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TOPIC: Tennesse state law inspection format

Tennesse state law inspection format 10 years 10 months ago #6188

I have always been extremely unsettled about home inspection reports that disclaim things to protect our litigation liabilities and excessive use of "investigate further by another contractor".

To me, inspection reports become pages and pages of what the home inspector did not do /is not required to do. I was drafted into the home inspection industry from real estate agents that also felt the same way. Their question to me was, "what do you really do"?

I have been using Dominick's Home Inspection Pro reporting software for some time, but have been uncomfortable with its output. I'm one of those guys that is difficult to pry away from Microsoft Word templates where I can make the output what I want.

Well, yesterday I reformatted my template from Home InspectorPro and am extremely satisfied with it (personally). I can fulfill my state of inspection requirements in a matter of minutes.

Please take a look at my template and help me critique this.
This may only work for those of you that have a home inspection law, but can also be used with the NACHI standards of practice.

What I did was to cut and paste the actual home inspection law for the State of Tennessee into my inspection report software. The context of the report and blue font is the actual state law. I added one photograph and one discrepancy example. Each discrepancy will be posted under each section of the report and posted to the summary page if properly classified.

My thinking is that someone has put a lot of thought into creating home inspection procedures. Why re-create the wheel? Why do I have to tell someone that I can't see their septic system because it's under the ground? Why do I have to tell someone that I couldn't inspect their HVAC system, because it's too cold outside, or because home inspectors aren't qualified to do this in the 1st place?!

Why do we have to reinterpret what the standards of practice are?

Actually, they're quite clear! Why should I disclaim anything or recommend further evaluation on something that I am not required to be responsible for in accordance with standards of practice set by the state or your home inspection Association?

Why do we have to answer questions that have not been asked?

Why do we have to answer questions that a bottom feeding lawyer may ask in court? This doesn't keep you out of court!

So, with this in mind, take a look at the basic format of my report. The state law says that you can add or go beyond the "standards" and put anything you want to "voluntarily" in any report that can be easily added.

The first thing that a lawyer representing a client is going to present in court is your home inspection report. This point is to question your business practices in Association with what is expected. What is expected by your client? Or what's expected by the state or standards of practice of your home inspection industry?.

If the state law is right smack dab in the middle of your clients forhead in blue-and-white text, how can they dispute anything?

Maybe I'm missing something, but this seems to be totally elementary!
If you would be so kind as to review this concept (after putting aside all that you have been taught and have observed from past example) and give me your feedback. I see this concept as being a cure-all for all the legal litigation problems faced by home inspectors.

Nobody wants to make this so simple because they make money off of you!

Blow smoke up your clients butt with all this disclaimer protection stuff, they will perceive what are doing and try to sue the pants off of you!

Your home inspection report is all about credibility. It's about client expectation. Your client sits there in court and cries how they misinterpreted what you said because you didn't do it appropriately or use the incorrect wording. This is happening. I was sued because the lawyer could only say "I wouldn't have phrased it a different way".

Well guys, the SOP or your state law tells to exactly how you should phrase it. When the state says you will describe, then you simply describe it as they state it in the law. If the client misinterprets you, they are misinterpreting the law (not your problem). If their attorney cannot reinterpret the law for the client and sues you anyway then they are being negligent and probably need to be reviewed by the Bar Association!

It's my opinion that I can advertise this reporting system to real estate agents who really don't want their clients to be overcome with irrelevant stuff, resulting in the loss of the sale. Without becoming "a bed partner" to the real estate agent, you can perform your obligations to the client without creating undue stress, to an overstressed homebuyer resulting in a loss of real estate transaction.

We need to remain focused, and we need to meet the expectations of our clients and not produce an unnecessary burden on the real estate agent, who is not responsible for what we do.

Please review this report here:
www.midtninspections.com/TN_home_insp_report.htm




David A. Andersen & Associates
Clarksville - Nashville Home Inspector Lic#40
www.midtninspections.com
ITC Certified Infrared Thermographer Cert#1958
Building Science Thermographer Cert#33784
thermalimagingscan.com
HVAC Certification EPA Cert#2046620

Link to my Website at: www.midtninspections.com/link-submission

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Home Inspector
HVAC Systems Design
ITC Level III Thermography - Building Science Thermographer
Thermal Imaging
Serving Clarksville - Nashville TN and the Mid TN area
www.MidTnInspections.com
www.ThermalImagingScan.com
To link to my pages:
www.midtninspections.com/link-submission

Re: Tennesse state law inspection format 10 years 10 months ago #6192

Nice job Dave. Remember the whole design behind HIP is that you CAN make it look like whatever you want. Definitely dont limit yourself to the default templates, those are just starting blocks for you to customize to your liking :)

Dominic

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Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro Home Inspection Software - CEO

Re: Tennesse state law inspection format 10 years 10 months ago #6197

When I "clean" this template up, I'll post it here.

