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My governor (Charlie Baker R-MA) has along with the President of the US call out an emergency due to the Corona-virus issue. He has also created a list of 'essential' professions/trades/services that can still work out there. (The rest are NOT allowed and there are fines if they were to disobey this edict). Home inspection is not on the list. Therefore, I am obeying this directive and not going out to work, in compliance with this law. 

Yet, some of my fellow MA-area inspectors are simply ignoring this. This is against the law, against the edict of the Governor and unethical as it is in direct contention with not only the law but the intent/spirit of the law which is a good law.. (Idea being simply.. 'lets not spread this more than it is if we can'). 

I think my fellow inspectors are breaking the law, jeopardizing their licenses and worse.. possibly increasing the spread of the corona-virus, no matter how well they try not to.  
What do the forum-readers think? 

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We can go to the grocery store and to Lowes, and to Tractor Supply. Inspecting an empty house  seems pretty low risk compared to buying bread.  

Well at least somebody else noticed the false info at our government funded news outlet (Unless you're already infected, masks won't help you.) and they corrected it! Although now factually cor

I want the deluxe model with sleeves and gloves attached. And a kangaroo pouch for money. [:)]

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I fully agree with you, Rob.  I'm kinda disgusted with the actions of some inspectors here and their pitiful attempt at justification to continue business as usual.

I had another long conversation with a client this morning.  This one said he would supply a gown, gloves and mask (he's an MD), forego any paperwork/report and pay cash so there would be no record that I was there.  Some real estate "professionals" are also ignoring the mandate, go begging for inspections and then go find someone that will play along.

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Nick Gromicko is promoting a silly safe practice certificate and openly advising people to keep working, even in states that have declared inspectors as nonessential. I sincerely hope there are some sanctions headed his way

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Well, you have to understand that Nick is programmed to automatically and proudly defy government orders. We don't need to get into it here.

There is a Facebook site called Washington Home Inspectors where inspectors who are ignoring the governor's order are trying very hard to parse the governor's declaration in such a way as to justify their violating the law and performing inspections. Stating that if one doesn't agree to do an inspection requested by an agent the agent will no longer refer one to his/her clients IS NOT an excuse to violate the law.

Myself and others have told them repeatedly in no  unvarnished terms to STAY THE F**K HOME and they still don't seem to get it.  My opinion - If you are getting calls by clients and agents pressuring you to go out and inspect in violation of the government's order,  you politely explain to them that ours IS NOT considered an essential business and tell them that any responsible citizen should obey the law. For agents, I'd let them know that, as a responsible citizen, it would now be my duty to report them to the real estate licensing folks.

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In Oregon, home inspectors are allowed to continue working under the Governor's executive order if they, "designate an employee or officer to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority." So that's what we're doing. 

If I do a home inspection in WA, it's illegal, but if I do one in OR, it's legal. Yet, the ethical issue is the same in both states. 

  • So, am I behaving unethically by performing inspections in OR where it's legal to do so? 
  • Would it be unethical, or just illegal, for me to cross the border and do an inspection in WA using the same social distancing policies that I use here? 
  • Would it be unethical for a WA inspector to cross the border and do inspections in OR, if he or she follows the appropriate policies? 
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Seems to me it's just two different takes, by two different states, on the best way to handle the challenge.

I can drive 85 in Texas, on a 400 mile stretch of interstate 10, that I can't do here in Louisiana.

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What's it going to take for people to comply with these common sense government mandates?
When those of us who routinely go up on roofs mention that fact we're normally bombarded by folks lecturing us about how we're nuts and are setting a dangerous example for newbees to follow. Folks are always crowing that, when it come to safety, err on the side of caution. With that in mind, I think folks should just stay the f**k home. The fewer folks there are running around out there, the faster this thing is gonna die off.

Does someone from this board have to get sick and nearly die, or god forbid actually die, before everyone who is looking for ways/justification to ignore these rules finally gets it?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

 

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My answer is that it would be morally Unethical to do any of the three, regardless of the ability to do so without repercussion from the state(s).

I'll keep saying it until this thing is over.

STFH!!!

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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We really are struggling with this. Our compromise is to inspect vacant houses with no other people present and wrap up by phone at the end. This will probably cease to be an issue for us quite soon. I'm the last one of our 5 inspectors to have an inspection scheduled for Monday morning. After that, all 5 of us have blank schedules. 

But just to get your blood pressure up - if I did have an inspection on Tuesday, I'd do it. 

