Help me understand - Licensing is bad?

After reading the ASHI / ITA thread it seems there are several (or perhaps a few with several posts) members who are opposed to any type of state lic / reg. I don’t understand why anyone would be opposed to licensing statues IN GENERAL.
A GOOD Statute should:

  1. Require an exam for all inspectors (perhaps yearly – bi-yearly)
  2. Require initial education (60-80-120 hrs?)for new inspectors
  3. Waive the initial education requirement for experienced (100-200-300?) inspectors WHO PASS THE EXAM.
  4. Require continuing education for ALL inspectors
  5. Allow current and future inspectors a choice in where to receive their education
  6. Have a SOP that must be followed by all inspectors
  7. Have the “teeth” to hold Inspectors accountable for their actions / inaction’s
    So my questions to you:
    Are you opposed to all legislation regarding HI?
    Are you opposed to BAD legislation?
    What constitutes BAD legislation in your eyes?

I see you are in the licensed state of IL and I am in the state of WI which also requires licensing/registration.

I am still opposed in principle to government intrustion in private business.

What problems do any of the requirements you have listed solve?

One result of licensing is the proliferation of HI “schools” popping up assuring a supply of minimally trained and now state sanctioned inspectors.

We both have the state requiring licensing but offering the inspector nothing.IMHO

Would you be in favor of “de-licensing” Doctors, Dentists, Lawyers, Stock brokers, Mortgage brokers, etc?

It will mandate a MINIMUM level of competence in anyone calling themselves a HI. There will still be lousy inspectors, as there are lousy MDs, Lawyers, Mechanics, Relators:p , etc

Ahhh…therein lies the problem.

My cousin had gone to an “IT school” 5-6 years ago and became Microsoft “Certified”. Long story short, he got a job and realized he knew next to nothing about what he was supposed to be certified in - but he passed the test.

I imagine it will be the same for some new HIs now,with the lowly (60 hrs)education requirements. However, it must be better than anyone who “thinks” they know something about houses - imagine Uncle Bob who double taps breakers, vents the dryer to the attic and doesn’t connect the auto reverse on the garage door opener because “it’s not a big deal” being responsible for reporting on the safety and function of a home for a single mom with three kids.

In the first part, I think the laws are supposed to benefit the CONSUMER, not the inspector. Secondly, it will help the GOOD inspectors by eliminating those who don’t have the knowledge and skills.
Interstingly I heard that 40% - 50% of inspectors in Illinois who had the chance to be “grandfathered” by passing the test without the education part (I think it was 200+ inspections to qualify) actually failed the test.


One benefit. It may have prevented the entire Illinois population from being a home inspector.

Then must also be in favor of licensing gardners, home stagers, sprinkler techs, tv repairmen, cooks, butchers and candlestick makers;-). Where does it end? What’s special about home inspectors that dictates state licensing?

If there are still lousy inspectors after licensing what problem has been solved?

The market is a more efficient mechanism for weeding out the unqualified. Licensing puts everyone o a level playing field in the public’s mind and the market still has to do it’s job of trimmin the now increased rankd of HIs. The “problem” hasn’t decreased but rather increased.

Again what problem has been solved by licensing with minimal requirements?

Laws are supposed to benefit society general. It looks more like you desire to control the market and increase you market share than protect the consumer. If that’s the case just say so.


You are new here, I suggest you research home inspector licensing and get back to us with a list of all the benefits it has brought our profession.

The thing about being against home inspector licensing is that you are never in favor of it no matter how it’s dressed up or what wonderful claims are made in it’s name.

Joe - Licensing solves nothing.

Rick -

Joe said it. We’ve seen nothing good out of licensing.

Interesting question at the end. I believe home inspectors ARE indeed special in that the client is putting thier trust in us to be an unbiased party in what is the bigest financial transaction of thier lives. In adition to the $$$ involved there may be some real safety and health issues that Uncle Bob wouldn’t even be aware of.

There will always be lousy inspectors. If someone (in any field) is the best then logic dictates that someone else mus tbe the worst. License or no license.

The market doesn’t go away just because licensing is in place.
I guess I don’t understand how licensing = more HIs?
“trimmin the now increased rankd of HIs”

SO it’s beter to have NO requirements? Interesting. Perhaps we should do that for Drivers - just give anyone a license who wants one.

How does licensing let ME or anyone control the market? How does that also increase anyone’s market share?

Actually I believe the whole concept of Home Inspection is to do exactly that - Protect the Consumer.


Yes, I am new here - I hope that doesn’t preclude me from asking questions and trying to learn.

I was hoping to get some of your opinions about WHY your against licensing. Not simply that “you are never in favor of it”. I have listed some of what I thought good licensing guidelines could be. What is detrimental about licensing?

Illinois has required licensing for a few years now, so I’m stuck with it for now. If, however, someone can explain the truly detrimental effects of licensure then perhaps we can fight to have it repealed.

That does not come from licensing. Where do you actually believe licensing comes from? The consumer group? Legislator’s thinking that this is the way to protect the consumer? All you really got to do is LOOK every carefully at who is pushing a bill, why its being pushed, do a little background check and the light bulb should go off:shock:

Passing a test and paying a fee doesn’t make the inspector. Licensing does not solve anything. For instance do a little research on just the real estate agent problems that are out there. And NO, not all contractors are licensed and in many areas, standardized building code enforcement and inspections are not mandated.

But then again, some people need the government to tell them what to do and how to live and what to think.


