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Home Inspection Lawsuits

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What Is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is an inspection performed by a professional home inspector, usually in conjunction with a residential property purchase. Most mortgage lenders require that buyers obtain a professional home inspection on the property before the lender will agree to finance the purchase. If a home fails the home inspection or if the home inspection report highlights glaring issues with the property, the lender will often refuse to finance the home.

Home inspections are also used for:

  • Assessing home value after an accident, such as a flood or an earthquake, causes damage to the home
  • Appraising the home’s value for sale or refinancing purposes
  • Determining whether the home was constructed according to code
  • Assessing the value for property tax purposes

Home inspectors may be private agents hired by property owners or they may be employed by lenders or local municipalities.

Home Inspection Lawsuits

Often, issues arise with home inspection reports. Common issues include:

  • The home inspector undervalues the home by comparing it to dissimilar properties
  • The home inspector fails to account for all details that may increase the value of a home, such as crown molding or granite countertops
  • The home inspector fraudulently misrepresents your home in the report
  • The home inspector overestimates the cost of damages to your property
  • The home inspector is paid by the lender or listing agent to lie in the report

If you dispute something in the home inspection report, you can sue the home inspector, especially in instances of fraud. If a home inspector’s report has caused you to lose ownership of your home or other significant financial damages, you can seek:

  • An injunction that can help you prevent a sale
  • Economic damages in the amount that you lost due to the fraud
  • Punitive damages

The home inspector, in addition to being liable for damages, may also lose their certification and their job.

Alternatives to a Lawsuit

Lawsuits can be costly. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways that you can work around a contract that dictates using a particular home inspector. One way that you can avoid a lawsuit is to dispute the findings of the home inspector and hire a second inspector for a second opinion. Another way is to follow the dispute process dictated in your mortgage contract, which might require arbitration or mediation.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Home Inspection Lawsuit?

A home inspection lawsuit is not the type of lawsuit you can handle on your own. These lawsuits require immense knowledge of real estate law, contract law, and fraud. Only a real estate lawyer has the skills, experience, and training to fight fraudulent home inspection reports in court.

Photo of page author Jess UF

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 05-22-2018 06:50 PM PDT

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