Rent-a-Cop Bldg. Inspectors
And just as I was about to call it a night, saw this…
Rent-a-cops for henhouse
By RICK CASEY
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
Critics of an ordinance being considered by Houston’s City Council today say it will allow the fox to guard the henhouse. <!–
Our council wouldn’t do that, even though the fox in this case is a major source of campaign funds.
No. The ordinance would just let the fox hire the guards for the henhouse.
The ordinance would allow homebuilders to hire private-sector inspectors instead of subjecting their foundations, heating/air conditioning, electrical systems and so on to city inspectors.
Christopher Bean, general counsel of the Gulf Coast chapter of Independent Electrical Contractors Inc., was one of a number of opponents. He wrote Mayor Bill White in opposition.
“Should restaurant owners be allowed to choose the private health inspector of their choice?” he wrote. “Of course not. Homeowners should also be given substantial government safeguards to protect their primary investment.”
Supporters say not to worry. The ordinance has rules that would, in the words of the cover sheet submitted to council, “ensure independence and avoidance of conflicts of interest.”
Here’s the link to the full article:
"The ordinance allows (not requires) city inspectors to check on the third-party inspectors on up to 10 percent of their inspections. They can be removed from the approved list if they are found to have erred in two "life-safety" matters or 12 "non-life safety" matters in a 12-month period."
Statistically, they must err in 20 life-safety or 120 non-life-safety matters to be caught 10% of the time.
the way the ordinance is written, (The ordinance allows), city inspectors can not inspect them more than 10% of the time, so if CIs suspect a PI there is nothing they can do do inspect more often.
"The ordinance was conceived five years ago by the Greater Houston Builders Association,"
I believe that is evident from the wording of the ordinance.
The orginal building inspections where done by the insurance companies or their agents.
From what I have heard in another forum that I used to participate in that in the NYC "area" private inspectors are used used electrical inspections.
I think its a great idea, get a company that has the backing of a PE. Most county inspectors are too stupid to know what there looking at anyway, somebody brother in law.