Issue #9 May 1, 2000
How to deal with an inadequate Home Inspector
This issue is coming out a little late. Sorry, but I do have a good excuse.
This weekend Friday through Sunday I was in Charlotte at the "Spring 2000 Conference of NCLHIA (North Carolina Licensed Home Inspector Association). This conference included a meeting of the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board on Friday as well as 12 hours of our required continuing education. It might interest you to know, although 12 hours are required, many due to the technical aspects of our work do much more. Mine in 1999 exceeded 120 hours. Read on and you will understand why I have shared this information.
How to deal with an inadequate Home Inspector
You would not enjoy dealing with the inadequacy of Realtors, Lenders or Appraisers, and I am not comfortable talking about such relating to Home Inspectors. Because of recent events, which culminated in Charlotte on Friday, now is a good time although not a comfortable time to deal with this issue.
My fellow inspectors and I are often questioned about our actions and the actions of other Home Inspectors. Fortunately most of these questions involve whether or not we went too far with our inspection and/or comments. In most cases one of you have had a deal fall through or have experienced difficulty with a closing because of something one of us reported or commented on. Usually the reason the question is ask is that you are upset or just plain don't have a clear understanding of what it is we do. Thankfully we usually are able to clearly explain our actions, and although you might not agree or be happy with the answer offered we are well within obligations to our clients, nationally accepted standards, requirements of the law and regulations relative to our work.
Yes some inspectors are not as diplomatic as they should be. We are not perfect by any means, but hopefully we are all striving to improve our demeanor dealing with your clients. Please try to remember, in most cases it's not the Home Inspector who makes your deal difficult or dead, it is the condition of the home, the refusal of the seller to deal with issues and the legitimately or sometimes overly concerned or sensitive buyer.
Unfortunately once in a while either directly or through a third party we become aware of legitimate complaints about the inadequacies of a Home Inspector. The question is: "What can be done?" My response is to file a complaint with the licensure board. Generally the comment is: "What good will that do?" We all are well aware that governmental bodies are slow, cumbersome and in many cases just not worth the trouble. Let me assure you that your complaints are not only taken seriously by the board that regulates Home Inspectors in this state but that action is taken.
Let me share with you what has transpired recently:
A local Realtor whom most of you know questioned the adequacy a local Home Inspectors work. I can personally attest from experience that this Realtor is concerned that clients receive detailed and adequate inspections and reports. Active involvement with the home inspection is this person's practice. If you miss something, you won't leave the site without being made aware and questioned about it. With a little training this individual could be a Home Inspector. Concern was turned into action. The licensure board was contacted. Documents pertinent to regulations governing Home Inspectors were requested, received and reviewed. After being assured that the concern was legitimate a proper complaint was filed with the NC Home Inspector Licensure Board.
Following a detailed investigation of the complaint it was determined that that indeed the inspectors practices were not in compliance with state statutes. Effective this past Friday, as of June 1, 2000 the Home Inspector in questions license to perform home inspections in this state will be suspended for 6 months after which there will be two years of probation. If a legitimate complaint is filed against this home inspector during the probation period, license to perform home inspections in this state will be permanently revoked.
How would you deal with loosing your primary source of income for 6 months?
Do you think this Home Inspector will get the message?
Do you know who makes up a large part of the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board?
Who controls the quality of home inspections in this state? I think it is clearly evident in this action. YOU DO.
Want to know more about the requirements of home inspections? Send an e-mail requesting the North Carolina "Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics." I will be pleased to provide you with a copy.