Jump to content

Builder bans Inspector


Recommended Posts

I can't help but wonder whether such a thing would stand up in court if challenged. I seem to remember a Florida case where it did not. I really can't imagine how a builder / seller could dictate to the buyer about the choice of inspector the buyer could hire. Other tactics have been used as well, such as requiring large or special insurance policies.

If you are honest, competent, and thorough in this business, you will piss some people off. Probably fairly often.

Brian G.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Kansas City we just discovered one inspector is being written out of one local real estate office's contracts.

The contract has been altered "to give the buyer the right to a home inspection by a qualified inspector of their choosing (except that inspector John Doe is not acceptable)".

The office broker and company attorney has told them that should be OK - the inspector is a "Deal-killer".

Dan Bowers, CRI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Donald,

Your website kicks ass! Our ASHI state counsel is taking this problem by the horns. He has supplied our members with a 4 page document, citing state law, why this is illegal. While it is exclusive to Arizona, there may be some pertinent stuff that you can look in to. I'd be glad to fax you a copy, just say the word!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dream of having a large real estate firm actually place my name in a document that bans me specifically from performing home inspections. A good attorney would make me independently wealthy.

It's called restraint of trade, there can be references to libel, and there are about 6 other specific laws that it is in violation of; I've forgotten the 6 as this stuff bores me.

Having ones name placed on a blackball list by a well funded real estate enterprise is better than winning the lottery. Better, if one is capable of choosing the right attorney to clip the monkeys balls off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Friends,

The same thing has been happening in Atlanta metro area, where certain inspectors have been served with trespassing papers etc.

In a world where, to the eye of some, quality of building appears to be in an obvious state of steep decline, the rip&skip, whambamthankyouma'am builders still stay in business, and most homes sold still don't get decent inspections.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by kurt

I dream of having a large real estate firm actually place my name in a document that bans me specifically from performing home inspections. A good attorney would make me independently wealthy.

It's called restraint of trade, there can be references to libel, and there are about 6 other specific laws that it is in violation of; I've forgotten the 6 as this stuff bores me.

Having ones name placed on a blackball list by a well funded real estate enterprise is better than winning the lottery. Better, if one is capable of choosing the right attorney to clip the monkeys balls off.

Amen! Our ASHI attorney will defend the first case in AZ for free! This guy is like a pitbull on crack when it comes to builders, I only hope that I'm his first!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by kurt

It's called restraint of trade, there can be references to libel, and there are about 6 other specific laws that it is in violation of; I've forgotten the 6 as this stuff bores me.

Dat's what I'm talkin' about. I doubt if any of those "bans" could withstand a close legal examination.


Having ones name placed on a blackball list by a well funded real estate enterprise is better than winning the lottery.

For whatever reason, they're still very concerned with appearing "unbiased" here. Very few will so much as refuse or disappear anyones' brochures, much less try to exclude via contract. But if anyone has a shot at that lottery around here, I'm the man!

Brian G.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Scottpat

Let's not forget that the builder is the still the owner of the house and he keep out who or what ever he wants, just like a homeowner can not allow a particular inspector to inspect their home.

In Arizona, that's not true. When the builder enters into a contract with the buyer, he must allow the buyer, or the buyer's state licensed inspector, access to the site.

We are state licensed representatives, and to deny us access is like telling the city inspectors that they can't inspect. At least that is the way it's being interpreted by our Registrar of Contractors.

To threaten breach of contract, through suspension, termination, or avoidance of the contract, is prohibited by state law. Leagally they can't even request us having insurance coverage that is higher than the state requires.

This whole thing is coming to a head! My advice is to fight the builders, and get your local ASHI chapter involved. We are, and it's working!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

California has a law on the books to allow buyers the right to negotiate inspection of the builder's new home. The RE agents are too savvy here to ban an inspector but each office typically has 2 lists. One, ideal for a listing inspection and the other for picky buyer clients or relatives. I guess they have to make a decision for other situations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris do you have a website address that I could get a copy of that law. I would like to give it to a few legislators to see what they could do with it.

The only argument that I would have would be that part about being equal to the city or AHJ inspector. Now if the home inspectors had residential code certifications I could then agree.

