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California Law and Home Inspections

Los Angeles Home Inspector

Some people are under the impression California has no laws about home inspections. Therefore some think this is the wild west. Rather, the home inspection process is covered under the California Business and Professions Code, Chapters 9.3, sections 7195 through 7199.

I often get asked questions about can I do something for them, and the answer is based on these California laws. Let’s look at a few of these questions:

Question: Will you do the repairs?

No. California law, section 7197(a)(1) states “It is an unfair business practice for a home inspector to perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs to a structure on which the inspector, or the inspector’s company, has prepared a home inspection report in the past 12 months.” To do any repairs on a home I have inspected would be a conflict of interest.

Question: Can I pay you a reduced fee if I don’t buy the home?

No. California law, section 7197(a)(4) states “It is an unfair business practice for a home inspector to accept an engagement to make an inspection or to prepare a report in which the employment itself or the fee payable for the inspection is contingent the close of escrow.”

Question: Did you pay my agent a fee or kick back for the home inspection?

No. California law, section 7197(a)(3) states “It is an unfair business practice for a home inspector to To offer or deliver any compensation, inducement, or reward to the owner of the inspected property, the broker, or agent, for the referral of any business to the inspector or the inspection company.” IM Home Inspections have never paid an agent a fee, given a reward to, or paid to be a preferred vendor with any broker. Not only it is not ethical, it would be illegal to do so.

Question: Can you look behind the walls, tear out flooring or such to see what is going on beyond what the eye can see?

No. California law section 7195(a)(1) states a “Home inspection” is a noninvasive, physical examination, performed for a fee. While thermal imaging and moisture meters can often help detect problems unseen, a home inspection is by definition and by law, a noninvasive examination.

To book your legal and ethical home inspection in the San Fernando Valley, Conejo Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, or surrounding area, call (818)298-3405.