Attention Virginia Home Inspectors - Update concerning mandatory licensing

**The following is a note from the Virginia Association of Real Estate Inspectors (VAREI) President and Lobbyist. The HB741 is expected to get heard by General House Laws Subcommittee #4 on Thursday.**If you are not a member, please consider joining today and support VAREI. (VAREI members volunteer their time but the lobbyist does not). If you are not Certified by Virginia DPOR yet you should get it done before the law changes in 2017. If you need more information about the bill go to the VAREI website and read more.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Following is the information for you about the home inspector     licensing from Robb Bohannon of Hunton & Williams. Robb is the     lobbyist for VAREI in Richmond.

Dear VAREI Members:

As you are aware, we have been working with the Virginia Association     of Realtors (VAR) and Virginia Department of Professional and     Occupational Regulation (DPOR) on legislation that would allow     certified home inspectors to become licensed in the Commonwealth,     without additional onerous requirements. We negotiated a bill that     we believe provides home inspectors the most appropriate path to     licensure, without any added undue burden. I'm honored and     privileged to have worked with your association leadership on this     endeavor, and look forward to working this bill through the     legislative process on your behalf.

Specifically, the bill provides that certified home inspectors who     hold an unexpired certificate prior to June 30, 2017 will be issued     a license to practice as a home inspector, effective July 1, 2017.     There are no additional educational, experience, or examination     requirements, and home inspectors who are not currently certified     will have nearly 18 months to gain certification, should they want     to become automatically licensed in 2017.

Per last year's legislation, home inspectors wishing to perform     inspections on new residential structures will still be required to     complete the training module developed by the Board in conjunction     with the Department of Housing and Community Development. However,     that requirement has been pushed back a year, and will not be     mandatory until July 1, 2017.

House Bill 741 and its identical companion bill Senate Bill 453     (both attached) have been filed by Delegate Jackson Miller     (R-Manassas) and Senator Bill Stanley (R-Franklin) respectively for     the 2016 Virginia General Assembly session, and will be heard in the     coming weeks by the House and Senate General Laws Committees.

I am aware of several drafting errors within the bills that we are     working to resolve with VAR, which will be done before the bills are     heard by their committees of jurisdiction. There is no disagreement     on the issues - just a need to clean up the language and ensure the     bill is written the way it was discussed between VAR and VAREI.

Please call or e-mail your elected members of the Virginia House of     Delegates and Virginia Senate to express support for these bills.     When contacting your representatives, please include the following     points:

This legislation was drafted in conjunction with the Virginia     Association of Realtors, and is supported by the Virginia     Association of Real Estate Inspectors, as a reasonable means to     promote professionalism in our industry and to ensure home buyers     are working with skilled and proficient home inspectors.
This legislation reflects existing requirements for voluntary home     inspector certification, which utilize national industry standards     to determine competency, and makes them mandatory.

Regulation and oversight will continue to come from the Virginia     Board for Asbestos, Lead, and Home Inspectors.

If you are unsure of who your elected state legislators are, please     visit      and enter your home address. E-mails and phone numbers for these     officials are included on the web site.


Robb Bohannon
Director, Government Affairs
Hunton & Williams LLP

Any idea when the new residential structure module will be developed and available?

Any word from the state when they are implementing state wide building codes, so an inspector knows if a defect is truly a defect?

Any word on state wide licensing of all trades persons, who do the repairs stated on home inspection reports?

Any word on state wide licensing of home builders, and any person who builds the home, such as plumbers, electricians, roofers, HVAC, framers, sheet rock installers, painters, concrete, foundation, etc.?

If the REA’s are implementing licensing for home inspectors, how basic are the SOP’s and reports going to be? Are the REA’s themselves licensed in this state?

How many people is the state going to hire to enforce these rules and regulations? Where does the money come from to do so? Who monitors the work of the licensed inspectors? What is the punishment for inspectors who do not work by the laws? What are the laws, rules, and regulations, SOP’s, and certification requirements? Haven’t they been written yet? Are they all written and stated in the laws?

