More on Home Inspector Licensing

Kinda…maybe…sometimes. It depends upon the law, how it’s written, and when it actually is tested in court.

The harm to consumers, however, comes in an immediate form. As you will gather from the press releases that splatter the same newspaper that, someday, will line a bird cage and actually gather less crap ----- the license will be touted as something described by you in the preceding post. When this happens, misled consumers then conclude that the license is their means of identifying equally qualified and competent home inspectors.

How then do most consumers choose to select between 100 equally qualified and competent candidates? The equally qualified and competent candidate with the lowest fee, of course.

Study any and all states in our country that are plagued with licensing bills and compare the average fee (not the BS you hear on the message board, either) to the selling price of the house.

Read the study where licensing did nothing to improve the quality of the inspection or the inspector. The study that was actually done by a state Real Estate Commission looking for a reason to push a licensing bill…that concluded that licensing solves nothing.

How about this for an example: “The BPCPA can freeze and convert assets, recover costs of actions, order restitution to consumers and impose administrative monetary penalties up to $50,000, in addition to fines that the courts can order.”

Surely this condition should provide at least some measure of consumer protection. Perhaps it should be more aptly coined not “buyer/consumer beware - but inspector beware”!

Perhaps it’s just me - but it seems there is accountability and certainly it is not intended for the faint at heart. Perhaps it’s also time to not compare what is happening in BC licensing of home inspectors with some of the other shortcomings in the US.

What we likely can agree on - is that licensing does not always represent the best for everybody.

The prosecution of negligent home inspectors, initiated by
consumers, in on record in Texas. My son would like to be an
inspector today, but instead must study and be trained before
he is loosed on the general population. I can tell you firsthand,
that is a good thing for the consumer and for my son.

Realtors hate my reports (they sure didn’t have me in mind as
a benefit that would give them more sales). The states collects
approx. $29 a year from me (and no sales tax), so they are not
making much money off of me. Our own Texas home inspectors
wrote our SoP, not the Realtors. The consumers in Texas have
filed complaints and seen the punishment of negligent inspectors
on many occasions, and have been compensated for their
damages.

We don’t have trouble with walk by inspectors who deliver non-
documented, standardless reports. We don’t allow inspectors to
entice the consumer with low prices just so they can do a walk
by inspection to get their foot in the door, Even iNACHI, ASHI and
NAHI will not endorse that kind of inspection. Some people even
list them as part of their credentials, but do not follow those
association’s SoP. Ever see a person like that?

No wonder you do not want the SoP enforced in your state.
We are not perfect in Texas, but we try to weed out people
like that. That kind of walk by inspector would not do well
in Texas. Most consumers would be shocked if they new
what a real inspection looked like.

Our consumers could file a complaint and have justice served
on the head of a walk by inspector in Texas. We frown on
negligence and deceit masquerading as an inspector.

Weak laws produce weak results, good laws produce better
results. You have been mocking licensed inspectors for too
long and need to examine your own house… IMHO. :wink:

BTW… we get to carry guns in Texas and are allowed to shoot
law breakers who seek the breach our homes, cars and place
of work. There is still plenty of freedom in Texas. Some laws
create bondage, some protect the freedom and rights of it’s
citizens. Hooyahh.

James,
While the license will not make anyone any good,it will weed out a small amount of the dweebs that would otherwise take the profession up because they simply do not have to answer to anyone.

hang on, hang on, and it will put some money in the coffers of some branchof government, maybe like our gun registry. They have taken in over $6,000,000 in years since they got this off the ground… but it has cost almost $50,000,000 since it’s inception.

…and replace them with a large amount of dweebs who can immediately meet entry level requirements for a license but get lost looking for the basement.

Here is just one licensing criteria for you to mull over…

Will your government (mine won’t) create criteria for a job that would intentionally keep out a man in a wheel chair?