Rick, The question that Joe asked remains-
What have been the positive efects of licensing?

And Pauls-
Who is behind licensing legislation when it is proposed?

And mine -
Who has licensing hurt, and how?

As for Joe’s:
Makes the HI have at least some knowledge of what they doing by having at least sat through a class and taken a test.
Also I’m sure there is a family somewhere in Illinois who has had a home inspection where something life threatening was brought to their attention and they either had it fixed (although it’s been “like that” for years) or chose not to buy the house. I’m sure they have benefited from the fact that:

A) They didn’t get a “drive-by” report from a HI who was “reccomended” by a realtor (and receiving a kickback for every “passing” home)


B) John Doe home inspector, who has done 300 inspections, is a very good inspector and truly cares about his clients and their well being had to sit through a class. In this class he learned that something he thought was allowed was actually a safety issue or something else was learned that he didn’t know.

As for Paul’s:
I don’t know who was behind Illinois law when it was passed and as long as it’s good legislation.
You seem to imply that there is someone behind the laws that is sinister and will profit from the law. Who is this and what do they stand to gain?

Here’s the Illinois Req. in a nutshell What do you find objectionable and why?

Must be 21
High School Diploma or GED
60 Hrs Pre-licensing Education
Pass a State exam
6 CE units per year

The Inspector must :
Have a written contract with the client
Follow the Standards of Practice
Disclose any financial interests or conflicts of interest

Here is where you are wrong.

Licensing won’t eliminate these people. All it will do is shuffle all of these people in along with the qualified people. None of the consumers will be able to tell the difference between the two groups, and the consumer is harmed greatly in the process. Inspectors are harmed because the well qualified inspectors have to bring their rates down to the rates of the low-balling newbie inspectors who lower their rates in an attempt to garner business. Thus destroying the entire industry in the process.

Trust me.

Licensing solves nothing.

Even I know that.

What good would be for you to know the reason that I am anti-licensing? I am not interested in providing a platform where licensing proponents can debate the so-called merits of licensing. I am not concerned in hearing what you have to say, today I limit my discussion to other like minded folks who are against licensing and see no need for the government socialization of our profession. Really, I don’t give a dam what you think, my position is set in stone and nothing you can do or say will change anything, case closed.

Wendy, thank you for a reply with something more than “it’s bad” or , “why is it good?”

My purpose in asking this question is to learn a bit. I don’t know much about the politics of law and I want to try to understand both sides of the issue.

You have laid out a fine point about consumer assuming that license = qualified and we all know that NOT to be true. I agree that the low-ball inspector could cause others to lower their rates in order to remain “competitive”, however the client looking ONLY for the “cheapest” HI may not be the best client to have.

My next question then is, how do the consumers know who is / is not qualified IN THE ABSENCE of licensing?

Well, aren’t we a bit edgy this morning. I’m not out to change anyone’s mind, I would however like to understand the issue as a whole. I am not so much concerned with why YOU are anti-licensing, but what the argument is in general, hence the title of this post “Help me understand”.

As a side note I find it interesting that you say
“I am not concerned in hearing what you have to say, today I limit my discussion to other like minded folks…” and then claim to be anti-socialist.:stuck_out_tongue:


Here is a link to all the statements concerning home inspector licensing that I have made on this message board, should keep you busy for days, pack a friggin’ lunch.


Thanks for the link. I will look through them. - I’ll need more than a lunch of r “days”:wink:
I did find this in one of your posts

  1. Get the public and consumer groups involved this will help to insure if & when licensing does come that it is applied equally to everyone. Consumer groups will be opposed to;
    Preferential treatment for any association
    Grandfather clauses that hand out licenses based on years in business
    Unrealistic education requirements that promote schools over curriculum
    Licensing laws that lack standards of practice and a code of ethics
    Home Inspectors performing repairs on homes they have inspected"

***Couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve stated here!! :smiley: ***

And this

“I can tell you this once the consumers get involved we should see an immediate slow down in the number of bills being pushed and enacted into law and those that do become **will be much more equitable then the trash that is being pushed today.” <**emphasis is mine>
This confuses me. From this thread you seem to be against licensing no matter what.
In that statement you seem to be against “bad” licensing laws.
Again, I’m not trying to change your mind, just want to understand in my mind what the issues are.


One more I found that makes A LOT of sense:

While explaining how some dildo who markets his “years in the business” has sold his congressman on the need for this language, demonstrate how a guy who did one home inspection in 1952, one in 1969, and another last week can…by this law…mislead consumers with the claim he has “55 years of experience as a home inspector”.

Perhaps The FL legislature is pushing some flawed (for lack of a better word) bills through committee. i can certainly understand you position against such poor bills.

A consumer is forced to accept the standards established by the ASHI and ITA folks who assist in drafting the law and accept that all who have met the very minimum basic standard to obtain a license is, indeed, qualified. Thus far, in three months, one single school in New York has turned out 344 such persons.

Consumers in unlicensed states are fortunate enough to be free from accepting only the minimum basic standard.

Just as the Missouri consumer researches to select an unlicensed builder, an unlicensed electrician and an unlicensed home inspector…they have the ability to set their own standard and determine from a variety of resources which person meets that standard.

Do you actually feel that the congressman who writes the law is an expert in home inspecting…and has the ability to draft a magic formula that determines the good from the bad? If you do, you are numbered among the unfortunate citizens who have also had to learn the hard way that…licensing solves nothing.