California SB 31
is a certification bill we reported on. On January 20, 2004, a motion was approved to remove SB 31 from the “inactive file.” On January 29, the Assembly amended SB 31 by deleting all requirements for home inspector certification. The amended version of SB 31 only includes provisions relating to disclosure of an inspector’s qualifications and insurance. The amended bill also provides that the provisions regulating home inspectors do not prohibit a licensed contractor from performing a home inspection. On February 5, SB 31 was placed on “inactive file” status at the request of Assembly Member Chan. Once again, a motion must be made by an Assembly Member for SB 31 to regain active status. California AB 2142
On February 18, 2004, Representative Houston introduced a bill that would amend a section of the Business and Professions Code concerning home inspectors. The amendment would change the provision that a home inspector or home inspector company may not perform, for an additional fee, any repairs to a structure on which the inspector, or inspector’s company, has prepared a home inspection report in the past 12 months. AB 2142 would allow repairs to be made only if the home inspector, a company that employs a home inspector, or a company that is controlled by a company that has a financial interest in a company employing the home inspector, is a licensed contractor or a licensed structural pest control inspector. On March 1, AB 2142 was referred to the House Business and Professions Committee.
Kentucky SB 34
As reported earlier, SB 34 requires home inspectors to be licensed, defines the requirements of licensure, and creates the Kentucky Board of Inspectors. On February 25, SB 34 was amended on the Senate floor by Senator Tapp, the author of the original bill. The amendment increases the number of board members from 8 to 9, and adds the Executive Director of the Office of Housing, Buildings, and Construction or his or her designee as a board member. The amendment also changes the date for license renewal from July 15 to the last day of the licensee’s birth month and permits the board to establish an “inactive license” for licensees who are not actively engaged in the home inspection business, but wish to maintain their license. On February 26, SB 34 passed the Senate by a vote of 30-0.
On March 1, 2004, SB 34 was referred to the House Labor and Industry Committee.
Maryland HB 883
On February 11, HB 883 was introduced and referred to the House Economic Matters Committee. HB 883 authorizes the State Commission of Real Estate Appraisers and Home Inspectors to suspend or revoke a license or assess a civil monetary penalty not exceeding $5,000 against a home inspector licensee or applicant for violating the law. To determine the amount of the penalty imposed, the commission shall consider: the seriousness of the violation, harm caused by the violation, the good faith of the licensee, and any history of previous violations. The Economic Matters Committee held a hearing on HB 883 on February 26. As we went to print, we had not heard the results.
Maryland HB 178
As reported earlier, HB 178 alters specific requirements for the licensing of home inspectors, requires specific disclosures to be provided by a licensed home inspector prior to performing home inspections, and extends a specific provision relating to the commencement of specified licensing requirements for home inspectors. HB 178 was sponsored by Rep. Downs and referred to the Committee on Economic Matters. On February 12, 2004, the Economic Matters Committee held a public hearing on HB 178. On March 2, HB 178 received an unfavorable report by the House Economic Matters Committee. The bill is technically “dead.” Massachusetts S 415, H 1660, H 3645
As reported earlier, there are a number of bills affecting home inspectors in Massachusetts. On January 29, 2004, S 415, H 1660 and H 3645 were reported favorably by the Government Regulations Committee. All three bills have been combined and referred to the Ways and Means Committee. The bills now will be referred to as SJ 1491.
In Massachusetts, Statewise has learned from involved ASHI Member Bill Stanley, Jr. and ASHI Legislative Committee Chair Andy Kasznay that Massachusetts has agreed to continuing education reciprocity with Connecticut. Courses approved in each state will be valid in the other state. Thanks to Bill and Andy for sharing.Michigan HB 5587 and HB 5588
On February 24, two bills were introduced by Representative Accavitti that would affect home inspectors. HB 5587 defines home inspection and home inspection services. The bill creates the Home Inspectors Board that will issue licenses to home inspectors. An individual cannot perform home inspection services without a license after 180 days of the bill taking effect. The Home Inspector Board and the governing department will promulgate rules to set minimum standards for education and experience regarding eligibility for a licensure, as well as standards for an examination for individuals who do not meet the education and work requirements. HB 5587 requires a home inspector to furnish a “disclosure statement” and outlines criteria for the statement. The bill also outlines contract provisions that a home inspector is required to provide. If passed by the House and Senate, the bill would go into effect on July 1, 2004. The bill was referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform.
