Jump to content

Urban Termite Myth


Recommended Posts

Here in AZ, the WDO inspection business is governed by the structural pest control board. I have had WDO inspectors tell me that it is illegal for me to mention termites in my home inspection reports because I am not a licensed pest inspector (mostly when I point out damage they missed). This seems ridiculous to me so I e-mailed the board but never got a response. I continue to use "termites" in my reports and am secretly hoping to get chastised, wouldn't that be a great first amendment case?

But seriously, has anybody else heard of such a thing?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't heard that one per se, but I have gotten word back through the grapevine more than once that I had no business talking about various things I reported on (termites, dead trees, lead paint, and even sub panels). Can you imagine finding signs of termite activity and saying nothing?

Neither can I.

I'm also aware of a few certain home inspectors with similar beliefs. Like the guy in CA who swears he can't legally walk on a roof because he isn't a state licensed roofer. Jeez.

Brian G.

Creative Cop-Outs [:-yuck]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The structural pest control board in any state only holds sway over pest guys. Unless there is a law in your state that specifically says that nobody except a licensed pest guy can call something a termite, I wouldn't worry about it. Arizona has a law that governs home inspectors. Is there anything in the home inspector licensing law that says that you cannot under any circumstance identify any insects, rot, etc., unless you have a pest operator's license? If so, then you might have violated.

Imagine a contractor replacing a deck, seeing a rotten rim joist that's also infested with termites. Is it also illegal for that contractor to say, "Hey, lookie here; this rim joist is rotten and full of termites. I have to fix this?" Betcha there's no law against that; just like there's probably no law that says you can't report what you see.

Now, if you were charging a fee to do a pest inspection, and weren't licensed, I think that would be a horse of a different color, because then you'd be holding yourself out as a qualified pest inspector and would be charging money for it. That probably is illegal.

Just my opinion. Worth only the price charged.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is nothing in the state HI regs. It was mentioned in my "most excellent" home inspection classes in 1997. What I have been told it we have to call it "insect damage" because we aren't qualified to determine if it is termite damage. I got is a bit of a pickle early in my career over this, I identified several areas of "insect damage" in a house. A few months after the client moved in, I got a call, wondering why I didn't tell her about the termite infestation. I pointed out the areas in the report where I noted insect damage. She said, " I didn't know you meant termites". After that, I just called what I saw.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would have told her that I wrote it as insect damage precisely because I wasn't a bug guy and that I had never represented myself as a bug guy. I would have said, "Licensed bug guy or not; I know bug damage when I see it, so I reported it to you." You knew I wasn't a bug guy and there was nothing in my contract that said I was one, so you should have had the good sense to get a bug guy in to look at the issue after I told you about it. He would have identified the bugs involved, determined whether they were a danger to your home, and, if so, prescribed and supervised a fix. I did precisely what I was supposed to do, but you chose not to act upon it."

This goes back to other people trying to tell us what the parameters of our profession are and us being so unsure of ourselves that we let people walk all over us. You have to be willing to make it really clear to people what you're going to do for them, what you won't do for them and what their recourse is if you screw up. If you take the time to do that - carefully - most of that kind of crap never crops up.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike, I agree, and that is pretty much what I did tell her, but, it made me realize that many of our clients really have no clue. She really wasn't upset with me, she just didn't understand what I meant by "insect damage". "Termites" she could get. It seems we have to write these reports to the lowest common denominator. But, then, often that is why they are hiring us, because they realise they do not know what they are looking at. I guess my point was that I realized at that point who my audience was, that I had to spell things out very clearly no matter who it pissed off. Its a hard lesson and one I am still confronting daily.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...