Erics Blog

Just an average guys thoughts

Your Home Inspector is Licensed. What does it mean?

Now that the licensing law has taken effect, sort of, what exactly does that mean as it pertains to selecting a home inspector.
The short answer, nothing!

In an attempt to legitimize the home inspection industry, several attempts at licensing have been put forth for the last fifteen years. In 2007, Governor Charlie Christ, enacted into law, the Home inspection Licensing law. The law itself is perhaps, one of the most poorly written home inspection laws in the country. It is licensing for licensing sake. It is also a revenue generator for the State, insurance companies, and inspection schools.
Here is the law: Home Inspection Law

The Law was to take effect July 1, 2010. Unfortunately, there was a complete lack of understanding as to what exactly had to be done in order to get everything in order. Three years later, there are still no State “Standards of Practice”, “Code of Ethics”, approved test, or a number of other things that should have been in place prior to enacting this legislation.

In most professions, when a law is enacted, you are “grandfathered” in and are exempt from the new requirements. The powers that be here in Florida thought otherwise. Here is the grandfathering clause: Grandfather Clause

As you can see, anyone who has performed 120 inspections and takes a test, can now be licensed as a home inspector. There are other ways for someone who has never performed a home inspection to get a license. Take a proctored exam and get 120 hours worth of CEUs (continuing education units), and you are in! The problem is that in order to get those 120 CEUs, it could be done in as little as one day by taking online courses offered by some home inspection associations.

The insurance requirement was inserted into the law as a revenue generator only. Here is the insurance portion of the law:
A home inspector shall maintain a commercial general liability insurance policy in an amount of not less than $300,000.

General liability insurance offers no protection whatsoever for you, the Client. A “real” insurance requirement would have required the inspector to obtain errors and omissions insurance.

What does all of the above mean to you, the potential client?
It means that you may find a home inspector that has a fancy website, brochures, all sorts of certificates from an inspection association, a plethora of letter designations after his name, but still, he may have never even performed an inspection!

What does one do now when looking for a home inspector?
Anyone contemplating hiring any inspector should thoroughly investigate that inspector. How long has he been in the business? How many complaints have been lodged against him? What does the finished report look like? What did other clients say about him? The least important questions are, does he have a license and is he insured? Thanks to the new law, those questions are already answered.


November 9, 2010 - Posted by | Home Inspection | , , ,

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