A very concerned homeowner contacted Home Inspection Consultants to do a home inspection and she had stated on the phone that the floor structure to her home was sinking! When the caller said that they had a home inspection prior to the purchase, our first thought was that the buyer did not read the report before committing to the purchase or the inspector was negligent in providing the proper information.
When I entered the home, it was quite evident that the floor structure had settled and was continuing to settle after the buyer took possession of the home. The floor structure from the living room to the hallway was sloping towards the bathroom. The floor was separating from the baseboards and cracks were appearing in the walls.
I asked who had performed the inspection to try and figure out what went wrong. When the name was given, I informed the buyer that the 'inspector' she had originally hired is also a local real estate agent. The homeowner said she should have seen the red flags when she contacted him to do an inspection because the home inspector (AKA realtor) said that no written report would be given (just a verbal) and he wanted cash.
When the realtor.... oops home inspector ..... had completed his 'inspection', he said that there is a cut floor joist in the crawl space and he apparently minimized the issue.
After Home Inspection Consultants did the inspection, our written report indicated several cut floor joists with considerable settlement and that these joists happened to be located in one of the worst locations, which is under the tub/shower unit and toilet. So imagine the added weight when the homeowner fills the tub with water and wants to take that relaxing bath. This was going to be an expensive repair to the floor structure in the crawl space.
The way I see it, the homeowner has some blame in the matter because the sole reason she hired that 'inspector' was price and now it is a "he said, she said" situation. So the few dollars she thought she was saving is now going to cost her thousands.
Due to the blatant conflict of interest that this 'inspector' has with performing home inspections and being a local realtor, he is no longer a member of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI). It is a wonder that the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has not done the same thing. I guess it boils down to ethics or the lack thereof.
Caveat emptor (buyer Beware)
I've come across a lot of interesting tidbits of information during my 29 year career as a home inspector. I've been told that I'm pretty meticulous and a good 'teacher', so hopefully you'll find some interesting information here..