Code of Ethics

code of ethics

The Vital Role of a Code of Ethics for South African Home Inspectors

InterNACHI South African Code of Ethics enhances both professionalism and the home inspection industry standards.

In the competitive realm of home inspection, adherence to a robust code of ethics is not merely commendable—it’s indispensable. In addition, from safeguarding consumer trust to elevating industry standards, a well-structured code serves as the cornerstone of professionalism in home inspection services.

Upholding Integrity with a Code of Ethics

Such a code outlines the ethical principles and standards that guide my conduct and that of other home inspectors. Moreover, it represents a commitment to honesty, impartiality, and transparency, instilling confidence in clients.

Ensuring Consumer Protection: A Paramount Responsibility

Central to the essence of running an ethical business is the protection of consumer interests. Therefore, by prioritising thoroughness, objectivity, and accuracy in inspections, I reduce risks for my clients, enabling them to make informed decisions about their property investments.

Fostering Professionalism: Setting the Bar High

A code of ethics raises the bar for professionalism within the home inspection industry. Furthermore, it creates a culture of accountability and excellence, driving me to continually enhance my skills and knowledge to better serve my clients.

Building Trust: The Currency of Success

Trust is the currency of success in the home inspection business. Moreover, by adhering to a code of ethics, I earn the trust of my clients, creating long-term relationships and resulting in positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Navigating Ethical Dilemmas: A Compass for Conduct

In the complex landscape of home inspection, ethical dilemmas are inevitable. A robust code of ethics serves as a guiding compass. In effect, it offers clarity and direction in navigating challenging situations while upholding the highest ethical standards.

Instilling Confidence: Enhancing Industry Reputation

A code of ethics is not merely a set of rules! It’s a testament to the integrity and professionalism of the home inspection industry as a whole. Consequently, by adhering to ethical principles, I contribute to the positive reputation and credibility of the profession.

A Code of Ethics Embraces Accountability – The Key to Longevity

Accountability is the cornerstone of a sustainable home inspection business. Therefore, by holding myself accountable to ethical standards, I safeguard my reputation and longevity in the industry. As a result, this earns the respect and loyalty of my clients and peers alike.

Elevating Standards, Empowering Success

In conclusion, a code of ethics is not a luxury—it’s a necessity. Significantly, by upholding integrity, protecting my client’s interests, and fostering professionalism, a well-defined code catalyses success, elevating standards and empowering me to thrive in my profession.

Find the InterNACHI South African Code of Ethics below:

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » Inspections » Inspection standards

South African Standards of Practice

South African Standards of Practice

South African Standards of Practice

The South African Standards of Practice differ somewhat from the American Inspection Standards mainly because of the different construction materials used in the construction of residential properties in the two countries. South Africa mostly uses brick or blockwork and concrete instead of frame construction.

In addition, we have the South African National Standards (SANS) which are our National Building Regulations (NBR) applicable to all construction within the borders of South Africa. They differ substantially from the American building codes.

A home inspection is visual and not destructive

The descriptions and observations in my report are based on a visual inspection of the structure. I inspect all the viewable structures without dismantling, damaging or disfiguring the structure and without moving furniture and interior furnishings. However, areas that are concealed, hidden, inaccessible or unsafe to view are not covered in this inspection as per the Standards of Practice. Some systems cannot be tested during this inspection as testing risks damage to the building. For example, overflow drains on baths are generally not tested because if they were found to be leaking they could damage the finishes in the building. My procedures involve non-invasive investigation and non-destructive testing which limits the scope of my inspection.

The minimum scope of my inspection

My Comprehensive Home Inspection exceeds the following systems required by the Standards of Practice.

  • Roof
  • Exterior
  • Cellar, Underfloor Spaces & Structure
  • Heating
  • Fireplace
  • Cooling
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Roof Space and Insulation
  • Doors, Windows & Interior

The Standards of Practice do not require a technically exhaustive inspection

Furthermore, the evaluation will be based on observations that are primarily visual and non-invasive. As mentioned in the South African Standards of Practice, my inspection and report are not technically exhaustive.

