Permission needed for mold testing?

I recently had a realtor tell me that in order to take a mold swab or do an indoor air quality test that I would need written permission from the seller. I’ve been on several social media forums and also talked to my testing lab and everyone is saying this isn’t true. Problem is nobody can provide me any documentation to prove it’s not true. Nor could the realtor provide me anything saying it is true. If anyone has any documentation or can point me in the right direction to get it, I would appreciate it.

Not sure where you’re located. In Wisconsin, the homeonwer/seller has to give permission to the buyer in the real estate contract. No permission = no testing or sampling.

Yes, I am in WI. Thanks for the info. Where can I find written information on it. I know radon requires permission, but can’t find anything on mold.

Permission for all inspections and testing is given in the offer to purchase and the included addenda. The inspection and radon permissions are found in the offer to purchase. Permission for additional testing is usually on Addendum A (or B if you do well and septic inspections) if it is included in the buyer’s offer. If you are providing these ancillary services, ask your client if they were included in their offer. If they’re not sure, ask their agent.

According the legal update I attached: “Persons who exceed the authorization of the contract are technically trespassers because they are on the seller’s property without the seller’s permission. Complaints may be filed with the DSPS when contractors credentialed by that agency exceed their authority.

June_LU_2021_FINAL.pdf (957.3 KB)

Addendum_A_to_the_Offer_to_Purchase_-_2021_ts92514.pdf (148.6 KB)

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Joe has it. It is the same around here.

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I find this crazy stupid. The purchase and sale agreement is between buyer and seller whereas the inspector is a 3rd party and cannot be bound to their agreement.

It would be breach of contract if the buyer has you do a mold inspection that is not in the contract.

I don’t see how the inspector is compelled to do anything less or more, other than show up and follow the buyers instructions.

In other words, I would not be chasing permission slips from sellers. But I’m sure that’s what realtors want you to do because it covers their assess.

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Keep in mind that this was quoted from a publication produced for realtors by the attorneys for the realtor association.

As an inspector, I am not a party to their real estate contract so I’m not bound to it. Also, I don’t worry about chasing down permission from sellers; that is the buyer’s burden. In an attempt to avoid consumer complaints and as a good business practice, when signing my PIA, the client does have to acknowledge that they are responsible for making sure that I have the permission necessary to inspect, test, etc.

Working in a regulated state is so much fun :slightly_smiling_face:


Bingo! That looks like a sound business practice.

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Thank you for all the feedback. I think some times common sense has to win!