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How Do I Ensure My Property Has Been Inspected Correctly?

Purchasing or renting a new home is an exciting time, but it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure your home is safe for you and your family and doesn’t contain any major defects. One way to do that is to have a home or property inspection.

When hiring an inspector, find one who is licensed by the state of New York and has Errors and Omissions Insurance in addition to General Liability insurance. By an inspector having these credentials, it proves how serious they are about their job, and that they are responsible for the work they provide.

Additionally, to avoid any conflict of interest, hire an inspector that is not recommended by your broker. You should consider asking family, friends, or your New York City premises liability attorney for a referral of a qualified home inspector or you can perform a search through the American Society of Home Inspectors and the National Association of Home Inspectors.

If you’re purchasing a New York City apartment, there are numerous types of situations that warrant a professional home inspection.

The first is for those purchasing in a small building, as these buildings generally don’t have a lot of cash available to fund a major repair. An inspector should be able to identify if there’s a condition that could potentially cause hard to detect problems, such as an apartment on the top floor that could be prone to leaks.

Additionally, even if the apartment is a new development you should get a professional home inspection. Inspections must be done before the contract is signed and you can expect to pay around $500 to $700 for a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment inspection.

Your inspector should check for water entering from the roof, terrace, and window, plumbing leaks, windows, electric wiring, heating, flooring, installation of appliances, and review of all common areas.

In New York, regulations written by the Department of State Division of Licensing Services, govern inspector licensing requirements, rules for home inspection contracts, and minimum standards for home inspections and inspection reports. The Licensing Department allows home inspectors to limit their liability to you in their contracts.

For example, they may limit the scope of work to specific components or systems, or limit potential damages to a specific amount outlined in the contract.

New York courts have ruled that you cannot sue the inspector directly under these licensing regulations, but you may point to a violation of the regulations as evidence of negligence in a lawsuit against your home inspector.

You may be able to sue your home inspector for negligence if:
1. The defective item was within the scope of the inspection described in the contact; and
2. The inspector failed to find the defect due to their failure to make a reasonable inspection within the scope of the inspection described in the contract; or
3. The inspector failed to report the defect to you.

However, your inspector may not be liable if they pointed out the defect to you and gave you the opportunity to purchase a more detailed inspection of the item and you chose not to do so. It would be in your own best interest to contact a New York City premises liability attorney to handle any complaint and/or claim against your home inspector.

Moving into a new place is often a stressful time, which is why it is important that you do your due diligence before making the leap. If you need help with the legal processes surrounding renting or purchasing a place in New York City, then the team at Greenberg & Stein is here to help. Furthermore, if you’ve suffered as a result of faulty maintenance or other problems that did not show up in your property inspection, then our team can advise you of your legal rights and what recourses may be available to you.

For your free, no obligation legal consultation, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Greenberg & Stein to get a free case evaluation and a plan for how to proceed. Call us today at 888-411-3966 to schedule your free legal consultation.