Kansas tried, and got the laws stopped, due to these issues. Better open up your state bank account, and budget for the lawsuits that will follow. Just ask Texas. How many AHJ code enforcement people are they going to hire to monitor the building of homes? Are engineers required to be licensed also to do home inspections?

Any home inspector must also protect themselves from these rules and regulations. They must protect themselves from agents that want basic, say-nothing reports, and basic rules and regulations, now all allowed by law. Inspectors must protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits that basic HI laws create. Remember, everyone that has a driver’s license is a good driver…

How about you work on requiring all inspectors to be licensed first. It burns me up that I am competing with Joe Inspector, who has no insurance, no CE expenses and no experience. He can charge 75.00 lees for an inspection. I do not see this changing anything. Any certified inspector is more 95% there for getting their license in VA, once certified by like ASHI, InterNACHI or NAHI all they need if 35 fee paid inspection and a few dollars. I do not see what all the fuss is about. The real problem is the un-certified/un-licensed that do not care about getting certified or licensed.

Well, maybe. Winners win, losers lose. Licensing doesn’t play too much of a part. There are books that sell millions of copies and there are books that sell hundreds of copies. If authors were licensed, it wouldn’t change anything.

Do you really feel you are competing with them?

Why are cheap, inexperienced, unlicensed, uninsured inspectors in business?

Because the REA’s recommend them to their clients.

REA’s must look into the mirror, and suggest the best inspectors for their clients. The NAR by-laws are written as such. However, the low costs of an inspection look good to the buyers, and makes the REA look good, because the reports will look basic, short and not be as detailed as an experienced HI or CMI.

With licensing, it will all be legal for them. That is why they and their lobbyist associations push them into play.

Nick that analogy is not really pertinent whatsoever. In your silly statement licensed or not both authors are authors as you state. With inspectors licensing at least (as minimal as it is) still means that the licensed has passed a minimal course and test and other requirements. Without licensing any tom dick or harry can perform home inspections and not even know the difference between a chimney and a downspout.
we both know this licensing topic has gone on since the beginning of inspections. Trust me I am not really in favor of any govt involvement in anything but…

It does do some good in this case. What it does is at least weeds out those trolls that go around doing inspections with no education or skills whatsoever, kind of like the old west. So at a minimum it at least makes home inspectors have insurance, and some knowledge as you need to take a certified state course and then pass the NHIE. Now I am not saying that makes a good inspector, but it does weed out the total riff raff and raises the bar a little bit.

I mean right now in non licensed states anyone that gives clients some widgets
whether they know the difference between a rim joist and a door knob can call themselves a Certified Expert Inspector…LOL

Just sayin…

Whenever Realtors push a bill, it is not good for the consumer but just good for the Realtors. Realtors are trying to get inspectors treated as a commodity, instead of a profession. Their liability of referring their pattycake inspectors is greatly reduced this way. Just propose no grandfathering of home inspectors, and see how much they will oppose it. If licensing of a profession is truly needed, than grandfathers those so called professionals in just does not make sense, and can be easily argued.

Apparently VAREI does not feel this is a profession and must have their mentors and leaders help them! As soon as Inspectors start treating this as a profession, and handling their own affairs, they will always be treated as the stepchildren of another profession.

Inspectors in each state has to determine if they want to be treated as a profession or not. Most of the Missouri inspectors decided that they were a profession and decided not to allow Realtors to run their profession, and won. Missouri Association of Realtors damaged themselves so badly in these fights, that now licensing is seldom mentioned anymore in the Missouri capitol.

James, many HI’s and lawmakers, just do not get it.

It must be up to the REA’s to suggest the best for their clients. They do not. They want licensing for the reasons I have mentioned.

Lawmakers must look to that industry. There are thousands more complaints against REA’s than HI’s.

Far more.

REA’s and their crony associations use their muscle and pocketbooks to get what they want.

Any HI in any licensed state must then, protect themselves.

Being a member with InterNACHI with a record of CEU’s should be enough to satisfy any state requirement. It never is with the REA and the NAR.