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  1. #1
    Kevin Hance's Avatar
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    Default Unlicensed Home Inspection

    I recently had an AOS for my home. While getting the home inspection on the home I intended to buy; my realtor got a call from the buyer of my homes agent about the home inspection on my home. The basics of the report said that my roof needed to be torn up and that my back porch was built wrong and severally damaged and that I had lead pipes for drain. She demanded $10,000


    I had certificate stating my roof was fine, it is only three years old and been silver coated last year and they wouldn't accept that since he didn't have a letterhead. So he came over and verified everything was fine and only needed some caulk on back porch which I had him do. He wrote a guarantee on the roof for 10-12 years (Flat roof) and provided business license and insurance information.



    The other agent told my agent that they wanted me to write a check at settlement to the home inspector. From what I have read is that he can't give a dollar amount on repairs and he can't do repairs for 12 months. Needless to say my agent asked for his credentials and was told that she don't need a licensed home inspector and that the guy was just a contractor (also friend of buyers family).



    Now the buyer wants her $1,000 deposit which I still offered her half until she said she wanted it all and asked the Broker to keep it until it gets resolved. I am hoping you can tell me of what actions I may be able to take.

    I am in Delaware County in Pennsylvania.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Hance View Post
    I recently had an AOS for my home. While getting the home inspection on the home I intended to buy; my realtor got a call from the buyer of my homes agent about the home inspection on my home. The basics of the report said that my roof needed to be torn up and that my back porch was built wrong and severally damaged and that I had lead pipes for drain. She demanded $10,000


    I had certificate stating my roof was fine, it is only three years old and been silver coated last year and they wouldn't accept that since he didn't have a letterhead. So he came over and verified everything was fine and only needed some caulk on back porch which I had him do. He wrote a guarantee on the roof for 10-12 years (Flat roof) and provided business license and insurance information.



    The other agent told my agent that they wanted me to write a check at settlement to the home inspector. From what I have read is that he can't give a dollar amount on repairs and he can't do repairs for 12 months. Needless to say my agent asked for his credentials and was told that she don't need a licensed home inspector and that the guy was just a contractor (also friend of buyers family).



    Now the buyer wants her $1,000 deposit which I still offered her half until she said she wanted it all and asked the Broker to keep it until it gets resolved. I am hoping you can tell me of what actions I may be able to take.

    I am in Delaware County in Pennsylvania.
    If the contractor is a friend, just as if any other friend or relative, looked at the home I see no wrong doing. If he accepted a fee, it may be illegal (I am not familiar with your state license laws).

    Whether or not you have to return the deposit, depends upon the agreement you and he signed when you accepted the money. You should speak to an atorney.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Hance View Post
    I recently had an AOS for my home. While getting the home inspection on the home I intended to buy; my realtor got a call from the buyer of my homes agent about the home inspection on my home. The basics of the report said that my roof needed to be torn up and that my back porch was built wrong and severally damaged and that I had lead pipes for drain. She demanded $10,000


    I had certificate stating my roof was fine, it is only three years old and been silver coated last year and they wouldn't accept that since he didn't have a letterhead. So he came over and verified everything was fine and only needed some caulk on back porch which I had him do. He wrote a guarantee on the roof for 10-12 years (Flat roof) and provided business license and insurance information.



    The other agent told my agent that they wanted me to write a check at settlement to the home inspector. From what I have read is that he can't give a dollar amount on repairs and he can't do repairs for 12 months. Needless to say my agent asked for his credentials and was told that she don't need a licensed home inspector and that the guy was just a contractor (also friend of buyers family).



    Now the buyer wants her $1,000 deposit which I still offered her half until she said she wanted it all and asked the Broker to keep it until it gets resolved. I am hoping you can tell me of what actions I may be able to take.

    I am in Delaware County in Pennsylvania.
    This is something you should talk about with your real estate agent, or an attorney. They know an understand the laws and requirements in your area.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    From the PA Attorney Genreals Office, it states that the 2001 Real Estate Transfer Act that Home Inspections are to be made by a member of a Not for profit Home inspection association. The Para legal team of the realtor even said the AOS states that. I am wondering if anyone knew whether I should sue the parties involved.


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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Hi Kevin

    I believe PA has required inspectors to be licenced. As such a contractor unless licenced as a home inspector and if he conducted an inspection without being licenced would be a contravention of the licencing laws.

    Secondly the realtor acting for the purchaser would be ethically obligated under your states realestate licencing laws would most likely be violating her duty to only recommend licenced inspectors.

    Either way you should report possible violations to the Realestate board and the Attorney Generals office which you state you have done.

