HI Screw-Up's - Fine or Misdemeanor

(Dan Bowers, CMI, ACI) #1

Kansas is looking at a licensing Bill and there is debate on … IF a home inspector breaks a HI rule (fails to report a defect, inspects with no license OR an invalid license, etc … should he / she …

  1. Be fined; 2) Get a Class A Misdemeanor or 3) Get a Class B Misdemeanor

Guys in a licensed state, what do they do where you are??

(Michael Larson, WI Lic. # 1672-106) #2

This is crazy. People are human. People miss things.

They want to make mistakes illegal? Crazy talk.

Have a complaint process and mediation if needed.

(Nolan Kienitz) #3

Dan - You already know what happens with TREC-controlled Texas Inspectors.

TREC levies fines left and right to inspectors.

It was learned that the fines (for inspectors, brokers & agents) is helping increase the TREC “building fund” for the purpose of building (really) their own structure in Austin. I think I read that in observations from the Texas Sunset Commissions Report that was released last fall.

(Mark A. Timpani, CMI) #4

fined

(John Cahill, TREC 855) #5

The complications in Texas are:

1 The Texas Standards of Practice require the inspector to report many items as “deficient” although they are legally “grandfathered”. The inspector can be fined for something that is legal per the authority having jurisdiction.
2 The regulatory agency fine goes to the State or agency rather than the consumer.
3 If the fine went to the consumer then the inspector does not have a right to trial by judge and jury.
4 In Texas there is ongoing discussion regarding the ability for the inspector and consumer to negotiate liability. The regulatory agency wants the inspector to be perfect and not allow limits of liability.

Perfection regarding home inspection reporting is not financially feasible. Forcing that expectation will diminish the service with exceptionally long reports and fewer inspectors who pay higher insurance.

My advice to Kansas is to allow the regulatory agency to issue fines only for basic regulatory matters (updated address, CEU hours etc). All Standards of Practice should be controlled by commerce and the public. All errors should be judged before a judge and jury per a contract between the client and inspector. The regulatory agency should not be allowed to prescribe Standards and the methods of how a business operates. Simply vet the inspectors qualifications.