Pre-lease inspections are commonly provided for residential, commercial and industrial properties.

A professional inspection will help establish the current physical condition of a property. This is particularly important when a tenant or lessee is responsible for maintenance of the building structure, systems and components, and the costs associated with repairs or replacement. A competent inspection will provide you with a clear understanding of the property so you can make an informed decision. This can help you avoid costly, unpleasant surprises. It can also help eliminate misunderstandings about pre-existing conditions when a tenant or lessee vacates a property.

An inspection should include an examination of the structure, and the major systems and components of a property. In addition, it should identify any excessive wear-and-tear and include safety-related issues. Not only will this information let you make decisions with confidence, but also the condition of the property before you take occupancy will be documented.

An inspection excludes items that are concealed or inaccessible. Also excluded are systems and components that cannot be reached, entered or viewed without moving obstructions, or that require action that could result in damage to the property or personal injury to the inspector. An inspector should provide you with a list of those things that are not included in their inspection.

A safety-related issue is something that could affect the health, safety or well being of an employee, visitor or occupant of a property.

Many lessors encourage an inspection; however, there are some that do not welcome the opinion of an independent consultant. They will state that there is nothing wrong with the property. It is important to understand that a lessor may not be aware of problems, especially if a tenant occupies the premises. In addition, they may not be looking at the property with an objective eye. It is always in your best interest to have an independent consultant render a professional, unbiased opinion.

No. A professional inspector is providing an independent, objective opinion on the current condition of a property. He simply describes its condition, and points out potential safety-related issues and items that need, or may soon need repair or replacement.

There is no perfect building, even brand new construction. The discovery of problems does not mean you shouldn't lease a property, but this information will help you make a well-informed decision. Many different factors can influence a decision whether to proceed with the lease. What are the terms of the lease? Who will be responsible for maintaining the building structure, its systems and components? Who will pay costs associated with repairs or replacement? If you will be accountable, what is the extent of the problems and how much will it cost to repair them? What is your budget? Is the lessor willing to make some repairs?

No. In California, there is no professional license for building inspectors. If an inspector represents that they are licensed, you should have them clarify this. If you believe they were intentionally misleading, you should seek another inspector.