On every home inspection I look carefully at the electric meter legal seal.
The electric meter belongs to the electric company. Only they have the right to go inside.
To dissuade others from entering the meter box the company will attach a legal seal. It's not big and strong. But it's there. It's there to keep people out.
The electric company does not like it when others go into the electric meter. They assume the worst - that the meter has been tampered with and the customer's bill has been altered.
My company charges a $500 fine for a broken legal seal. I assume others do too.
I always check the seal carefully.
Because people can be sneaky.
They can go into the meter, alter their final bill, settle up and move on.
Look closely at the legal seal in the photo to the left.
That is about the view you would have of it on a home inspection, when approaching the meter.
See anything funny?
The seal is broken! In fact, it was cut.
It was INTENTIONALLY cut!
It was cut and then tucked carefully back into the hole to make it look like the seal is not broken!
I see this three or four times a year.
It has to be documented on the home inspection report because I don't want my clients suspected of and charged for breaking the seal.
It appears someone else wants my clients to cover the fine!
But my inspection report is time stamped and it will have photos to demonstrate that when we were there the seal was already broken.
The electric company will have to investigate someone else.
And I hope they can find out who did this!
Scam artists are everywhere.
It's too bad.
But I'm glad to find this!
It will not be my client's responsibility.
My recommendation: there are many, many things to look for on a home inspection. Things big and things small. Check as much as you can! You never know what you might find.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560