Happy New Year to all and good fortune in the coming year. This includes, we hope, good fortune with the bills that promise to be introduced in January as state legislatures get back into the swing of things.
Currently, 25 states have some form of home inspector regulation, and every state had legislative activity last year, so we should expect more of the same in 2002. If your state does not have regulation, you can expect bills to be introduced this year; and even if some sort of regulation is on the books, you should be prepared
ASHI’s stand on regulation can be found in Section 12 of the Policy and Procedures Manual, particularly 12.3 Policy: ASHI Position Statement on Regulation, which states as follows:
a. The American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc., (ASHI®) is the national voice of the home inspection profession. It is our policy to act affirmatively to influence any legislation or regulation intended to affect our profession, consumer interests, publicly financed homeownership programs or other programs allied to our profession.
b. ASHI will act to preempt the coming to fruition of governmental actions that, once begun, would work to the detriment of the profession and/or the home buying consumer.
c. ASHI demands that any legislation that seeks to institute regulation of the home inspection profession require, at a minimum, passage of a psychometrically valid and defensible technical examination and adherence to a consensus-based, publicly-developed set of professional standards of practice and code of ethics.
Furthermore, Policy 12.2. states the following:
a. Where regulation is determined to be advisable for the protection of public health, safety or welfare, it should include criteria at least equal to ASHI’s current membership requirements. These include a Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, experience, continuing education, and demonstrated knowledge through testing. Legislative proposals that do not include these criteria are deemed inadequate for consumer protection and are opposed by ASHI.
ASHI HQ stands ready to assist the Membership in all states with regulatory efforts. Recently, for example, ASHI Members in Colorado forwarded proposed legislation they have been active in developing to HQ for review and input. We are here to serve you in any way possible and we look forward to an active legislative season.
PA law faces amendment
The recently enacted Trade Practice Act in Pennsylvania is already facing a challenge. An amendment to remove the experience requirements of 100 inspections and the supervisory requirements for new, inexperienced home inspectors was passed unanimously by the PA House in December, and is now in the Senate. The amendment is opposed by PA ASHI Members, as it would gut the consumer protection it was intended to provide.
Legislative Committee to produce white paper
The Legislative Committee will produce a white paper on current legislation as its main work for 2002. The paper will grade all the laws as they pertain to the profession and consumers. The plan is to present it at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver in July. ASHI’s first-time attendance at this important event, where the movers and shapers of legislation gather, marks an important proactive step for the Society in legislative affairs. Stay tuned for details.
Legislative Guidebook online!
Remember, ASHI’s Legislative Guidebook, our No. 1 resource for legislative activity and questions, is now online at www.ashi.com. Go to the Members Only area, click on ASHI Documents, and scroll down the menu to Legislative Guidebook.