Licensing laws

I am doing research on licensing laws and how the industry is controlled. We know there can be good, bad and ugly rules for home inspectors. I would love to see your opinion on the laws in your land. I also would like to hear how the rules are changed. Do you have a department of professional regulation or a board? How is the board organized and what department controls the board? Who administers changes to the rules(ethics, sop and license) and who issues disciplinary actions? I want your opinion on what you like and don’t like about your rules/laws and how have they affected you.

What is the final purpose/use for the “research”?

We do not have licensing in Colorado. Anybody can call themselves a home inspector. All you need to do is create an entity with the Secretary of State.

There have been attempts to get us licensed but they have failed in the past. They will attempt again in the future.

Any HI, radon, or termite state laws only create a basic, bare minimum standard, that the REA’s want, so all HI’s will write soft, basic reports, so the home will sell, so insurance companies, lenders, office brokers all get their cut. So, why would any HI or CMI want to work over their state rules and regulations?

It should be up to any REA and their office to recommend the best tradesperson of any trade, or HI. They do not. They want to hire the worse, by law. If any REA complains about bad HI’s, they need to look in the mirror.

You are correct. Our industry is controlled, when any HI licensing is in play.

To further discussion on licensing laws. It is something that is continually discussed in my state with about 10,000 licensed home inspectors.

What were your attempting to do(goals) and how was the regulated?

Why did it not work?

Finally, why would you want to be licensed?

Brief lead in …

AS everyone knows in about 1983-1984 Texas established a REGISTRATION act for home inspectors** (pushed by Realtors)**. A few years later this changed to licensing. Inspectors were basically placed under the real estate commission (Realtors).

From the mid 1980’s until 1993, no other states had licensing for home inspectors. Then in 1993 - 1994, North Carolina and Wisconsin jumped into licensing AGAIN with a push by Realtors and in NC the **Realtors **and the home builders.

In 2000 the** NAR** (national association of realtors) established maybe 10-12 long range political goals and getting home inspectors licensed everywhere was right in that package. The fact that home inspectors were not licensed was really NOT very unusual when you consider that in many states there was / is NO state wide licensing of home builders, contractors, remodelers, etc, etc. AND in many states there is NO state wide mandatory code inspections NOR state wide mandatory building codes.

In short WHY license the home inspectors IF the people building, repairing or remodeling them are NOT licensed AND if there are no mandatory codes.

OBVIOUSLY some states have licensed the states builders, contractors, tradesmen, remodelers, have mandatory codes, etc BUT many do not.

MANY inspectors felt / still feel that the Realtors should deal with their own problems AND leave another profession alone. They are the commissioned sales crowd, we are the Techies … They really have NO business in our business.

We DON’T tell them how to sell OR make rules for THEM. It works both ways.

Perhaps you read more into what I said.

I was not attempting to do anything. CAR Colorado Association of Realtors was pushing the licensing bill.

In Colorado a bill needs to be introduced at the legislature. It didn’t pass out of the committee that was reviewing it.

Most inspectors don’t want to be licensed. However, the 3 major inspection associations did work with the realtors to craft a bill that would be acceptable to us. The realtors wanted us to be under their thumb but what was agreed to was for us to be licensed like anyone else ie: electricians, hairstylists etc… We would not have been under the control of the realtors at all.

But like I said the bill died in the committee at the state legislature.

In 2002 in Missouri the Realtors talked a state representative into introducing a Bill to license home inspectors. Missouri is / was a state with NO state wide mandatory building codes, code inspections, licensing of home builders, contractors, remodelers, tradesmen, etc, etc AND yet they wanted to license home inspectors.

Several of the ASHI home inspection chapters in the state (St. Louis, Columbia and 1 of the 2 Kansas City chapters) supported the Realtors push. The other ASHI chapter, the NACHI and NAHI chapters, most of the rural unaffiliated inspectors and 1 of the 2 state home inspector associations MAREI (Missouri Association of Real Estate Inspectors) OPPOSED the Bill. It did NOT pass.

That was 2002 … Same forces have pushed it for 14 years / Same forces have opposed it for 14 years.

