What to do if I hired a licensed home inspector and he missed that the A/C units need to be replaced immediately?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2011

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What to do if I hired a licensed home inspector and he missed that the A/C units need to be replaced immediately?

I hired a certified/licensed home inspector and he missed a major problem in the home I purchased. I’ve received 2 professional opinions and I need to replace both A/C units, totalling over $5000. Upon being told that I will have to probably replace the units in about 2 years or $2000 replacement coils, I now have no air in 90 degree weather. Had I known there was a problem I would have negotiated with the bank on the foreclosed home to possibly offer to fix/replace the unit or request a decrease in the amount of the home. Do I have any legal course?

Asked on August 24, 2011 Georgia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Anytime a purchaser of real property retains a third party inspector such as a "home inspector" to inspect the condition of the home for any defects or problems not readily visible based upon an ordinary and dilgent inspection of the property by a non-expert such as you, the third party inspector (who is paid for his or her services) owes a duty of care to make a reasonable inspection to ascertain such possible problems within the custom and practice of given industry practices.

If the home inspector should have discussed problems with the air condtioner in the unit you purchased that a reasonable careful home inspector normally would have discovered under the given circumstances, your home inspector most likely fell below the standard of care and would be responsible to you for either the lesser of: 1. cost or repair or 2. cost of replacement.

The rationale is that had you known about this problem with the air conditioning unit before close of escrow, you could have negotiated a lower purchase price possibly, or passed on the property's purchase.

Good question.

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