Our anonymous consumer poster from BC once again has asked me to offer the following:
“Just passing an on-line examination does not make anyone a Home Inspector.”
So much is self-evident.
However, had I paid the NACHI fee, it would have allowed me to claim NACHI status.
Surely even you can see how such certification is thus immediately de-valued.
“We have heard this argument from numerous sources over the years.”
However many times you may have heard it, does this automatically make my simple point invalid?
“Practical experience and doing the job provide the best training there is.”
I agree wholeheartedly.
Quite clearly, this must be why such qualifications are core to BC’s impending licensing requirements.
“being “licenced” does not make someone a good Home Inspector, Doctor, electrician, plumber or what have you”
But it does indisputably erect a minimal level of competence to a far higher degree than that expected by NACHI.
In response to James H. Bushart:
“When you seek an attorney for his professional services, is the fact that he is “licensed” serve to suffice your entire interest in his background?”
Certainly not.
“a “license” reflects, simply, an entry level of skill”
Are you suggesting that this entry level under BC’s new licensing regime is inadequate while that of NACHI is exemplary ? Surely not.
“The 16 year old driver can be “licensed”, but you would hardly expect to see him driving your ambulance, would you?”
I am unpersuaded by the obvious poverty of your metaphor.
If I was in desparate need to get to a hospital and required an ambulance, your age criterion would be perhaps far from my mind. In such sorry circumstances, my understandable tendency would be to trust in the entry level requirements for one to become an ambulance driver in the first place. Maybe it is different in Missouri, but the likelihood of being allowed to perform that function at the tender age of 16 lacks credibility.
“Licensing “dumbs down” the process."
Now anyone with any kind of a background (short order cook, gas station attendant, housewife, etc.) can use the licensing checklist to obtain simply the minimum required by the state…and suddenly become "licensed””
This is arrant nonsense.
“people like you who take it to mean a satisfactorily demonstrated level of competency ---- can be more easily fooled.”
Please do not take me as a fool, sir.
“use your time as an advocate to oppose licensing in your jurisdiction”
Why on earth would any sane consumer contemplate such a course of action?
Indeed, you do take me for a fool.
“Keep home inspectors professionally accountable and independent”
That is my very wish.
And with BC’s licensing requirements there is a greater chance of achieving both.
Without it, at present, there is no accountability, and industry practices thus far have mitigated solidly against independence. Licensing explicitly and effectively addresses these issues.
Please consider Mr Lawrenson’s subsequent responses to your posts.
“misled consumers … conclude that the license is their means of identifying equally qualified and competent home inspectors”
Do we?
Perhaps it is so.
I certainly know of numerous cases where consumers have been misled to their great detriment and cost by trusting the assertions of professional competence where there is no minimum standard.
At least, with licensing, we will have recourse other than costly litigation.
“Study any and all states in our country that are plagued with licensing bills and compare the average fee (not the BS you hear on the message board, either) to the selling price of the house.”
With the greatest of respect, British Columbia is not part of your country.

“The study that was actually done by a state Real Estate Commission looking for a reason to push a licensing bill…that concluded that licensing solves nothing.”
Are you seriously suggesting that the Real Estate industry is a disinterested party?
Their demonstrable collusion with inspectors has been detrimental to client interests and is central to the ‘conflict of interest’ principles at the core of this legislation.
Clearly, the transparent disregard for client interests evidenced by Messrs Cossar and Bushart contributes only to the justifiedly poor perception of the Home Inspection industry on the part of consumers which has served to fuel our demand for licensing.
It must be a tough challenge indeed for responsible and reasonable practitioners like Mr McKenna to restore our faith in the concept of professional standards.

"With the greatest of respect, British Columbia is not part of your country."

And your assumption that universal market forces do not apply to B.C. is erroneous. Big Government invading every aspect of our lives is not the answer ( this will be quite a shock to those on the left coast I am sure). Perhaps, had you graced us with your name it would be easier for us to take your remarks seriously. As an aside, I can bash out some tunes on the piano but that does not either make me a concert pianist or qualified to instruct one about where or when or how he may play.

"The BPCPA can freeze and convert assets, recover costs of actions, order restitution to consumers and impose administrative monetary penalties up to $50,000, in addition to fines that the courts can order."

Under this threat, who in their right mind would want to be an inspector in B.C.?

Thanks George - as I stated a consumers view point. Hopefully it should be welcomed, but some how some points offered none the less.

But hopefully the points brought forward indicate there is clearly no one licensing solution that fits all situations. More to the point the discussions by some downplayed the reality of the BC appetite for need for licensing home inspectors in BC. There is no turning back for BC, its moving forward, that’s now in the hands of the BPCPA.

The last part I do not see as a threat but rather as a means to put teeth into the licensing issue. Up until now most consumers had virtually no protection, short of taking the matter to court. Any fly-by-night home inspector can be here today and gone tomorrow, and back in business under a new identity the next day. I have seen it happen.

I served on a DPPC before and at worst a severe reprimand may possibly be taking a course to make the inspector more cognizant of their poor reporting skills. Net gain for the consumer - nothing! Perhaps a better inspector - but not a guarantee. Adding penalties or removing a license will make the inspector realize the seriousness of the matter.

