Hiya . . .
Just thought everyone should have a look at what the legislature for the state with the highest un-employment numbers and one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country is up to. Michigan has a big campaign going right now to attract business to the state. Looks like they are going to need it. If this article is on target . . . there won’t be many HI’s left in MI when the dust settles.
I wonder if Nick has seen this coming?
[FONT=Arial]State bill would toughen rules for home inspectors[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Sunday, July 27, 2008 [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]After years of resisting calls to license their profession, Michigan’s home inspectors got behind the idea about three years ago. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]The thought was to set standards that assure consumers that the person they hire to detect faults in a house for sale has a modicum of training and skill. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Among other things, House Bill 6088 would, according to filings,
create a Michigan Home Inspectors Board to establish licensure and competence assessment requirements, and would establish regulations on home inspector training, contracts, operations, disclosures, and more.'' [/FONT] [FONT=Arial] [/FONT] [FONT=Arial][/FONT] [FONT=Arial]Licensure would, for instance, require at least 60 credit hours of education or equivalent training. [/FONT] [FONT=Arial]It would also require practitioners to carry insurance to cover claims that result from any problems they miss. [/FONT] [FONT=Arial]Typically, claims of liability have been limited to recouping the $300 or $400 fee that inspectors charge. And the inspector's job has been limited to what he or she can see. Problems going on unseen behind the walls of a house have generally be considered out of their sphere. [/FONT] [FONT=Arial]But the Michigan Association of Home Inspectors is struggling with a last-minute amendment to House Bill 6088 (legislation introduced in May by Rep. Frank Accavitti Jr., D-Macomb County, and support by the association) that is apparently related to fears emanating from the housing crisis. [/FONT] [FONT=Arial]The amendment, added in June by Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, would make inspectors liable for far more of what goes wrong. [/FONT] [FONT=Arial]It states:A home inspector and his or her firm are strictly liable for any and all damages of any type sustained by their client as a result of a violation of this article or any act or omission committed by a home inspector.’’ [/FONT]
The amendment basically makes home inspectors responsible for anything that goes wrong in a house,'' said home inspector Janis Putelis, of Kalamazoo.You’re responsible for anything that goes wrong with the house and there’s a no time limit for how long that goes on.’’ [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Putelis, who has been inspecting homes and new construction in the Kalamazoo area for about 23 years and is a member of the Michigan Association of Home Inspectors, said,
I can't inspect things that go on behind closed walls.'' [/FONT] [FONT=Arial]He fears that, if passed, the legislation will require inspectors to increase their fees greatly in order to carry enough insurance coverage to manage their liability, and that may make inspection services unaffordable for many potential home buyers. [/FONT] [FONT=Arial]It will also cost the state more jobs because most people in the business can’t afford the insurance right now,’’ Putelis said. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]The industry could go from one in which nearly any able person can work unregulated in the industry, to one that could potentially drive some experienced practitioners out of the market, he said. [/FONT]
They want to make us warranty companies,'' Putelis said.Home inspections are not intended to be warrantees.’’ [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Stay tuned as the legislation continues through the House of representatives this summer. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Putelis offers a simple solution: ``If homeowners (sellers) and real-estate representatives were honest, you wouldn’t need home inspectors.’’ [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]This opinion column was written by Al Jones. He can [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]be reached at 388-8556 [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]or ajones@ [/FONT]