There is a recent move within the Inspector Advisory Committee (IAC) at the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) to alter the Rules and the Standards that a Licensed Real Estate Inspector must comply with.
This will be a real test to see whether IAC can convince the Commissioners at TREC that an ‘As Built, Performance-Based’ Inspection Standard will protect the home-buying public.
As-Built, Performance-Based Home Inspections…What are they?
The following is an example of how an ‘As-Built Performance-Based’ Home inspection will harm consumers.
If the house is 50 years old and was built with little or no attic ventilation, and the Inspector doesn’t observe any negative ramifications from the lack of attic ventilation, then the Inspector does not have to comment on the lack of attic ventilation.
On face-value this sounds like a reasonable threshold for the Inspection of a home. Now, let’s look at just one example of how this doesn’t properly inform or protect the consumer.
When an Inspector Inspects a home with this Inspection Standard he doesn’t have tell his client that the house does not meet modern attic ventilation requirements.
With these proposed Rules and Standards, the Home buyer isn’t told that the attic ventilation is substandard, minimal, or doesn’t meet Code. So… he/she isn’t even given the opportunity to ask what the ramifications are for a lack of proper attic ventilation.
With this, Inspectors aren’t troubled with having to explain to their ‘client’ that their utility bill will be higher each month due to the added heat-loads, that the roof shingles will ‘cook’ at a faster rate due to the added heat-loads, that the air conditioning system will work longer and more often to cool the house, that the paint on the gable wall siding is exposed to more heat or that some types of siding will degrade more quickly, etc.
Additionally, there is no need to ‘alarm’ the homebuyer with information that might cause the buyer to realize that he/she will be paying higher utility bills, replacing the A/C system more often, replacing the roof shingles more often, and having a more difficult time paying the mortgage payment.
This is just one example of how the proposed new ‘As Built Performance-Based’ Inspection Rules and Standards will compromise the integrity of the Real Estate Inspection process.
More examples will follow in subsequent articles.
In addition, proposed new language in the Rules allows the Inspector the sole and final judgment in what he/she inspects or doesn’t inspect, based on whether the inspector feels that his/her personal safety is compromised. Those inspectors that don’t want to walk on a roof, enter an attic or crawl space, or remove an electrical panel cover are simply immune to being second-guessed or penalized for performing minimal and substandard inspections.