This edition of InterNACHIcomsop was revised and approved as an International Standard on November 24, 2008, and again in 2013, and supersedes all previous editions.
1.1 The purpose of this document is to define good practice and to establish a reasonable approach for the performance of an inspection of a commercial property.
2.1 Core Definitions
2.1.1 Commercial Property: A commercial property is defined as the building structures and improvements located on a parcel of commercial real estate. These may include structures such as buildings with residential units operated for profit, mixed-use buildings, strip malls, motels, factories, storage facilities, restaurants and office buildings.
2.1.2 Inspection: The inspection is defined as the process of an inspector collecting information through visual observation during a walk-through survey of the subject property, conducting research about the property, and then generating a meaningful report about the condition of the property based on the observations made and research conducted by the inspector. A commercial inspection requires the inspector to make observations, conduct research, and report findings.
22.214.171.124 Observations: Observations are defined as those potential items of interest noted by the inspector during the walk-through survey portion of the inspection.
126.96.36.199 Research: Research is defined as the process of gathering information through document review and interviews to augment the observations made during the walk-through portion of the inspection. This research may include reviewing readily available documents, such as previous inspection reports, building permits, code violation notices and environmental studies. This research may also include interviews with readily available personnel, such as building managers, tenants and owners.
188.8.131.52 Report: An inspection report is defined as a written communication describing the issues discovered from observations made and research conducted by the inspector that are, in the inspector's opinion, likely to be of interest to his/her client. A report may contain photographs of observations made during the walk-through survey portion of the inspection and/or copies of documents reviewed during the research portion of the inspection.
2.2 Terminology Commonly Found in Commercial Property Inspection Reports:
2.3 Common Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in Commercial Property Inspection Reports:
2.4 Other Inspection-Related Terms
Other inspection-related terms can be found by visiting InterNACHI's searchable online Glossary at http://www.nachi.org/glossary
3.1 Royalty-Free Use
Although this Standard is protected by copyright and other laws, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, Inc. (InterNACHI) hereby grants non-exclusive, royalty-free license to all members of InterNACHI and their clients, and all public authorities, government agencies, and government employees throughout the world to use this code as desired, including making copies, posting, transmitting and incorporating it into reporting software, free of charge, without the need for pre-approval, provided that each use is clearly attributed to InterNACHI. Acceptable examples of attribution include "performed in accordance with InterNACHI's Commercial SOP," "based on InterNACHI ComSOP" or "seewww.internachi.org/comsop"
Nothing in this license shall preclude InterNACHI from modifying this Standard, and users should regularly check for the latest revision at www.nachi.org/comsop, which supersedes earlier versions.
3.2 Conflicts With Other Standards, Codes, Local Laws, and
There likely exist other standards, codes, local laws, and manufacturers' instructions that differ or are in conflict with this Standard and with each other. Although this Standard does not require an inspector to know or discover all the provisions that may pertain to every situation, this Standard does require an inspector, if aware of such conflicts, to author the inspection report based on the requirements that provide the greatest protection of life and property, in the inspector's judgment. This Standard is not intended to usurp or abridge adopted codes or ordinances.
3.3 Substantial Compliance
The inspector shall substantially abide by this Standard, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the inspector and client.
3.4 Disclaimer of Liability
InterNACHI administers the process in the development of its standards. InterNACHI does not independently test, evaluate or verify the accuracy of any information or the soundness of any judgments contained in its Standards. InterNACHI disclaims liability for any personal injury, property or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect, consequential or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of, or reliance on this document. InterNACHI also makes no guarantee or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information published herein.
Anyone using this document should rely on his or her own independent judgment, or, as appropriate, seek the advice of a competent professional in determining the exercise of reasonable care in any given circumstances.
The objective of an inspection is to provide written communication describing the issues discovered from observations made and research conducted by the inspector, which, in the inspector's opinion, are likely to be of interest to his/her client, and to enhance the client's information and knowledge about the commercial property to improve decision-making for buying, selling, maintaining or improving the property.
4.2 Who May Perform the Inspection
Any portion of the inspection, including the walk-through survey, research and report-generation, may be performed by the inspector, his/her staff, or any consultant hired by the inspector. This Standard recognizes that, for the majority of commercial inspections, the inspector is likely an individual with a general, well-rounded knowledge of commercial properties, and that the inspector or client may want to augment the inspector's skills with specialty consultants who have particular expertise in certain areas. The decision to hire specialty consultants will, of course, rely on budget and time constraints, as well as the risk-tolerance of the client.
