Legislative Affairs

I sent this email to the board of our Florida Chapter and wanted to share here.

I am not sure if everyone has put much thought into our legislative affairs but I wanted to get everybody views on what is most important to them and our profession. I think it is important that we methodically have a plan of long and short time goals and work toward executing them. If we don’t Home Inspectors will be thought of as the bottom of the barrel and the other professions (mostly the contractors) will make sure they stay there. This is in the works to happen unless we become an educated and organized voice. The best way in my opinion is to work on upping the standard of our own profession. As stated before we appear to be very reactionary with everything. We need to get our thoughts together and be more proactive. I think it’s important that we find out how we develop a state board for home inspectors, this I believe is number one and most important. Also we need to decide how money gets spent and spend it wisely. My opinion is it it’s a waste of money to take on the contractors head on and this has nothing to do with me having a contractors license it has everything to do with reaching our goals as home inspectors. Of course there are some items worth taking on. For example contractors not needing a Home Inspectors, mold assessors license, or mold remediators license that is worth fighting against. It seems to me there is nobody at the wheel driving us for our side and Wayne cost a lot of money to just get information.

I see it as this and please add to it and arrange it in order of importance.

1. Develop a Home Inspectors board (preferably a state board)
2. Remove contractor from not needing a mold assessor or remediators license to perform those services
This is a specialty license and must be required to obtain to perform. (HI license also if it is heading 
that way).
3. Increase the education requirement for Wind Mitigation to 8 hours every 2years.
4. Develop SOP

I could not agree more. And in the famous words of Nick Gromicko “You hear it here first”. We will be taken over and the contractors will have free reign on what they do. They do want a Home Inspectors license, they want to be EXEMPT. There is a HUGE difference. One is that they have to play by our rules and to be exempt means that they can do as they please.

Be aware if nothing is being done now, we will be run over. I did see somewhere that landscape architects think they should be exempt as well. I thought our whole purpose of a license was to protect the public. Well then lets head in that direction and provide the moral high ground and since we are licensed lets make it count. It cannot be done on the shoulders of 5 people. We all have to contribute and I don’t just mean money. I mean with input and guideance.

Next year when you have no business and contractors are doing whatever they want, remember you heard it here first.

Preston has an awesome idea with guideance. I am sure there will be 500 views and 3 responses as usual. You guys want professional pay and professional status then act like a professional and join in the fight…

Why do Realtors get 6% of a sale…they got organized and represented themselves well as professionals. We can do the same…10,000 voices is a loud thunder when used in the right and properly directed manner.

If it is agreed upon that home inspectors need some type of representation, it obviously has to be paid for. Right now there is Wayne. If not him, it will be someone else. InterNACHI has the largest membership in state, but per inspector contributes the least amount of money towards the fees. I do not know what the numbers are, but I think membership is around 1500 (maybe higher) right now. If each inspector contributed just $5.00 you would have more than your share to pay for representation. FABI, ASHI, and NAHI have already contributed. If done on an equal basis, InterNACHI should be footing more of the bill than the other organizations based on numbers. These four associations need to figure out how to come together for the good of the industry and stop fighting one another.

**Great point! **
Here is an idea: Nick can raise the InterNACHI membership fee by $10.00. Have Nick’s empire paid Wayne to be or rep in Tallahassee. The remaining funds to be used either for more education or to promote our industry in Florida. Then have Nick bring all the Florida associations to ahead. They all should have the same goals for its members. Creating more groups and independent associations only diminish the powers to be. Funding will come from the most powerful HI association in the planet InterNACHI. :roll:

That very things was supposedly discussed last month.
Perhaps those directly involved would care to inform us.

Great point!
Here is an idea: Nick can raise the InterNACHI membership fee by $10.00. Have Nick’s empire paid Wayne to be or rep in Tallahassee. The remaining funds to be used either for more education or to promote our industry in Florida. Then have Nick bring all the Florida associations to ahead. They all should have the same goals for its members. Creating more groups and independent associations only diminish the powers to be. Funding will come from the most powerful HI association in the planet InterNACHI. :roll:

I understand the frustration and the idea of it. But what about other states do they pay $10 less for a membership? Now if Nick would take $10 from each person and give it to the legislation affairs to all states then I can see it. Can he give money being a non-profit organization. Who decides how the money is spent. What if Nick disagrees with the way the money is spent can he dictate how it is spent?