Do you know if the Registers of Contractors has requested a legal opinion from your states AG on this, or has one been issued? This would then stop any argument once the AG has issued an opinion.

Thanks,

Scott

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Scottpat

Chris do you have a website address that I could get a copy of that law. I would like to give it to a few legislators to see what they could do with it.

The only argument that I would have would be that part about being equal to the city or AHJ inspector. Now if the home inspectors had residential code certifications I could then agree.

Do you know if the Registers of Contractors has requested a legal opinion from your states AG on this, or has one been issued? This would then stop any argument once the AG has issued an opinion.

Thanks,

Scott

Scott,

I'd be happy to fax you the letter we were told to give out when hassled. Just send me your fax #. While the letter quotes case law, actual action and legislation (if needed) are still in the works. The letter makes it pretty clear what we're doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Scottpat

Let's not forget that the builder is the still the owner of the house and he keep out who or what ever he wants, just like a homeowner can not allow a particular inspector to inspect their home.

Yes, but no. If one is licensed and in good standing by the State, it is highly debatable whether anyone can bar us from doing a job.

Of course they "can", but whether it is legal is going to be slugged out in the very near future. I have it on very good authority from some of the biggest prick attorneys in Chicago that there is no friggin way that is going to hold up if someone challenges it. That's what licenses are for. Do you think that an individual can bar a licensed individual from doing business because they don't like you or don't agree with you?

If the customer caves & lets themselves be walked on, well, we're out the door. If our customers stand up to it, we got ourselves a nice little test case. I've had a few folks try to keep me out, but I've also had customers who don't take it, & guess what; I'm in the door.

If, or when, someone pulls that one on me, my guns are loaded, & I'm going to court. I'll let you know how it works out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have had this same debate in Mississippi and the way it was explained to me by our home inspection board staff attorney(Deputy Attorney General) is that the person(the builder) still owns the property regardless of the contract (title has not changed hands) and the person that owns that property can keep anyone off that they want. We then got into insurance and liability and issues when a person who has not been authorized access to said property!! The same goes for a homeowner on allowing home inspectors into their home. Our AG said that it is that persons home and they can allow whoever they want in it. If they don't want Billy Bob the inspector in their home they have the right to say that.

The way I had a builder put it to me was if they don't want to play the way I sell homes they don't have to buy my home! What gets me is that people go along with this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Kurt, Chris and everyone else.

We've hashed this out several times with the leadership of TAREI and LoneStar ASHI.

The general consenses is that the builder is selling a product and the consumer has a right to have it inspected before buying it.

There are two Federal laws that they're (our leadership) basing their opinions on. (I have them here somewhere, but I'm too tired right now to look them up)

I live for the day when I find out that I'm on a black list of a Real Estate Office. Right now I have an idea of a couple rural offices that I'm black listed on, but it's just a hunch at this point.

When I'm banned from a builders subdivision, I'll be on the 6 O'clock news getting the best and cheapest publicity that money can't buy.

Chris, please fax me the paperwork you're talking about. I'd appreciate it. My fax # is 281-572-1923

We're having a LoneStar ASHI business meeting in little over a week and I'd like to give them a copy.

Donald

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Scottpat

We have had this same debate in Mississippi and the way it was explained to me by our home inspection board staff attorney(Deputy Attorney General) is that the person(the builder) still owns the property regardless of the contract (title has not changed hands) and the person that owns that property can keep anyone off that they want. We then got into insurance and liability and issues when a person who has not been authorized access to said property!! The same goes for a homeowner on allowing home inspectors into their home. Our AG said that it is that persons home and they can allow whoever they want in it. If they don't want Billy Bob the inspector in their home they have the right to say that.

The way I had a builder put it to me was if they don't want to play the way I sell homes they don't have to buy my home! What gets me is that people go along with this.

That way is the yes part. If a buyer lets themselves be walked on, we don't have anywhere to go. We could take them to court, but the outcome would be questionable, as technically, there is no restraint of trade because there was no customer asking me to do the job (because they cave in, the request for service disappears).

