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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Shelby NC
    Posts
    129

    Default Added a new tool to my tool bag, how many have this?

    Well with all the foreclosures still running through the market I had to add a new tool to my bag. I pair of bolt cutters to cut the locks on crawlspace doors. I also added some cheap dollar store locks as disposable items. went to a house for a buyer from out of state. The preservation company did not leave me a lock in the lock box so with the realtors permission I cut the lock. Of course she said I would have to purchase a new lock if I did that. So I had to go and buy a $30.00 set of bolt cutters and a $1 lock. What would you have done, cut the lock and replace or just disclaim the crawl.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Added a new tool to my tool bag, how many have this?

    I still haven't figured out why they add a lock to the crawlspace hatch. Builders don't, 99% of homeowners don't, why do preservation companies? Do they get paid by the lock? I have only ever heard of one home being broken into from the crawlspace. That was a snowbird's home that had some pricey electronics and collectibles in it. Why someone would want to break into an empty POS home through the crawlspace, when they can break a window is beyond me.

    When I have encounter those crawl hatch locks, a crowbar will usually free the clasp, as the preservation guys will use the little wood screws to attach the hasp. After the inspection I will usually just put everything back in place.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Added a new tool to my tool bag, how many have this?

    I used to carry around a 3' bolt cutter but not so much anymore. As Rick mentioned those preservation guys use short screws. Its pretty easy to pull the hasp off, one side or the other and they just throw a few screws back into it.. I do however always have a couple locks with just in case.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: Added a new tool to my tool bag, how many have this?


    In OPs area of operation, it is very common to have the HVAC system in the crawlspace.

    But as mentioned, even a large screwdriver is usually enough leverage to pop the silly little latch. Probably more of a liability issue from the winterization company viewpoint. They can claim they made a reasonable effort to secure the property.

    We charge a $200 fee to come back out to the property for any reason. Had a crawlspace padlocked couple weeks ago. 90 yr old flip. Recommended to the buyer to have the agents pay the return fee since the house was not accessible for inspection and we had sent several emails to all agents involved the week before stating needed access and associcated fees if not accessible. They paid up and I went back out.

    Instead of spending money to carry around locks and bolt cutters, we get paid to return.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Added a new tool to my tool bag, how many have this?

    Quote Originally Posted by ren ramsey View Post
    Well with all the foreclosures still running through the market I had to add a new tool to my bag. I pair of bolt cutters to cut the locks on crawlspace doors. I also added some cheap dollar store locks as disposable items. went to a house for a buyer from out of state. The preservation company did not leave me a lock in the lock box so with the realtors permission I cut the lock. Of course she said I would have to purchase a new lock if I did that. So I had to go and buy a $30.00 set of bolt cutters and a $1 lock. What would you have done, cut the lock and replace or just disclaim the crawl.
    Great if you feel comfortable with it however breaking and entering may not be a good policy .
    The realtor is not the owner.

    Personally not sure it is a good idea to be invasive or destructive anymore than it is to turn on the Main Water valve.

    Not knocking you but asking you to rethink .


  6. #6

    Default Re: Added a new tool to my tool bag, how many have this?

    Quote Originally Posted by ren ramsey View Post
    Well with all the foreclosures still running through the market I had to add a new tool to my bag. I pair of bolt cutters to cut the locks on crawlspace doors. I also added some cheap dollar store locks as disposable items. went to a house for a buyer from out of state. The preservation company did not leave me a lock in the lock box so with the realtors permission I cut the lock. Of course she said I would have to purchase a new lock if I did that. So I had to go and buy a $30.00 set of bolt cutters and a $1 lock. What would you have done, cut the lock and replace or just disclaim the crawl.
    I've always carried a "Universal" key, also called bolt cutters! I would NOT pay for a replacement lock. They pay or I disclaim the crawl (and charge an additional fee if I am asked to come back.)
    I also have a set of Preservation keys that fit most these locks anyway. They come in handy now and then.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    358

    Thumbs down Re: Added a new tool to my tool bag, how many have this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    I still haven't figured out why they add a lock to the crawlspace hatch. Builders don't, 99% of homeowners don't, why do preservation companies? Do they get paid by the lock? I have only ever heard of one home being broken into from the crawlspace. That was a snowbird's home that had some pricey electronics and collectibles in it. Why someone would want to break into an empty POS home through the crawlspace, when they can break a window is beyond me.

    When I have encounter those crawl hatch locks, a crowbar will usually free the clasp, as the preservation guys will use the little wood screws to attach the hasp. After the inspection I will usually just put everything back in place.

    //Rick
    Rick, don't you guys up there have Tweakin' Copper Thieves? More than likely, the preservation company does it to reduce liability. No way would I ever cut a lock to gain access to something I don't own, unless I was looking the "AHJ" square in the eye when he/she said it. Even if nothing happened when you're in there, someone could still accuse you of something and you might have trouble proving otherwise.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Added a new tool to my tool bag, how many have this?

    The key to having tools is not 'having the tools' but in 'how you use' the tools.

    In this case (cutting locks because the agent said to) the proper use of bolt cutters is: a) remove bolt cutters from bag or retrieve from vehicle; b) clean bolt cutters and make sure they operate easily and properly; c) hand bolt cutter to agent so they can cut the lock ...

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Added a new tool to my tool bag, how many have this?

    I do not cut off locks or remove a locked hasp. I do not cut water on at the meter. I do not de-winterize a home. I do not, I do not, etc.... I'm glad that REO homes are no longer the norm in my area, I would say that 1:20 homes are now REO homes that inspect compared to 1:5 two years ago.

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

  10. #10

    Default Re: Added a new tool to my tool bag, how many have this?

    I, too, finally bought a big pair of bolt cutters; but I'm not as nice as you. I first look around to find where the management contractor may have left a key. If I don't find a key, I cut the padlock and dispose of it without asking or telling the agent. Like you said: it's a $1 lock. However, I don't cut padlocks that secure property without finding another way to secure the property before I leave. I feel that when I'm working for a Buyer and they're paying me a fee that's usually about 400 times as expensive as that padlock, I have a good enough excuse to cut it. One day when I happened to bump into a local property maintenance contractor that was working for the banks, I asked him about my practice. He wasn't at all angry about my attitude. In fact, he gave me a key to fit the same padlocks that most local contractors use as property service managers. When he finds the locks cut, he shrugs his shoulders, puts on another padlock and bills the banks. It's all part of the process to him.

    Stan Audette, BSEE, ACI

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