What Are Home Inspectors Liable For?

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Home inspection services are crucial to make informed decisions during purchasing and selling of the house. You can depend on the home inspector for valuable inputs and recommendations necessary to save costs in repairs. Also, you may gain vital insight about the home to instill confidence in the purchase. For home sellers, a home inspector can produce a detailed list of repairs and corrections to help in evaluating the property’s value and enhance the value proposition, in general, to attract better deals from potential customers. Consulting and employing a home inspector provide critical information to facilitate your purchase, sale, and maintenance of the property. If the house is not properly inspected, you may hold the person liable for the damages due to poor service or negligence.

Home defect damages liability

Home inspectors are responsible for the reporting of repair and maintenance work required for the home.  You employ a home inspector to find any serious issues with the house. The positive home report with all necessities and facilities in perfect condition helps you secure the deal with confidence. Essentially, the homeowner instills reliance in the house for the deal confirmation.

After the home purchase, if you find an issue reported positively or missing in the inspection report, there are multiple ways to proceed with the situation, including legal action against the home inspector.  However, there is no guarantee that you will recover all damages from the home inspector or the services.

Negligence claim

If you are unsatisfied with the home inspection report generated by the home inspector services you employed, you can undertake legal proceedings. You can sue the home inspector to prove the negligence resulted in monetary and psychological damages. However, winning the case is more complex than it sounds. The home inspector can present a copy of the report signed by you to produce a counterargument. In such situations, you may have to hire a different inspector to assess the problem in the house to generate a brand-new report for the court proceedings. The added evidence can strengthen your case and increase your chances of holding the home inspector liable.

Contract Breach

If your evidence is inadequate to push for desirable results by filing a negligence claim, the second option is a contract breach claim. You could sue the home inspector for a contract breach by producing evidence of contract term violations. For example, to ensure normal plumbing operations, home inspectors must perform some necessary tests with specialized tools. Similarly, the electrical connections need checks. The inspector must specify the observations of the investigation in the home inspection report. Failing to conduct the required test may attract strong contract breach claims for the home inspector.

Contract terms

Contract terms and conditions are crucial to sue the home inspector in the event of negligence. Therefore, before you let the home inspector in the home you are interested in, make sure you reach the contract thoroughly. No one wants to attract legal proceedings and costly damage in services. The home inspection is no different. Hence, the home inspection services are bound to insert special clauses and provisions. The provision helps in limiting the liabilities and protects them from any future events. Home inspector service contracts have exculpatory clauses essential to reduce the severity of the circumstances and associated costs. One fine example of such clauses are the liquidated damages clause.

Limited liability and liquidated damages

One of the main reasons for special clauses is that home inspection services contracts are limited liability contracts. In limited liability contracts, the home inspection services as a whole or the independent home inspector are liable only for the liquidated damage amount. The specific clause added to the contract limits the liability. The liquidated damage amount is essentially the cost of the inspection. Therefore, in the event of missed details, incorrect reporting, or negligence, you are awarded only the liquidated damage amount as a home buyer. Add to it the expenses of the court proceedings. The actual damages that you incurred in the repair works are immaterial to the lawsuit.

While you may concentrate on the home inspector to recover the damages for the repair work done or required, you must not ignore the seller of the house as a client. Often it is recommended to confront the seller regarding the repairs and maintenance to avoid immediate legal process against the home inspector. An out-of-court settlement is another possible option comprising the seller and the home inspector to avoid legal hassles through mutual understanding.

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