Plain English Home Inspection Agreement
InterNACHI Moves to Plain English Inspection Documents
InterNACHI has revised its standard
Residential Inspection Agreement to make it easier to understand and reduce the
“Legalese.” The new plain English
version of the InterNACHI's Home Inspection Agreement is now available to members at: https://www.nachi.org/newagreement.htm
With this revision, InterNACHI is at
the forefront of the plain English movement. The plain English movement encourages businesses and lawyers to use
plain English in their documents. Plain
English is writing that is clear, concise, and easily understood by the
target audience. The use of plain English lowers costs, improves productivity, increases
credibility and reduces misunderstandings.
Counsel, Mark Cohen, believes nearly all business litigation arises out of
poorly drafted documents – documents that are ambiguous or that fail to address
an important issue. Cohen says, “Poorly
drafted documents create misunderstandings that hurt customer relations and
sometimes lead to litigation.”
If an inspector uses a
plain English agreement and a client files suit, the inspector may benefit from
the fact that the agreement is written in plain English. First, a judge may look more favorably on the
inspector and be less likely receptive to the plaintiff’s argument that he did
not understand the agreement. Additionally, many home inspection lawsuits end up in small claims court
where the judge may not even be a lawyer, so a plain English agreement makes it
easier for the judge to understand what the terms of the agreement were.
The plain English
movement is gaining steam. In 2010,
Congress passed and President Obama signed the Plain Writing Act, a statute
that requires federal agencies to use plain English in most documents they
issue. Many corporations are beginning
to appreciate the benefits of plain English.
InterNACHI will strive to provide its members with forms written in plain
English. InterNACHI will also gradually
revise many of its existing forms.