What are my rights if a home inspector failed to find a problem with my roof?

I recently purchased home. In the inspection report, the prior homeowners stated there was a leak in the roof that was repaired last year. The day after I moved in there was a large leak from the same area. When we asked them who the company was that fixed the roof originally, they proceeded to confirm there was an additional leak 6 months ago which was not documented in the inspection report. Also, when our home inspector checked the roof as part of the paid inspection, he said it was in good repair with the exception of some flashing on the tile roof. That was repaired and the inspector performed a reinspection and stated it was fixed properly and removed the problem from the documented list. However, 4 professional roofers have said that it was improperly done.

Asked on October 8, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A real estate home inspector is liable for any problems they miss major or minor. A buyer can typically look to the inspector for full reimbursement, including any damages that they suffered as a result of their negligence. Additionally, errors and omissions insurance policies are available for home inspectors. A buyer can ask an inspector if they have such a policy.
That having been said, a home inspector can insert a clause in their contract that limits their liability to the cost of the inspection. Accordingly, if they miss a problem, the most they are liable for is the return of their fee.
At this point, you should consult directly with a real estate attorney in your area. They can best advise you of your rights and remedies in this situation.


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