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Why Have an Inspection?
This contract is an agreement between the client listed below, and Allstate Home Inspections, Inc. (or AHI), to perform an inspection of the home or building listed below in accordance with the current “Standards of Practice” of the Florida Administrative Code (FAC) posted at Flrules.org. A copy of which will also be provided upon request. Although AHI agrees to follow FAC’s Standards of Practice, the client understands that these standards contain certain limitations, exceptions, and exclusions. AHI recommends the Client review these limitations, exceptions and exclusions.
NOTE #1 – We are not “Building Inspectors”. Allstate Home Inspections is not licensed in the State of Florida to perform Building Inspections. Building Inspectors’ inspections are much more technical than a “Basic Home Inspection”. The scope of a “Building Inspectors” inspection is more detailed, including inspecting for building code violations and search for permits. Building code violations and permit history are not within the scope of a “Basic Home Inspection”.
The scope of the inspection and report is a limited visual inspection of the general systems and components of the residence to identify any systems or components listed in the report which in the professional opinion of the inspector, are significantly deficient or are near the end of their service life, and/or not operating in a way suitable for its intended purpose, and to provide the Client(s) with a better understanding of the property’s condition as observed at the time of the inspection. If not self-evident, AHI will provide a reason why the system or component part reported upon is significantly deficient or near the end of its service life, or will advise Client(s) to seek the advice/inspection of a licensed professional in the related field of the system or component part, if the reason cannot be ascertained by AHI. The inspection will include a visual inspection of the following readily accessible systems and component parts (i.e. the list of all the items inspected by AHI, if present on the property, ascertainable and available for inspection):
Client understands that the AHI inspector is a generalist in that he or she is not acting as an expert or specialist in any field of structural engineering, plumbing, roofing, or electrical, heating and air conditioning systems. The purpose of the inspection and report is to note areas of concern, and/or potential areas of concern, which show a system or component is significantly deficient, or near the end of their service life, where the defect is visually apparent and obvious to the inspector. This contract represents only a limited duty of inspection of the above-listed items on the date of inspection. This limited duty of inspection does not form a fiduciary relationship between AHI and Clients, nor does it form any obligation on AHI’s part to continue to inspect, or investigate, the premises for Client(s) after the date of inspection.
AHI does not perform engineering, architectural, plumbing, electrical, roofing or any other job function requiring additional expertise, and/or an additional state, or occupational license, in the jurisdiction where the inspection is taking place.
AHI is not responsible to determine all that may be wrong with a system or component part. The inspector shall defer to experts in the above-noted fields to discover additional problems that an AHI basic inspection will not reveal. As such, any listed items in this report concerning areas reserved to such licensed experts, or specialists, should not be construed as a detailed, comprehensive, and/or exhaustive list of problems for those areas, and liability for the cost of replacement or repairs for such system, or component parts, are expressly excluded from the scope of this agreement. Client(s) should rely not on AHI, but on experts, or specialists, in the above-noted fields to determine what steps are necessary to correct a system or component part, and Client(s) should expect that such experts’ troubleshooting may reveal additional items of concern in need of repair not mentioned in this report by a more in-depth analysis of the system, or component part, especially when repairing, renovating, or demolishing walls, roofs, underground plumbing, and machinery which are not visible or accessible to AHI during the inspection. Client agrees to indemnify and hold AHI harmless for any additional items of concern, or cost for repair of additional defects found or discovered by such experts and/or other professional contractors who subsequently examine, inspect, demolish, repair, or renovate said property, or residence, in response to, or independent of, this report.
If AHI’s inspection report recommends consulting a specialized expert in the above-noted fields, the Client(s) must do so at the Client(s) expense. The repair recommendations in your inspection report should be assessed or completed before the close of escrow, by a licensed specialist, as they may identify additional defects, or recommend upgrades, including exact detailed estimates, that could affect your evaluation of this property. Client(s) bear the full risk of liability and costs for damages and repairs for not identifying additional defects, or recommended upgrades before closing on the said property, when repair recommendation are identified in the report. Client(s) agree to indemnify and hold AHI harmless for any recommended upgrades proposed by a licensed specialist, contractor, or other entity working in home improvement, repair and/or renovation as a result of their ongoing, more technical, inspection of the property.
