familiar with the other 49 states, I guess I would have to say that it’s a California thing.
The case law my attorneys brought to my attention specifically concerns mistakes, omissions, and errors that come into play when one fails to analyze the conditions properly, alert the Client appropriately, and provide the appropriate recommendations. Checklists are the major culprit because they make it easy to check the wrong thing, make the wrong recommendations, and gloss over something that should not be glossed over.
Think about the questions that get posted on these message boards. Many of them go something like this, "This morning I inspected . . . and . . . . What do you all think?" An on-site report makes it difficult to put that research that you've done down on paper. Additional case law doesn't seem to like follow-up letters since they tend to get lost. So I do all my research, put everything in one report, and am done with it. Typically takes 12-36 hours to do a good, thorough job for my Clients.
Especially for new inspectors who may have questions about something, checklists and on-site reports in this state definitely appear to increase liability. Additionally, we have four-year liability here in California, so one really wants to be sure that one has analyzed the conditions properly, alerted the Client appropriately, and made the appropriate recommendations, and that all of that is done in one complete report with no addenda, etc. In the heat of the inspection (dogs, black widow spiders, dangerous conditions, Realtors yapping, Clients asking questions, children asking for money, gum, and candy), it's just too easy to miss something at the inspection. I have missed many things at the inspection, yes. Not afraid to admit it. Fortunately, when I get back to the office, analyze my notes, look at the pictures, and create the reports, so far my inspectors and I haven't missed putting something in the report with the appropriate analysis and recommendation.
Also, the statistics that my E&O insurance carrier provided me indicates that failure to analyze properly and failure to make appropriate recommendations are among the top ten problems.
Home inspections. . . .
One home at a time.