Wisconsin Realtors Association has recently introduced new requirements for home inspection reports. Most of the requirements are centered on the Summary PDF. We've got you covered, as our summaries have always include address, date, home inspector name, and reference numbers. We also have all the settings you need to comply with the changes in how defects must be labeled.
Here are the 5 things you need to do to ensure you're compliant:
1. Summary Text Addition
There is specific text required in your summary. In your templates, be sure to add the following into your Summary Text to ensure it appears in your summary PDF:
1. This summary page is provided for convenience and is not a substitute for reading the entire report and should not be relied upon as the complete list for the client’s reference.
2. For the purposes of the report, “defect,” as defined in section 440.97 (2m), Wis. Stats., means a condition of any component of an improvement that a home inspector determines, on the basis of the home inspector’s judgment on the day of an inspection, would significantly impair the health or safety of occupants of a property or that, if not repaired, removed, or replaced, would significantly shorten or adversely affect the expected normal life of the component of the improvement. The contract of sale may define “defect” to also include a condition that would have a significant adverse effect on the value of the property, but such a condition may not be labeled a defect in the report unless it meets the definition in section 440.97 (2m), Wis. Stats.
2. Label Defects as "Defects"
It is now required that you label your defects as "defects" (and not "recommendations", "findings", etc.). In your templates, go to "..."->Template Settings->Display Options and ensure your "Defect Label" is "Defects":
3. Include All Defects in Summary
The summary must include all defects. To set this up in your templates, go to "..."->Template Settings->Defect Categories and ensure all the defect categories you use are marked to "Include in Summary":
4. Ensure Your Template Has These As Defects
All of the following items MUST be defects (and not informational comments):
Components needing repair
Components needing further evaluation
Items to monitor
You may have to move some informational comments to become defects under the new guidelines!
5. Include specific text in your comment bodies
This one is still a bit unclear to us and is based on our current interpretation... The various conditions listed in #4 above may or may not need to be explicitly spelled out on each defect. If you believe this is a requirement, just go through the defects in your template and add these statements where they apply:
Needs further evaluation
Alternatively, you can add these as Tags via Settings->Location Tags. This allows you to not have to edit all your template comment text, as these will appear explicitly right under each defect:
Again, it is unclear whether these words need to be explicitly included or not. It is only clear that any "defect" that requires these needs to appear in the summary.
Let us know any additional information that might be helpful for this article!