Town Fees to Compete with Regular Home Inspection Company Rates- By: John Cutts
The town of Pearl River, Louisiana has decided to implement an increase to building and home inspection fees. Although the rates will still be lower than the regular fees asked for by a private home inspection company, town officials are still undecided whether the increase will be shouldered by homeowners or by the town itself.
Prior to the decision to implement the increase, inspection of properties in the town is conducted by Mayor James Lavigne. The mayor is responsible for checking the plumbing, electrical and other fixtures in buildings and dwellings, which effectively saves homeowners and the town a lot of money.
Recently, Lavigne has been informed that he cannot conduct the inspections anymore. According to the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council of the Department of Public Safety, Act 12 of Louisiana's uniform building code states that all parishes and municipalities should employ, contract or make arrangements with certified building and home inspectors.
The codes were put into effect on January 1, 2007. Local communities that have uncertified inspectors were provided some time to get their inspectors certified or to hire a new certified inspector, with someone working for a home inspection company as one of the options. Following the instructions from the Council, Pearl River officials have decided to contract inspector Joe France who also conducts inspections for Slidell.
France reportedly presented a fee proposal to town officials that was relatively lower than the other fee proposals submitted to the town, but is still higher than the usual amount charged by the area when Mayor Lavigne was the one conducting the inspections. Officials have revealed that under France's proposal, the fee will rise to $75 from $50 which could cost a lot for homeowners, particularly owners of new houses that require up to six visitations.
Town Aldermen have stated that they will try to negotiate with France to bring the rates lower. Although the rates recommended by France is still considered lower than regular rates required by a private home inspection company, local officials believe that it will still add a lot of burden to homeowners and they will try to find another way to get a lower fee quote.
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John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.