    The other concern which comes to mind is whether or not the contractor was actually acting objectively on behalf of the purchaser and/or agent or was told to over inflate his findings in order to seek an unjust cost adjustment on the purchase price.

    As to suing; in my opinion it will cost you possibly more money in legal fees, time and frustration then what the possible, if any, loss is worth.

    Agents must represent their clients with a standard of care, fiduciary responsibilities, ethically and legally expected of the profession. If not there are consequences.

    File complaints and let the chips fall where they may.

    Raymond Wand Home Inspection Service
    http://www.raymondwand.ca
    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Kevin,
    PA has a Licensing Law for Home Inspectors.
    You should file a complaint with the PA Licensing Board against the contractor/friend if he was representing himself as a Home Inspector as part of the Contract of Sale .

    The post inspection counter offer is just that, a counter offer. You can do what ever you want because you are back to negotiating the sale.

    As for the $1000 deposit, your contract of sale probably has a clause for the buyer voiding the contract and having the deposit returned if the Home Inspection is not favorable to the buyer. The issue may revolve around the exact wording of the contract and what constitutes a home inspection by the terms of the contract. There may be a difference between having an inspection of the home and having the home inspected.

    By keeping the deposit you keep your home off the market until the terms of the contract are met or breached and the parties at some point void the contract allowing the property to go back onto the market.

    It may cost you more than the $1000 to keep the $1000 and you may loose the suite and still cost you dollars out of pocket for the failed efforts.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Just ask to see the full inspection report.
    If they don't have one, and he's not licensed, a home inspection was not done.
    Don't give the deposit back until an inspection has been done by a licensed home inspector.
    ASK YOUR LAWYER RIGHT?


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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    I admire you guys, I couldn't make heads or tails of that post!

    END GLOBAL WHINING

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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Thompson View Post
    I admire you guys, I couldn't make heads or tails of that post!
    BEN, in a nut shell.
    Buyer wants $10,000 reduction in contract price based on home inspection performed by contractor friend who does not have a HI license. Seller refusing and wants to keep contract deposit ($1000). Since inspection was not done by licensed Home Inspector.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    The actual report was about 2 paragraphs. I had things that I expected to be on the report that were not even looked at. My first flag was that on day of the inspection was that he "forgot" his ladder. I extended so he could get his ladder on another day.

    Last night I called the broker of the buyer agent and he wasn't even aware of the situation and said they use relatives all the time for home inspections. I told him that is violation of the law and offered to read from the state attorney generals web site which he said not to read it to him. I am now documenting the steps I have followed and I am really wondering if the Attorney General starts to look into the agents prior deals; whether they may just keep looking at the whole office she is in. I couldn't believe this guy was telling me this.


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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    I'm a Pennsylvania home inspector so I'll attempt to clear up some things. But the OPs post is a bit confusing.

    To start, PA does not have a home inspector license. We have a PA Home Inspection Law (ACT 114) that states in order to be able to perform home inspections in the state of PA, an individual must meet certain criteria such as being an active member of a national recognized organization like NAHI, ASHI, or iNACHI. The inspector also must carry E&O and General Liability insurance and the levels of coverage must meet state minimums which I believe are $250,000/$500,000. The individual must either be a full member of their organization or if they have not yet performed/participated in the minimum number of inspections, they must be supervised and have their reports signed off on by an inspector who is compliant with the law. Licensed architects are also allowed to perform home inspections. All that said, this home inspection law is not enforced or overseen by really anybody. We have no state issued home inspector ID #s or ID badges. If somebody wants to fudge things and say they meet the requirements, nobody would really know unless they wanted to dig around and investigate.

    As for an inspector providing cost range estimates in his report (assuming he issued an actual report), the inspector is allowed to do as as long as the estimate provided is a range (ie - $300 - $600) and as long as the source from where the cost estimate was obtained is stated too.

    Where I'm really confused about is why the agent is asking you to write a check at settlement for the home inspector (the one who inspected your current house I assume?). And how much are they asking you to make the check for? The cost of repairs or the inspection cost itself? Either way, you should not be giving any checks to the buyer's inspector.

    Before proceeding with anything, I would insist that the buyer's inspector provide proof of his compliance with the PA Home Inspector law with the PA Home Inspector Compliance form. Ask for a copy of his E&O insurance, ask which organization he is a member of and what his ID number is. Follow up by contacting the organization he says he belongs to in order to verify that they have him in their records as a member.

    Do you know the name of the inspector or his company name? You don't have to mention his name in this thread if you don't want to. Feel free to send me a PM and I'll see what I can do to help.

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

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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Hance View Post
    The actual report was about 2 paragraphs. I had things that I expected to be on the report that were not even looked at. My first flag was that on day of the inspection was that he "forgot" his ladder. I extended so he could get his ladder on another day.

