Does the seller have to disclose to us that they are recording or watching the inspection through a security camera?
I’m not sure how You could enforce that. I see enough cameras out there I just assume at least some of them are on.
Not in my locale. Always assume someone is watching or you are being recorded. In other words, don’t do something you wouldn’t if someone was watching. Helps me sleep like a baby at night
- You are intruding in their home,
- You are not under contract with the homeowner,
- You have no right or expectation of privacy,
- What applies to YOU does not apply to THEM.
Most video recordings are legal with or without consent. Very few laws regarding Video. When the video also records conversations Federal law and all but 11 states say it is allowed as long as one party is aware. This can be the recording party. So I would say just assume you’re always being recorded.
They can watch me and record me all they like. I’d be happy to compare my body cam footage if there is ever a problem. I conduct myself like a professional and leave the home with no issues or problems.
They have actually been helpful for me a few times. We have a lot of second homes in my area and the owners are out of state. One inspection, the buyers agent was not going to be available to let me in, but provided me with a code for the automated door lock. It was a vacation rental and the code was changed after each rental.
She sent me code with the instructions, but when I got there it wouldn’t work. I stood on the front porch and called the agent only to get her voicemail. Thought I would go ahead and start the exterior inspection while I waited for her called back. About that time, a voice came over a speaker and said “Tom, I’ve unlocked the door for you. Thank you!”
Yep, the owner saw me on his security camera, overheard my call to the agent and unlocked the door remotely from another state away. Saved time and headaches so I looked into the camera on the front of the house, waved and said “Thank you too!!”
I had no problem doing the inspection knowing I was being watched.
I had a client that said when they had their house (they were selling) inspected, his wife did listen into what the inspector was telling the buyers at the walkthrough so they had a heads up on what the report would show. So it does happen. I believe the local BOR had a class on this issue also.
I see two precaution you should take; one is to be aware that they may be observing/recording You, So don’t go and do something stupid or illegal.
The other precaution would be; if you think that they are observing you and the inspection (just assume they are) , you may want to take steps to protect your client. Such as: Don’t tip your hand to what issues you are finding and if your client is present, let them know (outside) that the seller may be observing and let them choose whether they wish to discuss findings in eye and ear shot of the cameras/recorders. They may want to do their verbal walkthrough, and discuss concerns outside so as not to show tip their hand at later negotiations. Just handle it like if the seller is present at the inspection. Which seems to be the case at least in my area more and more…general Covid excuse, and people working from home or just out of work period-- I guess)