Responsibility, it is a word I have begun to feel has lost the original meaning, its intent. Accountability I believe is the fiber of being responsible. In other words accepting the burden for ones actions, thoughts and or ideas. Instead it seems society has shifted the meaning of responsibility to another definition, blame. As in I do not want to take the blame or it's not my fault.
While I can understand to a degree why this shift has occurred. One only has to watch the T.V. or listen to the radio for a short while. Legal services touting how you may be entitled to a whopping sum of money are constantly filling the airwaves.
Sometime last month I performed an inspection on a small low priced one owner house. Going in I knew there would be issues, the agent and the buyers also were quite aware.
The basement was the area with the biggest issue. It was quite apparent to anyone without a white cane and a dog that the basement has a water infiltration problem. With water of course comes that dreaded four letter word....
wait for it......
Mold used to tell us it was time to throw away that loaf of bread or created some unidentifiable food left in the back of the refrigerator. Now it has become a horror, a scourge, especially in real estate. The truth is, mold and fungi still are telling us something, unfortunately we have stopped listening. An entire multi-billion dollar industry has grown off of these microscopic organisms. This industry has done much to drown out the message mold has always sent us.
There is or was too much water in the house.
It's really that simple.
The buyers of this house at the moment can not close because the bank knows about the mold in the basement. How did the bank come to know this you ask. No, not from the inspection report, all though it was discussed there, but from the bank appraisal. Interestingly the home inspection report contained one photo, the one above of the moldy wall, along with several of the water stains, one being the second photo. The appraisal on the other hand had four pictures of moldy walls and no explanation.
My focus was the water infiltration issue with photos of the mold, wood decay and water stains being used to reinforce my point about the water issue. I also made a point of including information from the Connecticut Department of Public Health which states in part that it is unnecessary to test visible mold. The fact sheet further explains it's the water not the mold that is the issue.
The "cure" for this basement is the removal of all water damaged materials and the installation of water control such as drainage and a sump pump. The buyers are fully aware of this and are planning on doing the repairs if the bank will close.
The road block to the closing as I see it is a lack of willingness to take ownership for ones job. The fear of being held accountable for allowing two adults to purchase a house with known and well documented water infiltration issues.
No one wants to take the blame for what?