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Need an agreement for a condo complex.......

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I've just been contacted to do a property inspection on a condo complex. I inspected one of the units. They liked my report, and now want the entire building inspected.

I've never done an entire condo complex, so I don't have an inspection agreement in place for this kind of work. It will be a limited inspection of the exterior, attic spaces, basement, and crawlspace areas. Does anyone have an inspection agreement for something like this that I could partially plagiarize?

Is there anything I should be aware of when dealing with a job of this magnitude?

I'm not going to deal with ADA requirements or anything such as that. I will specifically write up the fact that I will inspect according to our CCB laws/ standards that deal with residential structures.


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It's usually inspecting specific areas, not a full "SOP" inspection. It's also usually quite specific. In your case, exteriors, attics, basements/crawls. You should write a proposal, stating what will be inspected, list any limitations and what the report will include. The management company, or homeowners association, will review and approve (agree to) your proposal. That's your agreement.

This ties in to another recent thread about commenting on issues beyond the individual unit being inspected.

We don't ignore issues outside of an individual home's walls that might have an impact on our client or the entire community. If we see something that aint right and may be a problem in other units, we encourage our clients, or the seller, to tell management. As a result, we've done hundreds of condo/townhouse and other "entire community" inspections. We've had property management companies tell all of their homeowner associations to hire us. We've had the top insurance underwriter of homeowner associations hire us for loss control inspections. We've even represented HOAs suing builders and manufacturers.

I laugh when I hear inspectors, and some of the schools, insist inspecting a condo should only be paint-to-paint.

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Here's a cut and paste of a basic agreement I use for condos. I add and delete stuff depending on a lot of things, but I usually use this general format. I don't do a lot of disclaimers; in fact, hardly any......

I propose to provide the following inspection services:

*Visual inspection of the roof materials, flashing, drainage, chimneys, vents, & roof mounted equipment

*Visual inspection of egress porches, stairs, railings, decks, and related components

*Visual inspection of the exterior sidewalls including all masonry, parapets, facade, and decorative elements

*Visual inspection of all site improvements; entry, walks, drainage, parking areas, garage

*Visual inspection of interior common elements, including lobbies, stairwells, hallways

*Visual inspection of common building HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems and components

*Visual inspection of the main structural components of the property

The report shall be a narrative description of the above items, w/a photolog of defects and conditions as a summary. A sample report is available for review.

The inspection and report do not reflect any performance based testing of equipment. The report is not an engineering review.

Total for the above described services: $xxxx

Individual unit owners requesting inspection of specific problems in their units is accommodated under the above fee since I want to know about anything that any unit owner is concerned about. If the requests become excessive, I retain the right to determine what is excessive and to charge an additional fee of $125 per hour for these individual unit inspections.

The company representative will attend a Board of Directors meeting to explain the findings of the report.

The inspection and report are not a warrantee or guarantee for latent, unknown, or future defects in the subject property, and Kurt Mitenbuler & Associates, Inc., is not a warrantor or guarantor for the property components. There is no specific environmental audit or analysis on the subject property; there is no inspection for asbestos, radon, lead paint, buried fuel tanks, ground or soil analyses, mold, or fungus. If any such materials are readily visible and apparent, they will be noted, but the association understands this is not an environmental audit or analysis.

Kurt Mitenbuler & Assoc., Inc., is a licensed inspection company and does not provide or practice architectural or engineering services.

The above quote is good for a period of 30 days from the above date.

Payment for the above described services is due upon receipt of the invoice.

Acceptance of Proposal:


Authorized Signature Date

Upon receipt of the signed proposal, we will schedule the inspection & begin developing the report. The report will be available no longer than 2 weeks/14 days from the day of the inspection.

If you have any questions regarding this proposal, do not hesitate to call me @ anytime.


Kurt Mitenbuler Illinois Lic. Inspector #450.0000220 expires 11/30/08 pg. 2 of 2

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Bill and Kurt,

Thank You.....

I laugh when I hear inspectors, and some of the schools, insist inspecting a condo should only be paint-to-paint.

I believe I got this big job because I gave the HOA a taste of what was wrong with the building. I was hired to do an interior only inspection. Upon arrival, I told my client I saw issues on the outside that should be looked at. I talked my client into having me inspect the exterior of her unit. I ended up walking the entire building's roof, checked for major defects throughout the building, crawled about a quarter of the building's crawlspace, etc. I went above and beyond what was expected / paid in order to protect her (client). I told my client to forward my report to the HOA, so they could hire individual contractors to inspect and repair specific systems/ components.

I wasn't doing an extra thorough job in order to get additional work down the road, but I'll take it.......

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It's good business. I agree with Bill; it's silly to not inspect the exteriors. A good chunk of my business is with HOA's. It's steady and repeating work (there's always something wrong with a condo building), and it pays well.

And, I get these jobs by doing just what you did.

I often preface the commentary with something like. "I did not do an entire detailed study of the exterior. While a complete inspection of the exterior was not accomplished, I was able to make these observations. There are defects at X, Y, Z, etc...."

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We pretty much do the same as Kurt and Bill. Over the years we have a "sample" report we present to HOA that is a mix of Reserve Study and present condition. Lots of photos with captions. The presentation must be done at a face to face meeting and we have a statement in the original proposal to that effect.

We do not have much CYA in the proposal, just make sure everyone is on the same page. No two are alike.

Usually there is a cover letters, Executive Summary, Component Summary, and some nature of Immediate Attention. An inspection is lots cheaper than a Reserve Study because of the math involved. They are fun because every one is different in scope; ala' carte.

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I laugh when I hear inspectors, and some of the schools, insist inspecting a condo should only be paint-to-paint.

Me too. I've had other inspectors argue vehemently about that; insisting that, because I walk condo complexes and go on the roof of the building where the client is purchasing a unit and inspect the attics and crawlspaces when I can get into them that I'm violating some kind of taboo.

The amount of stuff I've discovered for clients, that was never disclosed and probably wasn't even known by an HOA, is huge. Clients need to know when half the dryers in the building are venting directly into the attic, or when there's water and wood rot in crawlspaces, or when the exterior of the buildings has unreported rot, etc..

I've gotten a couple of entire complex jobs that way but I've never really tried to explore it as a niche.



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