I can see this being a viable option. But another option is not to eat out for lunch just one day a month and give it to your representative be it FL NACHI, The Insurance and Home Inspectors chapter, your local chapter and they can give to the right person.

I mean you guys are looking for a hand out, why not man up and put a few bucks in the till to protect your future? Lets not look at Nick as the U.S. and us being on welfare. How can anyone take us seriously and professionally if you do not protect your own profession?

Why do we always have to look for help? Why can we not stand up for ourselves and take appropriate actions to protect our future?

Its not just. About money. I am looking for input.

**Russ your ego does not let you think or be real.](*,) There are over 1500 InterNACHI members in the state of FLORIDA just to mention a few. It is not about the money!-X Is about equality and fairness to all member of InterNACHI. We have a great association and we should use the association to promote the wellbeing of its members and their profession. If NOT why do we need to belong to InterNACHI? We have a vehicle in place let’s use it. It is not about Nick is about the InterNACHI members in Florida. You might be running a “multimillion dollar home inspection business……., so you said…”:-({|= but, there are other inspectors in small communities that are struggling to make hands meet. Remember the meeting in Gainesville??? These people will NOT contribute a penny they cannot!. So let’s be real. Hands out are you kidding me?=; **

Maybe your future depends on the Home Inspection business others might not.:roll: #-oHave you thought about that? So, by using InterNACHI everybody will contribute and no members will be left behind, coppice? Let’s bring this issue to the InterNACHI powers to be and see where the chips fall. $10.00 x 1500 = 15K; how about $20.00 x 1500 = 30K is that enough?? Or maybe let’s do a FLORIDA convention and add $25.00 extra for entrance and dump the revenues into the pot. There are many ways to rise funding. Ask the expert: Nick;-):wink:

I never joined or continue to be a NACHI member because I think we should suck the teet. I do it for the educational and people I have met.

I have never said I run a multi million dollar company. Please provide me the info where that was posted? Another person just running his mouth with no facts. What have you done? You brag about smoking $50 cigars and drinking $200 shots of booze and yet you do nothing. When was the last time you contributed? I at least show my actions by actually standing up and being a man and putting my money where my mouth is. Have you? I am the largest single contributer to the legislative fund to INCLUDE NICK, that NACHI has. I have personally stated the should NACHI fall short of its promise to TWO lobbyists that I personally would pay the difference. What have you done again?..Please enlighten me…

My ego has nothing to do with $10 month! Do you seriously think 90% of the inspectors can’t afford $10 a month? Its about realizing the threat is real and here.

My future does lie within this profession and that is why I take it seriously. I am sorry you don’t and your right maybe there are ton who don’t care. But I do care, deeply.

You sit and talk its not about the money…BS…what fantasy world do you live in…when it comes to politics its all about the money. Unless you are willing to go to Talahassee each day and give us what is going on and meet with senators and congressmen and tell us what Mr. Koening is trying to do to us today…O wait. you can’t someone else will do it for you.

WAKE UP this doesn’t “just happen” people have to be paid to do so…unless you want to do it…but your just another sucker of the teet, waiting for someone else to do everything…Go figure…while you are relaxing I am typing emails, letter and making phone calls to make the profession a better profession…enjoy your cigar…and drink…and let others make it all better for you…

Russ you hit the problem right there. I is really not the threats of the contractors or the real estate people or the insurance industry. The biggest threat to home inspectors are home inspectors. Their inability to stand and contribute in some fashion. Their inability to stand together, those are the biggest threats.

The items Preston listed above all are needed!
As far as a State board, keep in mind the State will be appointing board members to oversee the licensing program. Probably not what you are looking for but I believe they do this with all license catagories. Unless Contractors get us placed under The Construction Industry Licensing board…we do not even want that to happen!

