San Francisco, CA asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California

Q: Can a licensed CA. General contractor perform home inspections and be hired to complete the repair work?

Is there any circumstances where a CA. Licensed General contractor can be paid for a home inspection and be hired separately for the nessasary repairs to the same home? B&P code says that home inspectors performing repair work can be considered as unfair business practices. Does that mean it's illegal? Frowned upon? Or is there some loop hole in wording that would allow a G.C. to inspect and make repairs that fall under his license? CSLB declined to answer stating its a legal question. Thanks!

1 Lawyer Answer
Ernest Charles Payne Jr
Ernest Charles Payne Jr
  • San Clemente, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You’re talking about CA B&P 7197. The law is pretty clear and the circumstances where a company performing a home inspection can also perform repairs are very narrow and limited: like roof repairs pursuant to a roof certification inspection or termite repairs pursuant to a termite report. You’ll also notice there are additional requirements to wall off the home inspector from the repair work. Any contractor making general repairs to a property pursuant to or within 12 months of doing a home inspection is liable for a lawsuit under this section, as it is statutorily declared to be an unfair business practice. This is designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous contractors who may be inclined to create an inspection report that recommends unnecessary repairs in order to then profit from performing them. You’ll note there are other consumer protections in that statute like a prohibition on contingent fee arrangements as well, and for the same reason.

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