(Thomas G. Valosin, NYS Lic 16000005194)
Hello all New York State Inspectors,
As owner of ASKUS Consulting Services Home Inspector Training and Continuing Education School, I just received a note from the Department of State Division of Licensing Services. New York State now has in place its’ own Code of Ethics for Home Inspectors SUBPART 197-4 and Standards of Practice SUBPART 197-5.
These documents will have some effect on all New York State Licensed Home Inspectors if only for the now required clauses that must be included in our pre-inspection agreements. The NYS SOP & COE will be the “guiding light” for our operations.
I urge all NY State Home Inspectors to check with the DOS Division of Licensing Services to familiarize yourselves with these documents and make needed adjustments to your PIA and, if necessary, to your inspection procedure.
The New York Capital Region Chapter of InterNACHI will be having a presentation on this topic at the 11 November meeting, 6:30 PM at Doratos Restaurant, Routes 155 and 20 in Guilderland, NY. Contact me if you plan on attending so we have a headcount for the restaurant. Meals are ordered off the menu, each person pays their own. No charge to attend the meeting. My contact info is 518 827 4852 or E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
The actual statute prohibits us from working on what we inspect.
Two clauses need to be put into our inspection agreements. Typset cannot be smaller than 6pt.
Inspectors are not responsible for finding mold or conditions conducive to mold or any other air quality / environmental toxins, including underground storage tanks.
I have been in contact with the Attorney to the DOS with regard to one particular clause which could be problematic to inspectors. She acknowledged the issue and is writing an official opinion which will be passed to field investigators.
Really READ the SOP. You will be surprised at some of the clauses, especially as it pertains to what we are NOT required to do.
This will take the windo out of many inspector lawsuits.
I think the HI Advisory Board did a good job. It took a while, but we are left with a decent set of rules.
Hats off to all of them, and to the DOS staffers that helped make it all happen!
Effective date was the 27th, but I would keep the notification, with envelope and postmark should there ever be a problem. The postmarked date was the 27th, and te gap between that date and the date you received the notification could be justified by an ALJ if the need ever arose.
I have read it a couple of times. Every time I read it I come up with more questions. A lengthy discussion will take place at our local meeting Wednesday. It is good that finally NY has an official COE & SOP.
There is really only one clause which I find particularly troublesome.
Can you guess which one?
(Thomas G. Valosin, NYS Lic 16000005194)
Well, it is, I believe, in general a fairly well written document, particularly when compared to the advisory boards first efforts where the SOP and COE were at loggerheads. Yes, it does a lot to inform John and Jane Q. Public as to exactly what a Home Inspection is as well as what it is NOT. Much of the NOT is actually repeated. I concur it may reduce some of the litigation as well as the used home sales-peoples’ misconceptions. I have already modified my InterNACHI based contracts to include the DOS required clauses - just picked them up from the printer. Also went through my HomeGauge InterNACHI SOP based template and made the mods to reflect the State SOP. (Spoke with Tommy at HG - they will be bringing out a NYS based template. How soon? He was unsure but said it is “in the lineup”). My contract and template both reflect that “Inspections are performed to the NY State Home Inspector and InterNACHI Standards of Practice”. There are sections in NYS SOP that are “stronger”, that is, exceeded, in the InterNACHI format so that will be the SOP for that phase of the inspection. Should be an interesting discussion at this Wednesdays meeting. Don’t you just love the State - “It went into effect as of the date of publication” and we were then notified that we must make the necessary adjustments to our operations. However, a beneficial point with the State SOP & COE is that inspectors who are not members of a recognized Professional Organization (which the State used as a guideline for SOP & COE until theirs was adopted) are now forced to bring their standards up to a level playing field. Also, HIs’ who live and work near bordering areas with MA, CT or NJ should now have an easier time seeking reciprocity since NYS now has a documented SOP & COE.
We are not limited in inspecting and reporting on items not required in the NYS SOP. When we do, the InterNACHI SOP is then followed. For example: According to the NYS SOP we are not required to report on fireplace screens, doors, mantles or fireplace surrounds. The InterNACHI SOP states to inspect hearth extensions and other permanently installed components; (which I interpret to include screens and doors)
and report as in need of repair deficiencies in the lintel, hearth and material surrounding the fireplace, (which I interpret to include mantles and fireplace surrounds) including fireplace opening clearance from visible combustible materials. Where the InterNACHI SOP exceeds NY’s this is what is then followed. But I can see where someone can get confused if you state you follow two different SOPs. Since New York’s SOP has just been adopted I would like to hear from some inspectors in other licensed states as to what they follow or report on.
My advice is to only reference the NY State SOP. DO not reference the NACHI SOP.
Our COE requires substantial compliance with NACHI’s SOP. Following the NY State model, and only the Ny State model, ensures you protection under that model.
Where there is more than one standard, the lines become blurred. And remember, once you perform an ancillary service for a fee, any protection afforded under the SOP for that PARTICULAR activity is lost forever.
I only reference the NY State SOP in my agreement and inspection report.