John,

They are currently pushing it in PA. Information for your research:

PENNSYLVANIA HOME INSPECTORS COALITION: (I think Nick sued them in the past, they only push ASHI and NAHI) http://phic.info/
Last meeting notes: http://phic.info/HB1421shmeeting.pdf (Ben G was in attendance over the phone)
Text of the proposed law: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2015&sessInd=0&billBody=S&billTyp=B&billNbr=0081&pn=0057

And the reason behind the law (taken from the meeting notes): “As a background, Representative Bill Kortz had a constituent who moved into a home that was over insulated and under ventilated. The previous owners had passed on, and the new buyer along with her mother moved in, and the mother got immediately sick from the propagation of mold that spread throughout the house. As she was a new homeowner, she went to the bank
to get a loan, which was denied. As to mold mitigation, they recommended the removal and replacement of the roof system, of which she could not afford. For this reason, she lost the house and filed for bankruptcy. Mr. Kortz contacted Rep. Sue Helm, a former realtor, to write HB1421.”

Andrew …

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Well they gotta use what they can find. Unless the inspector was highly trained in mold issues OR doing calculations for how much “over-insulated” AND how much “under ventilated” … ITS NOT part of what we do. SOUNDS like another realtor scheme to get control of another profession OR shift liability to others.

The PE’s that I’ve worked with over 30 yrs do NOT do that UNLESS in a lawsuit, trying to get some $$$$$$$$$$ for somebody.

We may see little ventilation AND tell them so. We may also comment on insulation having been added AND blocking vents, etc BUT in 30+ yrs I’ve never seen OR heard of inspectors writing this.

The rules for the State of Texas can be found at the Texas Real Estate Commission WEB site here http://www.trec.texas.gov/inspector/default.asp . The method the rules are controlled and changed also are found there. As for the laws for home inspectors a link on that WEB page can be found there as well. How the “laws” for Inspectors are created and changed can be found here http://www.house.state.tx.us/about-us/bill/.

With the exception of the personal opinions you seek those two links will provide all the information you are looking for with regards to Inspector laws. “Research” is a systematic investigation to establish facts and reach conclusions based on the facts. Opinions are worth nothing in research unless they are fact based.

Here is as far as we got in Colorado: https://www.nachi.org/documents2012/Colorado-DORA-Home-Inspection-Industry.pdf

I have links to all of the States licensing laws, I can read them all. Reading a law does give you the same insight as someone living it. My opinion may not be the same as someone else’s, which is the reason why I am asking.

For those that don’t want to discuss or post feel free to call me on my direct cell. 321sixtwosix8153

It appears then that you are only interested in personal opinions about licensing laws and not any specific information about the actual laws. You would possibly do much better to place this in the MO section of the BB instead of attempting to subject Inspectors to public scrutiny regarding their opinions (good or bad) regarding their licensing laws.

That is why I gave them the option to call me directly. Everyone has an opinion on licensing, I wanted state specific opinions, every state varies. My opinion from FL would be skewed.

John …

Over 35 years I’ve lived in 5 states with licensing. I served several years on ASHI’s national legislative committee; was on their national BoD that set up the NHIE; I have been on state inspector legislative committee’s in 4 different states; I’ve been a state lobbyist for home inspectors in another state; served on both education and membership committee’s in 3 different states. Several state licensing acts were OK; 1 was sketchy; Kansas was a 1-sided association biased BJ from day one for the inspectors up there.

If you want opinions look at the Ohio State study on licensing of home inspectors that was done 5-6 years ago. If memory serves me correctly their study ended up saying something like one of the main reasons to get us licensed was to make REA’s more comfortable … It did not seem to make us better, smarter, better report writers, etc.

Thanks Dan

We are licensed in Maryland.
Anyone doing home improvement work must also be licensed.
Appraisers, RE agents must be licensed.
As must doctors, dentists and plumbers and electricians etc. etc…

All have governing boards and disciplinary boards.

These are meant to help protect consumers from fraud, negligence or malpractice.

Personally I think it’s ridiculous that in some states all you have to do to become a home inspector is raise your hand and say, “I’m a home inspector”.

We have mandated continuing education requirements as well.

Licensing does not equal perfection in home inspecting anymore than it does in any other field. It does set a minimum standard though and I think that is important.