Home Inspection Gaining National Attention from State Legislators
Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania Contend for Top Spot;
Position Statement Ranks New Jersey Best for Home Inspection Laws


Sheena Quinn
Public Communications, Inc.

Des Plaines, Ill. (August 16) – In 1985 state regulation of home inspectors and home inspections wasn’t on the radar of many state legislators – 20 years later, home inspection regulation has captured the attention of legislators in 30 states. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is confident that this number will continue to grow.

“Today, 30 states have some sort of inspector regulation in place,” said Don Norman, 2005 ASHI president. “Given that 26 of the 30 states have enacted these laws within the past eight years – an average of three states per year – the trend is clear that it’s only a matter of time before every state has home inspection legislation protecting the interests of its home buyers.”

The 2005 Position Statement on Regulation of Home Inspectors, ASHI’s fourth edition, identified New Jersey as the clear leader, a state that enacted its legislation just two years ago and has remained at the top of the study ever since. Louisiana, Texas and Arizona rounded out the top four rankings in this year’s report. What these states have in common is superior
experience and education requirements, a valid high stakes examination, and Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics comparable to ASHI’s very own.

Tennessee moved up on the list from 30 to 23 by adopting a new licensing law, while North Dakota’s new registration law ranked second to last, with little to no emphasis on education, continuing education, experience requirements, standards of practice or code of ethics, all key factors in determining a state’s rank.

Points were awarded to states according to the quality of the regulation program and the weight or importance ASHI placed on each regulation standard. States were evaluated against 13 criteria, including education, experience, examination requirements and use of established standards of practice and a tough code of ethics.

In addition to providing rankings for each state, the ASHI Position Statement includes a model licensing bill that states can use as a guideline to develop strong home inspector legislation. The model also provides information about appointing a governing body to administer the laws, and it proposes that members of the governing body be free of conflicts of
interest in the regulation of home inspectors.

“Our review shows that many states are already doing an excellent job of creating meaningful regulation,” added Norman. “We also see a need for improvements, but some of the wide disparities from state to state are likely a result of the rapid development of home inspection legislation. Legislators in each state must determine whether or not regulation is necessary to protect their constituents. Nevertheless, should they decide to take that route, ASHI is dedicated to providing guidelines for laws that are meaningful and foster excellence within the home inspection profession.”

Following are the ASHI 2005 rankings of state regulations governing the home inspection industry:

1. New Jersey 15. Wisconsin
2. Louisiana 16. Oklahoma
3. Texas 17. Alaska/Illinois (tie)
4. Arizona 19. Alabama/Oregon (tie)
5. Pennsylvania 21. Nevada/New York (tie)
6. Massachusetts 23. Tennessee
7. Connecticut/North Carolina (tie) 24. Kentucky
9. Arkansas 25. Maryland
10. Indiana 26. South Carolina
11. Rhode Island 27. Montana
12. South Dakota 28. California
13. Mississippi 29. North Dakota
14. Virginia 30. Georgia 

States with the highest scores should be considered as the models for state governments considering home inspection legislation, while states with low scores are encouraged to consider how current legislation can be improved, according to Norman. Complete details of the findings, state scores and grading criteria can be found in ASHI’s official Position Statement on Regulation of Home Inspectors at www.homeinspector.org.

States without Home Inspection Regulation are: Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. Legislation is pending in Michigan.

About the American Society of Home Inspectors

The American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. (ASHI) is the oldest non-profit professional association of, and for, home inspectors. Since its formation in 1976, ASHI’s Standards of Practice have served as the home inspector’s performance guideline, widely recognized and accepted by professional and government authorities alike.

ASHI Members are independent professional home inspectors who have met rigorous technical and experience requirements. ASHI Members are required to successfully complete two written examinations that test their knowledge of building systems and components and of the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. They must also successfully pass the National Home Inspector Examination. To become a Member inspectors’ reports are verified as meeting the ASHI Standards of Practice, and they must have performed a minimum of 250 fee-paid inspections. Candidates with logo use privileges must have completed all the requirements of a Member, and they have performed a minimum of 50 verified fee-paid inspections, becoming a full Member only after completing an additional 200 fee-paid inspections. ASHI Inspectors must also obtain ongoing education to stay current on the latest information pertaining to buildings and their systems.

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