The home inspection report is an “opinion” of AHI. AHI’s interpretation of what is “significantly deficient,” or “near the end of its service life” may be different from the Client(s). Therefore, Client(s) are encouraged to be present at the time of the inspection to discuss differences in perception and opinion. If Client(s) choose not to attend the inspection, or to seek additional clarification for all matters raised in the written report, the Client accepts responsibility for any perceived incomplete information and agrees to indemnify and hold AHI harmless for Client(s) own decision not to be present, and/or investigate the systems and component parts further. The estimates and opinions that AHI provides in its summary section of the report are based on AHI’s visual inspection only. The inspector does not assess latent, hidden, or unapparent conditions. Under no circumstances will AHI be held liable for defects discovered only after furniture, objects and/or rugs have been removed, ceiling tiles have been lifted, gutters and or fascia have been removed, vegetation has been removed, or load walls have been in any way demolished during the course of future renovations, or repair. AHI will not be held liable for concealed drill holes which may indicate unknown damage from a past termite infestation, or other problem with the residence. AHI will not be held liable for hairline cracks in the foundation that may open to a greater degree after the date of the inspection. AHI will not be held liable for the intentional acts of others who may have temporarily concealed undiscoverable defects to the listed items inspected. AHI will document in the inspection report areas which are on the list to be inspected, but found to be inaccessible at the time of inspection.
Prices for repair, renovation, or replacement may vary depending on a licensed contractor’s recommendation and expert evaluation. Client agrees to indemnify and hold AHI harmless for any pricing discrepancies resulting from AHI’s opinions and estimates compared to what a licensed contractor’s recommendation and expert evaluation might subsequently reveal.
Neither the inspection, nor the inspection report, is a warranty, express or implied, regarding the adequacy, or condition of any inspected system or component part contained in this basic home inspection report. The inspection and written report are not intended to reflect the value of the premises, or to make any representation as to the advisability or inadvisability of purchase, or suitability for use of these premises. For the most part, an inspection is a snapshot of the listed inspected items on the date of the inspection, and in no way constitutes an ongoing representation on the condition of these items for lingering months and years after the inspection and into the future. The report is entirely based on the concept of what is wrong, or may be wrong, with an inspected item on the date of inspection, as opposed to what will be wrong with an inspected item after a period of continued use, and exposure to other elements entirely outside of AHI’s control. Therefore, the job of an inspector is in the present only. As a house ages and comes into contact with other persons, contractors, extreme weather conditions, wild or domesticated animals, and/or other factors outside of AHI’s control, systems will inevitably fail. Water is the universal solvent, and may find its way into a home for future reasons entirely unknown to AHI, or Client(s), on the date of the inspection.
EXCLUSION OF ITEMS COVERED BY THIS BASIC HOME INSPECTION AGREEMENT
1) ADDITIONAL COMMONLY PERFORMED INSPECTIONS THAT ARE NOT WITHIN THE PRICE OF THIS BASIC INSPECTION AGREEMENT, BUT THAT ARE PROVIDED BY AHI AND AT CLIENT’S REQUEST FOR AN ADDITIONAL FEE, INCLUDE:
Basic Pool Inspection
Basic Pool Inspection with Leak Detection
Pool Leak Detection
Mold Inspection: Indoor Air Quality testing for Mold
Chinese Drywall Inspection
Inspection of Detached Buildings, Garages, Stables or Recreational Facilities
Insurance Inspections: Wind Mitigation, Four Point and Roof Certification
2) ADDITIONAL COMMONLY PERFORMED INSPECTIONS THAT ARE NOT WITHIN THE SCOPE OR PRICE OF THIS BASIC INSPECTION PROVIDED FOR AN ADDITIONAL FEE BY A SEPARATE CONTRACTOR:
Termite, pest or other wood destroying organisms
Seawall, bulkhead, docks and boat lifts
Technical pool inspections, such as:
a) Pool heaters (electric, gas, or solar);
b) Jacuzzis, spas and waterfalls;
c) Pool systems with electronic and/or remote control systems
d) Structural Pool Inspections.