G.Contractors being exempt from provisions of licensing is nothing new, except it is sounding like they will be able to perform our work with out a license.
As others have noted, a GC can contract all types of work but he must have a licensed individual do that work! Plumbers, Electricians, HVAC etc. a GC can perform none of these. He can contract them and hire the tradesman to perform the work.
This will be decided by one phrase in the ruling ( if it is their )…A GC is exempt when ACTING WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS LICENSE
This should be read to mean may contract but not perform with out a license.
The original intent of this law made it very clear that each inspector must hold a license. ( this is where apprenticeships come into play in most trades )
The mold law would be the same as the above.

As far as SOP, I think they are being written by the State as we speak. Thats not to say they should be but I think they are.

As John A. says, there many inspectors through-out the state in smaller communities that have been hit hard for about 3 years now. Like they say " it doesn’t grow on trees"
I did find a way to contribute 120.00 a year by having 10.00 a month auto debit to Home and Inspectors Chapter. Others on a limited budget might consider the same, it will add up 120 x1500 = 180,000.00.
One thing is for sure, it will take an ongoing source of money. Other trades (read GCs and other evil doers in general) have have learned this long ago.

Ed, I totally understand the lack of funds in a down market. Your contribution is AWESOME and appreciated. But if money can’t be given, what about a trip down to your senators office to discuss the issues and to get to know them?

Not to sound harsh, but since business is slow apparently there is time. I am not saying all of those should contribute their mortage, but all helps and so does banning together and spreading ideas.

If your hurting now, wait and see what a div 1 contractor can do what you do, and does not need further education, licensing, insurance or CE’s…then your slow business turns to NIL business.

Join in…do something…anything!

It was mentioned that maybe my future depends on this profession. It does and it doesn’t. But it matters not. I love this profession and most of the people in it and it just absolutely drives me crazy when others minimilize the effort and education that goes into doing the job properly and professionally.

Today a person made a $8,500,000 decision on a CONDO that I inspected. Think about it, a person I have never met based spending 8.5 Million dollars based on the information I presented to them! I think that is an AWESOME profession and a great responsiblity and thats why I love it…

Preston, John and Russ, you are all 100% correct. I see this happening all the time. People sit on their butts and do nothing, then expect the rest of us to carry the load. It is no different anywhere in this country. We hear that successful people need to pay their fair share but 47% pay absolutely nothing. Home Inspectors are no different. One day they will wake up and realize it’s too late and instead of looking in the mirror to see who is at fault they will start blaming others. Keep up the good fight.

Guys, it’s always the 85/15 rule; 15% do 85% of the work and it applies to all groups/trades. There is a bit of truth in all posts here. For 85% of the members, a contribution that is pulled from annual dues is easier to digest. My masonic lodge needed repairs and many attempts were made to raise the money, from contribute a lump sum $500 to pledge $25 or more per month, etc. Didn’t work. We raised the annual dues by $15/mo and everyone contributed by paying their dues. That and extra fund raising/donations got the building repaired. Some folks will not pay a penny to anyone who asks for it for any reason. Ask a shrink, I don’t know.

I saw a post where the other Nachi (?) organization, I think run by Zoe, retained Bertch. Simple question is, why can’t we all somehow get on one team? If they were able to get his $75k (think that was the #), then any monies raised herein could go toward next year, etc. See, this is where Nick could actually help. If the associations, Nachi, Ashi, Fabi could have a meeting of the minds and help solidify the base, we as HI’s would have a strong presence. This mixed up splinter approach will never truly function to anyone’s liking.

Last, I want to take a different view on mold and GC’s. First and foremost, I think a GC is the ONLY trade which should be doing mold removal. Mold remediators should be abolished as they can’t do anything legally except scoop the drywall into a plastic bag. They are not licensed to remove drywall or replace drywall. They can’t remove plumbing or electrical and they can’t HIRE the trade to do it. I believe a GC should be required to have additional training in assessment but should not have to meet any further qualifications to become a mold assessor. I think having a separate license available for mold assessor is fine as there is benefit to it and many GC’s would be more comfortable in hiring the assessor rather than risking the assessment themselves. I do not think HI’s are ready to become mold assessors (most) based upon my view that the majority of them don’t have a clue what they are doing now, let alone taking on mold. If a HI wants to do mold, they should have to obtain the mold assessor license.

