September, 2002
Legislative News
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



ASHI Attends National Conference of State Legislatures

BOB KOCIOLEK

Exhibiting for the first time at  NCSL, ASHI’s representatives used the occasion to establish the Society as the foremost resource for home inspection legislation information.

Mike Casey, ASHI president; Brion Grant, Legislative Committee co-chair; Steve Blair, ASHI Member from the Rocky Mountain Chapter; and I unveiled the new ASHI Position Paper on Regulation of Home Inspectors at the July Conference in Denver. The NCSL annual meeting is known as the place to be if an organization is concerned about a legislative issue.

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Photo: LGC Co-Chair Brion Grant working hard at NCSL





With 25 states already regulating home inspectors and with real estate agents and brokers as well as consumer advocate legislators pushing legislation in many of the other 25, it is most likely only a matter of time before home inspectors are regulated in every state. Knowing this, the Legislative Committee developed a new, all-encompassing Position on regulation, including grading of existing laws according to how well they protect consumers and provide a minimal level of competent entry into the profession. The completed Position Paper also includes a model bill, which legislators can use as a template for draft bills.

At the conference we were able to broadly distribute the Position Paper, to make valuable contacts, and to establish ASHI as the national, private sector leader and resource with regard to state legislative action concerning home inspection. The show was a tremendous success for ASHI. Some of the highlights follow.  

• Distributed more than 500 Position Papers

• Made great contacts with some mega-players in state legislation

• Met with a senior program director of NCSL, briefed him on the contents of the Paper, and asked him to recommend it as a resource when states query NCSL for home inspection information. NCSL has a sophisticated understanding of the profession and was aware of regulatory efforts. It appears the organization is favorably inclined to use our Position Paper as a resource for legislators and staffers. We will be following up on this regularly to cement the relationship.

• Spoke with Oregon Legislative Administrative Committee Member Jim Stembridge, who worked with ASHI Members on Oregon’s legislation and who had good things to say about the experience

• Discussed working on home inspection regulation with Representative Dennis A. Ross, Florida District 63

• Met Colorado Senator Robert Hernandez, sponsor of the home inspector licensing bill that was introduced in 2002.

• Heard high praise for ASHI Members from Representative Bill Boucher who sponsored the Missouri HB 1723 that was introduced in 2002. He worked with them and the lobbyist they retained.

• Learned from Senator Harry Kennedy, Missouri 3rd District, that he wants to be active on this issue next session

• Met Claire Conald, who spearheaded the licensing law in South Dakota

• Learned from Texas Representative Ken Yarbrough, District 138, that he has great respect for the ASHI Members in his state

• Heard Mississippi Representative Rita Martinson praise ASHI Member Scott Patterson for helping to make Mississippi’s law the best (along with Connecticut’s) in the country

• Met Kentucky Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo, District 76, who introduced home inspector legislation and several key Kentucky staffers who eagerly, embraced the Position Statement

• Networked with representatives of other associations and organizations, along with countless attendees who for the most part had positive things to say about their personal experiences with home inspectors

It was a great three days for ASHI. We plan on furthering our relationships with the contacts made at the conference and to attend again next year in San Francisco.

Legislative Sessions grindto a halt

Most state sessions have come to an end. There will be no new home inspector legislation this year. Now is the time to start gearing up for the 2003 sessions that will open in January. Most states begin planning their agendas in October, so if you know that regulation will be an issue in 2003 or if you want to get ahead of the curve and start drafting a bill, now is the time to begin building your state’s coalition of chapter and non-affiliated members. Also, think about hiring a lobbyist. If you need help, your National LGC has the experience to share with you. Contact Bob Kociolek at HQ (bobk@ashi.org, 847-759-2829) for assistance.

Kentucky, get ready

The legislators and staff from Kentucky we met at the NCSL conference were interested in the ASHI Position Paper and in home inspector regulation. In addition, a phone call to Dan Lindblade, vice president of the Kentucky Association of Realtors®, confirmed KAR would be pushing home inspector legislation next session. We sent Mr. Lindblade our Position Statement. He said he had contacted ASHI Kentuckiana Chapter and would seek the input of ASHI on the draft. Of course, Kentucky ASHI Members did not wait for an invitation to this table, but pulled up their own chair. HQ offered its assistance to Kentucky Members.

Is your municipality licensed?

In August HQ learned of at least three local jurisdictions with home inspector licensing laws, specifically the City of Philadelphia, Lexington/Fayette County in Kentucky and the City of North Royalton, Ohio. Amazingly, ASHI Members were for the most part unaware of these licensing laws, so be careful and check with the municipalities in which you work. Apparently these laws are loosely enforced, if enforced at all, but the one in Kentucky is unfortunate and home inspectors there are working with county officials to amend it. If you are aware of municipalities with local ordinances, please contact Bob Kociolek at HQ so we can share the information.

Have you received the new Position Paper?

HQ recently mailed the new Position Paper to every ASHI Member. It is also available at www.ashi.org – www.ashi.org/pdf/ASHI_Position_Statement.pdf; or go to the State Regulations page of Home Inspectors and click on the link. Let us know what you think.

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NCSL serves legislators

The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) is the bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policy makers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues, and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of states in the federal arena.

Each summer NCSL brings together more than 6,000 state legislators and staff, state and federal agency personnel, and government relations managers from corporations, associations and special interest groups for its annual meeting, the largest and most substantive of its kind in the nation. The exhibit hall had 325 booths. Speakers have included the president of the U.S., congressional leaders, cabinet members and experts from universities, think tanks and the private sector.

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ASHI Launches Regulation Position Statement to Media

Following completion of the ASHI Position Statement on Home Inspector Regulation, a full-scale media launch has been initiated this month to promote the document and alert states to the large discrepancies in home inspector regulation.
Material is being distributed to television and radio stations, newspapers, and real estate and home publications across the country to emphasize the ranking and grading of state regulation programs and where improvements are necessary.  It also encourages state legislators to work with ASHI to develop meaningful regulation programs.  All of the media releases, as well as ASHI’s entire position statement, can be viewed on-line at www.ashi.org.

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