You insist on making this a referendum on whether HIs should report items as “code violations”. You are debating an item which is not under debate. Do not characterize what I have said as reporting “code violations” it is not.
So tell me, when you find a 40,000BTUH gas fired water heater in a room measuring A.) 6x8x8; B.) 8x10x8 what do you report? What support do you provide for your opinion, or is it just arbitrary? Or, do you not report anything at all because you don’t concern yourself with code related issues or because you are unaware of such things?
If you find a gas fired water heater in a 2x2 enclosed closet off of a bedroom and the builder tells your client that it’s fine, it passed the city inspection, what do you say - OK? By your own argument, the AHJ inspector who spent a total of 10 minutes inspecting the house is immune from prosecution for gross negligence and incompetence, but you my friend, are not. If you think that arguing that the house had a green tag will get you off the hook for performing a substandard inspection, especially if you let go an issue that harms someone, you may be in for a rude awakening.
I frankly don’t give a flying rats arse if an AHJ inspector passed something or not, if it’s not done properly, I’ll advise my client as such and may refer to model building codes to support my statements. This is not usurping the role of the AHJ. The AHJ works for the authority issuing the CO. The HI on the other hand is a professional consultant working on behalf of the client. The AHJ can and does direct specific changes to be made to a house to permit occupancy. The HI advises the client what is wrong with the house and why, regardless of whether a CO has been issued or not, but does not direct that specific changes be made. The client may choose to ask for changes or not. The seller/builder (at least in Texas) is under no compulsion to make changes requested as a result of a private home inspection, although the buyer is not compelled to purchase the house either…
The AHJ inspector and HI are two distinct and separate roles, as you well know. The HI is typically done at a much more detailed level (I typically do only one vs. the 10 inspections the AHJ may do in a day). A few years back, I inspected a new construction home for the mayor of one of the more well known cities near Houston. The AHJ inspector sought me out and asked me to tell him what I had found, so that he wouldn’t miss anything in his boss’ new home. I have never found myself at conflict with an AHJ inspector. To the contrary, those I have talked to were always willing to collaborate.