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2019 | Top 5 Claims Against Home Inspectors

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Happy New Year, inspectors! We wish you all success in 2019.

To start off the new year, we wanted to revisit our earlier article on the Top 5 Claims, which we've also been addressing in the ASHI Reporter. We thought it would be helpful to share real claims from our archives so that you could see that types of allegations coming in, how they're addressed, and what you can do to protect your business. Check out an excerpt below.



Last year, we published an infographic featuring the top five claims home inspectors face each year and what you can do to mitigate your risk. One year later, those allegations--water damage, roof issues, foundation defects, mold, and plumbing problems--continue to be common. We revisit each claim type by looking at recent claims from our archives and the lessons we can learn from each of them.

1. Water Damage

A year and a few months after the inspection, a home inspector received an attorney letter demanding thousands in repair expenses. The claimants, a married couple, alleged that the home inspector failed to report significant defects to the property's front stoop. Since the inspection, water had entered the basement between the front porch and the vinyl siding, causing damage to the home. The claimants argued that they could have avoided this damage had the inspection report provided more information.

By the time the inspector received the attorney letter, the claimants had already removed and replaced the stoop. The construction company that repaired the stoop had written a five-page letter on the claimants? behalf. In that letter, the company argued that the inspector had failed to perform an adequate inspection. The inspector should have noticed the "musty smell" in the basement, the company argued. He photographed but did not call out the water stains on the exterior siding, the company wrote. Lastly, the company stated, the inspector should have made recommendations to prevent future water intrusion.

But the construction company's letter was inaccurate. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors' (ASHI) Standard of Practice (SOP), the home inspector was "NOT required to determine the strength, adequacy, effectiveness, and efficiency of systems and components." The home inspector was only required to report on and describe the type of materials used, which he did.

Further, the home inspector identified that the owners had made repairs to the stoop. He then recommended that the claimants monitor those repairs to ensure they were sufficient. Thus, the water staining the inspector photographed and reported was redundant; the owners had already disclosed the damage, so the staining provided no basis for further action.

Find out how the above claim and four others were resolved and what you can learn from them by clicking "Read More" below.


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