(7) Inspectors shall not disclose inspection results or client information without prior approval from the client. Inspectors, at their discretion, may disclose observed immediate safety hazards to occupants exposed to such hazards when feasible.
This rule was written with this in mind.
- What is the client’s right to the report information? They paid for it. The Ethics Committee decided, with the advice of legal, that the client does have a vested interest in the product. However that interest should not preempt an inspector from commenting about safety items judged immediate to occupants. Thus the rule.
1.1) A client is not obligated to provide a report copy to the seller or any agent. The client has the most control over transfer of product.
- The requirement to obtain prior approval can be written or oral. Of course written would protect the inspector more. Most inspectors just build the language into the contract.
- Some inspectors indicate the report is not transferable. There are different strategies in doing this that I won’t go into. The success of this depends on the nature of the problem and judge. Inspectors have been held responsible to 3rd parties they never met or got paid by.
- Each insurance company handles this differently. Bottom line is if a 3rd party wants to sue the inspector they can.
- If a MoveinCertifed report is distributed and there is an error, any error, a complaint can be filed at TREC by anyone. TREC will investigate the report as strictly as if it were done for a specific consumer.
- The program is easy to abuse although the risk is minimal. Client see’s a Moveincertifed report; places contract on home; next inspector finds big problem that MoveInCertifed missed; Client can ask MoveIncertifed inspector to pay for 2nd inspection and any contract related expenses. Why? Client relied on incorrect report and the Inspector violated the State law; acted negligently and incompetantly; they have E&O. Guaranteed success in small claims, especially if you get your TREC ruling 1st. Like I said unlikely and predatory but it can be done without breaking a sweat.
- Ok Ok OK maybe someone might say the Moveincertifed report above could not be relied on. Perhaps but that still does not save their bacon from TREC. TREC investigation pays no attention to who the report was prepared for. Did you comply or not comply? So now the strategy changes “Would the inspector pay $500 to avoid a TREC investigation?” I would.
The MoveinCertified program is a marketing opportunity, however I would consult my insurnace company first. The problem might be the requirement of a pre-inspection agreement to validate insurance coverage. This could, to some extent, be handled with some wording in the “Certified” inspection report.
It just depends on what the inspector misses and how serious it was. If the inspector blows a big item and a 3rd party relies on the MoveInCertified advertising the inspector could take the bullet.
There other other Rules at TREC that have / don’t have impact on this program. First of all is the inspector doing an inspection pursuant to a Real Estate transaction. If not he is not bound by TREC and the report can advise a future buyer to get a TREC inspection. Hmmm but if your not doing a home inspection are you covered by your insurance?
I do listing inspections but I do not call them Certified and I use strategies to defer liability.
All word games.