Such inspections are available but they are generally cost-prohibitive to most homebuyers and homeowners.

Below is the South African Standards of Practice for the Inspection of Residential Properties.

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » Inspections » Inspection standards

Report Examples

inspection reports

Home Inspection Reports

home and mould inspection reports are no longer checklists, they are descriptive reports with narratives
A sample of the first page of a Comprehensive, Mould and Critical Inspection Report produced for clients. The reports include marked-up photos and narratives describing the condition of the property. Only the Walkthrough and Rental Inspections have checklists with marked-up photos.

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What to expect from an inspection report

Home inspection reports have changed to accommodate increased consumer expectations. As a result, reports advanced from being checklists to providing more extensive narratives and photos for the client’s information.

Development of Standards

Before the mid-1970s, inspection reports followed no standard guidelines. Without minimum standards to follow, the quality of inspection reports varied widely. As a result, the public viewed the home inspection industry with suspicion.

A Standard of Practice became available with the founding of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) in 1976. This provided home inspection guidelines governing inspection reports. Later, a second trade association, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), was established. InterNACHI developed its own Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics.

Today InterNACHI dominates the inspection industry worldwide. In addition to its Residential Standards of Practice, it developed the only comprehensive Standards of Practice for Commercial Properties. most types of inspection from mould to fire doors use InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice.

Inspection Reports

My inspection reports describe the major home systems, their crucial components, and their operability. This is especially important in those which can fail in dangerous or expensive-to-correct conditions. I describe defects effectively and my report includes recommendations.

My inspection reports also disclaim portions of the home hidden from view. These include areas below ground and floors and behind wall and ceiling coverings. Home inspections are visual inspections

I also note conditions that require a specialist inspection.

Home inspections are not technically exhaustive, so I will not dismantle a furnace to examine the heat exchanger.

The Standards of Practice describe the requirements and limitations of a home inspection.

Checklist and Narrative Reports

Originally home inspection reports consisted of a simple checklist, or a one- or two-page narrative report.

Checklist inspection reports contain almost no writing. The report is a series of boxes with short or abbreviated descriptions. They might consist of only two or three words, such as “peeling paint”. The entire checklist might only be four or five pages long.

Because of the lack of detailed information, checklist inspection reports are open to interpretation. As a result, buyers, sellers, agents, contractors, attorneys, and judges may each interpret the information differently, depending on their experience or motives.

Narratives are phrases that describe conditions found during an inspection. Narrative reports use reporting language that completely describes each condition. In addition, I don’t abbreviate descriptions.

Some inspectors still use checklist inspection reports. Many countries are banning checklist reports because the limited information they offer has resulted in legal problems.

I produce narrative reports because they are safer and superior as they provide more precise information.

Development of Reporting Software

Handwritten reports are no longer the norm. As computers became simpler to operate and more affordable, inspection software began to appear on the market.

With inspection reporting software, I can choose from a large number of organised narratives. I edit or add the narratives to accommodate local conditions and the property.

Using narrative software I can produce a very detailed report in a relatively short time.

Standard disclaimers automatically appear in each report.

Narrative Content

Narratives normally consist of three parts:

  • A description of a condition of concern.
  • Sentences or paragraphs describing how serious the condition is, and the potential ramifications.
  • A recommendation.

I recommend specific actions or further evaluation necessary. However, recommendations address problems in such a way that you will know how to proceed.

Report Content

Inspection reports often begin with an informational section that gives general information about the home. This includes the client’s name, contact details, weather conditions, and whether the property is occupied and furnished.

Other information listed are disclaimers

My inspection reports include a summary report, listing major problems. As a result, you won’t miss important issues. You must be aware of safety issues or conditions that are expensive to correct. Narratives are colour-coded with this in mind.

Furthermore, the reports include photographs in the main body of the report, below the narrative that describes them.

