Rodent Infestation: A morning spent with two attorneys. By Dr. Keith Swift.

My agreement specifically excludes the determination of the presence of rodents, etc.

I did however steal Keith’s paragraph, and will use it. :wink:

I would have answered the plaintiff’s attorney with; “I don’t know if the house was infested with rodents three years ago, but this Damn room sure is!”

Kieth, That has to be one of the best written and useful posts I have seen here in a long time, Thank you.

Thank you Keith, every time I see one of these, I bring up my InspectVUE Editor, and add a narrative to the general comments.

People think I have a personal hatred for attorneys, but I don’t. There are at least three that I deeply admire and respect, and I don’t just mean attorneys like Ghandi, but people like Tom Watson Esq who defended me in mediation. It was a priviledge to watch him work, and when he talks I listen carefully. (He’s reviewing the CALNACHI SOP’s, among others). There are terrorists among us, and justice is merely an ideal. Take care of each other, praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition.

What’s that get you, a win in court, and then what do you expect to win? I look for and document any evidence of rodent infestation and that, I believe, is the best defense. Unscrupulous clients and there attorneys ride rough-shod over our standards every day.

I have always reported any evidence of animal infestation that I have seen or any possible entry points. My report also points out that a gazillion things can happen in the future that we can’t predict, or could be happening now but we can’t see them, or could have happened but we don’t see evidence of them. I like your paragraph, and will use it adapted to my report.

Blaine, I too disclaim rodent infestation, along with every other polutant I can even vaguely imagine but always prefer to shoot first and ask questions later, which is probably why I was not a plaintiff in this case.

Cant remember the exact date but I’ve had that phrase in my HG reports for at least a year and a half…

Thanks Keith…

The question is irrelevent, how could you see what was not present or had been cleaned up?

I think I would have answered “yes” show me the proof that the rodent infestation had been deliberately concealed.

Hello Keith,

I will also be adding your last paragraph to my reports. Unlike Blaine I will not be stealing it, just borrowing it!!

Exactly what I was thinking.


I think you meant to say that you would have been a DEFENDANT in this case.

Good paragraph to insert.

I was deposed as a percipient witness, but wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d been named. Usually, everyone gets dragged into a lawsuit.

My inspection agreement states that I do not do rodent inspections.
It says this because it’s the state law.

My inspection report states that I do not do rodent inspections.
It says this because it’s the law.

However, this does not preclude me from not reporting conditions or obvious damage to property associated with rodents. As a home inspector I am still responsible to report what I see. The state law protects me from not doing investigative analysis/evaluation concerning rodents.

Believe it or not, lawyers who read everything don’t seem to pay attention to this and will have you in court asking you all about rodents. When you’re listed as a defendant in a case, your name on a piece of paper is going to cost you at least $5,000. When you get to court you may be found not to be negligent, but you don’t get your $5,000 back. If you write what you see in the report, it is less likely that you will be in court as a defendant and more likely you will be there as a witness. That will save you at least $5,000!

So I highly recommend that you do not turn your back on a condition because “you’re not responsible for that”.

Again, we do not have to evaluate and determine actual infestation, we must report what we see. If you don’t write it down in the report, you can explain yourself in court and spend $5,000 to make sure you don’t screw up.

Those of you that don’t have a state home inspection law that says you’re not licensed to evaluate these things had better say something in your report.

[size=2]Your best defense is “it is written in the report”, rather than “I’m not required to do that”.

David, wise counsel. Thank you.


Didnt you publish somethng similar last year?

Could have. I tend to write about avoiding litigation in all its varied forms, and don’t keep a record of where it appears, etc.

Nothing like getting chewed on by a room full of rats, all the while
trying not to say the wrong thing about rodents. :slight_smile:

Sounds like a Stephen King horror movie.