Special Note: The Client agrees not to hold AHI liable for any of the above services, or scope of services performed by any independent licensed contractor for any of the inspections performed in this section. If the Client fails to pay for the cost of such services, the Client agrees to pay AHI for any attorney fees and court costs associated with having to defend against an action taken by the independent contractor against AHI to collect payment for such services. The independent contractor might or might not require a separate contractual agreement for their inspection, or services.
3) AREAS COMPLETELY OUTSIDE THE SCOPE OF INSPECTION: CONCEALED OR INACCESSIBLE AREAS
Any area which is not exposed to view, is concealed, or is inaccessible because of, but not limited to, soil, concrete and/or foundation, walls, floors, carpets, ceilings, furnishings, vehicles of any kind, heavy equipment, stored items, trees and landscaping, and/or heavy appliances and fixtures is not included in this inspection. The inspection is not technically exhaustive in that it does not include any destructive testing or dismantling, or the extensive use of advanced techniques, measurements, instruments, testing, or calculations that are performed by state licensed contractors, such as plumbers, electricians, structural engineers, roofers, etc. The Client agrees to assume all risk for any conditions that are concealed from view at the time of the inspection. The inspection or report is not a home warranty, guarantee, insurance policy or substitute for real estate disclosures which may be required by law.
4) ADDITIONAL AREAS OR ITEMS OUTSIDE THE SCOPE OF THIS INSPECTION WHETHER THEY ARE CONCEALED OR NOT CONCEALED
In addition to the above-noted exclusions, AHI is not required to enter any area or perform any procedure that may damage the property, or its components, or that may cause an injury to the inspector, or other persons present at the inspection or residing in said property. AHI will not operate heating or cooling systems in temperatures that may cause damage to the unit. Air conditioning systems will not be operated by AHI in outside temperatures of 60 degrees or less. AHI does not inspect heating systems when outside temperatures are above 60 degrees. AHI also does not inspect the heat exchanger for cracks or defects, or condition or adequacy of the heating coils. AHI does not open panels on the air conditioning system, or check for Freon, or for leaks in said system. AHI will check the air temperature differential to determine if the air conditioner system is cooling as intended. Plumbing (water), electric, and gas must be turned “on” for the inspection of these areas and components. An additional fee of $95.00 will be charged to re-inspect if water, electric or gas is not “on” or “lit” at the time of the inspection.
This Basic Home Inspection IS NOT a Technical Inspection. A Technical Inspection is available upon request and would be performed by a team of licensed professionals. AHI will coordinate this inspection and have the following contractors perform inspections in the fields they are licensed in: licensed architect, licensed structural engineer, licensed plumber, licensed air conditioning and heating contractor, licensed roofer, licensed electrician, licensed pool contractor, licensed appliance service contractor, licensed gutter contractor, licensed insulation contractor, licensed window and door contractor, licensed drainage contractor, licensed termite contractor, licensed seawall/dock contractor, licensed Indoor Air Quality Specialist (for mold), licensed drywall contractor (for Chinese Drywall), licensed sprinkler contractor and a landscaper to perform this inspection. Prices for a “Technical Inspection” start at $4,500 and go up depending upon the extent of services requested and the size of the property.
