Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Need Bond info

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    19

    Default Need Bond info

    I've been challenged by an attorney for a buyer who maintains I failed disclose possible water problems under a patio slab. I did note to the buyer the cracks and large holes in the slab, shot a photo of it, recommended repair by a licensed contractor. He says he found water on the slab 2 1/2 months after he received the report. Attorney want so know if I have a bond. I do not. Need advice on getting a bond if necessary and recommendations for a bond company. I'm in Inland Empire California.

    Similar Threads:
    Inspection Referral

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

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    I got my bond thru the contractors licensing board when I lived in CA, but haven't had a bond since I quit contracting.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I got my bond thru the contractors licensing board when I lived in CA, but haven't had a bond since I quit contracting.
    Thanks< Jack. I'll contact them for details.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    No. San Diego Co., CA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Stauffer View Post
    Thanks< Jack. I'll contact them for details.
    Before you do anything...ask the attorney to put his request and reasons for it in writing.

    One thing though, bonds are not retroactive and will only cover future work. With his asking for your bonding information he is assuming a bond is already in existence. If you have E&O insurance, I don't think additional bonding is generally necessary for inspections. There is no specific bonding requirement under Ca State law for home inspectors, that I'm aware of.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    Screw worrying about a bond for now.
    Call your attorney. You don't have an attorney you can call, ask questions, have write a simple letter for you, etc. = 1st mistake.
    Tell opposing counsel you want it in writing
    'he found water on the slab 2 1/2 months later' - really? Did it rain that day? Of course there was water on the slab, duh.
    This sounds like either some POS that wants free money or you aren't telling the whole story.
    Stop worrying about your liability, that's for your attorney, think about why someone is trying to screw you.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Stauffer View Post
    I've been challenged by an attorney for a buyer who maintains I failed disclose possible water problems under a patio slab. I did note to the buyer the cracks and large holes in the slab, shot a photo of it, recommended repair by a licensed contractor. He says he found water on the slab 2 1/2 months after he received the report. Attorney want so know if I have a bond. I do not. Need advice on getting a bond if necessary and recommendations for a bond company. I'm in Inland Empire California.
    Donald,

    As has already been said, you can't get insurance or a bond after the fact. This stuff has to be in place prior to inspecting.

    Water on an exterior patio slab or inside a home? Big difference. If outside, did it rain on the slab? If inside, is it something that might be recurring? Home inspectors are not psychic and cannot see into the future. The sellers have an obligation to disclose any problems or conditions that they are aware of or have experienced. The home inspection is not a substitute for a seller's disclosure. Demand a copy of the seller's disclosure and agents' visual inspections so you know what they provided to the new owners.

    The plaintiff's attorney needs to provide you with documentation stating what the complaint is. If he has not done that, demand the complaint in writing.

    As you likely know, when a trouble call comes in, it's best to go out as soon as possible to deal with it. When an attorney is involved, it may be better to get this into the hands of an attorney who will represent you.

    Not sure why the plaintiff's attorney is asking for a bond. The CA home inspectors that I know carry E&O and GL insurance, not bonds. It sounds to me like the attorney may not know what he/she is doing.

    Since an attorney is involved and you (presumably) did not have a chance to deal with it directly with the homeowners, it will probably be necessary to contact your insurance company and let them deal with it. Part of the problem with the insurance game is that it is about finding the least expensive way to deal with a callback issue. If the insurance company believes it can settle for less than it will cost to defend you, then it will probably go that way. Certainly, they will try to get out of paying anything, but there are times that they will. Either way, you will have to pay your deductible and may well see a hike in premiums. Unfortunately, that is a part of doing business.

    Last edited by Gunnar Alquist; 03-05-2016 at 01:44 PM.
    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    Sounds like this attorney does not have a clue… Bonds do not cover errors or issues like this. A bond covers things like theft, contracts, etc.. You have performance bonds and fidelity bonds. The later cover theft.

    I would contact a competent attorney, it will cost you some dollars but it will be worth every dime.. Then you need to take out some E&O coverage, this is what helps to defend you in a complaint like this.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    Anybody can call and say they are an attorney.. blah ... blah... Like others suggest ... you want it in writing on letterhead from attorney.

    Secondly, did the client sign contract prior to start of inspection? If so great. Thirdly, what specifically does your contract state as to what you do and don't do?

    My experience, clients who have a gripe usually call first, if no satisfaction, then they have a lawyer deal with it. Strange this has not happened.

    Water coming up from patio is a result of either high water table, damage sprinkler system; either way you covered yourself with your recommendations.

    Remember its a visual inspection, you reported findings, what's under the slab is beyond the scope of a non destructive visual inspection (latent). It not your fault the client is a nit wit who did not seek further investigative recommendations.

    If they persist I would want to go back with another inspector to review their concerns first hand.

    From your brief description you have neither breached your contract nor negligently misrepresented your findings. 'Where's the beef?' to quote an ole TV commercial.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    No. San Diego Co., CA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    This appears to be a client trying to get reimbursed for expensive remediation at your expense. Your contract should have provided them with procedures, which they should have agreed to and signed, should an issue come to light based on your alleged error, omission or neglect. Your contract may (mine does) have a binding arbitration clause, reducing any court-room exposure, which they should have followed.

    Sounds like the attorney is inexperienced and fishing to get some kind of compensation for his (your) clients. Don't bite. Get everything in writing. Check your contract and wait...nothing is gained by rushing into something you may not be responsible for.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Donald,

    As has already been said, you can't get insurance or a bond after the fact. This stuff has to be in place prior to inspecting.

