Are home inspections a public record?

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Most home inspection contracts have a clause in them similar to the one we use in ours: "The inspection and report are performed and prepared for the sole, confidential, and exclusive use and possession of the Client.” The inspector does not provide a copy of the report to the home seller or the seller’s realtor—or any other person—unless authorized by the buyer.

    But we can think of two occasions in our career when we were subpoenaed to testify in a lawsuit regarding the contents of our report:

1) An insurance company was sued to force payment for a foundation settlement claim that they contended was preexisting. The insurance company received a copy of the report from a third party, and we were required to do a deposition regarding our findings for the homeowners at time of their purchase of the home.

2) A homebuyer sued for non-disclosure of a significant structural defect that the buyer believed the seller was aware of at time of sale. Our report to the sellers at the time of their purchase and testimony were required by the court.

   So, while a home inspection report is not a publicly available document, it may be required to be released during a lawsuit. See our blog post Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

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  To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?

Should a home inspection scare you? 

 
Can I do my own home inspection?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? 

If we already looked at the house very carefully, do we still need a home inspection?

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1940s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

What do I need to know about buying a foreclosure? 

What should I look for when buying a former rental house?  

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

What should I look for when buying a house that is being "flipped" by an investor seller? 

What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

   Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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