Representative Accavitti also introduced bill HB 5588, which sets the fees for home inspec-tors seeking licensure. HB 5588 also was re-ferred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform.Minnesota HF 2283 and SF 2442
are identical bills. HF 2283 was introduced on Feb. 19 and the senate bill was introduced on Feb. 26. They would establish a voluntary home inspector certification program. HF 2283 restricts any person from advertising or referring to themselves as a “certified home inspector” unless the person has met specific certification requirements. The Commissioner of Commerce will issue a home inspector certificate to any applicant who has submitted satisfactory evidence that they have successfully met educational and experience requirements established by the Commissioner. An applicant also will have to pass a written or electronic examination offered or approved by the Commissioner. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Commerce, Jobs and Economic Development.
SB 2442 was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.New York Bill Introduction – S 06245
On February 26, Senator Balboni introduced legislation that would enact the “Home Inspection Qualification Disclosure Act". S 06245 requires a real estate professional to provide all prospective purchasers of residential property a home qualification disclosure notice, which includes reports of structural, electrical, mechanical and environmental inspections. The bill states that only a licensed professional engineer or a registered architect can both detect defects and offer an opinion on the adequacy of the structural, mechanical and electrical systems.
S 06245 also establishes the State Real Estate Inspector Committee, which will be responsible for certifying home inspectors. The Committee will consist of nine members, three of whom will be individuals certified to perform home inspections.
S 06245 also outlines licensing requirements for inspectors-in-training and home inspectors. These requirements include completion of eighty classroom hours of core home inspection courses, with at least twelve of these hours consisting of the study of standards of practice, as well as an examination issued by the Department of State. The bill also outlines continuing education requirements, as well as fees for applying for a home inspector application. S 06245 was referred to the Judiciary Committee. Oklahoma H 2627
requires that any single item inspection requested by a client, whether or not the item to be inspected is specifically included or excluded in the definition of a home inspection pursuant to the Home Inspector Licensing Act, shall be performed by a professional craftsman whose expertise is in the specific area or by persons qualified by education or training to conduct that specific inspection. On February 2, 2004, HB 2627 was introduced and was originally drafted as a minor technical change to the Home Inspection Licensing Act. The bill was assigned to the House Committee on Commerce, Industry and Labor. On February 19th, the Committee on Commerce, Industry and Labor approved a substitute to HB 2627 that greatly changed the original bill.Tennessee HB 2434
creates a board to license home inspectors and sets requirements for obtaining a license. The board would consist of seven members appointed by the governor. Four members of the board would be licensed home inspectors; the rest of the board will consist of a home builder, real estate agent and an owner of a residential building. The board would have the power to issue, renew and suspend licenses; adopt and publish a code of ethics; as well as establish rules for training home inspectors. On February 17, the Government Operations Committee recommended passage of HB 2434 and referred the bill to the House Commerce Committee.Tennessee SB 2323
creates a board to license home inspectors and sets requirements for obtaining a license. The board would consist of seven members appointed by the Governor. Four members of the board would be licensed home inspectors; the rest of the board will consist of a home builder, real estate agent and an owner of a residential building. The board would have the power to issue, renew and suspend licenses; adopt and publish a code of ethics; as well as establish rules for training home inspectors. SB 2323 was referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee. SB 2323 has been placed on the Senate Government Operations Committee agenda for its March 3 meeting. Utah SB 28
As reported earlier, SB 28 was introduced by Senator Julander in late December. SB 28 clarifies the practice of home inspections by setting guidelines and definitions, listing exclusions, and specifying written home inspection report requirements. The bill makes home inspectors liable for home inspections not performed in compliance with the law and limits the time in which a client may file a grievance. SB 28 also sets a code of ethics for home inspectors. On January 22, Senator Julander proposed a substitute to SB 28. Senator Julander’s office reported that the substitute bill would exempt from the bill any person hired to conduct an inspection for a government entity. On February 26, SB 28 and its substitute were referred to the Senate Rules Committee.