Pick Your Own Home Inspector

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Pick your own Home Inspector

{¶66} It must be kept in mind that this was a consumer transaction involving the construction of a new home. Appellant’s overly narrow interpretation of the language above, specifically, the word “you,” is inconsistent with the intent the CSPA and is patently unfair under these circumstances. Appellant represented to appellee that he (“you”) had the opportunity to go through the house to assure that work was completed in accordance with the contract. Clearly, appellee could bring, at his expense, his agent/representative (i.e., his own home inspector) to such inspection. Obviously, the consumer himself or herself lacks the expertise to recognize certain defects in workmanship, especially latent problems. It was unfair and/or unconscionable of appellant to refuse to allow appellee’s inspector to attend such inspection, especially in light of the alleged problems appellee brought to appellant’s attention prior to the inspection.

¶58} We note first that as to R.C. 1345.02(A), the case law generally focuses on “deceptive” acts, presumably because the fact patterns involve some sort of false or misleading representations. However, R.C. 1345.02(A) also expressly prohibits “unfair” acts or practices. Appellee does not specifically allege that appellant engaged in false or misleading representations. Rather, appellee asserts that appellant acted unfairly or unconscionably, in violation of the CSPA, in not allowing appellee to bring his own inspector to the presettlement inspection. The term “unfair” is not defined in the statute. Therefore, it is given its common and ordinary meaning. “Unfair” is defined as, “* * * marked by injustice, partiality, or deception: UNJUST 2: not equitable in business dealings[.]” Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1987) 1288. As for unconscionable practices under R.C. 1345.03, the only subsection that would arguably apply here is R.C. 1345.03(B)(5).

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