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What exactly are material defects?

On behalf of Kadish & Associates Law Group posted in Construction Litigation on Friday, January 17, 2020.

When many people think of home inspectors, they think of the person who comes out to check out their home before the bank agrees to extend a loan for them to purchase the property. Some individuals have them come out and check out the work on their homes before they make a final payment to their contractor though.

Home inspectors are often called upon to look at homes to see if they have any material defects. If they do, then this may pave the way for homeowners to sue contractors for not performing the work that they promised to carry out. A prospective homeowner may rescind on their offer to buy a home if it has defects.

A problem arises when it comes to defining what a material defect is though. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) recently clarified what they consider to be material defects.

The professional organization defines the word “material” as something significantly important. They argue that the term refers to a concern that is both consequential and relevant.

InterNACHI in its bylaw 1.2 describes a material defect as being an issue with a residential property’s component or system. Their bylaws state that such a concern may seriously and negatively affect both the safety and value of the home. It’s in their bylaws that InterNACHI notes that it’s irrelevant if a specific home component or system has outlasted its expected lifetime or if it’s about to reach that point.

The professional organization warns its members to avoid trying to delineate between defects and material defects when disclosing what types of problems a property may have. The organization’s leadership argues that it can be too hard to distinguish between the two. InterNACHI notes that material defects are often observable but can be anything that poses a safety risk to others or devalues the property.

Material defects can be found when inspectors look at a home’s foundation, exterior, roof, ancillary or attached structures or interior. Electrical, plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) problems are the material defects that homeowners are often most concerned about though. An attorney can review your Phoenix case to see if you may be eligible to file suit against your contractor for performing shoddy work here in Arizona.

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