ASHI Says Inspector Licensing Bill Protects Homeowners;
Urges All Qualified Home Inspectors to Apply For Licenses Immediately


Sheena Quinn
Public Communications, Inc.

As New Jersey legislators prepare to vote on legislation governing home inspectors in the state, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) encourages them to ensure that homebuyers will be served by home inspectors who meet the industry's highest standards. At the same time, the organization urges qualified home inspectors in New Jersey to apply for licenses, which will ensure New Jersey has an adequate number of inspectors.

The current bill, S1685, which will be voted on May 15, 2003, will only allow home inspectors who have passed significant experience and testing requirements to perform home inspections.

"The legislation protects consumers by ensuring that home inspectors have the training and experience that is needed to help homebuyers make informed decisions when they are making what is typically the largest investment in their lives," says Peter Engle, vice president of the Garden State Chapter of ASHI. "Anyone who is against this bill is against reasonable standards."

High Standards

The New Jersey Home Inspector Licensing Act was signed into law in 1998, and is scheduled to go into effect May 30, 2003. While several attempts have been made to amend the Licensing Act with lower requirements, none have passed. The current bill amendment (S1685) revises the education and experience requirements to be consistent with criteria originally created in 1998, including the following:

  1. Complete high school or its equivalent
  2. Serve as a licensed associate home inspector for at least one year
  3. Perform at least 250 home inspections
  4. Carry $500,000 in insurance
  5. Pass the National Home Inspector Exam

In order to become a licensed associate home inspector under the law, an inspector must:

  1. Complete high school or its equivalent
  2. Have passed an approved course of study, as prescribed by the board
  3. Have performed not less than 50 home inspections in the presence of a licensed home inspector
  4. Pass the National Home Inspector Exam

Requirements to be "grandfathered" as a licensed home inspector include the following:

  1. Complete high school or its equivalent
  2. Pass the National Home Inspector Exam
  3. Must have been engaged in the practice of home inspections for not less than three years
  4. Perform at least 300 home inspections

Despite the high standards maintained by the proposed legislation, lawmakers continue to receive significant opposition to the bill. Opponents argue that the high standards will result in too few home inspectors to meet the demand in New Jersey. According to local ASHI members, with a simple amendment to the "grandfathering" date in bill S1685, extending the qualification period from June 30, 2003 to June 30, 2004, New Jersey home inspectors would have more time to complete licensing requirements and provide an adequate supply of home inspectors.

"There are currently 200 home inspectors who have submitted licensing applications and 150 who are expected to complete education requirements by June, 2003. By extending the "grandfathering" clause by one year, we see no problem reaching 500 licensed home inspectors by next year, and that's very reasonable number to serve the people of New Jersey," said Ken Salvo, president of the Garden State Chapter of ASHI.

Salvo also stressed that all qualified home inspectors should apply for licenses immediately. Since the state of New Jersey has not done any outreach to inform inspectors about the upcoming legislation, Salvo believes there are many inspectors who have not applied because they are not aware of the pending legislation.

Salvo said that the requirements proposed by the legislation are consistent with ASHI's Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which are recognized guidelines for the home inspection industry. Formed in 1976, the American Society of Home Inspectors is the oldest professional society for home inspectors in North America with 6,000 members. Its mission is to promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession.

For more information on the American Society of Home Inspectors, contact the organization at 932 Lee Street, Suite 101, Des Plaines, Ill. 60016. Phone: 800-743-2744. Or visit the ASHI Web site at