A thread for serious discussion of Washington Senate bill 5778

I am starting this thread after reading all 256 posts on the other one. Hopefully this one will stay on message. There are issues in the bill that should be discussed. Let’s try to keep this thread on this discussion.

Thank you David. My main concerns with this bill are:

  1. The mandatory E&O. This is a business decision that each individual should make for themselves. If it is going to be required, the State should make sure that the Insurance Industry does not make a killing at our expense by jacking up the fees.

  2. The make-up of the Board. NO REALTORS, NO EDUCATORS (vendors), just Home Inspectors and maybe a member of the “public at large”.

  3. The law needs some bigger teeth. If someone is caught operating without the required licenses and other items specifically spelled out in the language, MINIMUM $10k fine. Make it hurt.

  4. Specifically writing language that would not allow for payment to a mentor for ride-alongs, is wrong. I look at it that the trainee should be paying something for the ride-alongs, and maybe a portion of that could be refunded to the client for the use of their time. Also, what responsibility does the mentor have for approving or not approving the trainee’s report? Spend more time without compensation? To train a potential competitor? I don’t think so.

  5. Leave the SPI license with the Department of Agriculture. So you have to carry two licenses. What’s next, they include your driver’s license in your Home Inspectors license?

Will you be there on Monday?


I personally don’t like the mentoring aspect at all. Being mentored by a “good ole boy” inspector who does not do thorough inspections is not being mentored at all. I think that part of the bill should by completely removed. I agree with bigger teeth, but with all possible loopholes closed. WDO inspections are an absolute necessity in this state. I won’t be in Olympia this Monday, occasionally I need to earn some money.

I agree with most of your points.

I am not sure that the legislators would be brave enough to implement a 10K fine against a non licensed inspector, but you are right it should have teeth. A couple hundred dollars is not a sufficient deterent.

I think I agree that the the SPI should remain under the WSDA, instead of being put under the DOL.

E&O concerns me also. I think that is a business decision also Currently under SPI you can assign an account, bond, bond & E/O, or just E/O with limits to each option. I would like to see similar options as under SPI laws.

Something I think should be added is proficiency testing, even for us who would be grandfathered. The way it reads, (correct me if I am wrong,) is that all you have to have is 100 inspections, and two years business and you are in. No evidence of training, or proficiency required for us that have been in practice. As NACHI members we have taken the NACHI exam, and most of us have probably taken and passed the electrical and roofing exams. But there are some inspectors who just picked up a flashlight and ladder, and handed out business cards, learning the business through trial and error.
When I was a repair contractor I got to see lot’s of home and pest inspection reports, in the process of bidding jobs, and making those repairs. Well that is when I decided I could do a better job than those guys. I spent time getting educated and talked a fellow inspector into showing me the ropes. After spending alot of time with him my ego was deflated, somewhat. But I think I could have benefited from having to prepare for and take an exam. The education never ends, and there is always something new to learn.

I just think if you have a law that required licensing, then there should be at least a minimum proficiency standard for everyone. If you can’t pass NACHI’s test or the NHIE, well then should you be inspecting homes for clients?

This legislation is actually setting the bar very low compared to what is required of appraisers. Check their licensing requirements when you get a chance.

Thanks David…I will behave myself on this one. :slight_smile:

If I remember reading it correctly, the grandfather clause only lets the “current” home inspectors in, BUT they will have to take the tests to renew their license every year.
As far as education,… even if you are grandfathered in I think you should also PROVE you have had formal clssroom home inspection education to be grandfathered in as well. Your right, too many out there that say, “Hey, I can do that, I have a flashlight, I watch HGTV, I’ve fixed things on my house, I shop at home depot every weekend… Im a qualified home inspector!!” Ahhhhhh NO!

You are right. We will have to pass an exam if we are grandfathered. I had to go back and re read it.

Also this Senate update is on the site as of Feb 9th


But I also don’t think the education vendors (nothing personal) should be able to say what does and doesn’t qualify for proper training.

ThankGod for financial aid. :smiley: I already took one full course but I’m going to take either the ITA training or something similar. It’s all going to be paid for. If there is anyone else out there that needs some training email me and I’ll give you the info where to get the full amount paid for.

Which is why nobody should stress about who will be grandfathered. If someone isn’t qualified, they won’t be in until they get the proper training.

