Agent

Electrical outlets should be disclosed by inspector

Outdated design legal, but problematic
Published on Aug 15, 2006

Dear Barry, We recently purchased a 50-year-old home, and no one mentioned the 2-prong, ungrounded outlets. The sellers didn't disclose them, and our home inspector didn't list them in his report. Shouldn't the sellers have upgraded these outlets to current code requirements before they sold the property? Shouldn't our home inspector have reported this defect? Won't this be a problem when we eventually sell the home? --Bob Dear Bob, Sellers are not required to upgrade old electrical systems when a property is sold. They are merely required to disclose any defects of which they are aware. Since most sellers do not regard the normal characteristics of an older home as defects, it is common for 2-prong electrical outlets to be omitted from a seller's disclosure statement. For home inspectors, disclosure expectations are much different than for sellers. Making no comment about ungrounded outlets in an old home is an example of professional negligence. An inspector's job is not merely to r...

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