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Home Inspection Licensure

Licensure of Non Qualified Inspectors

There are three national organizations that want to reduce a home inspectors ability to make a living. The intent of these three organizations is to put current home inspectors out of business or to bring home inspectors under their license. The vehicle that these organizations are using to get the mission accomplished is the Florida Department of Professional Regulations, aka the DBPR.

A brief history; in 2010 the State of Florida licensed Home Inspectors. In that licensing they grandfathered home inspectors that: were certified by a national organization after passing a proctored exam and 14 hours of education, had a least three years of experience and met a few other guidelines which can be viewed here at: (2010 link) 

In 2011 these three organizations were added to the grandfathering clause without documentation to provide that they were qualified to be Home Inspectors as required by the original Statute. Conveniently all they have to posses is certification from any of the three organizations and submit their application on or before July 1, 2012. You can review the amended Grandfathering Statute here at (2011 link). 

These three groups want to be licensed as Home Inspectors without any education or experience in identifying building practices and historical safety issues. They want to be permantly licensed without any, training, testing or past on the job experience. They also want all current licensed home inspectors that are not already members of these groups to become members and be licensed with one of their three associations. So in essence they are trying to take over the profession.

It is important that you know what sets experienced, educated and practicing home inspectors apart from the other grandfathered organizations and their members. Keep in mind that many home inspectors, including myself, are members and licensed under these three organizations. These home inspectors certainly bring great core knowledge to the home inspection industry but it does not make them any better inspectors than that of an inspector who has twenty years of hands on experience and who has met the qualification under the 2010 Statute.

What sets an experienced Home Inspector with membership in a trade associations with constant continuing education apart from the members of the three organizations that are going to walk right into the trade without any real experience ? 

Contractors, Code officials, and ICC certificate holders are not trained in identifying building practices and historical safety issues nor do they have any hands on expereince or training. They currently do not have to perform any continuing education that is particular to the home inspection business. Find below further detailed reasons why they lack the experience in identifying building practices and historical safety issues provided in home inspections for real estate transactions.

Division I Contractor-General, Building, Residential

Division I contractor's course and exam materials are void of information for identifying building practices and historical safety issues. You can view those exam requirements here at this link, (click here) 

Code officials and ICC certificate holders

Code officials and ICC certificate holders exam and course materials are void of information for identifying building practices and historical safety issues. Their training is only on the current code as it applies to new construction of all types. There are innumerable code courses provided by the ICC , which is the official exam and course provider, and none offer training regarding historical safety issues and building practices prior to the now current code; Florida Building Code (FBC) 2010, effective March 15, 2012. You can view those exam requirements for Code Officials and ICC Certificate holders here at this link, (click here)

Home Inspectors

Home inspector training has focused on historical safety issues and building practices, providing the buyer of homes and buildings with a wealth of safety information concerning the building regardless of the building or homes age. Home inspectors must be knowledgeable in safety issues and building practices that go back 100 years, as well as current issues. There are a plethora of dangerous issues that are not found in any of the Contractors, Code officials, and ICC certificate holder’s exam courses that are vital for any inspector to know because they are still found on many homes and buildings today that are offered for sale. Some of those items are, but not limited to:

  • Aluminum electrical wiring (1970s)
  • Anti—tilt appliance protection
  • Asbestos Contaminated drywall (2001~2008)
  • EFIS-Synthetic Stucco
  • Federal Pacific Electrical Panels (1950~1990)
  • Knob & Tube wiring (early 1900’s)
  • Lead Paint (up to 1978)
  • Lead Water Pipes (up to 1978)
  • Moisture Intrusion Polybutylene Plumbing (1970~1995)
  • Vermiculite (1919~1990)
  • Wood Destroying Organisms and there are many more……

Anyone that has not been trained, educated or has not taken the International Association of Certified Home inspectors (InterNACHI) or any other accreditted home inspection association exam covering these types of issues is not qualified to inspect homes or buildings for real estate transactions. Here is the link (click here) to view just one of the Home Inspectors training courses approved by the state.

As mentioned above many home inspectors are members and hold licensure in the three organizations and it is certainly helpful, but it is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has Ten Important Questions to ask your Home Inspector. You can visits this web page (click here) to read those 10 important questions to ask your home inspector.  We urge you to ask these ten important questions to any home inspector that you are hiring to inspect a building or a home that you are getting ready to purchase. Just because a home inspectors has a license does not indicate that he or she is trained, educated or has the experience to perform you inspection.

Summary

These three organizations have lots of money to use to influence Florida legislators to get their wishes through along with their already close connection with the DBPR. Without a fight from the current home inspector council the permanet grandfathering of untrained professionals will more than likely get passed through legislation. Home inspector groups are currently struggling to get organized quickly and raise funds to fight the fight. If the Grandfathering clause as it exists today gets passed it brings up some frightful concerns to Florida consumers: Are these unfair trade practices? Can the members of these three organizations honestly answer the 10 questions asked by our own Federal Government (HUD) questionnaire? Will the general public be properly served or protected by such legislation by putting out of work some very talented inspectors or at best forcing them to spend more time and money to join these groups?

What does this mean to you the consumer? First and foremost, prior to hiring a home inspector ask a lot of questions. Stick to the HUD’s 10 question guidelines and if the inspector cannot answer all of them start looking in another place like InterNACHI (click here) or consulate with your local real estate attorney. Do not rely on just your real estate professionals recommendations, you want an inspetcor that has no special interest in the outcome of the sale and most of all, buyer beware or Caveat emptor.

Fred Sylvester, President of Accredited Building Consultants, Inc. holds the State of Florida licensure in: Home Inspections, Building Contracting, 0520 Independent Insurance Adjuster, SBCCI (ICC) Building Inspector, Mold Assessor and Mold Remediator. He is also a standing member of InterNACHI (click here) and has completed well over 300 hours of continuing education in all phases of building inspections, building construction and wind mitigation over the past 30 years. He has also performed well over 1,000 home inspections since 1993. Visit Fred’s qualification page here (click here) for more information. I prove my longevity in this business on those web pages and with our testimonials.

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