Nick will like the part about not being able to work on homes you have inspected…kinda anti- NAHI…:smiley:

“Prohibited Activities/Unprofessional Conduct: From the time the inspection is conducted until the house upon which the inspection was conducted is sold, the home inspector may not advertise or solicit to perform any repair services on any item in the home whether or not listed in the report.”

“Grandfather Clause: On July 1, 2008, any person who has been actively engaged in conducting home inspections for at least two years may apply for a license without first meeting the exam or instruction requirements. The person must pass the written exam before his or her license can be renewed.”

So, everyone will have two years to get their act together from this point on till the bill goes into effect…approximately, and then a year after that to be able to prove they know their stuff.

I think it has some pretty good safeguards.

As to the fines and all…there are probably some legal guidelines as to what kind of fines can be applied to different things.

I agree with most of what Stephen said, except about the mentoring with or without a Fee, Mentoring may work over on the I-5 corridor but you westside guys have to remember East of the Mountains it is very rural and a new inspector would have a very difficult time finding a mentor and traveling to and from the Mentored inspection., so I agree with David on the Mentoring, and Harold on the Insurance, inspectors should have a choice just like under SPI, and I can see no real use in combining the license, the are SPI’s other than Home Inspectors, it could just add to the confusion.

As far as classroom education goes, I have a 100 or so in the classroom and 300 or so as correspondence, from my experience the correspondence courses have served me better, so I’d say 160 hours or whatever of approved training, partly again because of the rural nature of the State and the difficulty some would have getting to Seattle or Bellinghm.

As far as the test goes the reason they are giving people until there first license term of two years expores is probably to spread out the testing, how many HI’s are there in Washington counting all Associations, franchises, and independents? Imagine everyone taking the test on June 30, 08’

I would like to see a defined SOP where there will be no question on what we are required to inspect.

Back to the SPI, I would rather see the requirement done away with, but allow those who want to keep it or obtain one to do so, then maybe we could get paid for the extra costs and liability by charging for the SPI as an additional service, or at least use as some of us do now, as a marketing tool against those who don’t have one.

I’d like to make it to the meeting Monday but I have an Inspection tomorrow and I’m working on an ongoing project Tuesday, so give em’ h*ll, get us the best deal you can.

This is probably the closest we’ve ever got to agreeing Lewis. I think this is a very balanced point of view, and it would build in a bit of reward considering the extra costs an inspector would be taking on, considering they’d have to have E and O for both professions.

I’m spending most of tomorrow working on what I’m going to say when I get the floor. Don’t want to get up there and blank out and come out with a big duh.

Not a WA inspector myself, but the AZ law is similar. I found the mentored part of my training to be the best part. I have found that mentoring is equally rewarding.

Good luck fellow HI’s

I think mentoring is a wonderful idea which is why I’ve worked it into my own program I’ve been working on.

Another thing I would like to see in the new Bill is a State ran or endorsed
Mediation board where all complaints against home inspectors would need go before they could go to court, similiar to what they have in Oregon from what I understand.

Like Stephen I’d like to see some teeth in the law and some provisions for enforcement, from small violations to big violations like doing inspections without the proper licensing, to include the SPI if it remains separate.

A Law with no or little enforcement or one with no or little punishment for infractions is worthless

Stephen, Peter, David or Harold would you please wend me an email of what went on at the meeting. Thanks

You charge for your mentoring didn’t you say Brian? Here you could not. You never explained just how it worked there, and how an inspector out in the middle of now where could be mentored without any more expense or lost time than and inspector in Phoenix. Who’s liable for any injury to the mentored inspector, wouldn’t clients feel that their inspection was more a training exercise that “their” inspection, who qualifies the Mentor?..Lot’s of questions.

“As far as education,… even if you are grandfathered in I think you should also PROVE you have had formal clssroom home inspection education to be grandfathered in as well.”

I agree with that, however I think it is unlikely. I spoke with a business lawyer about this issue, based on the recommendations of the industry committee. He said, from a legal standpoint, it is very difficult for a government to legislate a successful business person out of business without a lawsuit. So they can put restrictions on new people coming in, and have modest grandfathering requirements. But it is conceivable that some 20 year inspector, doing 200K per year would not meet the requirements of 120 hours of classroom education. That is likely a reason they are sidestepping that I would think. Now maybe they could reduce that figure some, but I think they are being very careful as far as “knocking” people out of business. The plan is for that to happen when the testing begins down the road. Just my take on what might be happening.

So do you have any other new information on the bill?