    Water on an exterior patio slab or inside a home? Big difference. If outside, did it rain on the slab? If inside, is it something that might be recurring? Home inspectors are not psychic and cannot see into the future. The sellers have an obligation to disclose any problems or conditions that they are aware of or have experienced. The home inspection is not a substitute for a seller's disclosure. Demand a copy of the seller's disclosure and agents' visual inspections so you know what they provided to the new owners.

    The plaintiff's attorney needs to provide you with documentation stating what the complaint is. If he has not done that, demand the complaint in writing.

    As you likely know, when a trouble call comes in, it's best to go out as soon as possible to deal with it. When an attorney is involved, it may be better to get this into the hands of an attorney who will represent you.

    Not sure why the plaintiff's attorney is asking for a bond. The CA home inspectors that I know carry E&O and GL insurance, not bonds. It sounds to me like the attorney may not know what he/she is doing.

    Since an attorney is involved and you (presumably) did not have a chance to deal with it directly with the homeowners, it will probably be necessary to contact your insurance company and let them deal with it. Part of the problem with the insurance game is that it is about finding the least expensive way to deal with a callback issue. If the insurance company believes it can settle for less than it will cost to defend you, then it will probably go that way. Certainly, they will try to get out of paying anything, but there are times that they will. Either way, you will have to pay your deductible and may well see a hike in premiums. Unfortunately, that is a part of doing business.
    Thanks Gunnar
    To make this even more interesting, the patio slab is on the exterior of the house, uncovered, old, and with enough holes in it to look like swiss cheese. I disclosed it, have clear photo, and recommended repairs by a licensed contractor.
    A seller's disclosure and agents' is a good idea.
    I'm daily emailing a detailed response for explanation from the attorney.
    Don


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Anybody can call and say they are an attorney.. blah ... blah... Like others suggest ... you want it in writing on letterhead from attorney.

    Secondly, did the client sign contract prior to start of inspection? If so great. Thirdly, what specifically does your contract state as to what you do and don't do?

    My experience, clients who have a gripe usually call first, if no satisfaction, then they have a lawyer deal with it. Strange this has not happened.

    Water coming up from patio is a result of either high water table, damage sprinkler system; either way you covered yourself with your recommendations.

    Remember its a visual inspection, you reported findings, what's under the slab is beyond the scope of a non destructive visual inspection (latent). It not your fault the client is a nit wit who did not seek further investigative recommendations.

    If they persist I would want to go back with another inspector to review their concerns first hand.

    From your brief description you have neither breached your contract nor negligently misrepresented your findings. 'Where's the beef?' to quote an ole TV commercial.
    Thanks Ray.
    Yeah, the client signed my contract prior to the start of inspection. It states what I do and don't do.
    Right, I can't see through a slab, though this one has large cracks and holes in it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    [QUOTE=Ian Page;264469]This appears to be a client trying to get reimbursed for expensive remediation at your expense. Your contract should have provided them with procedures, which they should have agreed to and signed, should an issue come to light based on your alleged error, omission or neglect. Your contract may (mine does) have a binding arbitration clause, reducing any court-room exposure, which they should have followed.

    Sounds like the attorney is inexperienced and fishing to get some kind of compensation for his (your) clients. Don't bite. Get everything in writing. Check your contract and wait...nothing is gained by rushing into something you may not be responsible for.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    This appears to be a client trying to get reimbursed for expensive remediation at your expense. Your contract should have provided them with procedures, which they should have agreed to and signed, should an issue come to light based on your alleged error, omission or neglect. Your contract may (mine does) have a binding arbitration clause, reducing any court-room exposure, which they should have followed.

    Sounds like the attorney is inexperienced and fishing to get some kind of compensation for his (your) clients. Don't bite. Get everything in writing. Check your contract and wait...nothing is gained by rushing into something you may not be responsible for.

    (Your contract may (mine does) have a binding arbitration clause, reducing any court-room exposure.)
    Good idea, Ian. On recommendation from a local arbitration firm, I'm going to add one to it.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    Donald,

    Check out the CREIA contract. It's a pretty tight document and includes the SOP for CREIA. It's free for members. Might cost a few dollars for non-members, but it would be a good investment if you are not a member. I don't know if other organizations have a residential contract.

    If you are not already a member of CREIA or ASHI, it might be a good time to consider joining.
    And now...

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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Stauffer View Post
    I've been challenged by an attorney for a buyer who maintains I failed disclose possible water problems under a patio slab. I did note to the buyer the cracks and large holes in the slab, shot a photo of it, recommended repair by a licensed contractor. He says he found water on the slab 2 1/2 months after he received the report. Attorney want so know if I have a bond. I do not. ......

    Taking a different read/interpenetration on your statement.

    The slab is not the issue but the water that is there. Meaning that you failed to report potential drainage issues of the property that causes water to collect under the slab. Or that water on the slab would not drain and just collect water.


  15. #15

    Default Re: Need Bond info

    Hey Donald,

    There are quite a few bonds out there (surety, fidelity, crime, dishonesty, etc.). None of these bonds would cover the situation you are in. I'm surprised the attorney would ask for that. Normally, they want to know if you have E&O insurance and who your carrier is....

    A bond for a Home Inspector is normally meant to cover you for allegations of theft while in a home.

    Ask for everything in writing and if you have E&O, put your carrier on notice. I would get your ducks in a row and do what others have said....wait.

    Niccole Barnes
    www.bnkins.com

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •