New Version of Washington Bill

March 11, 2007

Here is the latest version of SB-5788.

It’s not perfect but I think it’s something we can live with.


I didn’t see any separate requirement for the SPI Licnese, are they back to combining it with the HI License?

Lewis, my guess is that it is still separate as indicated in Section 6 (5) where one of the things you have to have in place to get your license is "proof of current state licensure as a structural pest inspector under chapter 15.58 RCW


I missed that, I’d like to know why they switched back to the DOL, as much as I dislike L&I, it made more sense to me for them to be incharge, keeping the licenses separate makes more sense too, I’m glad they stayed with that.

Itappears that under this scenario, a Home Inspector must also be licensed as a PCO


***Sec. 1. *DEFINITIONS. The definitions in this

4 section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly
5 requires otherwise.
6 (1) “Board” means the home inspector licensing board.
7 (2) “Classroom education” means training in observing and
8 identifying defects in structural components, foundations, roof
9 coverings, insulation and ventilation, exterior and interior
10 components; wood destroying organism inspections; and plumbing,
11 heating, cooling, and electrical systems. It does not include online
12 or video training.
13 (3) “Component” means a readily accessible and observable aspect of
14 a system, such as a floor or wall, but not individual pieces such as
15 boards or nails where many pieces make up a system.
16 (4) “Department” means the department of licensing.
17 (5) “Director” means the director of the department of licensing.
18 (6) “Home inspection” means a visual analysis for the purposes of
19 providing a professional opinion of the condition of a building and its
20 attached carports and attached garages, any reasonably accessible
21 installed components and the operation of the building systems,
22 including the controls normally operated by the owner, for the
23 following components of a residential building of four units or less:
24 Heating system, electrical system, cooling system, plumbing system,
25 structural components, foundation, roof covering, exterior and interior
26 components, and site aspects as they affect the building. "Home
27 inspection" also means an inspection for wood destroying organisms.

[FONT=Courier New]
The inspector shall include the following in the report:

[FONT=Courier New](d) Whether or not there is damage from wood destroying organisms;…

[FONT=Courier New]
17 (10)“Wood destroying organism” means insects or fungi that
18 consume, excavate, develop in, or otherwise modify the integrity of
19 wood or wood products. “Wood destroying organism” includes but is not
20 limited to carpenter ants, moisture ants, subterranean termites,
21 dampwood termites, beetles in the family Anobiidae, and wood decay
22 fungi, known as wood rot.
23 (11) “Wood destroying organism inspection” means the inspection of
24 a building for the presence of wood destroying organisms, their damage,
25 or conducive conditions leading to the development or establishment of
26 the organism.


I think we would “discover” under the licensing requirement----not treat (which is what a PCO does).

Thanks Joe,
In Washington we’re SPI’s not PCO’s, I read the parts you posted but missed the one that Charles mentioned, I hate page breaks.

The first version of the Bill called for combining the two licenses, HI and the SPI, the 2nd and now this one keep them separate, as they should be.

In Pennsylvania, by Real Estate Contract, the individual inspecting for WDI must be Licensed and Insured for treatment / application of chemicals. (Licensed Pesticide Applicators)

While not specifically addressed in the Home Inspection Legislation, it may end up eventually in the Agreement of Sale Contract as in did here in PA in 2005.

This brings up an old pet peeve of mine. I see no bigger conflict of interest than for PCO’s being “allowed” to do the discovery part. I think home inspectors (licensed as Structural Pest Inspectors) are in the best position to protect consumers regarding wood destroying organisms and conducive conditions.

I agree with Charlie. I also believe that Washington’s SPI regulation is the best way to deal with WDO’s. It takes the conflict of interest out of the inspection.

I have talked with legislators, primarily Senator Spanel, on this bill and there is no intent to have home inspectors required to be PCO’s. Now they would all be required to be SPI’s, a sub-category we have in this state that is well established. Basically we are tested for, and qualified to, do full WDO inspections but we better not be caught applying any chemicals. Anyway, I think this SPI category is well understood enough in the state that it will not be a matter of any confusion. The exclusion, allowing PCO’s and SPI’s to work doing WDO concerns, without having the HI license, further clarifies that they know the difference between all of us.

Our PCO friends at the WSPCA would do everything in their power to make sure that HI’s weren’t required to be PCO’s. I don’t think they want 1200 or more new PCO’s to compete against. :slight_smile:

Besides WSDA has the SPI law laid out and in use. This bill does not address changes to the existing SPI law.

Correct. And since the existing SPI law…as recently verified by Dr. Soumi and his supervisor…does not require that all home inspectors have SPI licenses, it looks like (even should this measure pass the senate and go to the house for ratification) home inspectors are to remain free from this requirement.

Good show.

Wrong again James.

I think not.

Your proposed bill defines a “home inspection report” as reporting on WDO.

Your SPI law requires licensing only for WDO reports…not home inspection reports. Your new law creates a loophole big enough to drive a truck through, IMO.

Senator Spanel just needs to be made aware of the fact that it isn’t required currently, and she needs to read first hand Dr.Suomi’s comments verifying that.

She also should be aware of Home Inspectors going around telling realtors that there is a requirement to be SPI when there isn’t, and be aware of the fact that that is a direct assault on people’s businesses. It’s totally illegal and it should be interesting to see what she has to say.

The SPI law limits licensure to those writing WDO/WDI reports. It goes as far as to define these reports and how they will be written.

Your proposed HI law states that an inspector will address WDO in a “home inspection report” which specifically and directly violates the SPI law.

It would be smart to let the bill go up for vote with this obvious conflict with an existing law and have your legislators vote it down for that reason, alone. Write your rep and quietly call attention to this conflicting wording…where compliance with one law requires violation of another. Kill the bill.

“Your proposed HI law states that an inspector will address WDO in a “home inspection report” which specifically and directly violates the SPI law.”

I do not follow you on this. I do not know of any prohibition in SPI law that states someone cannot do a more complete report than SPI issues. I agree that the proposed law states than an inspector will address WDO issues, but where does the SPI law say that is illegal?

Your SPI law defines what kind of report a licensed SPI must write when addressing WDO/WDI. The law prescribes what must be included in that report.

Your proposed HI bill defines that a licensed home inspector will address WDO/WDIs in his “home inspection report”.

These requirements conflict one another. One must violate one of the laws to comply with the other, IMO.

I do not think that is a problem. Currently those of us working as SPI’s are meeting all of the WDO requirements in a basic home inspection report. The elements of a WDO report need not take any specific form, per current and anticipated law. It is pretty undefined but basically, and I might be leaving something out, it must include the specific WDO number, the date, the name of the person paying (client), the address, inspector name, exclusions. As long as those key identification elements are included at the top, the WDO report and findings can be included as you wish in the regular inspection report. They can all be together, they can be spread out, some in interior, some in exterior, some in attic, some in crawl space, etc. It could even have your comment about the number of horses you saw out in the field, if you wanted, just as long as you did not leave out concerns and conducive conditions.

I do not (IMO) think there is a true conflict here, the two types of reports were melded together in this state, for the home inspectors doing WDO reports, about a decade ago. It was for this reason, in fact, that the WDO report is so loosly defined in form, to be flexible for inspectors, as long as all the elements are there.