New twist in Washington

OK, so the licensing is progressing along. The statutes have been codified so a booklet will be out shortly with all the rules and regulations.

Grandfathered inspectors have until Sept. 1 to test and get their license or they must meet all the education and field training requirements.

“Newer” inspectors that didn’t meet the grandfather requirements but were inspecting prior to June 12, 2008 have until July 1, 2010 to complete their education, field training, test and get their license.

“Very New” inspectors that were not performing inspections as of June 12, 2008 must meet all the education, field training and test requirements before continuing to inspect. Effective date September 1, 2009.

So what is the twist?

Seems the State of Washington made a change to the Real Estate laws. RCW 18.235.130 regarding “Unprofessional conduct”. It is in effect now, but will affect every inspector that does not have their license on September 1, 2009. The specific item is #9 which states, “Aiding or abetting an unlicensed person to practice or operate a business or profession when a license is required”. This action would constitute Unprofessional Conduct.

In other words: AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2009: If a Real Estate Agent refers an inspector that does not have a license, they can be sanctioned and fined. If a Real Estate Agent hands out a list of say 5 names and one of them is unlicensed, they can be sanctioned and fined.

I can’t think of an Agent around that is going to refer anyone that does not have a Home Inspectors License issued by the State and risk their own Real Estate license. Can you?

I certainly can. Most agents I talk to don’t even know we aren’t licensed now.

BTW, look at the wording “when a license is required”. When is a license “required” for newer inspectors Stephen?

Smart agents will most like quit referring home inspectors entirely, why assume the risk?

Effective September 1, 2009 Home Inspectors must be licensed. If you have additional time to obtain your license, that does not change the “industry requirements” for having a license.

I’ve been given an answer and that is why I made the post. If you don’t like my post or the answer, contact the State yourself. Due diligence you know.

It will be an interesting marketing campaign to say the least.

As of today, only 3 people statewide who have met the “grandfather” requirements have taken the test AND applied for their license. I think most are waiting until the last minute to see if there is any delay. Personally I will drive down to Olympia on August 31st to apply for my license. Not one day sooner.

Short term memory loss maybe? Do you remember how much the state’s answer meant last time? I do, not much.

I did just that last time. The state ended up being wrong and had to amend their own website. :mrgreen:

Hell, Rhonda Meyers (the state) still thinks that 9/1/09 is the drop dead date for all inspectors. I guess the AG will have to put the smack down again.

In states that adopt licensing, the number of agents willing to give out their little list of a few inspectors they’ve had good experiences with in the past, drops like a stone. Most eventually prefer to point to the state list of licensed inspectors (where inspectors all appear to be equal).

One of the reasons InterNACHI does so well in licensed states is that licensing (once everyone is licensed) turns the industry into an all-out marketing race. Best marketer (not most qualified) wins.

“Grandfathered inspectors”. Test and apply for license. Easy to understand.

“Very new inspectors”. Education, Field Training, test, apply for license. You must shut down effective September 1, 2009 until these requirements are met.

But this will indeed be an interesting time for “newer inspectors”. You have until July 1, 2010 to complete your education, field training, take the test and get your license. There is nothing to stop you from performing inspections between September 1, 2009 and July 1, 2010.

But there are other portions of the law that will be enforced:

Agents will not be able to refer you for fear of committing an Unprofessional Act and being sanctioned, fined or having their license suspended. Of course that same law affects Home Inspectors also. A referral to a person to fix something? You better make sure they are licensed. Labor & Industries really likes hunting down the “handyman” that advertises they can repair your home and don’t have a General Contractors license…

The websites, advertising and marketing will have to be shut down. RCW 18.280.100 states, “The term “licensed home inspector” and the license number of the inspector must appear on all advertising, correspondence, and documents incidental to a home inspection.” So I guess if you aren’t licensed, you can’t advertise. You can still inspect though.

So I wonder where the business will come from. Advertising? Nope. Realtors? Nope. Oh wait… Referral Rewards? Nope, that would be considered advertising…

They sure are not going to make it easy. But they will find anyway possible to bring money into their failing state budget.

Direct to consumer marketing.

What method Nick? Cold calls or door to door?

Not even close to being true here in AZ.

Got and evidence to support your claim Nick???

Checkmate for the pro-licensing veterans. Congrats, have a blast as a government employee. I don’t want any part of it.

Licensing only levels the playing field. You, as an inspector, have to abide by state/board rules and regulations. Every inspector has to do the same thing. Licensing helps no one; it only limits what you can and cannot do/say on an inspection report, and hurts the consumer with basic reports. SOP’s limit, and insome cases, protect you, but most all states rules/regs/SOP’s are even more limited; they do not want to be like every other state. This is why, in some ways, all state home inspection licensing laws are different. Only a matter of time before the feds move in on this. Licensing only benifits the ones who put the laws into into play. Show me an attorney, teacher or doctor who has to go through annual strict testing. This has been discussed on several other threads. You are correct; we all will be working for the government sooner or later. For us, it is sooner. Being a member of any home inspection orginization is irrelevant. Nick will loose members, no doubt.

Licensing laws are only implemented so you can perform basic inspection so you do not kill real estate sale transactions. This is why RE and “special interest groups” (ASHI) are pushing these laws. Inspections will take only an hour to complete, be very basic and standard. Inspectors will carry the burden, with insurance and educational requirements. Etc. Etc. What I do not understand is how/why all of these laws have been brought about in most every state in the last 2-4 years? Oh, the smell of money.

Actually, licensing is in very few states…less than 20. About 35 have some kind of registration and fee collection, but very few actually require licensing.

Part of the licensing myth is that it is “inevitable” and happening everywhere. It is not.

Would you please explain any effective difference between licensing and registration?

For example in WI (registration):

State mandated SOP
State mandated CEU
State mandated test (NHIE)
State mandated WI home inspection law test.

I was referring more to North Dakota and the other states requiring tests and collecting fees…and with no enforcement.

Illinois has a licensing law that many inspectors/realtors virtually ignore. The requirements are nothing more than taking a class that teaches you a test, pass the test, and pay $700 to the state. These types of laws are nothing more than revenue collectors for the various states.

Arizona is another. Pay your fees and no one notices whether or not you exist. No CEUs…etc.

Even Kansas with their new law have no way of enforcing it. If you have a license…there is much they can do to affect your business, but if you ignore the law…it is up to the local jurisdiction where you are practicing to enforce it. The State does nothing…nor can the Board.

Yep. Laws/rules/regulations/requirements are different in all states. Many cities are on state lines. How do inspectors operate in different states? Paying double fees? Double educational requirements? Performing inspections accross state lines? Feds are a comin’…

Soooo glad I chose ID over WA when I moved from CO 5 years ago . . .
They were already on the Big Brother track then.