4.3 Varying Levels of Due Diligence
This Standard is designed as a baseline from which the inspector and client can develop and agree to a scope of work that may deviate from this Standard, depending on budget, time constraints, purpose of the inspection, age of the subject property, and risk-tolerance of the client. The level of due diligence should be set where the cost, in time and money, of acquiring information about the subject property will not likely exceed the value of that information. Therefore, an inspection performed in accordance with this Standard will not be technically exhaustive.
4.3.1 Sample Language for Use When Defining the Scope of Work
"The inspection will be performed in accordance with InterNACHIcomsop, except that..."
4.3.2 Representative Observations
In recognizing that the client likely has the goal of acquiring information about the subject property at a cost, in time and money, that does not exceed the value of that information, representative observations are not just permitted by this Standard, but recommended, as well.
The client should understand that no inspection report is completely accurate. A report is only the written communication of the observations made and research conducted by the inspector. The report contains those items which, in the inspector's opinion, are likely to be of interest to his/her client.
The client should understand that the inspection report is, to a large degree, the subjective opinions of the inspector based on his/her observations and research within the limits of access, time and budget, and without the aid of special equipment or meters, and without dismantling, probing, testing or troubleshooting, and without detailed knowledge of the commercial property, its components or its systems. The inspection report is not much more than a subjective professional opinion.
4.6 Not an Architectural or Engineering Service
An inspector performing a commercial inspection in accordance with this Standard is not practicing architecture or engineering.
4.7 Not a Warranty, Guarantee or Insurance Policy
The inspection is not a warranty, and the inspection report is merely the written communication of the inspector's subjective opinion on the condition of the subject property.
The objective of research, including the review of documents and the performing of interviews, is to augment the information obtained during the walk-through survey and to provide supporting documentation to the inspection report.
5.2 Document Procurement
It is the client's responsibility to obtain copies of all documents and provide them for the inspector. These documents are most often obtained from the seller or from local government offices. The inspector is not responsible for gathering or paying for copies of appropriate documents to be reviewed unless these tasks are specifically assigned to the inspector in the Scope of Work Agreement.
5.3 Documents to Be Reviewed and Included in the Inspection Report
The inspector should review all documents provided by the client and owner. The inspector should also make an inquiry and review of any other documents that can be reasonably procured on-site or from the building owner or manager, such as Certificates of Occupancy, building code violation notices, repair invoices, and warranties. The inspector is not required to uncover and review information that is not provided or cannot be reasonably ascertained or acquired on-site. Copies of documents that the inspector believes may be of interest to the client and copies of documents that support the inspector's opinions should be included in the inspection report.
5.3.1 Examples of documents the inspector may want to request for review:
The inspector should identify and interview the person(s) with the most knowledge about the condition of the building. Typically, this will be the building owner or manager. Unless otherwise agreed to in the Scope of Work Agreement, it is the responsibility of the client to arrange to have such person(s) on hand for interview by the inspector on the day of the walk-through survey.
5.5 Pre-Inspection Questionnaires
The inspector may request that the owner, building manager and/or client fill out pre-inspection questionnaires to gather information. The inspector may rely that these responses are truthful. In cases where parties refuse to fill out questionnaires in writing, the inspector may interview the parties and fill out the questionnaires for them. The inspector should note in the report if s/he filled out the questionnaire based on an interview and whether such interview was performed in person, by telephone, or by email. Copies of all responses to such questionnaires should be included in the inspection report.
The level of accuracy of information varies, depending on its source. The inspector may rely on information obtained to the extent that the information appears to be accurate and complete. This Standard does not require the inspector to independently verify the accuracy of the documents reviewed by the inspector or included in the report, nor the statements made by those interviewed by the inspector.
The inspector is not a fraud investigator, and this Standard does not require the inspector to look for intentionally hidden deficiencies in the subject property. The inspection report is supplementary to the seller's disclosures.
5.8 Previously Generated Reports
A previously generated inspection report should be treated no differently than any other document reviewed during the research portion of the inspection, and, as with information collected from any other source, information obtained from a previously generated report should reference its source in the new inspection report. No portion of a previously generated report should be used as a substitute for the new inspection report.
The objective of the walk-through survey is to allow the inspector to visually observe the subject property, gather information, and note items of interest.