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I don't see this issue as rising to the point where it even has a significant ethical or moral component.  The elephant in the room is at most the correct interpretation of what these governor proclamations mean for us home inspectors...on a state by state basis.  If I get an inquiry for an inspection, I'm going to take it but I'll talk with the parties involved and try to involve as little person to person contact as possible and them only from a distance.  I'll also wipe my hands clean before entering the house, keep my hands away from my face while there and wipe my hands again after the inspection before I even pull  the keys to my truck out of my pocket.

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I think that the elephant in the room is common sense which is being ignored.

According to the NIH, this virus can remain active in the air for up to three hours, on copper for up to four hours, on cardboard and paper up to twenty-four hours, and on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to two to three days. More significantly, the CDC found that on cruise ships it was still present on surfaces in non-decontaminated rooms for up to seventeen days after those rooms were vacated. That means you can walk into a vacant house to do an inspection where that bug could be either in the air, 'cuz someone had walked through the home less than three hours before you, or every surface in the home could have the bug present if the home hasn't been disinfected just before you walk in the door. So, then you finish the job, climb in your truck, take your PPE off and do what? You touch your own clothing and or your face and spread the shit to your steering wheel and other surfaces in your vehicle and you carry it back home to your family. Really, really smart......……..NOT!!

There are thousands of folks walking around that don't even know that they've been infected yet. During the incubation period, these folks touch all sorts of surfaces that others who aren't infected will come into contact with. There was a lady on this mornings Today show who has just recovered from this virus. She went to a meeting where everyone appeared healthy. They practiced social distancing and took all recommended measures. Six of eight persons that attended that meeting have since come down with the virus. Her words, "Social distancing is not enough. People need to stay home." That's the only way this thing is going to be defeated.

You guys have no idea how pissed at you I'm gonna be if one of you comes down with this shit because you refused to listen. I'll be even more pissed if you croak. If that happens, I can guarantee you that your peaceful time in paradise will be short relatively-speaking, 'cuz, when I go, I'm going to find your ass in the afterlife/next life and commence to whuppin' you like a wet puppy through eternity.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

P.S. - STAY THE F**K HOME !!!

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18 hours ago, Jim Katen said:
  • So, am I behaving unethically by performing inspections in OR where it's legal to do so? 
  • Would it be unethical, or just illegal, for me to cross the border and do an inspection in WA using the same social distancing policies that I use here? 
  • Would it be unethical for a WA inspector to cross the border and do inspections in OR, if he or she follows the appropriate policies? 

There are 7 or 8 different types or theories of ethics (I can't remember exactly - it was part of a class from about 40 years ago). 

I think duty-based ethics would apply if you're complying with an industry standard, law or mandate.  It would be unethical to operate in a state that specifically prohibits your business.

Results-based ethics is another but harder to apply consistently when there are unknowns and vagueness.  Consequentialism is defined by the result of the act - a flexible system based on individual circumstances.  The more good the act produces, the more right the act becomes.

Is performing the inspection going to produce more good results than the potential for bad results?

ASHI has a code of ethics that could be applied,  as do some state HI regulations, but that requires individual interpretation.  The language is usually contains something like avoid situations that may cause harm or make our profession look bad.

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i remember 1980 oly chant

usa!  usa!  usa!  

& going to other events exalting we're #1

within the last 24 hrs both became our reality once again concerning covid

everyone stay safe & well & look forward to reading you as this rapidly progresses

https://bnonews.com/index.php/2020/03/the-latest-coronavirus-cases/

badair

Father Sky

Mother Earth

Children of the Universe

Forever Free

Always at Peace

Edited by BADAIR
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I am a little late to the conversation.  We have been under a shelter in place since Monday.  We have specifically been designated non essential and must stay home. We finished our week.  Our schedule is blank for next week except one appointment. 

 

I can't answer Jim's question because I do not think in terms of it being ethical or not.  I agree with Bill's assessment.  My advice would be to not do the inspection because it violates the ASHI SOP that also protects me. 

Most of you know I am inherently a rule breaker.  I can get slippery and do inspections and protect (legally) my other inspectors.  But I have relied upon my emotions to cancel inspections and not do them.   I don't judge others and don't want them to judge me or my business.  

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Using the parsing tactics we witnessed after his last declaration,  one might say that this applies only to pending transactions. If so, no new deals should be struck and made pending from the date of the letter on.  That would mean that within a week or two all pendings should be exhausted and folks would stay home. This 'clarification' is most-probably the result of the vows to write to the governor made by some Washington State whiners on another board the other day.

I think it's a whole lot easier and less risky to simply..

STAY THE F*CK HOME !!!

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I doubt Illinois is anywhere near specific guidelines for real estate but we'll see. I'm still doing inspections.

Inspector and one other person on site sounds low risk/reasonable, per WA/GOV  link.

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