Beware of unlicensed inspectors in license states

Had an inspection. Won’t mention names or localities, as it is still pending.

Realtor, who I knew, referred me for inspection. Relo for a client not present.

Inspection went well and the Realtor and I talked.

Seems that she was the listing agent on another house a few blocks away. High priced houses in an affluant area.

Seems the client, on the house that the listing agent was my friend, “hired” a local code inspector (from a different village. Illinois is a home rule state, where every town and village with 10,000 or more population can set their own local AHJ codes). The Realtor friend asked about licensing for HIs.

Here is the state law, with regards to licensing:

To summerize, when doing a home inspection (condo or multiple of 4 units or less) during a real estate transation (under a pending contract) for a fee and inspecting 2 or more systems, the inspector MUST ne state licensed.

In other words, Architects and SEs and PEs and code inspectors cannot to home inspections, for fee, unless they are licensed.

The listing agrent checked the state site and found that the code inspector was not state licensed and took a fee for the inspection.

He missed a lot of stuff, and called out a lot of stuff that was not wrong. He also quoted “code” (i.e., the local code for his village, not applicable for the villiage that the house was in).

The Realtor called me in and I found that the big three things he was calling out were not a problem (water intrusion into a finished wall in a basement bedroom, mold on the roof decking and improper ventilation of the attic area).

I recommended that she call out that the guy was not state licensed (HI) and she “didn’t want to make trouble”. I told her to talk with her Broker, since she was “aware” of a felony, and if she didn’t report it, she would be liable, as would her Broker and the client (seller) could sue.

I also talked to some (HI) members of the state commission (without revealing the details or persons) and they told me that this would be procecuted ($10K fine for the unlicensed guy).

Waiting to hear back.

The broker said that he thought that code inspectors were more highly “qualified” than the state licensed HIs (not true) and that the licensing requirement was “just a recommendaton, not a requirement”.


Do they “recommend” drivers’ license in your State as well. I can see it now. “License optional”. If you don’t think you need one, it’s okay!

To be fair:

In Illinois, and especially around Chicago, there is a perception that the local AHJ inspectors are G-d.

Few people realize that:

  • Local codes are a bare minimum standard.
  • That the local codies are not state or locally “licensed”, and are just municipal employees.
  • That Architects, SEs and PEs and codies cannot, legally and for a fee, to home inspections.
  • That Illinois licensed HIs must call things out based upon the CURRENT, NATIONAL standard, regardless of the local codes.
  • That GCs, electricians, carpenters, masons and every one else (with the exception of roofers and plumbers) are NOT state licensed, and that GCs do not take any kind of test and only require a 1Mil G/L policy to he (locally) licensed.
    *]That recent state court decisions have determined that local AHJ inspectors have NO liability and neither do the municipalities.
    Clear? Not to the general public.

In Arizona if the house does not have a certificate of occupancy yet, anyone can inspect it…weird laws—:smiley:

I heard in the news that several City of Chicago inspectors (code enforcement guys) have been indicted or already convicted on Federal corruption charges. No surprise there of course… It’s Chicago, cook county… Lots of people around here are under fed. investigation. Anyone heard of an inspector who “approved” plumbing completely encased in concrete?
I’m amazed, how after hearing all these news, consumers even consider advice from those guys!

Do you believe the broker?:—) We’ve been a lic. state for over 5 years. I wonder how many other “qualified” inspectors they’ve referred?

They say, ignorance of the law is no excuse.