6.2 Access Responsibility
It is the client's responsibility to arrange for the inspector to receive timely access to the subject property for the walk-through survey portion of the inspection, as well as access to all documents and interviewees needed for the research portion of the inspection. This includes access to all documents, information and previously generated reports in the client's possession. The inspector is not responsible for obtaining, reviewing or providing information, should the source withhold, impede or delay access. Anything that hinders the inspector's access should be noted in the report.
It is expected that the inspector will perform only one walk-through survey per inspection report. However, it may be necessary for the inspector to revisit certain areas of the subject building after performing the research portion of the inspection.
6.4 Inspector Safety
It is the responsibility of the inspector to perform the walk-through survey safely.
6.5.3 Wood Decks and Balconies
*See http://www.nachi.org/stairways.htm for formal standards (compliance verification in entirety not required).
6.5.4 Basement, Foundation and Crawlspace
6.5.5 Heating and Ventilation
6.5.10 Attic Ventilation and Insulation
6.5.11 Doors, Windows and Interior
6.5.12 Life Safety
6.5.13 Cooking Area
The report must be in writing. This Standard does not require any one particular format. It is InterNACHI's opinion that the commercial inspection industry and consumer clients are best served when inspectors are free to compete through report-generation innovation.
The report should be dated on the first page.
7.3 Inspection Firm Information
The report should include the name and contact information of the inspection firm on the first or second page.
7.4 Property Address
The report should include the address of the property inspected, or a description of the real estate sufficient for identification, on the first or second page.
7.5 Total Number of Pages
The report should indicate the total number of pages and attachments on the first page.
Reports should be concise, to-the-point, and avoid the inclusion of large amounts of pre-printed material.
Reports should be typed or handwritten clearly.
7.8 Opinions of Shut-Down Systems
The inspector should still try to render an opinion of the condition of systems even if they were shut down or were not operational at the time of the walk-through survey.
The client should only rely on the inspection report at the point in time that the inspector's observations were being made and research was being conducted. The client should deem the report as obsolete to some extent, even while it is being prepared.
The client should understand that an inspection performed in accordance with this Standard only relates to the observations made and research conducted. Consequently, this Standard does not address issues such as business operations at the subject property, deed encumbrances, neighborhood conditions, etc.
7.11 Multiple Buildings
An inspection report produced in accordance with this Standard may encompass more than one building within a single report.
7.12 Cost to Remedy
The inspector is not required to provide repair estimates or opinions of costs to remedy. The inspector may offer opinions about such costs as a courtesy, but the offering of these opinions is outside the scope of a commercial inspection.
VIII. An inspection does not determine the life expectancy of the property, or any components or systems therein.
III. The inspector is not required to:
Inspectors performing inspections in accordance with this Standard must maintain a high level of business ethics.
9.1 Duty to Client
9.1.1 The inspector shall substantially follow this Standard unless the Scope of Work indicates otherwise.
9.1.2 The inspector shall not engage in any practices that could be damaging to the client or bring discredit to the inspection industry.
9.1.3 The inspector shall be fair, honest, impartial, and act in good faith in dealing with the client.
9.1.4 The inspector shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or handicap, and shall comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws concerning discrimination.
9.1.5 The inspector-member shall be truthful regarding his/her services and qualifications.
9.1.6 The inspector shall have no undisclosed conflict of interest with the client, nor shall the inspector accept or offer any undisclosed commissions, rebates, profits or other benefit, nor shall the inspector accept or offer any disclosed or undisclosed commissions, rebates, profits or other benefit from real estate agents, brokers or any third parties having financial interest in the sale of the property, nor shall the inspector offer or provide any disclosed or undisclosed financial compensation directly or indirectly to any real estate agent, real estate broker or real estate company for referrals or for inclusion on lists of preferred and/or affiliated inspectors or inspection companies.
9.1.7 The inspector shall not communicate any information about an inspection to anyone except the client without the prior written consent of the client, except in cases when the information may affect the safety of others, or violates a law or statute.
9.1.8 The inspector shall always act in the interests of the client, unless doing so violates a law or statute.
9.1.9 The inspector shall use a written Scope of Work Agreement that specifies the services to be performed, the limitations of services, and fees.
9.1.10 The inspector shall comply with all government rules and licensing requirements in the jurisdiction where s/he conducts business.
9.1.11 The inspector shall not perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs or repair-associated services to the structure for which the inspector or inspector's company has prepared a commercial inspection report for a period of 12 months. This provision shall not include services to components and/or systems that are not included in this Standard.
END of Standards of Practice