Does Arbitration Actually Work For Home Inspection Disputes?
There’s an interesting question. While most disputes surrounding home inspections primarily deal with allegations of negligence on the inspector’s part, what recourse actually exists for the defendant or plaintiff? Well, there are always the courts. Cheap you say? Maybe. Sure it only costs a couple of bucks to file the complaint, but what about costs thereafter? There are court costs, depositions, time lost, and more. Strong positions sometimes fade as discovery progresses. For the inspector, mounting a defense can be like proving a negative. And, what if the judge and jury is unsympathetic to either party, simply for the fact that they know nothing of the industry, its standards, and of realities often forgotten. Well, there’s always arbitration.
Arbitration and mediation are time-proven methods of alternate dispute resolution. A presumably knowledgable neutral third party hears each sides’ arguments, and looks at the evidence, then renders a decision. Simply, right? Well, that depends. There is still often lost time, and the cost of the arbitration can also add up. Some firms provide experienced neutrals often retired judges or attorneys, or “Professional Arbiters”. This is great, if you are arbitrating a case which is huge, with many complexities, and involving multiple millions of dollars. But, where does their experience benefit the inspector and plaintiff when it comes to inspection disputes?
That is the overarching question. One way to help ensure a combination of neutrality and knowledge is to choose an arbitration firm with experience in the home inspection process; one where the cost of arbitration is not out of line with the monetary realities of the dispute, including resources of the plaintiff and defendant, and of course where neutrals have experience and familiarity with the processes involved in performing a home inspection.
Joe has a robust background in construction practices, home & commercial inspections. He has also served as an expert witness for his fellow inspectors in situations where a home owner has a dispute against the inspector. An inventor, published author, & seasoned businessman, Joe operates a Home Inspection business in New York state.