Inspection Professionals, LLC 

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COMMERICAL BUILDING INSPECTION

 

4.  Inspection

 

4.1  Objective

The objective of an inspection is to provide written communication describing the issues discovered from observations made and research conducted by the inspector and that, in the inspector's opinion, are likely to be of interest to his/her client.

 

4.2  Who may perform the inspection. 

Any portion of the inspection including the walk-through survey, research, and report generation may be performed by the inspector, his/her staff, or any consultant hired by the inspector.  This standard recognizes that for the majority of commercial inspections, the inspector is likely an individual with a general, well rounded knowledge of commercial properties and that the inspector or client may want to augment the inspector's skills with specialty consultants who have particular expertise in certain areas.  The decision to hire specialty consultants will of course rely on budget and time constraints as well as the risk tolerance of the client. 

 

4.3  Varying levels of due diligence

This standard is designed as a baseline from which the inspector and client can develop and agree to a scope of work that may deviate from this standard depending on budget, time constraints, purpose of the inspection, age of the subject property, and risk tolerance of the client.  The level of due diligence should be set where the cost, in time and money, of acquiring information about the subject property will not likely exceed the value of that information.   Therefore an inspection performed in accordance with this standard will not be technically exhaustive. 

 

4.3.1  Sample language for use when defining the scope of work

"The inspection will be performed in accordance with InterNACHIcomsop-2008 except that... "

 

4.3.2  Representative observations

In recognizing that the client likely has the goal of acquiring information about the subject property at a cost, in time and money, that does not exceed the value of that information, representative observations are not just permitted by this standard, but recommended as well.

 

4.4  Uncertainty

The client should understand that no inspection report is completely accurate.  A report is only the written communication of the observations made and research conducted by the inspector.  The report contains those items which in the inspector's opinion are likely to be of interest to his/her client. 

  

4.5  Subjectivity

The client should understand that the inspection report is, to a large degree, the subjective opinions of the inspector based on his/her observations and research within the limits of access, time, and budget and without the aid of special equipment or meters and without  dismantling, probing, testing, or troubleshooting and without detailed knowledge of the commercial property, its components or its systems.  The inspection report is not much more than a subjective professional opinion. 

 

4.6  Not an architectural or engineering service

An inspector performing a commercial inspection in accordance with this standard is not practicing architecture or engineering.   

 

4.7  Not a warranty, guarantee or insurance policy

The inspection is not a warranty and the inspection report is merely the written communication of the inspector's subjective opinion on the condition of the subject property.

 

5.  Research

 

5.1  Objective

The objective of performing research  including the review of documents and interviews is to augment the information obtained in walk-through survey and to provide supporting documentation to the inspection report. 

 

5.2  Document procurement

It is the client's responsibility to obtain copies of all documents and provide them for the inspector.  These documents are most often obtained from the seller or from local government offices.  The inspector is not responsible for gathering or paying for copies of appropriate documents to be reviewed unless these tasks are specifically assigned to the inspector in the scope of work agreement.

 

5.3  Documents to be reviewed and included in the inspection report

The inspector should review all documents provided by the client and owner.  The inspector should also make an inquiry and review of any other documents can be reasonably ascertained on-site or from the building owner or manager such as certificates of occupancy, building code violation notices, repair invoices, and warranties.  The inspector is not required to uncover and review information that is not provided or cannot be reasonably ascertained on-site.  Copies of documents that the inspector believes may be of interest to the client and copies of documents that support the inspector's opinions should be included in the inspection report.

  

5.3.1 Examples of documents the inspector may want to request for review.

  • Accessibility surveys
  • Appraisals
  • Building plans
  • Certificates of occupancy
  • Citations
  • Emergency evacuation plans
  • Environmental studies
  • Fire prevention plans
  • Fire records
  • Flood Plane maps
  • Floor plans
  • Former inspection reports
  • Maintenance records
  • Notices
  • Permits
  • Previous inspection reports
  • Proposals
  • Rent records
  • Repair estimates/invoices
  • Safety inspection records
  • Seller disclosures
  • Utility bills
  • Warranties

 

5.4  Interviews

The inspector should identify and interview the person with the most knowledge about the condition of the building.  Typically this will be the building owner or manager.  Unless otherwise agreed to in the scope of work agreement, it is the responsibility of the client to arrange to have these persons on hand for interview by the inspector on the day of the walk-through survey. 

 

5.5  Pre-inspection questionnaires

The inspector may request that the owner, building manager and/or client fill out pre-inspection questionnaires to gather information.  The inspector may rely that these responses are truthful.  In cases where parties refuse to fill out questionnaires in writing, the inspector may interview the parties and fill out the questionnaires for them.  The inspector should note in the report if he/she filled out the questionnaire based on an interview and whether such interview was performed in person, by telephone, or by email.  Copies of all responses to such questionnaires should be included in the inspection report. 

  

5.6  Reliance

The level of accuracy of information varies depending on its source.  The inspector may rely on information obtained to the extent that the information appears to be accurate and complete.  This standard does not require the inspector to independently verify the accuracy of the documents reviewed by the inspector or included in the report nor the statements made by those interviewed by the inspector.

 

5.7  Fraud

The inspector is not a fraud investigator and this standard does not require the inspector to look for intentionally hidden deficiencies in the subject property.  The inspection report is supplementary to the seller's disclosures.

 

5.8  Previously generated reports

A previously generated inspection report should be treated no differently than any other document reviewed during the research portion of the inspection and like information collected from any other source, information obtained from a previously generated report should reference its source in the new inspection report.  No portion of a previously generated report should be used as a substitute for the new inspection report.

  

 

PLEASE READ “COMMERICAL SOP” for more details.

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