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  1. #1
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    Default Items left blank in report

    As some of you know, the Canadian Standards Association is writing up a new SOP for us all up North here.

    When this becomes an inevitable reality, I will be required to record a lot of inane gibberish in my report.

    An example is recording the names and particulars of everyone in attendance. I've used templates that have slots for this info, but I tend to leave those spaces blank. I can't say what the daughter-in-law's name is, given, married or maiden, nor her hubby's, because nobody told me or I was talking when someone spoke it. Since it is irrelevant, I skip that part.

    In a court of law, willl I be in viiolation of the SOP if I leave this or any other detail out? Somehow I hope the judge will flip to the meat and gravy of the report.

    Will neglecting to record the names of the various visitors kill my chances of insurance coverage? Probably. They will seek any out they can get as a rule, so why stop now.
    (If so, I may be seeking new oppurtunities elsewhere.)

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

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    As I recall, that is being proposed as a "voluntary" standard.

    Also, virtually every standard for practice has an "out" - the "required" things are "not required" is the client so requests or agrees - seems like that would be easy for them to request or agree to - give them a pad and pen and ask them to collect all the required information on EVERYONE present and who wonders in and out during the inspection ... "Sure, John, I request that you not provide that information."

    I suspect such a requirement would have, could very possibly have, privacy issues for some people.

    I can see one of those lists now:
    1) John Doe
    2) Jane Doe
    3) John Doe2
    4) Jane Doe2
    5) etc.

    Or would that be Deaux in Quebec?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Jerry, I am thinking along the lines of ' a number of family members and/or friends may have been in attendance at the time of the inspection'.

    The CSA standards, if passed into law, will be mandatory, better believe it.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Simply ask them their names and write them down. I do it and have no requirement whatsoever to do so. I do it simply because it's easier for me to remember their names when I'm talking to them later.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Sounds like an easy way to clear out the house of people. Ask for their identification cards , no ID then they can not be there. If questioned, it's the law.

    But in reality not that big of a deal. Would become natural as tieing your shoe.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    John,

    In my opinion leaving names out of the report other than who the report is contracted for is not a liability issue.

    The CSA standards and how the courts will view them is uncharted territory.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    As some of you know, the Canadian Standards Association is writing up a new SOP for us all up North here.
    Why not contact someone with the CSA and voice your concerns? Do the people who are writing the standards have H.I. experience? Requirements that divert your attention from the meat and potatoes will not benefit the client.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Why not contact someone with the CSA and voice your concerns? Do the people who are writing the standards have H.I. experience? Requirements that divert your attention from the meat and potatoes will not benefit the client.
    Eric, that is a laugh. Comments were invited up until Dec 15 and only by way of the survey on their CSA website. They are not home inspectors and the book is about to slam shut.
    As Alan Carson has said "How does this information help the client make a decision about the house?"

    Rick and Ken, collecting names is - "easy as tying shoelaces?" I don't tie my shoes. I leave the laces done up and slip them on and off 6 or 8 times / inspection. Got narrow feet, I guess. No time for people that have to stoop and tie each shoe, I am out the door and half way round the house by then.

    I am efficient with my time and have no time for idle chit chat with hangers-on until I am thru, paid and the tools are packed.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    John

    Apparently CSA has a closed mindset.

    Those who partook in a recent webnar with CSA said their questions were not answered, and the CSA rep was a like an automated auto play cassette.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I am efficient with my time and have no time for idle chit chat with hangers-on until I am thru, paid and the tools are packed.
    So you won't answer a question asked by the buyer's father until you've finished the inspection, gotten paid, and packed your tools?

    If I tried something like that the argument which ensued would last much longer than if I had asked for and written down his name. I would think it would be more time efficient to multitask...answer questions while doing your inspection. Therefore no time wasted (and no pissed off buyer's father) at the end of the inspection going over things twice.

    The reason they ask you to document the people present is basically for future lawsuits. Even most insurance companies want to know the names of everyone present during the inspection (potential witnesses).

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 12-19-2014 at 10:57 PM.
    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    I always encouraged my clients to be present and to ask questions, better to ask question when I can point to what they are asking about then to try to describe it days later.

    The more information you give your client AT the inspection, the more information the client will have, the fewer questions the client will have, and the fewer misunderstandings the client will have.

