Condominium ConflictA Termite Report on a Condominium or other common interest subdivision does have some challenges. There is a conflict between the Structural Pest Control Act and the Residential Purchase Agreement. The Purchase Agreement specifies that the Inspection be limited to the "separate interest and exclusive-use areas being transferred, and shall NOT include common areas." Termite Companies are required by State Law to perform a complete inspection of the structure unless limitation is requested. A complete inspection of a condominium includes the interior, exterior, attic space and substructure up to the point of common wall(s) of the unit.
Most clients do not request limiting the scope of inspection and order a complete inspection of the condominium. It seems the desire is full disclosure of the condition of the property despite the RPA verbiage. When Section One findings are discovered in the common areas, most Home Owners Associations have been responsive in completing corrective work. For clients that wish to follow the Purchase Agreement verbiage, they must request the report be limited to the portions of the structure actually being purchased. Determining which portions of the structure are the "separate interest and exclusive-use areas being transferred" will require an understanding of the Home Owner Association's CC&Rs. At a minimum, the interior of the unit must be inspected. Other portions of the unit determined to be "exclusive use" should also be included in the scope of inspection. When a limited inspection is requested, the Termite Company must disclose who requested the report limitation and also recommend the remainder of the structure be inspected. The following is an example of our report disclosure verbiage when a "Limited" inspection report of a condominium is prepared.
"NOTE: THIS INSPECTION IS LIMITED TO THE INTERIOR OF THE CONDOMINIUM UNIT ONLY AT THE REQUEST OF (NAME PERSON REQUESTING LIMITATION). IN MANY HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION REGULATIONS, THE OWNER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INTERIOR OF THE CONDOMINIUM UNIT ONLY AND THAT ALL OTHER AREAS ARE MAINTAINED BY THE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION. HOWEVER, ALL HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATIONS ARE NOT THE SAME. IF THE OWNER IS RESPONSIBLE TO MAINTAIN PORTIONS OF THE STRUCTURE OTHER THAN THE INTERIOR, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE TO ARRANGE FOR FURTHER INSPECTION OF THE AREAS FOUND TO BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE HOME OWNER. OUR COMPANY DOES NOT VERIFY THE OWNERS RESPONSIBILITIES. BY STATE LAW WE ARE REQUIRED TO RECOMMEND THAT THE REMAINDER OF THIS UNIT AND THE REMAINDER OF THE ENTIRE BUILDING BE INSPECTED. PARTIES IN INTEREST SHOULD DISCUSS THESE MATTERS WITH THEIR REAL ESTATE AGENT OR BROKER AND THE HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION PRIOR TO THE CLOSE OF ESCROW."