August, 2003

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors


Revised Position Statement Raises the Bar

BOB KOCIOLEK

The Position Statement on Regulation of Home Inspectors, July 2003 revised edition, is available online and from HQ. You can find it in several areas of the ASHI Web site, including the State Regulations links on the Home Inspectors and Homebuyers/Sellers pages, and in Members Only in ASHI Documents and Legislative Action Center (also reachable at www.homeinspectorregulation.com).

The Board of Directors approved revisions to the original statement, which were drafted by the ASHI Legislative Committee in February, as well as re-grading of the states, finished by an ad hoc committee of the LGC in June. The regulations for the 25 states that appeared in the 2002 edition were re-graded according to a revised criteria, and the report card added grades for new states’ regulations in Indiana and Alaska.

The revised document is a real improvement. What’s new, you ask? A minimum bar of 80 hours of education is now required in the Model Licensing Law. Likewise, a minimum range of 25 to 100 supervised training inspections spells out the experience requirements for licensing. Experience, Education and Examination are now broken out from the Licensing Criteria grade of last year. All three of these changes place more emphasis on experience, education, and a valid examination as key components of laws that purport to protect the public. In the cases of education and experience, the changes take account of market differences state by state and provide minimum bars and ranges to help legislators set realistic rules.

ASHI’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are now included as an Addendum of the Position Statement. This bundles these important components of any good law so legislators can have them at their fingertips. Remember, we recommend adopting them “as is” so why should they have to look for them? Now they don’t.

The LGC will take the new Position Statement to the annual National Conference of State Legislators conference, July 23-25 in San Francisco.

Please discard any old July 2002 editions of the Position Statements you may have and use the revised edition to promote ASHI’s position on the regulation of our profession with your legislators and anyone interested in legislative affairs.
If you have any trouble downloading the PDFs from the Web site or would like a brochure version please contact me at HQ at 847-759-2820, extension 103 or email me at bobk@ashi.org.

Bills Still in Play

Louisiana HB 176 As reported earlier, the state of Louisiana introduced a legislative proposal that would amend certain provisions of the Louisiana Home Inspector Licensing Law. On June 6, the Senate voted to pass HB 176 by a vote of 34-0. On June 16, the House concurred in the Senate Committee amendment. HB 176 will now be transmitted to the Governor where final actions will be taken.

Tennessee SB 882 As reported earlier, SB 882 is a bill which would clarify the remedies for misrepresentation or nondisclosure on residential property statements. Currently, it is not clear that real estate agents and brokers cannot be held accountable, either criminally or otherwise, for misinformation provided by certain professionals, including home inspectors, unless the real estate agent or broker signs the document.

SB 822 seeks to clarify that issue. On June 4, SB 882 was signed into law by the Governor. SB 882 is now known as Public Chapter Number 263.
California SB 31 As previously reported, California introduced a legislative proposal that would require home inspectors to become certified by a “professional home inspection association.” On July 1, SB 31 was given a public hearing before the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions.

South Carolina H 4246 As reported earlier, South Carolina introduced a legislative proposal that would amend current home inspector licensing provisions (Article 3, Chapter 59, Title 40 of the South Carolina Statutes). The South Carolina Legislature has officially adjourned for the session. As a result, H 4246 is dead. However, Rep. Edge’s office, the author of this bill, indicated that they would likely try to introduce this piece of legislation next session that begins in January.

Rhode Island SB 802 As reported earlier, Rhode Island introduced a legislative proposal that would amend current home inspector licensing provisions. SB 802 seeks to make minor technical changes in Chapter 5-65.1 of the current statues. Additionally, SB 802 seeks to increase the mandatory holding of liability insurance and makes clear that home inspections may be performed only by licensed home inspectors. On June 30 the Senate Committee on Commerce, Housing & Municipal Government held another public hearing on SB 802.

Pennsylvania SB 427 Pennsylvania  introduced SB 427, a legislative proposal which would amend Title 68 of the Pennsylvania Statutes. SB 427 expands exemptions for building professionals and home inspectors who have not attained full-standing in an accredited national home inspection association. SB 427 seeks to authorize building professionals and home inspections, under the supervision of an accredited home inspector, to legally conduct home inspections.  

SB 427 was introduced on March 12 and was subsequently referred to the Senate Committee on Urban Affairs and Housing. On June 24, the Committee held a public hearing on SB 427. However, the Committee has not yet issued a report indicating whether they will recommend passage of SB 427.

Sessions Adjourned

Thirty-five legislative sessions have been adjourned sine die as we go to press. They are: Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.