What is an ERC Property Assessment?7/31/2011
In order to answer this it is important to understand what factors played a part in the creation of this unique type of assessment. In the early days of Corporate Relocation a General Home Inspection (GHI) was ordered and the Transferring Employee was responsible for correcting any reported defects. This created a great deal of resistance on the part of the employee to accept a transfer for fear they would have to make improvements to the home that in many cases were considered part of normal home maintenance and/or cosmetic issues. In other words the GHI was considered “nit picky”. In many cases a GHI also called as defects, issues related to codes that were not in force at the time of the home’s construction and often included comments regarding speculation and future performance as a reason for calling something defective.
As a result of Corporate America needing to relocate key employees there was a need to ease the burden on the employee and still protect the corporate client. A committee of Relocation industry experts and corporate representatives met to find a solution. The solution was to develop an assessment process and guidelines that would provide the best information possible to satisfy all parties. What was basically decided was to report as defects, those issues that impacted what are now the 3 basic categories of an ERC Property Assessment but did not burden the employee with maintenance and cosmetic issues. The 3 basic categories are; Structural, Unsafe or Hazardous Conditions and Inoperative Systems and Appliances. While the definition of these categories are still broad in nature, the assessment guidelines do not call for issues that are truly considered cosmetic and/or maintenance related to be reported as defects.
What the ERC Property Assessment is not.
The ERC Property Assessment is not a Code Compliance assessment. This means that regardless of any existing or pre-existing codes, defects are based on the 3 ERC categories mentioned above. The ERC Property Assessment does not involve or report product recalls, class action lawsuits, lender requirements, permit, zoning ordinances and energy efficiency ratings, to name a few.
Why is it called a Property Assessment and not an Inspection?
As a result of recent changes in certain states laws it was felt that the ERC Assessment, being called an Inspection, was misleading to the general buying public by inferring more than it actually was, a limited scope assessment. By calling it an Assessment and adding additional language that explained its intent, it was felt that a prospective buyer would more fully understand its limited scope and not rely on the assessment as they would a GHI. In some instances corporations have taken an even more liberal approach to the assessment process and have provided specific guidelines that further define what is to be reported and not reported as a defect.