Many folks in the real estate industry are under the misconception that because a property has been issued a CO, everything is or has been installed as per codes. Really? I have heard that argument time and time again from agents when I write up some deficiency and the selling agent throws out what they hope will be the trump card to discredit my findings: "I was issued a CO from the Codes Inspectors. Everything has to be right!"
First of all, City or County codes officials are not the sharpest tacks in the box and they certainly do not know it all - I don't. What they are looking to see, is the item or component operating in a safe manner - not has it been installed according to industry standards. Most items aren’t.
Case in point, the front steps on this property had been missing at the time the CO was issued. Is the front porch operating in a safe manner? No! However, the CO had been issued essentially stating, "All is well." Cities and Counties have stipulations that their officials cannot be sued for errors in their inspections. Due to the carelessness of the City/County codes official, the sellers will now have to bear the financial burden of addressing the 10’s of thousands of dollars of deficiencies the inspectors carelessly missed. These repairs should have been on the shoulders of the builder. The steps were just the tip of the iceberg on this relatively new property.
Moral of the story? Don’t hide behind the skirts of the CO. Get an independent inspection.
TeamCHI ~ The Complete Home Inspections Team