WHAT IT MEANS TO INSPECT: DIFFERING VIEWS FOR DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES July 20, 2022 | Inspection , Maintenance , Management | exterior maintenance , interior maintenance , NPI National Accounts , real estate trends In the inspection industry, we work in close relation with those in the insurance industry, property management companies, real estate agents, and of course, property owners. Although these trades may align in some areas, a point where they all differ is in the definition of what it means to have an inspection performed. While you might assume that the definition of a property inspection would bear the same weight across the board, you may be surprised at the fact that it actually doesn’t. For clarification’s sake, we’re going to examine the idea of what inspections mean for different industries and how our scope of work may change depending on the needs of our unique client types. Inspection Basics The definition of what an inspection entails for an inspector is very different from what the average consumer, property management company, or insurance agents would assume. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), the definition of inspection is: “To examine readily accessible systems and components safely, using normal operating controls, and accessing readily accessible areas, in accordance with the Standards of Practice.” This basically means that everything that one can see or operate within reason are fair game for inspection. The key words in the InterNACHI definition are ‘readily accessible,’ which may completely alter the meaning of what an inspection is for those in other industries. Property Owners For property owners, the definition of what it means to inspect differs vastly from the assumption that those in the home inspection industry have. As a layperson, it may be presumed that to inspect means: “To examine, check, or assess something to guarantee that specific standards are met,” according to Market Business News (MBN). While this seems like the most simplistic way to define the world of inspections, the definition is not thorough enough, which leads to a problematic gray area. Although both viewpoints recognize the need for making sure that Standards of Practice are met, they differ in how to go about doing so. Since the explanation of inspections is not fully defined, it’s often assumed that inspectors may be liable for more in their inspections than they are according to their Standards of Practice. For example: if a homeowner discovers mold inside of their drywall after an inspection, they may initially assume that it’s due to negligence on the part of the inspector. However, since the mold was found inside of the drywall and was not evident from the outside, the inspector would not be at fault. All inspections are non-invasive, and the mold on the inside of the drywall may not have been “readily accessible” for the purposes of inspection at the time. Insurance Industry Professionals The insurance industry views inspections from a completely different perspective than consumers and inspectors, as they view inspections from more of a financial risk stance. Within the insurance industry, inspections are defined as the process of examining the details of a specific risk from a moral, physical, and financial perspective. The key words here are ‘financial perspective.’ In the insurance industry, inspections are viewed as a way of mitigating probable hazards. Things are viewed in greater detail on the home’s interior, exterior, and everything in-between—meaning the inspection of things not readily accessible or available. Property Management & Real Estate Professionals In the realm of property management and real estate, the view of inspections is once again seen through a differing lens. For property management and real estate companies’ inspections are meant to ensure safety, cleanliness, and to check for property issues. The main take-away here is that in the world of real estate, it’s most important to guarantee the comfort of tenants and prospective buyers and to create an environment most viable for sales transactions. While the full definition of what it means to inspect may differ from field to field, the one thing that each industry has in common is that all intend on ensuring the safety of the consumer. In Need of an Inspection? National Property Inspections can assist in the recognition of problems with all properties—from homes to industrial buildings, and office spaces. Call us today at 800-333-9807 or visit our website .