Shouldn't the inspector have found a rodent INFESTATION?

robinwiseFebruary 15, 2006

Our contractor is SHOCKED that the inspector didn't make a bigger deal (and we can't remember aything other than a passing notation) - our new house is INFESTED with rats. Thousands of dollars to remove floors and ceilings, clean crawlspaces, etc. My question really is don't you think an inspector should have made a big, big deal out of that? Is it really so hard to know whe you're eperienced? The holes the rats have to get into the house are HUGE HUGE HUGE and we didn't notice them because we didn't have to - we felt the inspector would do his job and we could rely on his findings...what do you think?

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Karen_sl

OMG, YES!!
How could an inspector not notice you have rats....that is so different from some mice in the winter.
They are much harder to get rid of, we have a farm and I cringe every time the guys say they saw one in the barn...and we have cats!
Karen L

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 12:21PM
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bus_driver

Rats go where there is food. No food, no rats. The building inspectors hired by the government are not rat inspectors. Not part of their duties. Home inspectors hired by you could report the presence of rats, but that is all they can do. Who provided the food for the rats? Determine that and you have the guilty party.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 5:03PM
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lindac

I'll bet you don't have a rat infestation at all....unless you have food stored in the crawl or very nearby, you won't have rats....maybe one pair, but infestation? I don't think so.
Who told you you had an infestation? Have you seen rats? Is this new construction? If so then seems to me the contractor is to blame.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 6:45PM
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earthworm

Then "trust" breaks down even further.
If one cannot trust another to do their job completely without baby sitting, there where are we ???

I do not care if it is a government or non-government inspector, he should know what he is doing and he should have seen the evidence..
I also believe robinwise is prone to exaggeration( a ploy used to wake the dead listener)..

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 3:44PM
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bus_driver

The government building inspector is not charged with the responsibility to check for rats. Nor is he/she authorized to force any action about rats.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 4:15PM
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susanjn

bus_driver,

I think robinwise is talking about the inspector they used prior to purchase, not a government building inspector.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 12:27AM
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earthworm

This whole things makes no sense.
Rats ? in a new house ?
The inspector not noting this ?
And I find it very hard to believe that ANY inspector would not report the rats -"responsibility" be damned !
I'd love to see how this ends up...

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 8:36PM
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lyfia

My guess is that it was a normal Home Inspector for a house they purchased which is new to Robinwise, but not a new house per say. Ie not their old house, but their new house.

Don't know anything about rat infestations or whether they can occur or not easily, but I did see that house on Flip this house that had that problem and it had been empty for a while and didn't appear to have any food.

It sure sounds like a crappy inspector and I have no idea if you have any recourse.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 9:45PM
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gman

I HATE WHEN SOMEONE STARTS A THREAD, ASKS A QUESTION OR FOR ADVICE, AND THEN NEVER RESPONDS!!!!!!!!!! OH DO I HATE THAT!!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 11:36PM
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robinwise

We're fiding lots of thigs the inspector didn't really do a good job of warning us about. To answer questions: This is our new house, not a new house per se. Yes, I am prone to exaggeration. No, it's NOT an infestation as it were - just three rat nests. And it's been a real pain getting rid of them. To do a clean-out (cleaning out the crawlspaces where their poop is (not exaggerating) EVERYWHERE would have meant tearing up walls and ceilings, cleaning out, and replacing the walls and ceilings to the tune of $2,000 (just for the clean-out). With traps, we've caught one rat. The holes have been HOPEFULLY plugged up. It's been very discouraging.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2006 at 9:58AM
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logic

Home inspectors do not inspect for rodent infestations..or any other type of "infestation" for that matter. Granted, he/she should have made note of any holes that were observed...but, ONLY if the holes were visible. In other words, if they were concealed behind anything...such as owners posessions, furnishings, etc., he would not have seen the holes. If they were visible..and that HUGE, it does seem odd that they escaped everyone's notice. In addition, home inspectors can't see behind walls, contrary to popular belief, so it is illogical to think that he or anyone could have told you that there were rats nests in those walls.

Be that as it may, he/she should have entered the crawl space in order to inspect it, but again, only if it was accessible at the time. In addition, crawl spaces are notorious for having droppings in them, and droppings do not neccisarily mean that the animals that left them reside in the home..only that at some point and animal entered the crawl space and relieved itself.

Last but not least,a reputable home inspector should have provided you with a contract that clearly outlines what is and is not included in the inspection. Read the contract. If there is indeed anything that he should have inspected, that it seems as if he didn't, you deserve an answer from him as to why.