Just my 2cents.

Every mold remediation company I know has a GC license. But they have a MOLD REMEDIATION specialty license as well. Removing drywall is one thing, cleaning, HEPA wiping, containment zones, ozone machines are another thing.

The problem lies that they can test, remediate and then provide a clearance test to what they did. Do you think that is proper?

I believe they need the specialty license and remediation companies cannot assess. Seems like the most honest and fair way to protect the public and to keep all people in check.

Also, Wayne Bertch is funded by all organizations and it is still hard to come up with $25k. It’s presently not a 85-15 situation it is a 98-2 situation…

Supposedly there are 10,000 inspectors in Florida and we can’t raise $50k? I honestly don’t think.a non profit organization can give money to a lobbyist…I might be wrong. Nick would no more than I. There are no other dues paid…so what dues do you raise?

Once again people sit and wonder why they get $99 for an inspection and cry they want more. To get paid professional wages you must act professional and organize as professionals. It promise it will eventually happen, but when people are wondering why the laws are so jacked up, it will because a very very few people will make decisions for the masses. Without asked for guidance, decisions will be made and there are going to be a ton of mad people.

As a side note. Most GC insurance doesn’t cover mold so how is the public being protected by a person with no training ( it is not just removing drywall) no insurance does not pay a hazardous waste fee…a specialty license is needed in my opinion.

No question that you cant do remediation without a GC license, but you should not be able to do remediation without the specialty licenses. Testing of your own work should only be done for your own records. Pre and post test for determination should always be by third party.

Back to the beginning. Does anyone have a specific agenda that they would lke to see? Long and short term goals?

Also I am looking for someone from here, Nachi inspector, to represent us in our legislastive work. If you are interested contact me.

Yeah, the end of licensing…

Preston, I would like to see the SOP that is floating for approval be tossed. It does nothing to elevate the profession. I would like to see a much higher standard in place for qualification to become a HI. What good is “have evaluated by a professional” to someone with an accelerated timeline to meet a purchase deadline? HI’s should be able to be the authority on the roof, plumbing, electrical, etc. Anyone who does not hold a contractor license should be required to apprentice for at least 3 years. If all the HI is capable of doing is turning on the oven, looking under the sink and ringing the doorbell, the inspection would be priced appropriately at $99.

Russ, any GC who plans to do mold remediation can buy the insurance. Like I said, most GC’s would have the assessment/clearance done by a mold assessor for independent verification so there is a place for them. I just don’t see the need for a stand-alone, mold remediation license. If they want to specialize in mold remediation, get a GC license so they can do the work legally as right now they are not legal - they are removing drywall without a GC license. Only a GC can hire licensed trades in Florida for anything other than a residential contract to build new or remodel. A residential contractor can hire trades for that purpose only. Residential contractor can not hire trades to deal with mold. Roofing contractor can not hire framing contractor. Plumber can not hire drywall contractor or electrician.

I also think a GC who wishes to do mold assessment should be allowed without further license. The GC license should remain the preeminent license in the state as it was and is intended. I doubt any GC will be out there doing mold assessment without proper training/insurance for that work. No, I take that back - there is always at least one but that is no different than any other trade including home inspection. I recently talked to a licensed mold assessor who has never done a mold assessment and doesn’t have the slightest clue where to begin.

I have asked to have a meeting in Orlando with the inspector’s council. I was informed today that they have an agenda and a plan. They have had meetings about the SOP and a direction to follow(before we participated). I was told that FlNachi was given the information and participated. They never shared that information with the FL Home and Insurance inspectors chapter(or anyone else?). Here again an example of how the home inspectors are not helping themselves.

I will sit down with the group that signed the agreement with Wayne and work this out. The groups that signed the agreement are Nachi’s Florida Home and Insurance inspectors chapter, Fabi, Ashi and Nahi. You should communicate your desires and concerns directly to them. Wayne and the council can not take questions and comments directly.

Our Chapter the Florida Home and Insurance Inspectors is looking for a legislative rep, as Preston posted earlier. Myself and Preston both being licensed contractor do not want the job.

I hope that helps