Q: Eighteen months ago, I purchased a home. I had a professional home inspector look at the home.
The inspector found no problems with the wiring of the landscape in my back yard, including a pond, pump and well that I have on the property.
Recently, I had an electrician inspect that wiring. He claimed that it was dangerous and violated many electric codes and estimated the cost of bringing the wiring up to code at $2,000.
Does the inspector have any legal responsibility for this problem?
A: The first thing you should do is get a second opinion. While the electrician you had come to your home may be a fine contractor, it is not unusual for some trades people to claim to find problems in a home where there are none to be found. There is nothing wrong with confirming this electrician’s view of the wiring.
While there are many great home inspectors, some are better than others. And even the best ones may not find every problem a house may have. The better home inspectors will find the big issues, but might miss some small issues.
If you find that the second electrician is of the same opinion as the first, then you have several options and may need a little more information.
You should take a look at the inspection report given to you by your home inspector. See what he or she said about the condition of the electrical wiring and set up for the back yard pump and pond. Then, find out specifically what the other electricians find troubling about the current state of the pond and pump.
You may even have to ask whether the original installation of the pond and pump were up to code when they were installed and whether their recommendations are now based on newer code requirements.
If the information you receive states that the installation was improper then and now, and is a serious hazard, you will need to address this issue with the home inspector.
If the home inspector confirms the mistake, the inspector may be willing to either pay for the repair, half of the repair or could just refund to you the cost of the inspection.
Because some home inspectors limit their exposure to problems with the home to the amount you pay for the home inspection, this is one reason you need to find the very best home inspector in your area.
For any additional remedies you may have against the home inspector, talk to a real estate attorney in your area.