Dallas, TX asked in Real Estate Law for Texas

Q: My home inspector missed a fireplace hazard. We moved in, but just learned the fireplace is unsafe. What can we do?

We paid a home inspector to inspect our home in October--everything came back fine, including the remodeled fireplace. So, we closed on the home and moved in on Dec 1. We contacted a fireplace company to outfit the fireplace with gas logs, etc. but they've determined the fireplace is unsafe due to there being wood too close to the opening and there are several gaps around the opening, in which air makes it's way into the home. Now that we've already closed, we're wondering what responsibility the inspector has here since we would've asked the seller to fix this issue prior to closing if we were notified. Please help! This will be a significant out of pocket cost -- over $10K.

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Most home inspection contracts limit the liability of the inspector to the amount of the inspection fee.

I would check to see if the remodeling contractor was required to get, and did get, a city inspector to approve its work.

If it was required, and the contractor didn’t, I would consider pursuing the contractor for breach of the implied warranty of good and workmanlike services.

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