Inspector Problems (long sorry)

momof2doxiesJuly 12, 2010

I am a newbie poster, but have lurkered for many months. We had an inspection done on our house before we bought it 14 years ago. There were moisture problems in the crawl space found back then and everything was repaired to the inspectors specifications. He then re-inspected it and gave the OK to close on the house.

14 years later this same inspector did another inspection for our buyer that wants to purchase this house. Now he is saying that the problems were never repaired in this inspection report.

Our realtor pulled all the documents from 1996 with all the repair records showing that everything was done to his specifications. He now states that we have a heavy mildew problem in the crawl space. I had mold/mildew remediation experts out there today and they just laughed. According to them, there is a slight mildew problem directly beneath where the dishwasher sits. Four years ago, we had to replace our dishwasher because of a leak. The experts say that is the only problem they found anywhere in the crawl space.

The buyer wants to back out of the purchase because of the inspectors current report about the crawl space. Our realtor is trying to work with their realtor to solve this. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. We are first time home sellers and are extremely upset, to say the least.

Thank You.

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" I had mold/mildew remediation experts out there today and they just laughed. According to them, there is a slight mildew problem directly beneath where the dishwasher sits."

There is your answer, they are the experts on this problem, not the inspector.
Have it fixed and certified as mitigated with a warrantee and you should be good to go.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 8:46PM
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This is one of the reasons why home inspectors are now licensed in many states. Too many pretended to be jack of all trades, and were master of none.

That said, if your buyers have been given all of the documentation from the first inspection, the recommendations, and his "OK to close" (don't even get me started on THAT) and they actually still trust his judgment, there is nothing more you can do to change their mind...other than consult your attorney to see if you can sue for breach of contract.

I doubt that you could, but even so, these people are now negative about the house, and are probably more likley to come back to haunt you if they do buy and problems occur in the future.

That said, I would report the HI if your state regulates the profession and supply all of the documentation, as he may be in violation of state law or regulations. For example, here in NJ, HI's are not permitted to provide method of repair or estimates of repair or approvals of repair.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 11:56PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely report him to our state regulators. You do have to be licensed in the state of Indiana. As far as legal steps, we are out of luck. In our state you only have two years from the infraction to file.

Just got an email from our realtor and the buyers are going to reconsider when they get the report from the remediation company tomorrow. Neither my realtor not I can sleep tonight. This is the same realtor that was our buyers agent when we bought that house, she was our buyers agent when we bought our new home, and she is our selling agent now. She is well known and well respected in our area as both a buyers agent and a sellers agent, which is rare.

I have had a plumber, electrician, garage door specialist, and the remediation company at that house today due to his current report that we received at 10:00 this morning. So far everything except for the crawl space has been found to be in perfect working order.

We have nine other contingency offers that have been made on this house, so maybe one of them will come through soon if this deal falls apart.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 12:49AM
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The inspection he just performed at your home for the buyer is covered under that two year time period, as he just performed it recently..and that is the inspection about which you would file the complaint.. You can make a complaint to the licensing board regarding his current statements that conflict with his statements from 14 years earlier and he will have to at the very least explain.

In addition, as this is about mold, that is an environmental hazard that is beyond the scope of a home inspection in Indiana. As such, he should have included language to that effect in his report to the buyer, as follows:

(5) A statement that the report does not address environmental hazards, including:
(A) lead-based paint;
(B) radon;
(C) asbestos;
(D) cockroaches;
(E) rodents;
(F) pesticides;
(G) treated lumber;
(H) mold;
(I) mercury;
(J) carbon monoxide; or
(K) other similar environmental hazards.

If he did not, he is in violation of his current license, and can be disciplined as he misled and deceived the buyers that a mold inspection is part of the home inspection which is not the case and his entire report will then be suspect in terms of accuracy and credibility.

In addition, you should require the buyers to obtain proof that he has education, experience and training in environmental hazards, as they are not part of a home inspection. If he has none, his findings are moot and it would seem that the buyer would not be able to use those findings as a legitimate reason to back out of the making the purchase.

That said, glad to hear there is so much interest to buy your home...good news for all that the tide may be turning for the better.

Once again, best wishes...I hope it all goes well for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Indiana Home Inspection Regulations

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 5:26PM
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