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Kansas Governor Vetos Home Inspector Registrations


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Wichita Business Journal

Governor Sam Brownback has vetoed Senate Bill 37, which would have repealed the July 1 sunset of the Kansas Home Inspectors Professional Competence and Financial Responsibility Act, which created the board and the registration system in 2008.

In a news release, Brownback said he found little evidence of unscrupulous home inspectors to warrant government involvement and fees on private industry. He said the state attorney general?s office is better equipped than the board for investigations and assistance.

To read more, click here.

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Give me a dozen recent home inspection reports from Kansas and access to each of those houses so I can inspect them myself and I'll give abundant reason for regulation. I'll do it even though it's not the climate I'm familiar with and without an IR gun.


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I think this is a "BFD" and I think it is a step in the right direction.

"In a news release, Brownback said he found little evidence of unscrupulous home inspectors to warrant government involvement and fees on private industry. He said the state attorney general's office is better equipped than the board for investigations and assistance."

Too bad, so sad for Realtor Association and inspection schools.

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There might be plenty of unscrupulous behavior by inspectors, but what evidence is there that regulation reduces that?

Kansas was registering them if they met appropriate criteria and nothing more. Maybe it gave one or two persons pause when considering home inspections as a profession; but I doubt that it turned dishonest inspectors into paragons of righteousness overnight. In fact, I'd venture to say it has zero impact on "unscrupulous" persons. If laws actually did that, we'd have no need for a police force.

No law requiring someone be registered or obtain a home inspector license can stop unscrupulous behavior any more than a realtor's license stops some realtors from being 'zoids, or a vehicle registration stops folks from driving drunk or breaking any other law in their cars.

Laws aimed at regulating inspectors should be aimed at ensuring an inspector can do what he or she says he or she can do - inspect homes competently - nothing more. That's how those laws protect consumers and inspector alike. Any law that doesn't ensure competency is pablum.

According to the article, registration in Kansas ensures that home inspectors are certified by national home inspection organizations - big whoop. That means they've joined a club; it doesn't mean the inspector is competent.

According to the article, registration ensures inspectors have financial responsibility like surety bonds and liability insurance. That still doesn't do much to protect consumers; it's just another "requirement" that is nothing more than a minor speed bump. It was probably dreamed up by someone that thought it would prevent some folks from entering the profession and becoming his or her competition. It doesn't do any more to protect the consumer than errors and omissions insurance protects the consumer. If E & O actually protected consumers we wouldn't be reading articles like the one elsewhere on this site where some guy is moaning about how his inspector did a lousy job. That Canadian province has an E & O requirement; no?

According to the article they are being required to maintain continuing education. OK, now at least there is finally something meant to help the consumer, but unless you've tested every one of those inspectors and identified those among them who are already practicing as incompetents, it's like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. Yeah, eventually the guy/gal should become more competent after attending enough continuing ed, but that can take a lot of years - what about all of those homes he or she is "experimenting" on in the meantime?

According to the article, registration makes sure that they are not felons. Hmmm, current felons, as in suck up artists conspiring with realtors to whitewash a house for a nice kickback in the form of guaranteed future referrals or felons such as a convicted rapist? By the way, what's this about anyway? Who says a past felon can't be a perfectly capable home inspector? There have been thousands of persons who have been felons who cleaned up their act and went on to become law abiding citizens; why is home inspections so sacrosanct that a felon can't do this gig? I guess I can understand a former crook not being allowed to be a cop or a banker or a stock broker, because there's the potential for huge temptation in those types of jobs but there isn't a whole lot about crawling around in attics and crawlspaces and risking one's ass climbing on ladders and going into homes laced with parasites and ringworm that a former felon can't do.

The bottom line is that if someone is going to be a crook he or she will be a crook regardless of whether or not there is a licensing or registration law.

From my own experience; I know that here, where we have licensing, not registration, the law requires: 1. mandatory minimum education specific to home inspections 2. mandatory testing of every inspector to ensure that the inspector at least has minimal competency; and 3. mandatory minimum mentoring by a licensed inspector to ensure the inspector knows how to at least write a report to the standard.

