Sometimes when directed to conduct an interior inspection, the property may be found unsecure. An unsecured property is not acceptable grounds for refusing to conduct the interior inspection.
But first, let us interject a term description from our clients for a “secured” property. Just because a property is vacant, doesn’t always mean we are to conduct an interior inspection. You must read the instructions. Many of our clients only want an interior inspection if the property has been “secured”. What they mean by “secured” is if the locks have been changed by them. If the locks have not been changed, we probably can’t get in anyway.
The CEO of NMFS has personally conducted over 600,000 inspections. Not a single time has anyone been found in the property inspected. That is not to say that it cannot happen. In nearly all cases where someone was found in a property, the inspector scared the squatter away.
In over 50 years of the Mortgage Field Inspection business, not a single person has been killed by someone in an unsecured property. However, thousands have been killed over the years, on their way to the property by auto accidents. That is a risk we take the moment we pull out of the driveway. Completing interior inspections on vacant properties even in the property is found unsecure, is just part of this business. There are several options for those not wanting to compete and interior inspection on an unsecured vacant property.
- Complete the inspection anyway, with caution.
- Buy a taser or personal weapon depending on your state laws.
- Ask that the property be reassigned and accept the reassignment fee.
- Complete the inspection later by bringing someone with you.
- Call the police, wait for them to arrive to escort you into the property.
The official policy from the majority of our clients is: “If an inspector feels it is unsafe to enter a property, return to the property with additional inspectors or a police escort.”
There is no room for just not doing the inspection. If you feel that there is current activity inside the property, call the police.
Refusing to complete the interior portion of an unsecured property when it is requested by the client is not an option. But you do have choices. We must all be realistic in these situations. You stand a greater chance choking on your Cheerios than you do in being harmed on an unsecured vacant property. It has never happened. The odds at this point in time are next to zero.