Well that proves it. :roll:

Convince me that this is not Radicko Wand or Brain Fart Macneish posting as a “consumer” from BC.:roll:

Your barbs against NACHI do not bother me. I am aware of our weaknesses and am encouraged with the knowledge that they are in the process of being turned into strengths as I type this post.

Your barbs against NACHI are also a poor defense for the need of a licensing system, most of which fall below the entrance requirements of any national association.

Your fear in putting your name with your ideas is understandable. If I shared your opinions, I would want to remain anonymous, too.

Whatever the opinions may be here on this MB, the fact is that licensing has arrived for home inspectors in BC, and that includes me.
Along with mandatory licensing comes mandatory E+O. No more part-timers, and that’s a good thing. Up to now, I’ve seen renovation carpenters and even landscapers that are doing home inspections on the side. It’s unprofessional.
It will be hard and expensive for new inspectors to break in, but at least they will be tested, insured and probably diligent enough to act professionally and that’s good for all of us.

I previously worked in the BC forest industry, and was forced to become a licensed forest technician when that became mandatory. I wrote essays in pencil for 7 hours to pass that exam, then paid mandatory annual dues of $350. In return I didn’t get very much, other than the right to work. So it goes.

John Kogel
www.allsafehome.ca

Thank you for validating the true purpose of that requirement. While everyone knows it to be true, very few licensing proponents will publicly admit it as you did.

I appreciate your honesty.

The HI industry has been flooded with the mentality of “easy in & easy out” for too long. Any industry with this type of issue will suffer market devaluation. Most inspector laws just further the problem, because they make it too easy and flood the market with casual inspectors. It waters down the profession with “walk by” inspectors.

Consumers in B.C. can attempt to extract $50.000 from an inspector. However if the Inspector has no legal assets or has been wise enough to incorporate that $50K claim can be easily denied. Licensing doesn’t change the fact that any inspector can dodge fines and court levied awards with some very simple maneuvering.

So not only is the situation virtually unchanged in B.C. but we now have the case where the only way a consumer can now discriminate between inspectors is based on the price, as all inspectors will now have qualified for the minimum requirement - the license ( as James Bushart remarked earlier). To make matters worse there is now at least one more layer of bureaucracy and big government involved.

I am hard pressed to say that B.C. is " moving forward".

What will the inspectors insurer do? Besides it would be hard to predict the arm long of the government - than again…would that only tend to up the anty for future inspectors.

Dodge maybe - perhaps try renewing any other license in the province! That could prove interesting wouldn’t it just to start.

I would be interested to hear how an inspector could incorporate a $50K claim.

And if I may add, to some, this is referred to by some as culling the herd.

As you know, Claude, incorporating does afford some protection from liability. In the event of a $50K claim the inspector may be personally protected, unless the courts decide to ‘lift the corporate veil’ which removes that protection. This is done rarely as it has implications for all other corporations. *****

However, in the end, if the inspector has no personal assets, there is nothing for the complainant to seize and convert. It is the old ‘blood from a stone’ thing. Rest assured, though, that the legal bill for protecting oneself from any claim will be substantial if not crippling.

***** Information obtained from my lawyer, last seen in pursuit of an ambulance headed east on the 401:shock:

Licensing solves nothing.

An inspector in New Jersey inspects the home of a state senator who claims the inspector cost him $30,000 in repairs. The senator writes a bill and passes it and it becomes (until amended a year later) the harshest and toughest HI law on the books. Under the new law, among the inspectors who received the first 10 licenses, was the inspector who inspected the senator’s house.

In Massachusetts, the ASHI proponents pushing for a law in their state took an inspector to the media who had been sued over a dozen times for negligence in his inspections. The media played this guy up as the biggest buffoon to ever be a home inspector and he became the Massachusetts “poster child” for the need of a licensing law. The law passed. The inspectors for the licensing board were selected and appointed and…guess who got a seat on the first licensing board. Yep…the Poster Child.

Licensing solves nothing.

I have to remember that James!!

Thousands of people taking little home study courses to be inspectors
in Texas can no longer flood the market with their make believe service.

The qualifications were increased to 448 hours, 5 years experience
as a Contractor, Architect, or Engineer, plus mandatory E&O and
passing a very difficult state exam and continuing education.

Licensing created a higher standard and all the walk by inspectors
left town…:mrgreen: