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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Erwin, TN
    Posts
    187

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: How long should I keep my Inspection Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Just wondering how long should a Home Inspector keep there inspection reports?? 5 years
    First of all, If your state has licensing, check with them to see if there are specific requirements. If you don't get a good answer, check with an attorney. Some inspectors keep all their reports and others dump them after 5 or 7 years. You will get all sorts of answers.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: How long should I keep my Inspection Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Just wondering how long should a Home Inspector keep there inspection reports?? 5 years
    In TN I would keep them for 7 years. Until we can get a shorter limit of liability in the state this is what we have to work with.

    Personally, I keep my old inspection files around until the storage media degrades or it gets lost... I have some going back 15 years but I would need a floppy disk reader and DOS to read them!

    If you really think about it for a while, you really have little need to keep old reports more than a few years.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,828

    Default Re: How long should I keep my Inspection Reports?

    I find it amazing that our liability can last that long when a contractor's or a manufacturer can be 1 year or less.
    They want me to be liable for a house up to 7 years after it is built/ on a new home inspection, when the builder is left free and clear.
    OK now, here we go


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Central Texas
    Posts
    472

    Default Re: How long should I keep my Inspection Reports?

    The requirement is 5 years in Texas as per the TREC.

    Texas Inspector
    http://www.texasinspector.com
    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: How long should I keep my Inspection Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    I find it amazing that our liability can last that long when a contractor's or a manufacturer can be 1 year or less.
    They want me to be liable for a house up to 7 years after it is built/ on a new home inspection, when the builder is left free and clear.
    OK now, here we go
    What Scott said, 7 years for the OP in Tennessee, or you could end up on the chain gang.

    Builders here are expected to provide a 2, 5, 10 year warranty on a new home. A one year term for a builder is unacceptable. People should get smart about that, refuse to buy without a warranty.
    My legal liability is based on my standard agreement, one year. But of course we keep our records, to protect ourselves, if nothing else, for as long as we have space to fill. Nowadays, hard drives are cheap. Online storage is an option.

    In a crawlspace one day, boxes upon boxes of files going back to the 80's. Home owner must have been a lawyer.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,828

    Default Re: How long should I keep my Inspection Reports?

    John, Can you explain the 2,5,10. Around here in lawyer land, it's a one year warranty on a new home.
    It's crap, and so are alot of the houses.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: How long should I keep my Inspection Reports?

    I was running out of storage room in my basement for files. I use one file box per year for office related files, and one to two file boxes for booking sheet and signed contracts. From 1989 till late 90's early 2000, I used paper reports, so I had 3 to 4 file boxes with copies of reports.

    I couple years ago I purged everything up to 1994 (when I moved to TN). Then I started purging stuff up to 10 years old.

    Since I started computer reports, I still have most of the reports I have done backed up on c/d's and external hard drives. After I found some burned c/d's that were blank, and an external hard drive that failed, I started backing up with Carbonite. I did lose an entire year of reports, with the failed c/d's and hard drive failure, but it was several years ago, so I'm probably OK by now.

    I now back up on an external hard drive, and carbonite, and c/d's, AND also a second computer (that also has Carbonite and an external hard drive auto backup).


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: How long should I keep my Inspection Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    John, Can you explain the 2,5,10. Around here in lawyer land, it's a one year warranty on a new home.
    It's crap, and so are a lot of the houses.
    Western Canada has this National Warranty Program and most builders offer it.
    1 year parts and labour
    15 months common areas in multi family housing
    2 year parts and labor - major systems
    5 years Building envelope
    10 years Structure
    Multi Family For Homeowners | National Home Warranty

    If your home is approaching one of the above anniversary dates, which starts from the day you purchased a new home, hire a home inspector to list the defects, and get the builder back in to repair.
    This warranty program has probably been a major reason for pretty decent build quality in my area these days.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  10. #10
    John Remark's Avatar
    John Remark Guest

    Default Re: How long should I keep my Inspection Reports?

    I would probably keep your reports for as long as possible. Please remember, you SOL maybe short period of time, but you are never only sued over the report. Most suits are made on multiple levels (read consumer protections laws, not just HI laws) and the more evidence that you did your job correctly, the better off you are.... Most Consumer protection/contract laws are 7 years, not the SOL that the HI has.

    Also, the longer it takes for someone to bring a complaint to you, the more likely it is the complaint comes with a lawyer. Interestingly, most of my clients claims do not have lawyers attached to them. Most are from people who are unhappy and, in some instances, have a legitimate complaint. Most complaints come withing 4-6 months and 90%+ in he first 18 months. That said, the ones that occur after 18 months are generally more complex, have more defendants and are for significantly more money. Just my 2 cents.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: How long should I keep my Inspection Reports?

    In my state, depending upon the claim, a client can sue up to 10 years after the inspection. And since I'm a records freak and storing info electronically is easy, I hang on to everything including the voice recordings I make on the job. Besides, if a situation did come up I would not want the only copy of the report to be in my client's possession.

    BTW - I have on occasion recorded conversations with clients that will prove what was said should someone's memory ever fade a bit down the road. I'm all for anything that will pull my fat out of the fire.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: How long should I keep my Inspection Reports?

    We have 1 year of liability for HIs in Pennsylvania but I still have all my paperwork from the past 9+ years, mainly contracts. All my reports are electronic.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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