CONFIDENTIAL REPORT: The inspection report to be prepared for Client(s) is solely and
exclusively for Client’s own information and may not be relied upon by any other person. Client(s) agree to maintain the confidentiality of the inspection report and agree not to disclose any part of it to any person except that Client(s) may distribute copies of the home inspection report to the seller and the real estate agents directly involved in the real estate transaction. Client(s) and AHI do not in any way intend these parties, or other unknown entities, to become intended beneficiaries of this basic inspection agreement. It is AHI’s unequivocal belief and understanding that the basic inspection report will be used solely by the Client(s). Any real estate agent, seller, lender, other prospective buyer, or agency assumes the entire risk of any and all liability and costs for damages arising out of their reliance of such report for any reason, including their assessment of the property’s value, or need for repairs, renovation, and/or replacement of an inspected or uninspected system or component part of the premises. There are no other foreseeable classes of persons other than Client(s) who will rely on the findings of this report. The parties to this agreement clearly do not intend to directly or indirectly benefit any other person or entity in the forming of this agreement. CLIENT AGREES TO INDEMNIFY, DEFEND AND HOLD INSPECTOR HARMLESS FROM ANY THIRD-PARTY CLAIMS ARISING OUT OF CLIENT’S UNAUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTION OF THE INSPECTION REPORT.
LIMITATIONS REGARDING LEGAL ACTIONS
Buying a house is inherently a risky transaction as property values fluctuate and their systems and component parts become more deficient, or near the end of their service life, with the continued passage of time. Client(s) at all times retain their own personal obligation, and assume the risk as home buyers and/or future home owners to timely assess the property’s need for repairs, renovations, and replacement of these inspected systems or component parts, which will inevitably age and decrease in value after the inspection date. As stated above, it is understood by Client(s) that the inspection only relates to the condition of the property on the date of inspection. Said property’s condition may change due to continued use of the premises by the seller, the buyer, their agents, and/or other unknown persons or entities who may enter the premises. Additionally, weather conditions associated with South Florida might alter the property’s condition and value after said inspection date.
Client(s) may also rely on the representations of the sellers, appraisers, real estate agents, brokers, lenders and other contractors as to the condition of the inspected items. Also to be considered in any future dispute between Client and AHI and/or a future determination of Inspector/AHI’s liability for damages is: the length of time it may take Client(s) to discover defects, and whether Client(s) could have discovered any defects through their own independent diligence and continued, ongoing use and inspection of the premises before or immediately after taking possession of the premises; the age of the house at the time of inspection; whether the Client(s) bought the property “as is,” and/or significantly below market value; the number of items on the inspection report that were marked as having a poor, or unsatisfactory condition, and the number of items that were marked as having a satisfactory condition. Actual Damages as a result of this agreement may be difficult to determine with exactness and an excessive amount of damages may be construed as an inequitable penalty against AHI. Therefore, absent a showing of gross negligence or fraud by an AHI home inspector, Client(s) agree that disputes should generally be limited to a refund of the contracted amount as shown below. Under no circumstances shall AHI be held liable for the full cost for repairs and renovations once discovered and previously unknown by Client(s) or Inspector/AHI. In the event of a claim against AHI and its agents, Client(s) agree to supply Inspector/AHI with the following: (1) Written notification of the system(s) and component part(s) inspected that give rise to a claim against AHI and its agents, including how such system(s) or component part(s) were significantly deficient or near the end of their service life on the date of the inspection; included in this written notification shall be an explanation of how AHI did not inform Client(s) through its written report that such a condition to the system(s) and/or component part(s) inspected existed on the date of the inspection; this written notification as explained above shall be given to AHI within 14 days of discovery of the system(s) or component part(s) inspected; and (2) access to the premises to inspect such system(s) and/or component part(s), and address any concerns Client(s) might have so that AHI may have an opportunity to immediately resolve Client(s)’ claims against AHI. Failure to comply with the above conditions will release AHI and its agents from any liability resulting from the inspection of such system(s) or component part(s). Additionally, Client(s) agree that they bear the burden of proof for any claim arising out of this agreement, including the burden to prove that an inspected system or its component part was significantly deficient, or near the end of its service life, on the date of the inspection; that such system or component part was an item on the list of items to be inspected by AHI, and not a listed exclusion; and that the Inspector/AHI failed to inform Client(s) of such system or component part’s significantly deficient condition, or that such system or component part was near the end of its service life, or to advise Client(s) that additional inspection from another licensed professional may be necessary to assess the same in the written inspection report. Conversely, Client(s) agree that Inspector/AHI will not be held to the burden of proving a system or component part inspected was not significantly deficient or near the end of its service life on the date and time of the inspection. Furthermore, Client(s) agree to indemnify and hold AHI and its agents harmless due to any changes in said property if extreme weather conditions, and/or natural disasters, occur on the premises any time after the inspection, which cause unforeseen and significant damage to the premises and value of the property, or inspected areas, due to exposure to heavy wind, severe thunderstorms, heavy rain, hail, fire, tornadoes, hurricanes, extreme heat waves, and/or sun exposure, drought, flooding, ocean water, entry of wild or domesticated animals, which are all conditions outside the Inspector/AHI’s control. These limitations apply to anyone who claims damages or expenses of any kind concerning the property.
