Are Inspectors Liable for Missing a Major Defect During a Home Inspection?
You’ve finally found your dream home – it’s perfect.
There’s just one little obstacle before sealing the deal, and that’s the inspection. Both the buyer and the seller hope for a clean inspection report with no major issues.
But what if both of you successfully make it through the inspection and sign the sale contract, and then a few weeks down the line you find a major problem with your home. It could be a faulty foundation, or a termite infestation, or even weak structural conditions that the home inspector did not catch.
Is your home inspector liable? How can you protect yourself in such cases?
Legal Claims Against the Seller
First, before reaching the issue of claims against an inspector, you should consider the claims against the seller. If the home was newly constructed, you might also have legal claims against the builder.
Normally, sellers face direct liability if they fail to disclose material defects with the home at the time of the sale. For something to be considered as a material defect, it should be extensive, for instance, a leaky roof or termite problem. This means negligible problems like chipped paint on the wall are not material defects.
Legal Claims Against the Home Inspector
Apart from the claims against the seller for fraudulent concealment of known defects, the buyer may also have potential claims against the inspector.
Before purchasing a house, the buyer is usually required to seek the services of a professional inspector who will bring to light all defects of the home. The inspection might involve checking the structure of the home, electrical system, foundation, appliances, windows, water system, and more.
If the inspection report comes out clean, you can go ahead with the sale. But what happens if your home inspectors missed a major defect in your home?
- Claims for professional malpractice and negligence
By definition, negligence is the failure to act as a reasonable person, and this may result in damages. Inspectors have the responsibility to provide a professional standard of care for all their clients.
The best way to prove your inspector’s negligence is to show that other professional inspectors would have discovered the defects if they had been given the job. This means that you have to find a second or even a third inspector and get their opinions and reports.
- Claims for breach of contract
An inspection contract states what type of inspections should be performed on a particular home. In the event your inspector does not properly examine the issues in your home and fails to detect a major defect, they are liable to breach of contract.
Breach of a contract can lead to consequential damages to your home that could cost a lot of money in repairs.
Get a Professional Home Inspection from Arnold Investigative Engineering
Buying a home is a lifetime investment. To make the purchasing process successful and seamless, ensure that you get the best inspection services. Shoddy inspections could cost you so much more in the long run.
At Arnold Investigative Engineering, we are skilled and experienced inspectors who are always available to offer that much-needed help. Call us today on (512) 345 6620