The Housewhisperer

Home inspectors rely on our standards to protect them. When they are referred to in the scope of the inspection, they become a legal document.

So, I’m curious. Is there a potential problem with the definition of the term “material defect” in the NACHI Standards regarding “… adverse impact on the value of the property?” Home inspectors are not appraisers and should not be held to issues of property value. The term "material defect and its definition in the California Business and Professions Code (to which California home inspectors are required to adhere) remains a potential issue - not for simply including value in its definition, but also for including “desirability, habitability, or safety of the dwelling.” Desirability is purely subjective and habitability issues are the domain of the AHJ.

In addition, in the NACHI Standards the term “unreasonable risk” is not defined in the definition of “material defect.” Unreasonable to whom? If someone is injured as a result of a condition which was not identified and documented in an inspection report, he or she (or their attorney) will very likely take exception to the decision by the inspector to excluding and not identifying and documenting the condition which precipitated the injury. They will claim that the occurrence of the injury itself demonstrates that the risk was, in fact, “reasonable” and, therefore, should have been identified and documented.

One way to reduce the potential for liability is to own the terms which apply to inspections by defining them in a manner which will reduce the potential for misinterpretation.

It’s food for thought and discussion.

You have that backwards (I think you mean “unreasonable”), but nonetheless…under InterNACHI’s SOP, our members are not required to find every defect (that would be impossible and a service our members don’t offer).

Must be an attorney who is phishing.

Kevin Ohornett

You sure picked the most insignificant point of his post to respond to. I have often wondered the same exact questions that he asked. Are you willing to answer them for me at least?

I did a character search using my Command F function on the text in his post and only came up with one question mark.

What other question can I answer for you?

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

When I read the original post a headache came on.
Hope he does not speak to clients in reports with all that pseudo legal “mumbo jumbo”.

I’ll take a wild guess at answering a question that wasn’t posed by saying this:

It matters not how you define “material defect” as we aren’t charging to correctly determine if a defect is material or not. It’s simply not a service our members offer. What we charge for, in part, is to identify those defects that we both observed and that we (the InterNACHI member) deemed to be material. We sell our opinions.

Also, the fact that an injury occurs is not proof that there existed an unreasonable risk. Stairs aren’t an unreasonable risk and people fall down them all the time. Furthermore, InterNACHI members don’t offer a service that correctly determines which risks are reasonable and which ones aren’t or which defects are material and which ones aren’t.

And furthermore, members need not be accurate. You don’t have to be very accurate to succeed at covering your soup bowl with a swimming pool cover. Since we aren’t required to determine which defects are material and which ones aren’t, if you see a defect, report it. If you report a defect, it matters not if the defect is material or not, and it matters not if someone gets injured on it or not, and it matters not what definition anyone uses. You reported it. When in doubt, report it.

Thanks Nick and Nathan. You’ve answered my questions.