Who pays for damage caused during a home inspection?

Posted by Steve Harmer on Thursday, March 24th, 2016 at 10:29am.

Kamloops home inspectionSellers may end up having to pay for damage

During a home inspection who would be liable for damage caused, interesting question read this example and see if you agree with the experts who replied.

"A couple signed an agreement to buy our townhouse and one of the conditions was a home inspection. During this inspection a three-inch superficial window crack was made significantly worse when someone tried to crank open the locked window. Now the crack is about 24 inches long and travels straight across the window. What recourse do we have? Are we responsible for paying for this repair? — Feeling disrespected, North York, Ont."


Answer No. 1: Probably the best solution would have been to repair the window before listing. If you were planning on repairing it anyway then it makes sense to just go ahead and do it. If you didn’t plan on fixing the window, then you need to wait to see what the buyer says and does. If the buyer goes through with the deal, then they are assume the damage and the cost of repair. They might, however, ask you to either repair the window before the deal is complete, or compensate them for having to pay for this repair. If you choose not to accept this condition of sale, the buyer can legitimately walk away from the deal. Regardless of what happens, you should be sure to mention what happened, in writing, to the buyer’s agent and the inspection company. Since the window was already broken, you cannot ask either the buyer, inspector or agent to pay for a replacement or repair, but, you can ask for them to pay 50% of the cost to repair the damage. If they agree, excellent. If not, then you have a choice. Let the deal die pay to repair and eat the cost.

Answer No. 2:  It will be hard to prove who caused the damage to the window and unless you can definitely prove who caused the damage, you will probably be fighting a lost cause. Do you have a security camera in the area of the window? Does your listing agreement have a clause that states that your agent is responsible for any damage incurred during the time of the listing as a result of visits, open houses, etc? Save your time, cost and effort and fix it at your expense.

*Both answers are provided by Real Estate lawyers and are not considered legal advice




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