Mediation and Arbitration In lieu of Civil Litigation.
Client(s) agree that any dispute, claim or controversy arising out of or relating to this Agreement including the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity of this Agreement will be first presented through mediation before a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator, and if a mediation agreement cannot be rendered between the parties, then such dispute, claim or controversy will be resolved through binding arbitration between Client(s) and Inspector/AHI. Client(s) acknowledge and agree that you and Inspector/AHI are each waiving the right to a trial by jury or judge, or to participate as a plaintiff or as a class in any purported legal proceeding, class action, or other representative proceeding afforded to you under state or federal law. Both Client(s) and Inspector/AHI are each waiving the right to take depositions and participate in pre-litigation requests for production, interrogatories and requests for admissions. Client(s) acknowledge and agree that this provision constitutes an indisputable agreement to binding arbitration if pre-arbitration mediation between the parties is unsuccessful. This clause shall be grounds for an immediate motion to dismiss for any civil complaint for damages filed against Inspector/AHI in violation of these dispute resolution provisions. Client(s) will be obligated to pay AHI’s attorney fees to defend or answer such civil complaint.
Arbitration Rules and Governing Law.
In the event that mediation is unsuccessful and a binding arbitration process is initiated by one of the parties, the Florida Arbitration Code (Chapter 682 of the Florida Statutes) will govern the interpretation, procedure and enforcement of this Section.
Mediation and Arbitration Location.
Unless Client(s) and Inspector/AHI otherwise agree, the pre-arbitration mediation, or binding arbitration, will be conducted in Broward County, Florida. Any binding arbitration may be conducted solely on the basis of documents Client(s) and Inspector/AHI submit to the arbitrator, unless one of the parties request a hearing before the arbitrator, or the arbitrator determines that a hearing is necessary.
Cost of Mediation and Arbitration.
The parties shall share equally in the cost of mediation and/or binding arbitration and shall be responsible for their own attorney fees relating to the mediation or the binding arbitration.
Time Limitations and other Restrictions on any Request, Demand or Claim Surrounding this Agreement
No action or proceeding of any kind, including binding arbitration, can be commenced against Inspector/AHI or its officers, agents or employees more than one year from the date the CLIENT discovers, or through the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the cause of action that becomes the subject matter of any dispute between the parties. THIS TIME PERIOD IS SHORTER THAN OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY APPLICABLE LAW.
If any court declares any provision of this Agreement invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions will remain in effect. This agreement represents the entire agreement between the parties. No change or modification shall be enforceable against any party unless such change or modification is in writing and signed by the parties. This Agreement shall be binding upon and enforceable by the parties and their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assignees.
Each party signing this Agreement warrants and represents that he/she has the full capacity and authority to execute this Agreement on behalf of the named party. If this Agreement is executed on behalf of Client(s) by any third party, the person executing this Agreement expressly represents to Inspector that he/she has the full and complete authority to execute this Agreement on Client(s)’ behalf and fully and completely binds Client(s) to all the terms, conditions, limitations, exceptions and exclusions of this Agreement.
Please fill in today’s date, your name and the address of property to be inspected. By signing this document, you are entering a legally binding agreement, and acknowledge that you have read and understand the contents of this agreement.
Clicking the “Agree” button also automatically generates an email acceptance notification to Allstate Home Inspections, Inc. so that the home inspection can take place.