The Great Licensing Debate - I offer my humbe opinion!

I have watched and listened with great interest the debate in this and many, many other posts. The struggle with dealing in the political and economic implications of each and every bill that winds its way through the legislative process is pervasive throughout our lives.

In seeing the forcefulness of the opinions offered here, I have to ask myself these basic questions:

How has the current legislation enhanced or hindered my professional existance?

How will any proposed legislation enhance of hinder my ability to maintain or enhance my current and future earning potential?

As the world existed prior to licensing in the state of Florida, contractors could and did inspect properties and perform the repairs at said properties
The second bone of contention that is pervasive throughout the latest discussion is the “dumbing down” of the Inspection industry. The provision to allow All Division 1, Municipal Building Inspectors and ICC Certificate holders get licensing by endorsement is heatedly opposed by many. Prior to the licensing provision all any of these folks had to do was spin around three times, hang a shingle, and proclaim to the world “I am a Home Inspector” three times and viola! They were!! Like magic!!

Why then do we howl out loud, now that the requirements a tad more rigorous and the costs significantly higher, that the world is coming to an end.

…Yet, I managed to be successful attracting sufficient opportunities to be of service in the home and insurance inspection arena. I question that the provisions of this bill, in either version, will significantly impact that ability. The only thing that will is the quality of the inspections performed.

The only provision that WILL impact our ability to earn a decent wage for a job well done is any provision that would hinder MY ability to perform home and insurance inspections. Any provision that imposes restrictions on MY standards of practice and code of ethics (Which has been very nicely written in the NACHI format) and dictates how I will or will not operate MY business would be of much concern

We ARE the small, independent home inspectors, We proudly display our NACH membership, and offer our resume and referral list to any who would care to compare ability and quality of work. I am NOT intimidated or worried about Johnny come lately, the “Conspector”. If he proves he can provide a better, more thorough, home inspection, I say let him have it. I earn my living on reputation alone! Advertise away, my friend, in the end the professional realtors and insurance agents and our past client list will keep us as busy as we care to be.

Richard - I too speak your language. But as I sit and listen to others, it is not that way everywhere. What works for you in your area may not work for other in their area. Your level of comfort (money wise) may be severy inferior or significantly surpass the expectations of another inspector.

Their compliant is that BEFORE licensing the questions were asked about experience, quality and so on. Now it just seems they want to know if your licensed and they take that as a qualification and deem you as equal as another inspector.

I have built my client base and have done well, but then again I think about 5000 homes sold here over the past couple of months. Compared to about 500 in other areas.

I see your point clearly and I agree, but what I have been seeing lately from talking to other people is that its not the same everywhere.

Instead of looking at it from MY perspective, I am trying to view it from the INDUSTRY perspective and will always side with what shines the best, most professional and fairest light for ALL with the most concern to what protects the public in the best manner.

In my opinion, this law hinders protection of the public, shines poorly upon our profession and allows those who did nothing to build, work and cultivate the industry to reap the benefits…

Russ - thanks for the perspective.

I would have to admit that the concerns expressed by Mr. Bushart in regards to negative media scrutiny on the industry in regards to unprofessional activity in our industry in need of monitoring.

My point is that instead of concetrating efforts in WHO comprises the industry body - I would wonder if the HOW is not the subject of the dumbing down. I remember clearly your concerns regarding the situation in Texas where the state offered a standard format and mandated its use.

This is the area where I think that our efforts should concentrate - the Rule Making process will have a much larger impact on the industry than legislation focused on the people in the game.

Adopting an SOP that mandates any kind of strict standardization will appeal to the lowest common denominator and limit our ability to distinquish ourselves on quality.

In my opinion, it would be imperative that this should be the primary focus of the efforts of those involved. (Admitably I have not been an active participant in the ongoing debate, but I am sure that many of us who have not been DO have an interest in the process.)

If I may be allowed to don my old teacher’s hat for a moment I would like to ensure that we are “Thinking Critically” As I stated there has not been a restriction on any of the aforementioned entrants into the profession over the years and yet we have still managed to build something of a reputation of professionalism (if I may so presume) so the total focus on this issue may be an effort to solve the wrong problem.

