Unusual condition assessment request

A client wishes to retain my building inspection serves to perform a commercial property inspection.
What is unusual, the client moved out and the owner wants her to inspect the property to prove they have not damaged anything.
The building is a mixed commercial residential property early constructed in the 1960’s, I think.

1: The business establishment has been in existence for over 6 to 8 decades at the same location.
2: Prospective client purchased the existing business establishment name and rented the place of business 7 years ago. There have been two other establishment owners. Nothing changed in the decore.

The owner is arguing, due to several defects observed after the tenant moved, they are responsible.
The owner wants the past tenant to provide an condition assessment exempting and/or proving them of fault.

No legal claim has been presented to the courts.
Building Owner wants to start a discovery stage.
My advice, do not answer the plaintiff, but that line has been crossed. Lawyers are involved.

I know how I will address the condition assessment.
If anyone has been through this type of situation, any help would be welcomed.

Yes we had a similar experience ,The owner in our case was going after the renter for many things .
We did an complete inspection and when it came time to go to court the owner decided to drop there complaints .
The renter was very pleased with our inspection .

I tend to leave the situation at the door. I try not to get involved in things like this as I don’t have time to be called into court but I have inspected apartments for out of town landlords that are looking for a damage assessment. I give them the same standard inspection but I do a pretty thorough walkthrough video showing all walls, floors, ceilings, etc… so they can form their own opinions on cosmetics.

Interesting can you please tell us how many times you have been called to court and how well the cases went .

I have not. That is my point. The OP stated that the client is beginning Discovery so one would infer that his report and service will be a part of this process. I have only worked on the other side of the table, for the owner.

Your choice fortunately for the public I and others did not discriminate .

Roy, Michael, thank you both for the replies.

In most cases, depending what is bargained for, in the case of commercial property leases, the renter has to do any updating or modifications at their experience.
It’s different than a residential property rental, to which I have also been on both side, acting as expert witness for the plaintiff or defendant, a building owner, or tenant.

I will likely do what is required only. Reason being, if the owner wants a full condition assessment of his/her property, minus any suspect complaints, on a property he/she has not updated several decades, let them spend the time, energy and money.

As well, I do not wish to be dragged through the courts to listen to both sides argue their points awiting my turn only to have the case postponed until everyone was on the right page.

In this case, I will follow the building owners complaint only. If modifications are required I can/will amend the agreement on site with the client.

Possible outcome 1; Robert finds that client improperly modified the property in some way. Client says thank you Robert, buries the report.
Possible outcome 2; Robert finds that client did not do anything wrong. Client says thank you, owner’s lawyer says Robert is working for client, therefore his report is BS, report buried.
Sounds like a win win to me!

Regardless I am sure our inspection saved the client a big head ache and likely many dollars with having us do her inspection .

Its a win for me. I get a job.
The clients will be happy with the outcome. Do not get me wrong.
The property owner is not acting in good faith.
Possible outcome: The owner gets a free report on the condition of THEIR PROPERTY, they should have maintained for 60 plus years.
They should be held accountable to fix the defects he or she should be held accountable for to stop tents from moving.
No one should have to report a buildings condition the owner should have cared for.

I will keep you posted.

Erik and Michael raise good points. I have found in my experience it’s often a no win situation. What was the condition before versus what is the condition now present. Hard to prove or disprove without knowing both sides of condition. Show me the proof…certainly one can only report what they see at the time of the “inspection”.

Are these major issues or cosmetic???

So we have a person who needs assistance and many say not me it is a no win situation .

What is the person to do if no one wants to help them .

I am glad Char and I where able to help some when they needed us .

We have never been sorry for helping others .

My point exactly.
Typically/usually, this type of individual is a narcissist, someone always right, its your fault, and pushes people around to do their bidding.

There is a way to show proof. I will not post it yet. I tell individuals renting to do this for 8 years. I have done many rental inspection.
I take 10% of prospective clients now. I spent to log in court for free hearing the two sides. But I did learn from the experiences.

For one, how can you accurately (measure) condition from behind machinery and under flooring.

If the renter did not complain to FIX what the owner is responsible to maintain its not the renters fault.

Nothing has been rearranged, added to, or modified, so I am told, to the plumbing.
An auxiliary panel was installed to handle a compressor.

When you rent/lease a commercial space, the contracts typically/usually states, you rent the space in as/is condition and are responsible for any modifications and restorations.
When you leave, you can take away anything you purchased that is not PERMANENTLY affixed to the flooring, walls and ceiling. Plumbing fixtures must remain as well as a way to “heat” the space.

This business name/brand occupied the same space for 60 to 70 years and has gone through 3 owners. The owners moved.

I do not know, Claude.
I will keep everyone posted as to the assessment next week.

Roy, I am sure you and Char helped many clients. You’re the king in my books mate!

I am going to help them Roy. That you can count on.

Typically/usually I put in ten times the work at the normal fee gleaning legal and code reference.

I am sure I can helps these clients navigate this pesky landlord. I just wish they had got to me sooner so they could turn the tables on the landlord, but all they want is the bully off their back.