Washington State Structural Pest Inspections

How are you Wastington State HI’s handling the Pest Inspections required by the Dept. of Ag.? Do you include them as part of the Home Inspection, or do you treat them as a separate Inspection and Charge accordingly?

part of–included in cost of inspection

Does anyone sub out the pest inspection portion?

Also, the Home Inspector wording says that if you are not going to acknowledge conditions conducive to WDO’s then you don’t have to have the licensing, they state however that it is very difficult to do an inspection without acknowledging those types of conditions. Does anyone excuse themselves from anything pest related, or anything similar?

I just think it’s absolutely absurd to require this. I think it’s the pest control/inspection industry trying to retain a hold on the inspection industry.

Will comply of course, just irritated.

Wendy said:
Also, the Home Inspector wording says that if you are not going to acknowledge conditions conducive to WDO’s then you don’t have to have the licensing,

According to the WSDA Rep even reporting a leaky drain would require a Complete WDO Report…Washington State “Agencies” have a long history of going overboard…remember when the Liquor Board sent agents down to Reno, NV to take down the License Plate Numbers of Wa****onians buying “Cheap” Liquor, or more recently the Arrests of Dozens of people at the Idaho State Border on the charge of “Smuggling” Cigarettes Legally Purchased in Idaho into Washington State…funny how in both cases no one was ever taken to Trial.

In a Letter the WSDA sent to all Realtors in Washington State they stated that “Virtually all home inspectors report on one or more othese Problems and reqire the SPI license. For example, if a home inspection report mentions leaky pipes, plugged gutters, poor ventilation or rot (damage), the inspector HAS performed a Structural Pest Inspection.”

Then they go on to isuue a threat to the Realtors, " By referring unlicensed inspectors to prospective homebuyers or by accepting an illegal inspection report (Realtors Accept a Report??) you place yourself in a potentially litigious situation. Don’t add this liability to yourself or your business." What crap.

“Put the liability where it belongs–on the Inspector, not on you, your client or your broker.” More Crap.

In Washington State, the Realtor and the Seller have NO LIABILITY once a Home Inspector has performed a paid inspection for the Buyer…why then is the WSDA threatening the Realtors?

Questions about Washington’s Structural Pest Inspection can be sent to Dr. Dan Suomi at 360-902-2044 or to dsuomi@agr.wa.gov

Lewis, you can find that letter at…

My understanding is that it was sent out by the Real Estate association and those first two paragraphs are their words…not the WSDA.

I believe it was a response to this news release by the WSDA…

It’s not the WSDA doing the “threatening”…just a warning from the realtors association to their members.

Oh…BTW…included, no charge. Can’t really do a decent home inspection without crossing the WDO line anyway.

I have been looking for it, but in 2005 department of ag had some wording revised in the rcw to specifically address home inspectors or structural pest inspectors to read that if you conduct an inspection for the purpose of a real estate transaction to include refinancing of the home than you are required to be a licensed Structural Pest Inspector.

I had this change saved but can not find it at this time, I will locate it and post it later.

When I took the course to get my SPI license Dr. Dan Sunomi virtually told us that any HI who wasn’t licensed was breaking the law. Of course he also said that we had unlimited liability for anything we inspected which I took issue with. He said this is why we should have E&O. Being new to Washington at the time I quickly reconsidered why anyone would be a HI. I could see it now, Realtor to client " this house is really a dump. Let’s get the dumbest inspector with at least a million in E&O. We will whitewash everything and I will rush the inspector through, claiming I have an emergency client meeting. Then when the seller discovers everything we hid, we syck them on the inspector!" On course this wasn’t the case but Dr. Dan had me going for a bit.

The reality is that doing pest in parallel with your regular inspection allows you to charge more. Everyone is looking to charge more and SPI allows you to do that with little overhead but significant liability if you miss something or misinterpet an issue.


Does anyone have an answer for the subbing question?

I read somewhere that it can be subbed out to a pest inspection company. Is this true?


Richard said:

"It’s not the WSDA doing the “threatening”…just a warning from the realtors association to their members. "

Oh…BTW…included, no charge. Can’t really do a decent home inspection without crossing the WDO line anyway…


It was Suomi who stated that it was WSDA who originated the letter and that they would charge Realtors who recommended unlicensed Inspectors.

I agree we cross the line into WDO Territory when we do our inspections, we also cross the line into many of the other trades but so far none of the Agencies who regulate them have required us to be licensed in their field. WDO damage needs to be reported, but I’m not going to repair it or treat it, I’m going to defer both to Specialists, and like with any other problem found during an Inspection that we defer, to me it’s best to let the Specialists define the exact problem…we’re Generalists not Specialists…

Mostly I guess it’s my old North Idaho Native defiance of Authority. I still haven’t decided if I will cross the Border, it would be nice to expand my market area to include the much larger population in Spokane. I’m not sure if in Spokane, being on the poor side of the State, I will be able to charge enough to make it worth the extra liability and hassle.

You state my feelings on the issue exactly, however WSDA are forcing us to step across the line we don’t like it and the exterminating companies don’t like it. I have talked to Dan Soumi about this issue many times but it gets you no where. I tried to sub this out and it just created a lot of termoil with clients, home owners and realtors, so I just include it into my inspection and it goes a lot smoother. maybe we can form a washington home inspector association and higher a lobbyist to lobby in Olympia on our behalf. I do not think that it is going to go away because WSDA are building a new facility in Puylup to train home inspectors, so there is more regulation to fallow that I am sure of.

I would like to see exterminating companies have to be trained as home inspectors as well, after all if they are under a house doing an extermination and see a cut floor joist are they not then acting in a home inspectors capacity are they reporting that defect?:twisted:

In January my E & O was up for renewal and I changed Carriers the new carrier did not send WSDA a new proof of financial responsibility, last week I call to get more inspection control #s the recording said that there was a problem with my license and would not issue the ICN’s until I could get this to them which took about three days, so I had to conduct three inspections without control #'s and they talk about compliance. they new they did not have this info about two months ago a letter would of been great, instead they try to flaunt there power, and force you to shut down for three days.


Ted, I’m already forming the Olympic Peninsula chapter of NACHI, and I live in Shelton just 20 min. from Olympia. I have alot of litigation experience under my belt representing myself and friends over the past year and I can show you or anyone else my resume which will show conclusively that I haven’t lost a case yet. I have actually been persuasive enough to get the prosecutor here to reverse her opinion on a case and recommend my position to the judge. The judge thereafter reversed her previous decision and went with my recommendation. All of this can be viewed publicly as a matter of public record.

I would LOVE to sink my teeth into lobbying for Wa. NACHI and I can tell you, I go for the jugular and I do not let up. If I go after it, I will win. That isn’t arrogance, it’s just fact.

I am more than happy to send you my resume if the position you spoke of is available.

Hi Wendy,
I tried to get washington inspectors to tell there concerns for this very reason last year and no one would respond I would be honored to take you up on your offer.


Woo Hoo!!!