Builder Access Agreement for Inspector

garden.webberJune 4, 2012

My builder for a new construction requires an access agreement to be signed by an independent inspector. None of the inspectors I talked to wanted to sign due to liability issues. Anybody encountered this? Any suggestions before I hire a lawyer? I appreciate your replies.

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Billl

What does the purchase contract with the builder say about inspections?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:03AM
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garden.webber

Hi billl, I do not see anything in the new home purchase agreement about inspection. Only mention of the word is in "Buyer orientation and inspection of the Home" which is also referred as "New Home Orientation."

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:13AM
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sylviatexas1

If the builder used his own contract, it's likely that your "inspection" is going to be something on the order of a lesson in how to operate the air conditioning, etc, provided by an employee of the builder.

Do you have a Realtor?

If so, let the Realtor run interference.

You're spending a lot of money, & you need to have someone who works in your best interest to inspect the home.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 12:52PM
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logic

Also realize that the inspection of a newly constructed home is not really a home inspection because the house has not yet been used and therefore one can't tell how it will perform. No loads in terms of furnishings, no normal water and plumbing use, no load on the electrical system etc. Therefore, the HI can only tell half at most of what you would learn from the inspection of a home that has already been put to use for a year or so.
In addition, don't expect the HI to check for code violations, as they are not code inspectors.

Your builder should have been up front about his requirement that an inspector sign an "access agreement"...whatever that may be. I don't blame the inspectors for not wanting to sign it as they would probably need to have their lawyer look at it to determine liability; not worth it for what they can charge for an inspection. That said, I would tell the builder that you snooze, you lose...that having not stating this requirement up front as a condition, he has lost the opportunity to require it now.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 5:13PM
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brickeyee

"That said, I would tell the builder that you snooze, you lose...that having not stating this requirement up front as a condition, he has lost the opportunity to require it now."

Since the builder likely owns everything at this point, he can set whatever conditions on entry into his property he desires.

He has no contractual relationship with the HI. and unless it is more than a simple waiver of liability (in case the HI hurts them self) there is likely no reason to have an attorney review it.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 1:40PM
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sylviatexas1

"None of the inspectors I talked to wanted to sign due to liability issues."

See, this sounds like a whole lot more than waiver of liability in case the inspector is hurt;
it sounds like the builder wants to offload some of his liability onto the inspector (ie, if there's a problem with the house, inspector, not builder, would be responsible).

& while the "load" wouldn't have been established, there are conditions an inspector would find.

Some of the things I've heard of are:

loosely connected or unconnected plumbing pipes (how exciting to move into your brand new home & have a flood the very first night)

sloppy or incorrect wiring

air conditioning ductwork not connected

air conditioning ductwork insulated with material that will disintegrate in our hot summers

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:03PM
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logic

Many of the things mentioned above could exist but concealed by drywall....especially in the case of a new house with a finished basement. This is why the inspection is not a home inspection, as the house has not yet been a home, where there would be visible defects as a result of the above.

That said, I agree the liability issue seems to be more about making it the inspectors fault if a problem does occur.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 6:08PM
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