Performing Inspections Abroad


InterNACHI provides services to two kinds of home inspectors, Indigenous inspectors working in the nation in which they reside, and inspectors traveling abroad to perform inspections. This article is for those traveling abroad to perform inspections in nations other than those in which they reside.

Identifying Areas of Liability
Inspecting in a country with which an inspector has limited familiarity is difficult, with legal, language and cultural barriers increasing the chances that an inspector will make a mistake. Building practices are tied to local necessities, practicalities and cultural practices, all of which inspectors must take into consideration in making recommendation decisions.
To decrease those chances and limit liability it’s important that inspectors working abroad try to identify the areas in which they are at risk. This will allow them to increase their diligence in these areas and to adjust contract language disclaiming parts of the inspection as necessary.

Advance Work
InterNACHI inspectors make their contact information available to potential clients in a pull-down menu posted on the InterNACHI homepage. In posting contact information for a particular nation, an inspector is implying that he is familiar with the basic requirements of inspecting in that nation. Examples of these requirements and considerations might include awareness of:

  • National regulations governing work performed by non-citizens.
  • National regulations governing the home inspection business.
  • Insurance requirements
  • Laws pertaining to contracts and disclaimers
  • Local building practices
  • Cultural factors affecting the inspection
  • Dangerous conditions[LIST]
  • Politics
  • Weather
  • Disease
  • Animals
    Inspectors offering to perform inspections in specific nations or regions should build and maintain files of information pertaining to inspecting in those areas. One of InterNACHI’s goals is to build a library of information on inspection requirements in specific areas of the world available to InterNACHI members only.
    Inspectors should have realistic ideas about what they’re offering to do in traveling abroad to perform inspections and both the Inspector and InterNACHI may suffer if things go badly because Inspectors fail to understand the requirements of an inspection because they didn’t do their homework.

Although it may be tempting to view performing an inspection abroad as a working vacation, it’s important for inspectors to remember that they’ll be performing inspections, which may take them into situations in which they might not find themselves as vacationers, such as in a crawlspace with a large, angry, venomous snake. There’s a mental picture that should make you want to do your homework.

Much of the information and links required to do this homework can be found on the site now and more will be there in the future. You should contact the embassy of nations in which you are offering to work to ask about visa requirements such as lag time between submission of the application and the time the visa is actually issued. In some situations you may need to apply well ahead of time.

Nation Information Pages (Members Only) …still to come
The Nation Information Pages are on-line forms to be filled out by inspectors who have completed inspections abroad. These forms will provide basic information gathered by inspectors returning from various nations who will share what they have learned. This information will include travel and accommodation considerations, a description of inspection regulations that apply and any other information that may be helpful to other inspectors working in the same region in the future.
Over time, this will allow InterNACHI to build a proprietary library of unique resources containing detailing inspection information available to InterNACHI members only.

Regional Information Lists (Members Only) …still to come
Regional information lists are template lists to be filled out by inspectors before they perform inspections in a new area. The purpose of these written lists is to help inspectors working abroad identify areas in which they are vulnerable. Basically they are a preparatory tool to be used in conjunction with information taken from the Nation Information pages.

**Languages, Reports and Translation **

While InterNACHI provides links to language sites and inspectors may have some ability in the language of the region in which they will perform an inspection, inspectors are advised not to provide Inspection Reports in languages in which they are not fluent for reasons of liability. Language limitations should be included in contract disclaimers.

Although InterNACHI provides contact information for translators, InterNACHI accepts no responsibility for their work or for problems arising from any translation of any document and any form. Translator contact information is provided for Inspectors wanting to provide website information in languages with which the Inspector is not familiar.