If the client doesn't cave, & doesn't mind getting into a catfight w/you, you win the lottery. Not surprisingly, most intelligent don't want to get in catfights, & builders have been able to get their way. Man, would I love to be Chris w/ the warranty inspections; you get to come back & shove it up their noses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris my fax number is 601-898-9889 Thanks!

Maybe we can all ban together to form New Construction Inspectors Consortium (NCIC). Develop a website that list all of the problems we and consumers have with builders listed by state. Promote Warranty inspections and give the consumer a place for information.

Just a thought, it might be kind of fun!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by kurt

Originally posted by Scottpat

We have had this same debate in Mississippi and the way it was explained to me by our home inspection board staff attorney(Deputy Attorney General) is that the person(the builder) still owns the property regardless of the contract (title has not changed hands) and the person that owns that property can keep anyone off that they want. We then got into insurance and liability and issues when a person who has not been authorized access to said property!! The same goes for a homeowner on allowing home inspectors into their home. Our AG said that it is that persons home and they can allow whoever they want in it. If they don't want Billy Bob the inspector in their home they have the right to say that.

The way I had a builder put it to me was if they don't want to play the way I sell homes they don't have to buy my home! What gets me is that people go along with this.

That way is the yes part. If a buyer lets themselves be walked on, we don't have anywhere to go. We could take them to court, but the outcome would be questionable, as technically, there is no restraint of trade because there was no customer asking me to do the job (because they cave in, the request for service disappears).

If the client doesn't cave, & doesn't mind getting into a catfight w/you, you win the lottery. Not surprisingly, most intelligent don't want to get in catfights, & builders have been able to get their way. Man, would I love to be Chris w/ the warranty inspections; you get to come back & shove it up their noses.

Warranty inspections are fun but they often need to go well beyond the SOP and can be their own form of potential legal suicide. I love them but I personally feel that newer inspectors may want to get some experience and ICC combination dwelling education and credentials under their feet before going there.

Once one exceeds the SOP's it can put one in a precarious position, basically voiding the protection one has under the SOP's by virtue of the fact that one has wilfully exceeded them. Be well versed in the code before going there. Just my opinion. Not directed at anyone participating in this thread as I am sure you all are very well versed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Chad Fabry

Quietly erases warranty inspections from list of services.

While I respect Crusty's opinion, I disagree. Sometimes we get so worried about being sued, that we actually put ourselves in a postion to be sued. It make no logical sense, to me, that you stand a greater chance of lawsuits if you do more, rather than less.

And good attorney can make any arguement sound plausible. Most lawsuits against HI's have little merit, but the insurance co's roll over.

Almost every inspector reports above and beyond the standards. If you walk a roof, you're going beyond the standards.

There's a wive's tale in the HI world that quoting code gets you sued, but no one has EVER been able to show me one case! Quoting the wrong code, maybe, but never quoting code correctly.

I wouldn't shy away from warranty inspection, for fear of being sued. I could make the arguement that it's less risky: No Realtors, sellers, or attorneys involved in the process, which means a smaller pool of money grabbers. I've done nearly 1000, and so far not one peep.

The best way to avoid lawsuits is to do a good job, promptly handle problems, and treat your client like you would your own Momma!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best way to avoid lawsuits is to do a good job, promptly handle problems, and treat your client like you would your own Momma!

Chris Prickett

Landmark Home Inspection

(623) 551 9511

'Cause they don't build em' like they used to!

I couldn't agree more heartily.

steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yo mamma.....

If one is performing warranty inspections, ICC certs (or damn good knowledge thereof) should be mandatory.

I'm staring @ a potential lawsuit right now. 3 years ago I did an inspection where I noted that all the drywall ceilings @ the 2nd fl. were sagging & in danger of falling. Client was advised that all the ceilings should be refastened, repaired, or otherwise made to not sag & be secure. The drywall ceiling fell on the clients in the middle of the night last night. They had never done what I told them to do.

Queasy? You bet. Am I worried? Absolutely. What am I gonna do about it? Enjoy a pleasant lunch & drive over there this afternoon to see what the hell is going on.

The best way to avoid lawsuits is to NOT perform home inspections; find another business.

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...