These requirements were all designed to ensure that consumers could be reasonably confident that the inspector hired is minimally competent.

Even inspectors who were grandfathered were forced to take the NHIE or they were denied a license. Those practicing inspectors who couldn't pass it, regardless of how long they'd been in the business, found themselves forced to either leave the business or go back to school to get minimally trained so they could pass it. That rule doesn't guaranty that an inspector will be the best inspector on the planet, or the most honest and ethical inspector on the planet, but it does weed out those who aren't minimally competent - none of those Kansas requirements do that.

The mentoring and report writing requirement exposes an inspector to the profession and what he or she is going to be required to do as an inspector. Some folks find the mentoring easy; some find it tough. If the person doing the mentoring is doing so conscientiously the new inspector will learn quite a bit and has to prove to the mentor that he or she knows how to write a report that meets the state standard. I've mentored about half a dozen inspectors so far. Only one of them went on to become an inspector - the others decided just in time that they weren't cut out for it. The guy who went on to become an inspector went on to spend thousands to go to school in Utah. Then he returned here, opened up his doors and a month later called me to turn over his client "list", saying he was getting out of the gig because he couldn't put up with the realtors' bullshit anymore - granted, that was before licensing, but I'm not sure that if he'd gotten his license today he'd still be in it. I think he'd thought it was going to be easier than it is.

There is a little wrinkle in this rule; if the mentor writes a lousy report, he or she is probably going to certify a lousy report. That can come back to bite the mentor. If an inspector's report ever comes into question because it's not complete, the inspector's mentor is probably going to end up getting his or her reports audited to determine if they meet state requirements. If that investigation determines the mentor's reports don't meet the minimum standard, both inspectors are probably going to receive some kind of notice of correction from the Department of Licensing and may even be required to undergo additional training or have their license suspended.

That rule is aimed at consumer protection; but it too cannot guaranty honesty or ethical behavior. In fact, it can't guaranty a good report either. There are hundreds of inspectors who were grandfathered and only required to take the NHIE. Nobody audited their reports to ensure they meet requirements. Still, if those inspectors write a lousy report DOL has the teeth they need to take corrective measures, whether that be to fine the inspector, suspend the inspector's license or force the inspector to undergo additional training.

Our law also has a code of ethics that is codified. It prohibits an inspector from specific types of unethical behavior that unethical inspectors are known to perpetrate; but like any law it can't stop anyone that is bound and determined to break the law. The COE is important because without it DOL's disciplinary options are limited, with it, they can take action against those behaviors and in extreme cases close an inspectors company down completely.

That's consumer protection. It's not perfect but it's a heck of a lot better than the Kansas registration rules.

I think the Kansas folks should get serious and go back to the drawing board. If they want regulation they need to develop something that will protect consumers and they have to prove to their gov that it can - to a point.



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We weren't actually required to belong to any organization when the law came to be, I didn't. Don't know about new inspectors. The continuing ed was required to list on the certificate that it met CE requirements for either ASHI, NAHI, or InterNachi (as big a joke as that is).

The felony part was just what we declared on the app, don't believe they actually did a background check.

For insurance we could do E&O OR Bond and Liability insurance.

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  • 1 month later...

I am somewhat new to the industry after spending the past 12 years working for engineering firms. I was required to do the classroom and hands on training and decided to go to the ASHI School (which I would find to be a huge waste of time and money).

I've been practicing in Missouri due to them not requiring licensing as I have not taken the NHIE yet. I've been studying for it and am scheduled to take it this month. Now I see this news that KS doesn't require it? To me this seems like a huge waste of time and money.

I have never been able to do the mentoring program as each local inspector I've approached has basically blown me off unless I wanted to give them thousands of dollars. I'd be interested in hearing more about this.

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I have never been able to do the mentoring program as each local inspector I've approached has basically blown me off unless I wanted to give them thousands of dollars. I'd be interested in hearing more about this.

Well, they obviously feel that by training you they will have better competition and someone who will know how they operate. If you have the receipt for the worlds best BBQ sauce would you share it with others for free? You need to ride with someone outside your area.

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