Holding an Inspector Accountable When Purchasing a Home
The housing market has exploded in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area in the last several years through the move of many companies to relocation national/regional headquarters to Texas. New jobs have created an explosion in the DFW housing market bringing in many potential buyers. A nice home in a good neighborhood may last only a couple of days before it is sold.
Potential buyers must be prepared when purchasing a home in the Lone Star State. After the initial offer, it is customary to have 8-12 days for a potential buyer to have the prospective home inspected by an independent third party. During this time, it is important to find an inspector that you trust.
If the home inspector performs a negligent inspection or misrepresents the condition of a part or a defect in the home that causes expensive problems for the buyer, the inspector may be liable. The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) will protect a buyer from the misrepresentation of an independent inspector. Under the DTPA per Tex. Bus. & Comm. Code §§ 17.46(b) there are multiple causes of action to insure your protection if an inspector committed an action that:
(a) represented that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another;
(b) causing confusion or misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services;
(c) causing confusion or misunderstanding as to affiliation, connection, or association with, or certification by, another;
(e) representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities which they do not have or that a person has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection which he does not;
(f) representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another;
(g) knowingly making false or misleading statements of fact about the need for parts, replacements, or repair service;
(h) falsely representing that work or services have been performed on or parts replaced in goods; and
(i) failing to disclose information concerning goods or services which was known at the time of the transaction if such failure to disclose such information was intended to induce the consumer into a transaction into which the consumer would not have entered had the information been disclosed;
These are some of the causes of actions that can be filed against a home inspector that misrepresented a portion of the home that had a severe defect. DTPA actions can be complex and intricate both in filling the action and in litigation of the case. An experienced real estate attorney is needed if you wish to pursue a remedy.
Julian Nacol, Attorney
Nacol Law Firm P.C.