Special Notice: Important Changes to Regulation of the Home
Inspection Industry Go Into Effect on Friday, January 1
During the 2009 Legislative Session, the Kansas Legislature passed legislation that requires home inspectors to register with a new state board, regulates the home inspection industry and prohibits home inspectors from limiting their liability for errors and omissions to less than $2,000 per home inspection.
Since this statute goes into effect on January 1, 2010, it is very important that you review the summary below to familiarize yourself with the major provisions of this legislation that will affect the real estate industry. For more information, please contact Luke Bell, KAR Vice President of Governmental Affairs at IbeIl@kansasrealtor.com or at 785-267-3610 Ext. 2133.
Starting on January 1, 2010, All Home Inspectors Must Be Registered with the Kansas Home Inspectors Registration Board (KHIRB) to Conduct Home Inspections Starting on January 1, 2010, all home inspectors must be registered with the Kansas Home Inspectors Registration Board (KHIRB) in order to provide home inspection services in Kansas. If a home inspector does not register with KHIRB by this date, they will be prohibited from performing home inspections.
If you maintain a preferred provider list or provide any type of referrals of home inspectors to your clients, you must ensure that the individuals on that list are registered as a home inspector with KHIRB. As of December 29, 2009, over 80 home inspectors across the state had already registered wirh KHIRB. You can access the list of registered home inspectors by clicking on a link at http://www.ksinspectors.org/.
After January 1, 2010, Real Estate Licensees Should Under No Circumstances Provide the Name of a Home Inspector Who is Not Registered Under the Act to a Client or Customer.
After January 1, 2010, real estate licensees should under no circumstances provide the name of a home inspector who is not registered under the act to a client or customer. If a home inspector is not registered under the act, they are acting in violation of state law and the client will be unable to rely on the accuracy, quality or reliability of any home inspection reports prepared by that individual.
In order to register as a home inspector under the act, an individual will need to fulfill several requirements specified by KHIRB to ensure that they are qualified to provide home inspection services. These various requirements will vary depending on the experience of the individual applicant or home inspector and can be reviewed in detail at KHIRB’s website at http://www.ksinspectors.org
Starting on January 1, 2010, All Home Inspectors Must Be Liable for Up to $2,000 in Errors and Omissions for Defects They Negligently Failed to Spot During the Home Inspection.
Starting on January 1, 2010, all home inspectors are prohibited from limiting their liability for errors and omissions for defects they negligently fail to include in a home inspection report to less than $2,000 per home inspection. After this date, all provisions in home inspection agreements that purport to limit liability for errors and omissions to less rhan $2,000 per home inspection are void and unenforceable.
Please note that this is not a warranty and a home inspector is not required to guarantee their services for up to $2,000 per home inspection. Under the legislation, a home inspector is only liable for those defects that a reasonable inspector would have spotted under the standards of practice followed by the home inspector. As in other civil disputes, the customer will bear the burden to prove that the home inspector negligently failed to note the defect in the home inspection report.
Certain Individuals Such as Electricians. Plumbers. Pest Inspectors and Other Contractors Do Not Need to Register Under the Act if They are Not Providing “Home Inspections”
Under K.S.A. 58-4510, certain individuals are not required to register as home inspectors under the act unless they are performing an inspection of the entire home. This statute enacted by the Kansas Legislature contains a long list of contractors and licensed professionals who do not need to register as a home inspector under the act.
By enacting this exemption, the Kansas Legislature chose to exempt individuals from registration under the act if they are not actively advertising or marketing themselves as “home inspectors” to the general public. However, an individual exempted by this statute will need to register as a “home inspector” if they hold themselves out as a “home inspector” or provide services that are outside the normal scope of their license or profession.
For a complete list of the individuals who are not required to register under the act, please review the provisions of K.S.A. 58-4510. Following is a non-exhaustive list of those the most common individuals who are exempted from registration under the act:
(1) a contractor or tradesman performing an inspection or evaluation of a less than three components
of a home (i.e. appliance repairmen, electricians, HVAC contractors, plumbers, roofers, etc.);
(2) an individual licensed as an architect while acting within the scope of that license;
(3) an individual licensed as a professional engineer while acting within the scope of that license;
(4) an individual licensed as a real estate appraiser while acting within the scope of that license;
(5) an individual licensed as a real estate broker or salesperson while acting within the scope of that
(6) an individual licensed as an insurance adjuster while acting within the scope of that occupation;
(7) an individual licensed as an insurance agent while acting within the scope of that license; and
(8 ) an individual providing services as a pest exterminator or chemical application while acting within
the scope of that occupation and not providing services which would constitute a home inspection.
Most importantly, any decisions to hire a specific home inspector should be left entirely up to the individual client in each transaction. However, if you have any questions that are not addressed in this article, please contact Luke Bell, KAR Vice President of Governmental Affairs at Ibell@kansasrcaltor.com or at 785-267-3610 Ext. 2133.