Yes, the reason I love HIP is that you can make it your own!

I'm not the best in some of this design stuff, but I think I have a handle on it at this point.
I took me no more than 30 min to do my report today, and I had a lot of test proofing to check up on in this same time. 47 pictures, 23 narratives. !!!!

My point of this post, is that HI liability is huge. I hope to reduce this liability for all. I think if you look at this, all the bases are covered because it IS the LAW of my state!  Sentence by sentence. How can a lawyer say I didn't follow the guidelines when it is THE guideline!? :-)

By the way, TN law is THE 1995 ASHI SOP! Many States also use this as the basis for their law.

Someone on NACHI pointed out that I don't cover everything...
Buy in the template, it is covered. But my state requires ("Inspector shall report..."). That is the basis of this sample. There are hundreds of things behind the scene in the template, but didn't apply. If the State Law does not say you must describe or report...  No reason to discuss this in the report (just to cover your @ss).

This is why Realtors don't like us much!

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Home Inspector
HVAC Systems Design
ITC Level III Thermography - Building Science Thermographer
Thermal Imaging
Serving Clarksville - Nashville TN and the Mid TN area
www.MidTnInspections.com
www.ThermalImagingScan.com
To link to my pages:
www.midtninspections.com/link-submission

Re: Tennesse state law inspection format 10 years 10 months ago #6199

Much shorter than your previous reports. I look forward to seeing a real example when you're done! Some of the new features we're working on will speed up your report time even more.

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Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro Home Inspection Software - CEO

Re: Tennesse state law inspection format 10 years 10 months ago #6221

You had me a little worried when I read your first post.  I just kept thinking of all the other inspectors that have been sued in the past and evolution has taken us to this point with all the disclaimers.  I'm worried that you may be putting yourself at greater risk.  I would highly recommend talking with an attorney and show them the before and after disclaimer stuff.

As for your report, I did like how it looked.  I have all that stuff posted on my website for everyone to look at.

And lastly, I wanted to ask why Realtors are so concerned about us trying to protect ourselves?  They protect themselves in their contracts!  Same with mortgage companies.  Same with tittle companies. Same with every other industry for that matter. 

This is just my opinion and I could be wrong but I think when Realtors start trying to dictate what disclaimers are in our reports and contracts they are stepping outside their expertise and boundaries.  They have no clue of law and of the history and development of HI and its reports.

I'm not against change or you wanting to do something better.  I would just ask you to talk to a lawyer and see what they say.  But I do get a little riffed under my color when someone else (Realtors) start trying to control my business  and tell me how I should do things.  Just remember, your the one the the license, eduction, and experience.  And you don't have a lawsuit fund protecting you either!

I've been in business for about four months now and I still believe Realtors are a key point to market to.  But I have also realized they don't care about anything else but making the sale.  They wouldn't put you out with a bicycle chain if you were on fire.  And that's scary to me!  I want my business to be one that people tell their grand kids about how good I was.  Its a lost service now days and I want to bring that back with my company.

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HLC Home Inspections LLC
www.OklahomaHomeInspector.biz
We are a licensed inspector for the state of Oklahoma.?  Our focus is Oklahoma City, Moore, Mustang, Yukon, Tuttle, and many other areas surrounding OKC.
HLC-Home-Inspections-Oklahoma-City

HLC Home Inspections LLC...

Re: Tennesse state law inspection format 10 years 4 months ago #15678

David,
You make some good points.. what was the ultimate outcome of your template that you are using? Did you leave the SOP in like what you had posted ... or are you using a template similar like your sample report that is found on your home page/web page.

Thanks,

Tim

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Home Inspector and Contractor Palmdale and Lancaster CA

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Home Inspections in Antelope Valley, Palmdale and Lancaster CA, Santa Clarita
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