March, 2003
Legislative News
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



State by State Update

BOB KOCIOLEK

ASHI is tracking current legislative activity in 11 states, and watching closely New Mexico and Iowa, where the ASHI Membership has drafted bills.

Alaska HB 9, introduced by Rep. Rokeberg January 21, requires home inspectors to be certified by the state, sets the registration fees for home inspectors and associate home inspectors, sets home inspection requirements for residential loans purchased or approved by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and allows for civil action against home inspectors. The bill received a hearing before the House Labor and Commerce Committee on January 29.

Connecticut Proposed Bill 6347, introduced January 29 by Rep. Ruwet, would amend current law to provide for the presale inspection of residential septic systems and to require that any inspection be conducted by a licensed home inspector, or a septic system installer or pumper.  

Indiana HB 1551, a licensing bill sponsored by Rep. Welch, establishes the Indiana Home Inspector Licensing Board and the following licensing requirements: performed at least 250 home inspections under the direction of a supervising inspector and in compliance with the board’s home inspection standards; licensed as an associate home inspector for at least one year; passed a written examination prepared and administered by the board concerning Indiana law and the preparation of home inspection reports, and proof of insurance or other evidence of financial responsibility. The bill also provides qualifications and establishes penalties. It was referred to the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development on January 16.

Kansas HB 2100, introduced January 29 by Rep. Patterson, was referred to the Judiciary Committee the next day. It would void home inspection reports that limit or disclaim the home inspector’s liability. This bill is moving fast. On February 4 the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on HB 2100.

Maryland SB 98, introduced by the chairperson of the Finance Committee, Sen. Middleton, relates to licensing and regulation of home inspectors by the Commission of Real Estate Appraisers and Home Inspectors. It would alter requirements for licensure as a home inspector and require licensed home inspectors to disclose certain information prior to performing a home inspection. SB 98 was referred to the Finance Committee for a public hearing on February 6.  

Massachusetts has introduced three legislative proposals relating to home inspectors.
S118, introduced by Senator Tisei, was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. It focuses on what a property owner must disclose when selling, and sets a time period of no less than 10 days for the inspection of the property.    

S396, introduced by Senator Brewer, was referred to the Senate Committee on Government Regulations. It would amend current law by permitting the completion of a home inspection course to count as 25 home inspections.

S415, introduced by Sen. Havern, was also referred to the Senate Committee on Government Regulations. It would amend current law by reducing the time period for action arising from a home inspection from three years to within one year.
Additional bills with docket numbers are in the Assembly. ASHI is monitoring them.

Mississippi HB 551, sponsored by Rep. Mayo, extends the deadline to comply with the licensing law to December 31, 2003. It also increases the licensing exam exemption timeframe for conducting inspections from the current 12 months to 24. It was read the first time and referred to the House Judiciary B. The Committee had until February 4 to hold a hearing and pass it on to the full House for consideration. Mississippi ASHI Members believe the bill will not make it out of Committee; the Mississippi Association of Realtors® is helping kill it.

New Jersey A567, sponsored by Assemblyman Impreveduto, is carried over and amended from 2002. It adds three members to the Home Inspection Advisory Committee, two construction or sub-code officials and one county college representative. To renew a license, a home inspector must complete 20 credit hours of continuing education from programs approved by the committee. The committee could approve and administer exams in addition to NHIE, which is the current required licensing exam. The bill also amends current requirements by allowing an applicant to complete a course of study (including not less than 10 home inspections) offered by county colleges licensed by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, and would allow certain building inspectors licensed under the Uniform Construction Code Act to be issued a home inspector license under prescribed circumstances.

New Jersey ASHI Members are fighting the bill. They consider it a major threat to consumer protection because it seriously weakens existing experience requirements for licensing.

New York A00076, a licensing bill introduced by Assemblyman John, was referred to the Committee on Judiciary. Similar to bills introduced last session, it establishes requirements and criteria for the licensing of individuals engaged in performing structural inspection of residential real property. It provides for regulation by the Department of State and establishes a Home Inspection Advisory Committee within the state Real Estate Board. The bill also permits professional architects, engineers and certified code enforcement officers to perform home inspections without need of this license.  

North Dakota HB, a licensing bill sponsored by Rep. Potter, has not been introduced or assigned a number. According to a ND ASHI Member, it provides for a three-member Board of Home Inspectors that would establish standards, a code of ethics and requirements for licensure, including liability insurance, continuing education, and passing a course of study, training program and exam.
Oregon has two legislative proposals that would amend the current law relating to home inspectors.

HB 2232 was introduced at the request of Governor Theodore R. Kulongoski for the Construction Contractors Board. It allows the Construction Contractors Board to establish standards of practice and professional conduct for home inspectors, and to discipline them for violating the law. It was referred to the House Business, Labor and Consumer Affairs Committee and will also be sent to the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

HB 2326, introduced at the request of Rep. Deborah Kafoury for the Oregon Remodelers Association, would establish the Construction Contractors Board as a semi-independent state agency. HB 2326 was also referred to the House Business, Labor and Consumer Affairs Committee and will be sent to the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

Stay in touch

Legislative updates as well as inquires about strategies and tactics for dealing with bills are equally welcome. Contact Bob Kociolek at 847-759-2820 or bobk@ashi.org.