    If you are rushing so much during an inspection the HI doesn't have time to answer questions, I suspect the HI is trying to do many inspections in one day, which typically means they are not charging enough ... or maybe they are charging what they think they are worth?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Eric, that is a laugh. Comments were invited up until Dec 15 and only by way of the survey on their CSA website. They are not home inspectors and the book is about to slam shut.
    None of that surprises me John. It's seldom that we see things well thought out anymore.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Here's my suggestion;

    If whatever rule is going to force you to list information that you don't think is really helpful, put it at the back end of the report. It will be there as required. Yet, will be in a place less likely to distract from what people are actually paying you for.

    Reconfigure your template to put the junk at the back end. Put the summary with the red meat up front. If your software wont allow these adjustments, consider buying new software that will.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    Here's my suggestion;

    If whatever rule is going to force you to list information that you don't think is really helpful, put it at the back end of the report. It will be there as required. Yet, will be in a place less likely to distract from what people are actually paying you for.

    Reconfigure your template to put the junk at the back end. Put the summary with the red meat up front. If your software wont allow these adjustments, consider buying new software that will.
    I am griping more about the extra effort and time required to gather this info accurately, and the time of recording it. And then any possible consequences of failing to report or errors in reporting.

    Examples are - people in attendance, style of the home, is it a rancher or is it a bungalow? Does an addition make it something else? age of the home, could be 'unknown' size of the property, not my department. I report if the info is there, or leave blank if not.
    I used to obtain info from the MLS before the inspection. Have seen too many inaccuracies to trust that source now.
    Presence of asbestos - we are not chemists. Make model and serial of every appliance, how does the serial # help the client? Will they walk if the fridge is a Kelvinator?
    Septic systems, storm drains, and the list goes on. Pump pressure settings, pool inspections, weather.
    Fence inspection with no guidelines as to the length of the fence, what if it's 10 acres? or what constitutes a bad fence post.
    We report much of this info now as a courtesy, when it is readily available. Required to do so changes everything. Prices will have to go up.

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

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    So you won't answer a question asked by the buyer's father until you've finished the inspection, gotten paid, and packed your tools?

    The reason they ask you to document the people present is basically for future lawsuits. Even most insurance companies want to know the names of everyone present during the inspection (potential witnesses).
    Ken, I said idle chit chat. Of course I answer questions pertaining to the house. Who hasn't had to answer to the anxious parents?

    Re; recording names, those would be witnesses who will side with the client, no? It should not be the inspector's responsibility to record them, and maybe not in his best interest if there is a dispute with something said.
    The clients will know very well who attended the inspection with them.
    But the judge will have only the printed report to go with. Yes, this is my report. No, I do not recall which of these other people were in attendance.

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

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Ken, I said idle chit chat. Of course I answer questions pertaining to the house. Who hasn't had to answer to the anxious parents?

    Re; recording names, those would be witnesses who will side with the client, no? It should not be the inspector's responsibility to record them, and maybe not in his best interest if there is a dispute with something said.
    The clients will know very well who attended the inspection with them.
    But the judge will have only the printed report to go with. Yes, this is my report. No, I do not recall which of these other people were in attendance.
    So you do answer questions during the inspection. That's good. Do you introduce yourself to people in attendance? Common courtesy dictates you should. Take 5 seconds and write the names down. Witnesses to the inspection may be on the side of the client but they may also be on your side. Plus, if you make a habit of recording everyone in attendance the client can't claim someone else was there when they weren't.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I am griping more about the extra effort and time required to gather this info accurately, and the time of recording........
    We report much of this info now as a courtesy, when it is readily available. Required to do so changes everything. Prices will have to go up.
    John,
    Heaven forbid any extra effort.......... Just take a group picture and include it in the report.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Since the CSA standards are at this point in time may not even be utilized, its speculative to assume that such information would be required.

    Horizon report software has the option to enter size of home, number bedrooms, stories, sq. footage, age, start and end times of inspection, whether the home was occupied, furnished, vacant, utilities on or off, realtor name(s) and their, contact info and other data..

    As to serial numbers I most always take a picture of the data plates, but that info does not go in the report but kept in picture folder.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    Thanks, Raymond. So just like Ontario licensing, CSA standards will never happen? We will see but you have a point.

    You other clowns should know that I am very polite and professional and record a ton of info above and beyond, when it is possible and time efficient to do so. Making those fluffy items mandatory is taking time away from the real reason for being there, such as searching for significant defects. People forgetting that? Happy Holidays to all!

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

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    John

    You have always been the consummate gentleman.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    John

    Whats the feedback you are hearing out there in BC about proposed CSA standards? Is it liked, not liked, or silence/apathy?


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Items left blank in report

    CAHPI(BC) is strongly opposed to the CSA standards as written and seeking to resolve the numerous flaws. If not, home buyers will be burdened with the cost of lengthier inspections.

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

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