Recently, I was posed a question from a blogger over at realtor.com where they were looking for a real estate attorney to talk about home inspections gone wrong and how to mitigate risk. It’s an important issue and, while they were asking about real estate inspections and liability for the inspector, and I don’t know if that will see the light of day, but my answer was as follows:
“There may be a [possible] cause of action against the home inspector; however, a great deal of home inspection contracts attempt to waive certain issues that may arise from the inspection (some even recommend getting a second opinion). If a home inspector misses something big, the contract to employ them should speak to that. A common cause of action in this instance is a professional negligence cause of action. Sometimes there may be a insurance policy covering the inspector, and this may be the primary source of recovery.In terms of making sure the job is thorough – being there during the inspection can help. Make sure the inspection company is licensed, bonded, and insured. Making sure they actually enter attic spaces and crawl spaces can help too. A report should be generated for your review. There should be pictures taken during the inspection.In a Florida real estate transaction – the seller has to disclose known facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer. As an inspection is more thorough it helps to further explore issues with property that the seller may not know about.Overall, inspections are designed to help inform the buyer. It’s the buyer’s job to make the most of the inspection so as to inform themselves. Picking a reputable inspection company is key.”
Every scenario is different, but if there is an issue with a home inspector, a fresh set of eyes may be beneficial to you.