    Last night I called the broker of the buyer agent and he wasn't even aware of the situation and said they use relatives all the time for home inspections. I told him that is violation of the law and offered to read from the state attorney generals web site which he said not to read it to him. I am now documenting the steps I have followed and I am really wondering if the Attorney General starts to look into the agents prior deals; whether they may just keep looking at the whole office she is in. I couldn't believe this guy was telling me this.
    Sounds like a real mess. Based on this, I can't see any way this "inspector" is legit. That broker may bear some responsibility as well. While almost no realtors ask for it, they should get a copy of the home inspector's Compliance Statement for every inspection and keep it with the file for the house sale.

    If that broker thinks he's off the hook just because he didn't let you read the verbiage of the law to him, he's kidding himself. I would look into contacting the PA Realtor Association and advising them of this situation. They may want to dig into this as well.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 06-27-2012 at 06:15 AM.
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    I'm with others in relying on professionals, ( Real Estate agents, a lawyer specializing in Real Estate ). I would question the home inspection license requirement as it relates to your position in the contract. I doubt it is a legal requirement for a buyer to get an inspection. That being the case the inspector / report info. would be irrelevant to you in contract terms. If that contractor accepted money for his inspection service he may be answerable to his client / friend or the State, but not you. You allowed that "refundable" deposit to remain so, if you agreed to the normal "subject to inspection" terms. Since the buyer has no obligation to hire a licensed inspector, that inspection could be by her, her agent, her brother or a guy down the street. If her "inspection" has resulted in something she does not like, I'm guessing your contract says she gets her deposit back.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Per PA Attorney Generals website:

    Home inspectors are required to be a full member in good standing of a national, not-for-profit home inspection association or must be supervised by someone who is.
    Members must comply with a code of conduct and attend continuing professional education classes as an ongoing condition of membership
    Home inspectors are prohibited from performing repairs on the same house he or she inspected within the preceding 12 months.
    The party selling the property that is the subject of the inspection has the right to receive a free copy of the report upon request.
    Home inspectors must maintain insurance against errors and omissions and general liability coverage.
    A violation of this new law amounts to a violation of Pennsylvania?s Consumer Protection Law.


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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    A two paragraph report?

    If the so called inspector is required to belong to an association, all associations require a report to be compiled as per the Standards of Practice. A two paragraph report would not comply with industry standards.

    Secondly I don't know any insurer who would write an E&O policy without seeing the type of report the inspector would use and most certainly may require inspectors to belong to an association as per PA law. Even if the insurer did issue a policy, they likely are going to be denying coverage for a two page report.

    The realtor again would have a higher standard of care and the broker for not ensuring compliance to PA requirements as per them referring negligently a non complying inspector.

    Did the so called inspector do any destructive testing while in the house?

    Raymond Wand Home Inspection Service
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    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Kevin,
    I apologize for my assertion that "PA has a Licensing Law for Home Inspectors".
    Knew Home Inspection had by Law delineated what constitutes a Home Inspector in the view of PA, made an assumption that the Law was enforced via License-sure.


    Hoped Nick would enter into the discussion for state specific knowledge/experience. Thanks Nick for clarification and corrections to my statement on License.

    Kevin, your position is an interesting one depending on the wording of the contract of sale. Again," The issue may revolve around the exact wording of the contract and what constitutes a home inspection by the terms of the contract. There may be a difference between having an inspection of the home and having the home inspected." Not knowing PA Real Estate Law it may be if you do not return the deposit the Buyer's recourse is to sure you for its return. A short call to an attorney would be wise.

    Nick,
    Is there in PA law a differentiation between a person that inspects a home with/without a fee and one that presents themselves as a "Home Inspector" (by title)?


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Thanks Garry-- The Attorney Generals office protects the consumers by a standard contract that ensures that inspectors be licensed. First time violators get a $500 fine and up to 3 months in jail. I am hoping they dig into the agent and contruction worker to see how many times either one of them have done home inspections or let non licensed inspectors provide the home inspection report.


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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Kevin,
    As Nick posted "...PA does not have a home inspector license. We have a PA Home Inspection Law (ACT 114)..."

    Have you contacted anyone? AG, Real Estate Board, PA Consumer Protection, Real Estate Attorney, your Real Estate Agent/Broker ?

    Work to get thing in writing and start a criminological log of all contacts made and what was said, every contact. Past, present & future.


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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post

    Nick,
    Is there in PA law a differentiation between a person that inspects a home with/without a fee and one that presents themselves as a "Home Inspector" (by title)?

