I performed a home and septic inspection on a house yesterday. A small corner of the septic tank lid broke when removing it from the tank . The underside of the lid had corrosion present. The corner broke off because the concrete in the area was deteriorating. Nothing i could of done to prevent it. (I didn’t hit or, drop it or anything else).
I wrote it up in my report and carried on. The home owner complained, and said it was my fault because it wasn’t broke before.
Home owner called me asking question and i explained it all to them. Agent called me a few hours later with the concerns of the home owner. I explained everything again and said not worry i will replace the lid.
Who cares i will be out $50. I am not admitting i did anything wrong i would just rather have the subject die than lose business for something so small.
IMO, some of it is the cost of doing business/customer service.
However, and not to sound wishy washy, it’s a slippery slope.
I recall having some sparks fly from a furnace when I turned on via thermostat (was right down hall/door open). I notified the buyer’s agent to tell listing agent/seller’s etc and left unit unplugged etc.
He forgot, got busy and forgot to call anyone Seller’s plugged back in, made worse etc
As I knew both agents from both sides and have resources for HVAC, I made problem go away… which IMO, was a mistake, as the seller came up with some other garbage that his door (which was bent at top and bottom) worked better until I operated it. The connector from operator arm was hanging by thread… panels damaged etc.
At end of day, I had pics etc do document and guy finally quieted down… but I felt that principle does matter whether it’s $5 or $5000.
That was years ago, and while it’s easy to make every happy when small stuff like this happens, there may be times where our generosity complicates things.
If you put your proverbial tail between legs and eat the cost of the lid (which most any of us would probably do), does that weaken your position with other findings or your/our view by others?
You made the right call even though it wasn’t your fault. Often an inspector will be the first in many years to open, turn, lift something etc and sometimes things may break. A small item like yours I would just pay for but if it was an expensive item I may stand my ground…
TJ, You didn’t do anything wrong, stuff happens and yes you can say it is not your responsibility…the decision to fix it is to make the issue go away and to create some goodwill…cost of doing business. When we do septic inspections we photograph the area we excavate before the shovel hits the soil, we photograph the cover(s) before we touch them to show any deteriorated conditions and we photograph the area after we have filled in the holes and replaced the sod to show we didn’t leave a mess. Those pics are in the job file for those rare times when the owner or someone else complains…we have a record of what we did. Most of the pics are never seen or reviewed again but we have them just in case. If we find a cracked or damaged cover or suspect in any way that removing the cover will cause it to break we go get the agent(s) and notify them of the condition…we ask the sellers agent if they are there if we have permission to proceed…funny how when the agents know in advance about the issues we don’t get those complaints.
I don’t know I never have needed evidence of something I broke. Picture is good but the cap is better just in case some Jack *** decides there is more damage you did or even proceeds to cause more just because an opportunity presents itself. CYA:roll:
OP. “A small corner of the septic tank lid broke when removing it from the tank . The underside of the lid had corrosion present. The corner broke off because the concrete in the area was deteriorating”
If you have to get one than you need to take the other one and replace it. Are you going to call another inspector to do that for you to since it is too heavy. Maybe you can ask CB to do it for you. LOL