Code violations and expertise

Q: "Last year I did a "subject to completion" appraisal of a new home being built nearby. The appraisal was based on the plans they gave me at the time. There has been some press around here lately about problems with the local building department. Supposedly homes were built without permits. Also two building inspectors were arrested for taking bribes to say they had done inspections when they had really never been out to the property. I guess somehow the lender got wind of all this news. They called me up to go out and certify that construction was complete and to fill out this other form that says there are no building code violations. I told the loan officer that I was not a code inspector and I could not comment on building code violations and he went ballistic on me. Was I right not to fill out that code compliance form?"

A: Absolutely. You are not a code compliance expert and do not have the expertise necessary to complete such a report. Even if the home in question was not in any way involved in the recent scandals you have no way of knowing if the builder followed all the rules. You should never feel pressured to do something you know you are not qualified to do. That is one quick way to an E&O claim ... and saying "my client made me do it" is not a good defense!

Would you like Claudia to manage your liability concerns?