R.I.Home inspectors may need to be licensed

Home inspectors may need to be licensed

A new law would require inspectors to pass an exam

Updated: Thursday, 26 Apr 2012, 9:43 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 26 Apr 2012, 9:33 PM EDT

  • By Katy Fitzpatrick

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Home inspections can be a stressful time for anybody, especially when that inspector is telling you the things you need to fix in your home. But how much do these inspectors actually know about plumbing, electricity and other areas of review?
Rhode Island home inspectors are not currently required to have a Home Inspection License, meaning they do not have to prove their knowledge of the criteria by which they are inspecting houses.
11 years ago, a Home Inspectors Licensing Law was proposed, but it was never put into effect. That could all change this summer if the law passes.
Under the new law, home inspectors would be required to pass an exam, work as an associate inspector and be insured.

Thats been on the books and left in limbo for lack of funding for years. There are some inspectors in RI working hard to pass it. Not sure if it will pass. it comes up periodicly and nothing seems to happen, we will see.

I’m not so sure licensing actually helps, other than to keep track of who’s inspceting, and give consumers some comfort. There are lots of other licensed tradesman out there who suck at what they do too.

One thing for sure its, a way for our state to suck a couple hundred more $'s from us each year. As of now I think you need to simply be a registered contractor to inspect, but maybe not even that. In any case, I’m insured and have enough inspections under my belt to not need to work as an associate, there are items in there that allow for experienced inspectors to be grandfathered in to some criteria.

We just killed another attempt by ASHI and the Missouri Association of Realtors to run our businesses through a “licencing law” in Missouri for the tenth consecutive year, this year.

A retired businessman and consumer wrote this interesting article for a newspaper … and gave testimony at two congressional hearings on these bills … to fight them.

This, in part, is what he had to say …

This says it is to happen by this summer … Roy

I wrote our contractor board, the legislation proposed is dated 2001. I would hate to get fines because they fianlly decide to mandate licensing, and just dont tell anyone. Then you get a race to turn each other in… and a big mess.

It isn’t the government that is pushing this, not the citizens asking for it either, it’s a group of about 12-15 inspectors in RI. A way to cut out new competition (like the above post suggests).

Just out of curiosity are the realtors involved in the pus??

Is one certain group or association of inspectors the villians??

I dont think its realtors, theres a group of inspectors (mostly ASHI guys) in RI that have been pushing this for about 10+ years now. Or at least they take credit for pushing it through.

Thing is the legisation will never actually improve inspections for consumers. It has no standards, inspection, what a report should contain, scope, inclusions, exclusions, etc… Theres no real teeth to improve the service, except passing some test that who knows who will make it up, the test may be a joke who knows.

Just a minimum number of inspections completed before you can work on your own, a minumum amount of insurance, minumim amount of time in the industry, pass a test, and pay an annual fee.

What I dont get is who’s to determine what has been done prior to the law taking effecet if it ever does? technically no one will have performed any inspections as a licensed inspector at some point and licensing will be mandated.

“Just a minimum number of inspections completed before you can work on your own, a minumum amount of insurance, minumim amount of time in the industry, pass a test, and pay an annual fee”.

Gee, sounds like HI licensing to me in most every other state that has it.

I am glad we have licensing in Illinois.
Just out of curiosity do our reports recommend an unlicensed Contractor?


Just seems like un necesary red tape (and one more way for the state to do a money grab, if they dont wante all the money administering the system).

I assumed that other states (or any state for that matter) to have a license would mandate some sort of minimum standatd of performance, no? Other than that why bother doing it? Because of a news story prompted by whom? The story on the news was not prompted by a dis-satisfied customer, there was an ASHI guy on there. No one got burned etc…by a bad inspection. not that folks dont.

Fight it with all your strength or you will end up like us in Florida.

Nothing good comes from it and it cost you money to maintain.

Home inspector licensing only sets a minimum standard. The result is soft, basic, limited reports all performed and written by these basic standards, and at $199 or even less.

ASHI is pushing state laws nationwide, moving from state to state, all to appease their RE constituents. RE’s give most of their home inspection business to ASHI inspectors, then ASHI contributes revenue to licensing lobbyists and the campaign funds of lawmakers. RE’s then are happy, because they get minimum, basic reports, all allowed by law. The home buyer is then not alarmed by the basic home inspection reports, and the home sells, and the RE’s get their commissions.

HI licensing is one of the largest home sales scams in history. And people wonder why there is so much fraud going on. Duh.

If ASHI inspectors are pushing this, they’ll want to control the board, set the SoP, and use the NHIE set up by ASHI years ago for the test.

Update, i spoke to the contractors board…yes he called me back.

He says the bill has passed the house and in senate. He thinks it may go through this time, but not really sure. The channel 12 report referenced above may push it over the top.

All the NACHI requirements for SOP, continuing education etc…already exceed the minimum standard, I already carry enough insurance so that wouldn’t change for me either. I hav ethe number of inspections completed to not have to work as an associate or apprentice so that isnt really an issue either.

The difference: we’ll be required to pass the state test, he doesnt know who writes that, and pay the $200 per year license fee.

I asked how that makes us better, because I know licensed tradesman who ar eterrible at their jobs, but still carry a valid license. He laughed and said we cant fix everything, it does ensure a minimum level of knowledge to pass the test and they at least know we have some knowledge level if they test us. And they make sure we all carry insurance (apparently some guys arent doing that).


If the insurance requirement is E&O, that’s for us (you). So why do they care if you carry it or not?

it is my e&o, but they also mandate contractors carry general liability to be registered, and your plumbing/electricians need to carry liability to have current licenses too…

I think its the political way to say “hey consumers, we are trying to protect you by making all these guys have insurance.”


I don’t know about others … but my insurance company pays for lawyers to protect me, not my clients.