Originally Posted By: gbell
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I would like to share my thoughts with you on licensing in Florida. These are just my own observations. I have lived most of my adult life in Florida. I have family members that have worked in most other aspects of the real estate professions. I was able to witness the licensing of many of these occupations so that is what I have based my opinions on.
First off I want to say that I don?t need licensing to protect my territory or help me keep competition out.
I am most concerned about another group getting involved and setting the bar so high that it will put many of us out of business. The groups I am thinking of are the Florida Home Builders Association and the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC). Each of these groups has great power when it comes to lobbying in Tallahassee. The comment made by Jeff Hopper while debating with Joe B about how inspectors in Florida are breaking the law is a great example of how one of these groups view home inspectors in Florida. I am sure that it was the GC and Building Official in him that made the comment. It should provide great insight into the thinking of one of those groups.
The last time I made comparisons to the trades everyone said you can?t compare the two, so let?s compare the other professions that work closely with the public in the real estate transaction.
Realtors- Who ever set up the requirements for realtors really knew what they were doing. A real estate agent is required to take a state test to be licensed. Once they pass the test they are a realtor. The only catch is that you can not open your own business until you have worked for a broker for a set number of years. This broker will take half of the monies that the agent makes while working under their license. Most brokers also require that you join the local board of realtors and the National Association of Realtors. This link will show you the requirements for becoming a realtor in Florida
Appraisers- They are required to work for a certified appraiser for two years before they can register to take the test. After they have the OJT done then they must pass a test before going into business. This group is also governed by the FREC. The link below will show the requirements for becoming an appraiser.
CPCO- To perform termite inspections you must have worked for a certified pest control operator for three years. After that you must also pass a test to become certified. There are requirements for E&O insurance also. This link will show the requirements to become a CPCO.
When you compare these requirements to what the new bill proposes as requirements are they really that unreasonable?
I really believe that if the HBA gets involved they will lobby so that only state licensed contractors would be qualified to perform home inspections.
I don?t even want to consider what FREC might propose as regulations concerning home inspectors. I know they have already made attempts to control our profession by the new contract they have. Read paragraph D & N in this contract if you haven?t already. I was shocked when I read them.
That is why I support the current bill. I think the bar could have been set much higher. While the bill isn?t perfect it is fair IMHO. I also believe that if as inspectors we can?t agree and get our own house in order then someone else will do it for us. When that happens most of us will be on the outside looking in.
For the moment let?s forget about grandfathering and look at what the bill will require for someone to get into the business.
1. You must have completed a 90 hour training class.
2. You must be of good moral character.
3. You must have completed High School or its equivalent.
4. You must pass a state approved test.
5. You must carry GL insurance.
Let?s take them one at a time.
1. There is no doubt that this is the most expensive requirement in the bill. But I think it is important to all of us that every applicant has some formal training instead of learning in the field. Will other parties benefit from this? YES any school will see a great increase in their enrollment.
2. Either you are or your not.
3. If you don?t have either of these then you will have to get your GED. There are plenty of opportunities available to study for that at a very low cost.
4. I am assuming that this test will be the NHIE and maybe the FABI test.
5. This is available now for a reasonable cost. If you don?t carry it now you should consider getting it. You never know when a true accident may happen.
As I understand the bill if it is made into law on July 1, 2005 then anyone with an occupational license before that date will have one year to meet the requirements. This should give anyone who does not qualify under grandfathering the time needed to meet these basic requirements.
How can NACHI help me if the law passes and I only have one year to qualify?
I feel that we should have training classes that will help prepare our members to pass the NHIE. I know that we have enough talent involved to accomplish this in house.
90 Hour Training
This is also something that I think the association could tackle. I know that we are not an educational venue. But we have come a long way towards providing education for our members in just a few years. I would like to see us develop a curriculum that would be approved by the state of Florida. The school could be portable. This would allow us to reduce the cost to each member as the school could come to them. There by saving the travel and lodging expenses. I have no doubt that we could offer the training to our members at a substantial savings compared to what is available in the free market now. Again I feel we have enough members with the talent needed to accomplish this in house.
I don?t ask for anyone to agree with me, I just ask that you take the time to consider what could happen should this bill not pass.
Thank you for your time.
Bell Inspection Service