    I'm not sure as I haven't read the law in it's entirety in a while. But it's pretty clear about the requirements that must be met by an individual in order perform a fee-paid home inspection for a real estate transaction in the state of Pennsylvania. Inspections cannot be performed for free as outlined in the law so a fee must be paid to the inspector.

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

  20. #20
    Eric Barker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    One of the most effective ways to clean up our industry is to report unqualified people who perform inspections and who better to do this than home inspectors themselves. We can recognize inferior reporting better than anyone. These people hurt our business and reputations and we should not be ignoring them in any way. I have the highest regard to inspectors who are genuinely devoted to the profession - for all others I have no allegiance.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  21. #21
    Dan Harris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    One of the most effective ways to clean up our industry is to report unqualified people who perform inspections and who better to do this than home inspectors themselves. We can recognize inferior reporting better than anyone. These people hurt our business and reputations and we should not be ignoring them in any way. I have the highest regard to inspectors who are genuinely devoted to the profession - for all others I have no allegiance.
    Well stated.
    I had a poential customer, a retired snow bird on a tight buget, call me for an inspection last winter. He instead went with an unlic handi man that was refered by the sales agent.

    Fast forward to last month, he decided to call me to do another inspection, after he already bought the home. The agents handi mans 4 page report made the home look like it was in good condition.
    My report , disclosed apx $20,000 needed repairs, obtw, it's a 40 year old $6,000 Mfg Home on a $500.00 per month rental lot, that he cannot live in until several items are corrected.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Kevin,
    Seeing that you posted your question on another Wed forum, how did you feel about the responses that you received?

    No need to name web site/sites.

    How many other places did you post your question, and how did it fair?

    Not looking for names and places, just curious about comparison to other forums in general .


  23. #23
    Kevin Hance's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    This forum is way more active; I was actually told about this one from posting there.


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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Kevin,
    That is interesting. Some of the members of this forum also post on the other one. I tend to agree in the activity in this forum. Also there seems to be a higher level of knowledge and experience than the other one you posted on.

    Let us know what direction you take with the PA Attorney General or whom ever you file your inquiry with regarding the home inspection that was performed on your property.

    Nothing can change unless people act on something rather than just letting it go and move on. It may help the next person and eventually you.


  25. #25
    Kevin Hance's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Ok Folks; I have a letter from the PA Attorney Generals Office. The issues in my complaint do not fall with in their parameters and can not assist me. I called and talked to Janis Parrilla from the Philadelphia Office and she basically said since I didn't pay him; I am not protected under the consumer protection.

    HOWEVER they are now going to check into his credentials since I brought it to their attention and he still may be subject to the fines for violating the 2001 PA Real Estate Act since he does not belong to any of the Home Inspection groups.

    For me; I still will take this as a win and will follow up in a few weeks. Until then the Delaware BBB has sent my complaint to the contractors company.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Kevin

    Thanks for the update.

    Are you going to proceed further with complaint against the Realtor for negligent misrepresentation?

    Raymond Wand Home Inspection Service
    http://www.raymondwand.ca
    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Thanks for the update Kevin. Good for you in not just letting this slide.

    I would still recommend trying to file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors (PAR) as the buyer's realtor and their office do not appear to understand or care about the laws in place that need to be followed as part of a real estate transaction.

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

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    I think my problem with PAR is finding out what I am going after the realtor with. There is a list of Ethics but its kind of hard to pick something appropriate that fits into what she did. I'd have to find out what other complaints other than Ethics I can have PAR check out.


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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Kevin,
    Interesting that PA AG says you have no standing since you did not pay the inspector. But the Realtor wanted you to pay the inspector at settlement. If you had agreed to pay inspector at settlement would they have said that you had standing? And what possible outcome could there be?

    If part of the contract (seller paying the inspector/contractor) was determined to be against the law does it void part or all of the contract ?

    Keep up the pressure/effort. PA will thank you.

    You might try to interest a TV news station to report on how this realtor's actions affect you the Seller. And how the PA law may/is being broken. Misrepresentation, fraud, collusion. How PA Consumer Protection Agency is failing to react. They will do research for the story and may lend you additional leverage to have someone take notice and action.


    Stay with it........


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Try negligent misrepresentation to you the vendor, and her purchaser.

    It was deceptive to imply and present the so called home inspector as a licenced inspector, then to present the inspectors findings as legitimate.

    Raymond Wand Home Inspection Service
    http://www.raymondwand.ca
    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Unlicensed Home Inspection

    Kevin,

    If you haven't already checked out the PA Assoc. of Realtors..

    Filing an Ethics Complaint

    PA STANDARDS OF CONDUCT AND PRACTICE
    Pennsylvania Code

    Raymond Wand Home Inspection Service
    http://www.raymondwand.ca
    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

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