Building Surveys / Home Inspections
Outline of this service - vital when purchasing a new or existing home and after extreme weather events
If a Survey of Home Inspection is not carried out when bying or selling, the buyer assumes all risk. There are some differences between the UK and Florida.
Home Inspection in the UK is generally known as the Building Survey. These Surveys are carried out by degree-qualified surveyors with considerable experience and qualifications in the construction industry. The industry is regulated by the following professional organizations:
- The Royal Chartered Institute of Surveyors, (RICS) http://www.rics.org.uk
- The Chartered Institute of Building, (CIOB) http://www.ciob.org.uk
- The Association of Building Engineers, (ABE) http://www.abe.org.uk
To ensure you have a professional survey it is advisable to check that your surveyor is accredited to either of the above organisations. A common Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics exists to ensure the high level of competence is achieved within the industry protecting the buyers.
Many people are unaware that the Home Inspection industry in Florida is unlicensed and unregulated. This unfortunately means that anyone can literally be working in the industry with little or no knowledge of construction or local building standards. Property in Florida is constructed differently as opposed to UK Building Standards and standards are not as stringent. It is imperative that before purchasing a property a professional Home Inspection is carried out. Several professional organizations have been established to assist with setting up a common Standard of Practice. Membership to these organisations is Not mandatory therefore current members are clearly demonstrating their ability and professionalism for consumers who recognise the importance of regulation.
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) http://www.ashi.org aims to assist with regulation of the industry by requiring all inspectors who wish to become members obtain a minimum inspection experience of 250 inspections. These inspections reports are examined and graded to ensure the Professional Practices and Code of Ethics are maintained. When ASHI is satisfied with the inspector's competence, the inspector is then required to take and pass a state exam. The exam is designed to test the knowledge and experience of the construction industry together with construction fault diagnosis and remedies. Becoming a member demonstrates to the Real Estate Industry the inspector's level of professionalism.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
- Always ensure your Realtor has a local knowledge and experience of the area you are purchasing your property.
- Identify from your Realtor if your potential property has sustained damage from any recent hurricanes or tropical storms. This should be detailed in the seller's disclosure.
- Always check with a Professional Organization for recommended inspectors.
- Never use an unqualified, unlicensed or uninsured inspector.
- Several properties are now subject to having an insurance inspection before renewal of policies because of the recent increase of hurricane damage.
- If a Survey of Home Inspection is not carried out the buyer assumes all risk.