However, rodents and the nests they may have built behind the walls are not one of those things.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 5:26PM
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lamcon

My wife and I almost purchased half of a duplex once. We were going through the inspection where nothing real major popped up. We ended up going in the place a couple of times with a contractor about putting up a new wall. He looked closet that was going to be eliminated and noticed some mold. He followed it down the wall and pulled up some carpet to find a mess there too. When we looked inside the closet, it was obvious of a problem, even if it was hidden (former owner tried to paint over it). So we had a mold test done and it was determined that we had a toxic mold. A cleaning company came in to give an estimate on the clean up and discovered the mold came from a leak in the roof and that mold was running from the roof to the bottom floor or a 2 story unit. Since the homeowner didn't want to help with paying for clean up, we backed out of the deal. Since then, we've been very leary of home inspectors. I suppose most are good and anyone is capable of making a mistake, but this was kind of major and in areas he should have caught.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 10:44AM
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dnaleri2

I disagree that rats will not be there without food. Rats eat ANYTHING, insulation, etc. I do not consider insulation food. My neighbor had an infestation of rats that were getting in through a small hole in a gable. They chewed up ducts and insulation. There was no other food source.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 6:43PM
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logic

"When we looked inside the closet, it was obvious of a problem, even if it was hidden (former owner tried to paint over it). So we had a mold test done and it was determined that we had a toxic mold. A cleaning company came in to give an estimate on the clean up and discovered the mold came from a leak in the roof and that mold was running from the roof to the bottom floor or a 2 story unit. Since the homeowner didn't want to help with paying for clean up, we backed out of the deal. Since then, we've been very leary of home inspectors. I suppose most are good and anyone is capable of making a mistake, but this was kind of major and in areas he should have caught."

Yes and no. First and foremost, inspecting for mold is outside the scope of a home inspection...both by nationally accepted standards, and most if not all licensing regs.

That said, unless the contract stated that an inspection for mold is included, there is no reason to expect otherwise.

Now, that said, a reputable HI will note if he observes anything that COULD be mold...and advise the buyer to have it tested. However, without testing, no HI should equivocally state that something is mold....as there is no way to know for certain what it is until it is tested...even if it appears to be pretty obvious.

In addition, although many HI's do inspect and test for mold, most do so after taking a meaningless 8 hour "mold" seminar. However, true qualification for mold testing involves the knowledge of testing protocol...which is far more complex than taking a couple of samples and sending them to the labÂand far more complex than what is taught in the 8 hour "mold is gold" seminars.

Be that as it may, mold IS gold for many HI'sÂ..as mold inspection is basically unregulated pretty much everywhere...so, many take advantage of that...as well as the unwitting consumer...and charge a bundle to perform testing that they are not truly qualified to perform.

Best bet is to hire a reputable environmental firmÂ.. with a documented track record in proper testing protocol to be assured of the most reliable result.

Last but not least, the HI should have noticed the roof leak IF there was visible evidence at the time of inspection. If he did not, you do deserve an answer as to why.

The best way to not be leery of home inspectors, is to educate yourself on exactly what is and isn't included in the inspection. Know the limitations. If your state regulates the profession, find out what your state requires. When choosing an inspector, get referrals form unbiased people who donÂt have a stake in the sale (such as a real estate agent) ask friends, your attorney, etc.
Above all, check references.

This is your best chance of finding a competent and ethical inspector. Otherwise, its catch as catch can, and buyer beware.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 12:31PM
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housenewbie

If you want to get rid of rats, get a rat snake and let it loose in your crawl space. Seriously. Much better than cats.

My mother's school where she used to teach had a snake escape the science lab and remain missing for a couple years. Meanwhile, their very serious rat problem decreased markedly. They caught the snake a couple years later, twice as big, fat and happy.

Should have left it, IMO. The cats never did anything about the rats--they were afraid of them.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 11:59AM
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gw:garden-guy

Rats do not eat "anything". they use insulation for nests, they make holes, but it doesn't go into their body as food

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 1:52AM
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nycefarm_gw

"Our contractor is SHOCKED that the inspector didn't make a bigger deal (and we can't remember aything other than a passing notation)"

So the inspector DID make a notation? Just because YOU weren't alarmed doesn't mean he didn't do his job...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 3:18PM
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patricianat

Go to pound, get you some hungry cats and the rats will be gone toute suite. Keep them around your property for prevention. We are eliminating things from our chemical supply that eliminated rats. We are going to a chemical-free environment which means more rats, more roaches, more ants, more mosquitoes, bats, etc. Pick your poison.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 7:13PM
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dally099

hi there, ahhh home inspectors, most of them have taken a 2 week course on how to look for roofs that need new tiles and floors that need to be replaced. the best peice of advice i can give anyone ( and i feel that i can do this after my husband and me have bought 4 fixer uppers and fixed them properly and sold them for a profit) is learn what to look for in a house and look for it your self! dont think because your building a new house that there will be no problems because in this day and age time is money in a builders world and the houses are not built very well. educate yourself and you can save your self a lot of grief and money.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 10:52AM
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lucillle

Dally099, that is probably wise advice but THIS inspector DID find evidence of rats and made a notation.
Once notified the prospective homeowner could have backed out, gotten info about what do do, etc.
As far as the OP not noticing the huge rat holes because she didn't have to, once she was alerted to the problem, she could have taken a harder look.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 9:12PM
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southerncanuck

Dally99,

Since this thread is going on 8 years old I think the rats have died of old age.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:58PM
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