Ohio Licensing Questions

Just trying to get an update on Ohio proposed licensing:

Any new news?

When is this going to be voted on?

Any idea when it is going into effect?

Are NACHI’s interests well represented?

Huuuum! Seems that I will have to seek this info elsewhere!

Contact Jeff Judy.


I just saw a copy of the legislation in an email I received from the Inspectors Journal. It seems to mirror ASHI-

Who’s that?
Is he an active member of our board or do I have to call him?

John, Jeff is the Ohio State Chapter president. The legislation is a piece of ASHI crap in it’s present form and hopefully it won’t make it into law. I’ve been writing my representative a few times a week but got no response yet.

Get involed. Call the NACHI board and get them calling the state. There is a bill sitting in committee at this time.

I am trying to get involved but, am running into no information and hearsay.
I guess I was spoiled by all the communication going on with the recently passed FL. legislation on this board.
You guys in FL. really kown how to put things together!
When visiting the award winning Ohio NACHI site, it seems that things are going somebodies Way??


The 2005 proposed FL legislation was vetoed by the Governor. I suggest you contact Jeff Judy directly to see how you can personally get involved to help him and the rest of the Ohio inspectors.

It may also be advisable to contact Members of the NACHI Executive Staff, such as Mr. John Bowman, Mr. Blaine Wiley, Mr. Joe Farsetta, and others for an update on this matter.

They have been known to attend many of these State Legislative meetings


Ohio considers licensing of all home inspectors

By Kathy Bergstrom
Enquirer contributor

COLUMBUS - Ohio consumers need better assurances that the home inspectors they hire are qualified to do the job, say the backers of a bill that would create state licensing for home inspectors.

Home inspectors are not regulated by the state, and it’s relatively easy for an unqualified person to enter the profession, they say. That’s a concern when the purchase of a house can hinge on a satisfactory home inspection.

If the bill passes this year, Ohio would join 30 other states in having home inspector regulations, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors. Twenty-six states - including Kentucky and Indiana - have passed regulatory laws in the last eight years, according to the Des Plaines, Ill.-based society.

Pierina Schmidt of Amberley Village thinks that consumers need the law. Two years ago, she and her husband, Carl, hired a home inspector who did not identify major repairs needed to the $400,000 home they subsequently bought.

Schmidt said the major repairs included severe damage to the gutters, problems with a garbage disposal and lack of insulation in a laundry room. Those repairs cost the couple $15,000 to $20,000, she said.

The Schmidts filed a complaint with the Ohio attorney general’s office but were told that the inspection company was not willing to negotiate to solve the problem. The couple also was told that they would have to retain a lawyer at their own expense if they wanted to seek damages against the inspection company.

“We just took it on the chin and made the repairs that had to be done,” Schmidt said.

An average home appraisal costs $300 to $400, according to MortgageNewsDaily.com.

Rep. Michelle Schneider, R-Madeira, has introduced the licensing bill in the Ohio House of Representatives. The bill has 15 co-sponsors - seven Republicans and eight Democrats.

“I guess I was surprised to learn through constituents in my area that there is no licensing or safeguards for the public for home inspectors,” Schneider said. “Anybody could hold themselves out as a home inspector.”

A similar bill with slightly different prerequisites for obtaining a license has been introduced by Sen. Robert Spada, R-North Royalton.

Home inspector groups say they support such measures if the requirements are fair and truly protect consumers. They say creating a license in Ohio could protect homeowners by keeping unqualified people out of the business.

Schneider hopes hearings will begin on the bill sometime this month.

Her proposal would set up a state board to oversee home inspectors, which would establish standards of practice for the profession.

To obtain a home inspector’s license, inspectors would need to be licensed as an associate home inspector for no less than one year and have performed 250 home inspections. They also would need proof of general liability insurance of $100,000 or higher and 20 hours annually of continuing education.

Associate home inspectors would be required to have completed high school and a board-approved curriculum of at least 120 hours, including at least 80 classroom hours.

Finally, associate home inspectors would have to pass an examination offered by an association of home inspectors recognized by the state board.

Spada’s bill would require that an associate home inspector complete at least 200 home inspections under the supervision of a licensed home inspector. Some home inspectors take issue with the language requiring supervision by another inspector, saying it would make it difficult for new inspectors to enter the business.

Spada said he thinks that a compromise will be reached.

