Washington information update

So here is the latest information coming out of the State of Washington Department of Licensing.

As of the September 1, 2009 deadline, 389 inspectors had put in under the grandfather clause. As of yesterday, only 319 had been issued a license. The other 70 did not complete the rest of the requirements under the “grandfather” clause.

There were a number of inspectors who took the NHIE and WA test and failed numerous times, some as many as 4 times. This would have been one reason for not completing the requirements.

There are others that put in for testing and have:

  1. stopped operating and closed the business
  2. continued to inspect and will shut down by July 1, 2010
  3. continued to inspect and will complete all the requirements by July 1, 2010.

In regards to the advertising portion of the law. Inspectors that were inspecting as of June 12, 2008 when the law was passed but did not meet the “grandfather” clause can continue to inspect AND advertise until July 2010 with certain requirements.

Those that advertise MUST include information on all their advertisements (websites, flyers, business cards), contracts and reports that states they are a NON-LICENSED HOME INSPECTOR. Full disclosure must be made in this fashion without option.

For those that are using old supplies of flyers and business cards, that question was specifically asked numerous times and there is no provision to allow for using old supplies. Your information must have either “Licensed Home Inspector” and your license number OR Non-Licensed Home Inspector.

The official State complaint intake form will be ready in the next 2-3 weeks. All complaints will be dated and accepted but will not be worked on until the official intake form is completed. There have already been numerous complaints filed with the State in regards to various inspectors.

And the beat goes on.


Looks like just another unenforceable rule added to the law by the kids on the licensing board. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it.

I believe Nick had some advice in the same vein here when Licensing first was enacted. I am not exactly sure how it all went down, but it was bad advice.

You may not have read the initial post, but what I read was that the information came from the department of licensing. I do know that the “rules” did not come from the board. I attended the last meeting and none of those issues were talked about. I also receive from the dol minutes of every board meeting. As others have stated, the board has NOTHING to do with enforcement.

I sense that there are a bunch of PO’d licensees who don’t appreciate that newbies get another whole year. They want to create a distinction that is not provided within the actual law.

Let 'em suffer…then, next year hit them with the triple fee since only 313 are supporting the entire funding for this farcical exercise in having their legislature market for them.

Once again you are wrong Jim. “Newbies” do not get another year. The only people that get another 9 1/2 months are those that were actively inspecting on June 12, 2008 when the licensing law was passed. That group, and that group alone have the extra time. Anyone that has started inspecting since June 13, 2008 either must have their license at this time or must cease operations.

The only person that I know of that is PO’d about licensing anywhere is you. There were many of us against licensing in Washington. We lost. I accept that and find that since we now have requirements, one must either follow those laws or pay the consequences.

The Department of Licensing has determined that those that are continuing to inspect under the provisions of the law that allow inspecting until July 2010, must FULLY DISCLOSE that they are operating as a NON-LICENSED home inspector. The FULL DISCLOSURE is consistent with the requirement to have “Licensed Home Inspector” included on any advertisements, contracts or reports. You either Are licensed, or Are Not licensed. You must inform the public and clientele of your status.

It’s gotta sting to see an un-licensed inspector sitting at #1 on Google](http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1_____enUS343US343&aq=f&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=tacoma+home+inspector). :mrgreen: Just sayin’.

Three strikes and you should be out! 4 WOW, why am I not surprised :eek:

So licensing may be a good thing. :twisted: :wink:

Steve I am not even sure what the point is in responding to the never ending vitriol from JB. I think anyone who has read this message board long enough understands that it is only rhetoric to push an anti licensing agenda. As a former ESOP member he should understand how important the information you have provided is for those who are trying to comply with the law. After all membership in Nachi, Ashi, etc. requires that HI’s comply with their state law, as I recall. Not that I can say many are proud to have membership in the same association as this guy. Quite the embarrasment from what I have read and heard.

Unless this has changed since I left Wa. 3 years ago (can’t see why it would)…

It shoud be stated, for those unfamiliar with Wa. State law, that this is not just a Home Inspector ‘thing’. For as long as I can remember, *all licensed service *providers (…ie… contractors, plumbers, painters…) are required to state their License number on any and all advertising, etc…

Hi All,

Stephen, thanks for getting out that information. As far as the advertising goes, there’s no reason to toss your old advertising stuff unless it runs afoul of the rule against misrepresenting one’s experience as an inspector. Have a local printer make you up a stamp that says Licensed Home Inspector #XXX on it and then stamp it on your materials - or simply write it on by hand.