Our professionalism and quality of work shoud be THE factor that is most critical for our customers in choosing a Home Inspector. The one thing on the horizon that would limit this is the SOP. Can you see where standardization of the reporting format could have a large negative impact on this distinquishing factor?

The process of influencing this important document, I believe, would be much different than the legislative process. I’m wondering how one goes about getting a voice here? Does the same lobbyist have influence over this process, or they only going to be the watchdog that keeps the legislature from approving another “Taj Majal” type fiasco at our expense?

Again - my stance is let them join the market as they always can - Let’s just not level the playing field so that the poorest trained inspector can appear, not only on the surface, but in the nitty gritty of performing the job as being in the same class as those of us who take pride in what we do.

The way I see it is very simple EVERYONE including: contractors, unlicensed home inspectors, Florida licensed and certified building inspectors, ICC certified building inspectors, pizza delivery people, panhandlers, and anyone else that may have had an interest has had 3 years and 8 months to prepare for licensing. They have also had 8 plus months to take advantage of the grandfathering provisions and like it has been pointed out many time it doesn’t exactly take a PHD in engineering from Rice University to obtain licensure via grandfathering. The state for the several years has seen to break out home inspecting from all the existing license types. I can see no valid or compeling reason to extend grandfathering or provide licensing by endorsement to any special interest group. Everyone has had the time to make their decision it’s NOW time to move on.

Well said and fully true. The problem is simply that as inexperienced and uneducated (in home inspection) individuals conduct buisness they will harm consumers through their negligence and detract from the public trust we have established. I don’t believe this will in fact negatively impact me personnally but I would prefer it if the proffesion was held in higher regard. Not to become a target for unscrupulous attorneys fishing for 30% on TV advertisements.

The last legal Sunrise Study performed in Florida (see attached) concluded that registration should be the highest form of regulation. It is already obvious to anyone paying attention that the legitimate home inspection associations (InterNACHI, ASHI & FABI) already regulate their members higher than any licensing legislation which has been proposed in the state of Florida.

We need with one voice go to our Governor and elected representatives and demand that this debacled legislation be repealed before the consumer and the profession is damaged beyond repair.

Please help by posting your ideas and letters here.

Pages from SunriseStudy_1994.pdf (179 KB)

Huh?..thats not what I read…Read Final conclusion…

If I remember correctly this whole mess got started by a senator who thought his home inspector missed something on an inspection (a dishwasher I think). This mess will not be repealed until

  1. they figure out that they cannot fund it

  2. another legislator feels he has been wronged

  3. complaints start to file in at a high rate and they see they have made a bonehead mistake.

Read the last paragraph again, slow. :smiley:

Got it…the slow helped…:wink:

ahhhhhhhhh, a democratic regime…who would of thunk it!!!

Repeal and restore the industry to its prior state is a worthy goal. However, I fear that the process to do so would be a tireless journey. The primary obstacle may very well be finding a legislative representative that would have enough interest in the topic to stand before the world and declare that the fair members are, indeed, fallible. Mind you, this would be the same august group that met in special session (twice) and solved the insurance and property taxes crisises! I have do doubt that you have encountered many of the populous who are overcome with joy in the outcomes of these special sessions.

If the turnout at the latest meeting is an indication of the support for industry wide efforts being made by you brave souls, then I question the ability to drum up enough noise to inspire a member of the Legislature that would be willing to take such a stand.

I again state that in order to hedge your bet against such a repeal occuring some of the combined efforts may be better spent in exploring the possibility that some licensing law will remain in effect. This would mandate an effort to be part of the Rule Making process. This will be the document under which the profession will operate and offer services to clients. The strength and weakness of the SOP will become the rock that we stand on or that we carry on our shoulders.

As a minor participant in the efforts to ensure that our industry remains viable I have little idea of the politics and methodology that a group would have to navigate to be considered as a contributor to the rule making process, but perhaps those who have been involved could address this issue to see if is even feasible.

The labryinth of government workings should be able to be penetrated and influenced in some manner one would hope, for I fear that licensing is here to stay. Perhaps we better worry less about the players and concentrate more on how the game is to be played.

Integrity can’t be legislated.

The meeting was no indication of the support out there.

Glad to hear that. Knock 'em dead in Tallahasee!