Credibility for industry

For security reasons, Schneider was alarmed to think that someone claiming to be a qualified home inspector could go through someone’s home and learn everything about it without any licensing or training. She met with Ohio representatives of the American Society of Home Inspectors and the National Association of Home Inspectors, and a bill was drafted.

Rep. Courtney Combs, R-Hamilton, is one of the bill’s co-sponsors. He also is a real estate agent.

“I work with these people basically every day, and it’s gotten to a point where I believe that anybody can come down the road and put up a sign and say, ‘I’m a home inspector,’” he said.

Some inspectors exaggerate their experience and don’t have the credentials to perform the inspections, he said.

Combs, who has sold real estate for 37 years, said his clients haven’t been burned by home inspectors, but he’s heard stories of home buyers who have.
When he provides home inspector referrals to clients, he always gives customers a choice of two or three and checks their references.

The bill would “give credibility to the industry,” Combs said.
Steve Verssen, owner of Vertech Inspections and Consulting Inc. in Cincinnati, is a member of a joint legislative committee of the two home inspection groups that worked on the bill. Verssen is vice president of the Ohio chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

The home inspection industry can attract people looking for new careers who aren’t qualified to do the work, he said.

“It is a very good profession, a very good industry,” he said. “The problem … is that many people get into the business with insufficient training.”

Many home buyers are making the biggest purchase of their lifetime and put a lot of confidence in the home inspector, he said. If that inspector doesn’t have the proper training, that creates a big liability for the consumer, Verssen said.

Testing requirements

Spada’s bill is more restrictive about who can enter the profession, Verssen said, and the committee does not support it. “It raises the cost to the consumer, and it’s a restriction of trade,” he said.

“If you have to work under somebody for an extended period of time under indentured servitude, that’s not healthy for the business,” Verssen said.
Schneider’s bill is “fair. It’s going to provide the necessary protection to the consumers,” he said.

State licensing might make it easier for consumers to discern who is a qualified home inspector because some associations offer weak certification programs, Verssen said.

Don Norman, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors, thinks that licensing laws will increase the quality of home inspectors. To be effective, laws must have good enforcement and testing requirements, he said.

Nick Gromicko, founder of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, a Pennsylvania group begun in 1990, said the it supports licensing but cannot support a bill that requires inspectors to have to work for another inspector for an extended period.

Gromicko is generally in favor of state licensing because “we’re trying … to make the home-inspection business into the home inspection profession.”

How to pick a home inspector

Start looking for a home inspector by asking for referrals from family and friends - instead of someone suggested by anyone in the housing industry (to avoid conflicts of interest).

Then check to see if the inspector is certified by a national organization, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Membership in such associations may offer added assurance of an inspector’s qualifications and training.

Before you hire the inspector, ask to see samples of the kinds of reports that he or she produces. In addition, ask if you can go on the inspection. Most reputable inspectors will agree, although it will take two to five hours of your time. Also, be sure to ask how soon the final report will be ready for you to review.

Finally, remember that a house or building doesn’t pass or fail an inspection. The process is designed to give you details about a structure’s positive and negative points.

If you live in Indiana, check with state officials to see if an inspector is licensed. Indiana enacted a law in 2003 that requires licensing. For information, call the state Professional Licensing Agency at (317) 234-3009. You can search the state’s database of licensed inspectors at https://extranet.in.gov/WebLookup/Search.aspx.

In Kentucky, a law enacted in 2004 requiring licensing for home inspectors is scheduled to go into effect July 1. For information, call the state Office of Housing, Building and Construction at (502) 573-0364. You also can go online to http://hbc.ppr.ky.gov/HomeInspectorsBoard.htm.

Until the Kentucky law goes into effect - or until Ohio passes one - you can check with the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau to see if it has a reliability report on a prospective building inspector. Call (513) 421-3015 or search the BBB site at search.cincinnati.bbb.org.

To learn more about an inspection service in Ohio, you can search the state attorney general’s Web site. Go to http://www2.ag.state.oh.us/sections/consumer/ccapsplus/Inquiry.asp, and select Household Services and Maintenance in the Major Category pulldown menu. Or you can call the office’s Consumer Protection Section at (800) 282-0515 to inquire about a provider - or file a complaint.

Until the Kentucky law goes into effect, you also can contact the state Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at (502) 696-5389. Or you can go online to get a complaint form at http://ag.ky.gov/cp/forms/complaint.pdf

Front page News in the Cincinnati’s Enquire dated 01-17-2006. Ohio considers licensing of all Ohio Inspectors.