Blake Williams a Professional Inspector at Super Inspector, in Texas, Talks about “Underbussing”.
I would like to address a common problem in our industry that is rarely talked about outside of Inspector gatherings; that is “Underbussing”.
“Underbussing” is a termed used to describe a situation where a contractor is called to a house after an Inspection to make repairs and, during the course of those repairs, discovers other deficiencies. Many times the contractor will proclaim, “The inspector should have seen this.”, thus throwing the inspector “Under the Bus”, and thus the term, “Underbussing”. This comment then triggers a load of problems for the inspector.
This is unfair to the inspector and is dishonest on many fronts. First, the contractor is not a licensed inspector and, in most cases, is not familiar with the scope and limitations of an inspection. There are many things that can prevent inspectors from detecting existing deficiencies. Second, the contractor was not present at the time of the inspection and there is no way the contractor can know if the item was or was not inspected, or if the deficiencies present now, were present, visible, and accessible at the time of the inspection. Third, in many cases, the contractor has not read the inspection report and it is possible that the item was reported by the inspector and no action was taken by the client. Fourth, the inspector may have reported other deficiencies related to the new finding and recommended “further evaluation by a licensed contractor”, in which case, the reporting of the related deficiency and the further evaluation led to the discovery of additional deficiencies. This is exactly the purpose of the inspection; to determine if conditions exist that might require further evaluation by a specialist. It is likely that the specialist will find additional deficiencies. This is because the specialist has a deeper knowledge of the system and is able to do a more thorough inspection than the inspector, who is working under extreme limitations.
Before an inspection the client should read and understand the inspection agreement, and the preamble of the report. This will outline the scope and limitations of the inspection and the responsibilities of both parties to the inspection.
If a defect is discovered after the inspection, the client should call the inspector and give the inspector and opportunity to explain why or why not the defect was or was not reported.
According to Joe Ferry, a prominent lawyer in the Real Estate Industry, 90% of claims against Residential Property Inspectors are not valid. According to Mr. Ferry, “…I am never surprised to discover that the newly “discovered” defect was:
a. concealed at the time of the inspection [about 50 % of cases]
b. working at the time of the inspection [about 15% of cases]
c. discovered at the time of the inspection and reported [about 15% of cases]
d. disclaimed due to inaccessibility at the time of the inspection [about 10% of cases] or
e. outside the scope of a home inspection [about 10% of cases].” https://joeferry.com/2016/11/01/timing-of-home-inspection-claims/
Home buyers should be aware that an inspection is not a guarantee that no additional defects exist or that the home will not experience system failures in the future.
Blake Williams is a licensed Professional Inspector at Super Inspector. An Inspection Company operating in Denton, Texas, Dallas Forth Worth, Texas and Austin, Texas areas.
See Blake and Angela Williams talk about general inspection click here to watch video