A table of contents is also provided.

I break down the property systems into sections and areas in the report. These can be “ELECTRICAL,” “PLUMBING”, “HEATING”, “EXTERIOR”, “INTERIOR”, etc., or by area of the home: “KITCHEN”, “BEDROOMS”, etc.

Sample Inspection reports

Finally, you can find out more by:

Sample Comprehensive Home Buyer /Snag List Inspection Report

The link below features an example of a Comprehensive Home Buyer’s Inspection Report with the buyer’s permission. Every defect in the home was noted with narratives and photographs. Furthermore, acceptable finishes and elements of the home are also included in the report.

805 Kingfisher Road

Sample Critical Inspection Report

The link below features an example of a Critical Home Buyer’s Inspection Report. Every defect that falls in the critical issues (roof, structure, windows, doors, electrical, plumbing and damp) in the home was noted with narratives and photographs.

Sample Check List Report (Walkthrough Inspections)

Sample Damp and Mould Inspection Report

A Damp and Mould Inspection is focused on finding damp and mould areas in the house or building and the causes of the damp and mould so that the damp and mould issues can be prevented.

Sample Limited Itemised Inspection Report

A Limited Itemised Inspection is limited to a specific issue or issues that the client is focused on where a Comprehensive or Critical Inspection is not required. Furthermore, an example of a Limited Itemised Inspection is a roof inspection, structural inspection, plumbing inspection etc. In this case, my client required a report on the work done to date on his building project!

Sample Commercial Inspection Report

A Commercial Inspection is like a Comprehensive Home Inspection but may include additional items like fire suppression (sprinkler systems, fire sprinkler pumps, fire hydrants, fire extinguishers etc.), and assessability and safety (wheelchair access, personnel safety etc.). In this report, the client did not require additional research (the review of documents and the performing of interviews).

370 and 374 Eeufees Rd, Pretoria North

Note:

I inspect properties in most areas of the northern part of Gauteng and part of the North West Province.

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » Inspections » Inspection standards

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)

code of ethics
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About the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors

InterNACHI is the world’s largest property inspection organization for residential and commercial property inspectors. InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics apply to all its members!

InterNACHI is a nonprofit association providing training, certification, and continuing education for its members. This includes property inspectors, licensed real estate agents, and building contractors. Furthermore, InterNACHI provides its members with business training, software products, marketing services, and many other membership benefits.

Advantages of having Property Inspector Standards and Codes of Ethics

InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics

As a member, I follow comprehensive Standards of Practice for Residential Inspections and am bound by a strict Code of Ethics.  Furthermore, InterNACHI is the only association worldwide that provides me with a Standards of Practice for Commercial Property Inspections. This guarantees that my clients get an inspection and a report that meets the high standards set by InterNACHI.

InterNACHI inspection blog and inspection forums

I take part in the exchange of professional experiences and ideas with other InterNACHI-certified inspectors to support each other.

Furthermore, InterNACHI maintains an industry blog, inspection forums and local chapters in support of this swapping of information. In addition, InterNACHI provides me with the means of direct and membership-wide interaction with other inspectors. This furthers my understanding of my particular role in the inspection industry and how best to serve you, my client.

Above all, this cross-communication enhances my ability, as a property inspector, to build my business and develop specialised ancillary property inspection services for you.

Advantages for homebuyers and homeowners

In fulfilling InterNACHI’s primary objective of training and mentoring me and other inspector members, the association’s broader mission is also to inform and advise home buyers and homeowners about maintenance issues in their homes. This helps homeowners understand the functions, materials, systems and components of their properties. Furthermore, maintenance is not covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. Therefore, homeowners have the responsibility to conduct regular maintenance checks and to do the necessary maintenance to protect their investment.

My duty as an Internachi certified property inspector

In addition, as an InterNACHI property inspector, my commitment is to provide consistent, accessible and trusted information to you about the condition of the properties you wish to have inspected.

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » Inspections » Inspection standards

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