I think that the fact that they couldn’t pass the NHIE is going to be a wakeup call for inspectors that didn’t pass it on their 1st call. It is, after all, a test of very basic knowledge. I’ve said for years that anyone that’s been practicing the business (conscientiously) for 3 months or more should be able to pass it. Now that those folks have had to spend so much money to take and pass that basic test, maybe they’ll be a little more motivated to keep up with the technical requirements of their profession - especially since many of us that were unaffiliated with any association, which is supposedly the majority of inspectors in the state, will now have to garner at least 24 CEU’s every license cycle. I just got 15, now I’ve got 11 months and 27 days to get the other 9 hours.

As far as it being a “marketing” ploy, that’s just J.B. spouting off.

Before licensing, some inspectors that bothered to market used their various associations’ status to try and puff themselves up to look better than their competition. They’ve been doing that in Texas where licensing has been around as long as ASHI has, so I’m sure that after licensing they will continue to do that in Washington state; I doubt that’s going to change anytime soon.

Before licensing, some inspectors that bothered to market used their past experience in one or more of the construction trades to try and puff themselves up to look better than their competition - even in Texas where licensing has been around for as long as ASHI has. They will continue to do that; only now, in Washington State at least - they’ll have to differentiate between their time in construction and their actual time doing home inspections - no more, “I’ve got 35 years of experience;” now it will have to be something like, “Before I was an inspector I worked in construction for 30 years and I’ve been inspecting homes for five years.” That’s hardly an onerous change for an inspector to make. I’m sure that they’ll continue to try and leverage their previous experiences here in Washington State and there will be nothing wrong with that as long as they provide full disclosure or what their actual home inspecting experience is so that the consumer isn’t hoodwinked into believing that they are more experienced than they actually are.

Before licensing, some tried to make people believe that because they are members of an association that has “certified” in it’s title that their qualifications have somehow been vetted and they are therefore more competent than others - even in Texas where licensing has been around for as long as ASHI has. I’m am absolutely certain they will continue to do that.

Before licensing, those with more experience actually inspecting homes claimed that their additional experience at inspecting homes made them better inspectors than those who’d jumped into the business yesterday from another profession - even in Texas where licensing has been around for as long as ASHI has. I’m absolutely certain that they will continue to claim that.

Before licensing, some didn’t market at all, and relied on past clients to spread the word about their companies - even in Texas where licensing has been around as long as ASHI has. We will continue to do so.

Here are the differences a consumer will see:

  • Uniform minimum standards to enter the profession.
  • Mandatory inspection contracts that will tell clients what to expect from an inspector - even for pre-listing consultations where inspectors aren’t producing written reports.
  • Because of rules, inspectors are no longer motivated to try and up-sell the consumer on certain repairs that the inspector can make for them at additional cost.
  • Because of rules, inspectors must disclose to the client any special relationships or arrangements they have with anyone referring them, and kickbacks and pay-for-play to be on a preferred providers list are now illegal.
  • Because of rules, inspectors can no longer legally misrepresent their experience to the client.
  • Uniform reporting requirements that require all inspection reports to contain certain basic information.
  • A single standard of practice instead of an alphabet soup of standards (AII, ASHI, NAHI, NACHI, ISHI, etc.).
  • An agency with the power to do something about it when a consumer has a complaint against an inspector, instead of the situation before licensing where, if a consumer complained to the inspector’s association, the association’s power to do anything about it, when/if the allegation is proven and turns out to be a violation of standards or conduct, was limited to nothing more severe than kicking the inspector out of the association.
  • Future inspectors trained by courses that have been vetted and approved that will have to spend time on actual inspections, write actual reports, and then be tested, twice, before being allowed to legally practice in the state.

There are other benefits to the consumer but this is a pretty good start.


Mike O’Handley, LHI
Your Inspector LLC.
Kenmore, Washington
Wa. Lic. Home Inspector #202
Editor - The Inspector’s Journal™

The Home Inspector licensing is brand new and many are not familiar with the requirements during this transition period.

Just makes it easier for the State to find and verify the violations. :wink:

Just sayin that this is not exclusive to Home Inspectors. All trades have the requirement, and this just brings them in line with what is already established practice in WA.

I don’t see any violations. Do you?

It’s gonna sting telling someone who calls looking for a licensed home inspection that you can’t legally do it. They’ll just call the next inspector on the list… (#2).:p:p:p


Well, he can legally inspect until July 1, 2010; after that, he’ll have to be licensed.

In the meantime, if they call and ask if he’s licensed, he’ll have to answer no. He also might have to do a little work on his website to bring it into compliance. No big deal, really.



Keep dreaming. :roll: I haven’t been asked one time, not one, from an agent or client about licensing. All of this is unfounded hype from pro licensing/bitter licensed guys. Oddly enough, I’m on track to do more inspections this month than my average over the summer. Go figure.

Most callers just book and do not ask many questions.