I just had a Florida realtor ask why I did not do a permit search for the home I inspected. I have never heard of us as inspectors needing to do this. I look for that information if a wind mitigation is need or a 4 point. Has anyone else had this issue?

I would reciprocate with " Why didn’t you provide me with this info".

While I may need “need” to do it, I almost always check the various sites (time providing) to check for any permits , even on standard HI’s.

Whether I share that info with anyone depends on the circumstance, I certainly don’t feel it’s a part of our main job.


You should always obtain as much info as you can for an inspection. Knowledge is power and knowing just as much or more than everyone else looks good.

I always perform a permit check on every home I inspect.
You don’t “need” to do it, but I have found many things, liens, open permits, etc…

How does that help you or your client?

If I find things before anyone else, how do you think that makes me look? :smiley:
For one thing, I don’t have to answer questions like the one from the OP. :wink:

How do you write it up on your report?

Just because you look up the information doesn’t necessarily mean you have to report it.

Why would you ever reciprocate with that line? Do your own due diligence…that’s what you are paid to do. I always research permits before I show up onsite. Helps me to understand the property better.

Report what?
On my roof report page, I put the permit application date. That auto populates to the wind mit and 4-point pages.

As Bradley said, it also gives you a “picture” of the house. If you get there and see a bunch of new work and no permits were pulled, when you start finding a bunch of stuff wrong, you know that A, a permit wasn’t pulled…and B, you know the reason why.:wink:

If you find a bunch of permits, then now you want to know why.:smiley:

Because no one paid you too.

Around here you need to physically go into the Building Dept. for that information. Which entails picking a number and waiting. I’m not doing that.

You can do it online in the counties I frequent.

I get paid to do it, how about you?

So do I. …

Have you checked to see if your localities offer online permitting databases? I have 17 different AHJ’s in my county alone, and only 3 or 4 don’t have online services, but will submit permit info via email.

I’d be careful not to stir up too much when asking for permits. I inquire about roof, shutters and electrical and at times plumbing. Because they pertain to what I am doing regarding the home. If there’s an illegal addition, enclosed garage, “Teds” shed in the backyard ect… it’s none of my business. Let the Title Company do their job. The last thing I would want is a pissed off homeowner (seller) which not only lost the sale of the home possibly but, has now been contacted by the Municipality because I alerted them to something illegal.

Just a thought…


I like it when the roof is shot but there is a permit that shows it’s less than ten years old. Be prepared for the questions. Had one a few months back that really stirred the pot. Had already done the permit search that showed this very scenario. I proved the roof was shot. They said they wanted a roofers opinion and they got it. Just because a permit was pulled does not guarantee it was done right.

$200 per hour + travel I’m in :slight_smile: