Recently we’ve learned that some home inspectors, as a service to real estate agents, are preparing inspection contingency removal addenda after performing the home inspection. Drafting contracts for others is the practice of law in Virginia, and it is therefore generally restricted to licensed attorneys. However, real estate licensees may do it if it’s incidental to a real estate transaction in which the licensee is involved, and the licensee does not receive a separate fee for it (See § 54.1-2101.1.)

This exemption does not extend to home inspectors. In fact, home inspectors drafting these addenda are likely engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, which is a misdemeanor in Virginia. There are also copyright issues involved with the use of Realtor forms by non-Realtors.

Please do not encourage inspectors in this practice. It does a disservice to our clients and potentially subjects home inspectors to prosecution and other liability. If you need a home inspection addendum, it is best to draft it yourself.