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Evaluation of ceiling stain was faulty

REAL ESTATE : ASK THE INSPECTOR

August 17, 2008|Barry Stone | Access Media Group

Question: When we bought our home a year ago, we asked the inspector about a small water stain on the ceiling. He pointed a sensor at it and said it was not an active leak. Recently, that spot became wet again, and a portion of the drywall fell down. It turned out that the water came from the old air conditioner in the attic. But according to the inspection report, the unit was "new and in good working order." Do we have any recourse?

Answer: Your inspector apparently committed three errors. The first was to evaluate a ceiling stain on the basis of current wetness or dryness. The second was not conducting a follow-up investigation of attic and roof conditions above the stain. The third was to misidentify the age and condition of the air conditioner.

The inspector appears to have been negligent and should accept some liability for the ceiling and air conditioner repairs.

-- Barry Stone, Access Media Group

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To submit a question, go to housedetective.com.

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