Author Topic: Home Inspection - Refund Request  (Read 1087 times)

jc4

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Home Inspection - Refund Request
« on: September 06, 2018, 11:19:03 AM »
Looking to know if this is reasonable. I requested a refund of my home inspection fee.

Clearly Visible Problems:
1. Cast iron drain pipe leaks along a 20' stretch leaving the crawlspace wet. Think 20'x2' wet soil. Enough to make my clothes wet crawling thru.
2. Multiple hvac ducts split in crawlspace. Air running dirrectly into crawl, not into home vents.
3. Extensive wood rot. Visible on wood floors/door trim inside. Visible on subfloor from crawlspace. Wall showing visible bowing (bent drywall).
4. Roof leaked at both chimneys. Plywood (rotted) and shingles now replaced.
5. Water pools under home when raining

Major Issue: In addition, the roof failed during a storm flooding the interior and causing $50K-$60K in water remediation and repair costs only 5 months after moving in. We've spent the duration of a year doing nothing but repairs and half that time not living in the house.

I had the inspector out to see everything again. He sent back quotes from his original report roughly saying: "It's old. It might work. Might be broken. It should be replaced. But doesn't have to be replaced" on a lot of it. So he doesn't want to issue a refund.

I'd rather not make him refund because we've had problems. But it's been so bad it seems obvious to me that he should. Thoughts?




waltworks

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Re: Home Inspection - Refund Request
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 12:02:04 PM »
It sounds like this is mostly the crawlspace (many inspectors won't enter a crawlspace) and then a roof failure during a storm.

I mean, your situation sucks. But it mostly sucks because of the storm, not the inspector.

Now, if the inspector was in the crawlspace and inspected the ductwork and plumbing under there, obviously they missed things. But I bet they weren't down there at all, nor did they say they would be. Likewise, they aren't going to dump water all over the roof to see if it has leaks - they generally will just do a visual inspection to see if it looks ok. Did you pay extra to get a thermal scan of the house to detect leaks/rotting wood?

To be more clear: inspectors *always* miss things. Their job is to find the problems they can and tell you about them. They're not in the business of guaranteeing any part of the house, and they aren't usually legally liable for things they don't find (this is usually clearly spelled out in the inspection contract). They are often worthless, especially for folks who are relatively capable/handy and perceptive.

To sum up: I wouldn't bother. It's a few hundred bucks. You got a crappy house, but most of the blame IMO is on you (outside of the act-of-god storm) not the inspector. More details could change my mind on the blame situation, but it's *still* not worth your time to get back $200 or whatever you paid. Consider it a lesson learned on doing your own due diligence.

_W

Jon Bon

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Re: Home Inspection - Refund Request
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 12:05:22 PM »
+1 to what walt said.

Sucks that it happened, but only so much you can learn about a house in 2 hours under static conditions.

Were you there during inspection? I've learned this is a must.


jc4

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Re: Home Inspection - Refund Request
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 02:24:18 PM »
True, it's mostly (but not all) storm damage.

I didn't get a thermal scan.
Cost was $400. Not trivial to me.
The crawlspace was included in the inspection.

The problem is he only inspected half the crawlspace. The other half he didn't look. The corroded pipe, hvac ducts, and rotted floor would have been VERY obvious if looked at. He did mention part of the subfloor was brand new (next to a leaking chimney). That might have been a tip to check the subfloors better.

There are just plenty of issues worse more than $400 that an eyeball check would have caught, especially the crawlspace, which he was paid to inspect, but didn't.

waltworks

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Re: Home Inspection - Refund Request
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 02:35:01 PM »
True, it's mostly (but not all) storm damage.

I didn't get a thermal scan.
Cost was $400. Not trivial to me.
The crawlspace was included in the inspection.

The problem is he only inspected half the crawlspace. The other half he didn't look. The corroded pipe, hvac ducts, and rotted floor would have been VERY obvious if looked at. He did mention part of the subfloor was brand new (next to a leaking chimney). That might have been a tip to check the subfloors better.

There are just plenty of issues worse more than $400 that an eyeball check would have caught, especially the crawlspace, which he was paid to inspect, but didn't.

Ok, sounds like he did a crap job. I'd pester him a bit. If he doesn't give you your money back, walk away - because his contract with you almost certain holds him completely blameless for anything he does wrong (I've seen a lot of those contracts) and you won't get a dime in small claims court.

FWIW, the IR scan is worth more than the rest of the inspection put together in most cases. YMMV, of course.

Good luck.

-W

jc4

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Re: Home Inspection - Refund Request
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 02:52:22 PM »
He could give me a written statement saying he was lazy / inept / at fault, but unwilling to refund, and I still wouldn't be interested in going to court.

I'll look into the IR scan. May get one if I plan on buying more houses.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Home Inspection - Refund Request
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2018, 03:07:54 PM »
1. He's inept.
2. You (almost certainly) signed a document saying he isn't responsible for anything he misses.
3. He's never, ever going to issue a refund.
4. Because of #2, you have no legal recourse.
5. If he was the kind of person who wanted to do the right thing, he wouldn't suck as an inspector.  It's not rocket surgery.

My advice is to walk away and either learn to make your own inspections or do a better job vetting your inspectors next time.

Mustache ride

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Re: Home Inspection - Refund Request
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2018, 07:05:45 PM »
I'd recommend writing a negative review online about the person/company. Not only will that apply pressure, it will also help other people avoid running into the same issue.

px4shooter

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Re: Home Inspection - Refund Request
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2018, 01:12:55 PM »
I'd recommend writing a negative review online about the person/company. Not only will that apply pressure, it will also help other people avoid running into the same issue.

Yep. Be professional and don't allow emotion to enter into the review.