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New HI Law Proposed in Washington State


hausdok
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Seattle, January 24th

On Thursday, January 17th, for the third year in a row, Senators Spanel (Bellingham) introduced a bill in the Washington State senate aimed at licensing home inspectors. Senate bill 6606, is co-sponsored by Sen. Kohl-Welles (Seattle), who has been Spanel's ally during the past two failed attempts. On the same day, Rep. Larry Springer (Kirkland) prime sponsored a competing bill, HB-3132, in the state house of representatives.

The Senate committee on Labor, Commerce, Research & Development will hold a public hearing to hear testimony from interested parties in senate hearing room #4 of the J.A. Cherberg building on the capitol campus in Olympia at 10:00 am, January 28th. Home inspectors and other interested parties are encouraged to attend the hearing and voice their opinion, pro or con, about the bill.

Interested parties from the east end of the state who can't make the hearing and wish to speak should contact their state Senators to see whether it's possible to arrange to be heard via speakerphone.

For more information about either bill, contact your state representatives or senators.

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So Mike...aside from no "peer review" or 4-year degree, what d'ya think?

I think HB-3132 is better thought out than the 6606.

I particularly like the inclusion in section 6 of "(8) Proof of having passed the Washington state department of agriculture's pest inspection exam." along with the exemptions for a seperate license in section 15 (and 30 (4)). If I'm reading that right, we would still be "qualified" to report conducive conditions, damage, active rot and infestation and make appropriate recomendations for FE and repair without jumping through the hoops required for a separate SPI license and "complete" WDO report.

"A separate examination module will be developed to test applicants on the specific Washington state laws, adopted standard of practice, and code of ethics." That's probably gonna stick in the various associations' craw a bit but it really shouldn't assuming the states SOPs are decent. Those who wish to can simply advertise that they meet both the state's standards and their org's.

Does it assure a good, honest inspector? Not necessarily, but at least there's enforcable requirements that are far more than we currently have, without being prohibitive. There would also be a board for clients to complain to that actually has the teeth to revoke a license when deserved. I also notice that there would be no agents on that particular board. Good!

Nothing's perfect but this is far better than nothing. I really can't find anything in HB-3132 that I don't like. 6606, in my mind, is less clear, especially on the SPI reporting (only conducive conditions?).

So now what happens? Do the Senators and the Representatives arm wrestle for bragging rights? Is it at all possible that Spanel and Kohl-Welles could put their pride aside and adopt the better written proposal. Can pigs fly?

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Hi Richard,

HB-3132 is WHILAG's proposal and the result of two years of work. You're right, I am not happy that it doesn't include peer review, but, having sat in that room, you know how contentious things can get at times and how difficult it is to get a large group of home inspectors to agree on something. WHILAG is less than half the size it was when it began, because some folks got so tired of the process that they lost interest, while others apparently didn't like how Roberts Rules and how the concept of majority rules works, and they figuratively took their toys and went home. Not everyone in WHILAG is completely happy with it - it's a consensus proposal after all - but it's something everyone said they could at least live with, and it's not bad when one looks back at the blood that was figuratively shed in that room.

The pest exam portion was included there specifically as a way to placate the pest guys. They are the ones responsible for making all home inspectors pest inspectors by default here under RCW 15.58, because they thought home inspectors who were including pest inspections along with their home inspections were making too many wrong calls. As a consequence of that bone headed move, pest inspections died as a separate business in this state and now consumers here think that, because pest inspections are part of the home inspection under current law, fees should not reflect what's reasonable for a home inspection plus a pest inspection, and are only willing to pay for what they think is reasonable for a home inspection. So, inspectors here are saddled with the additional liability, plus the E & O/Bond requirement, but have a tough time making consumers understand that there's an additional cost involved.

WHILAG is trying to divorce home inspectors from the pest guys and felt that by having home inspectors read the texts and take the test one time at initial licensure, that the pest guys could no longer make the argument that inspectors who are calling out rot and conducive conditions are hurting consumers because they don't know what they're talking about. If they can get the two divorced, so that things here are like they are in 49 other states, then, those who want to do pest inspections can get a separate pest inspectors license and charge that additional fee for pest inspections, while those who choose not to do pest inspections can at least identify and recommend corrections for wood rot and conducive conditions and refer the client to a pest-licensed inspector to deal with any insect issues. That's the hope anyway.

WHILAG has been attempting to bring Spanel's version and Springer's version closer together by meeting with Spanel and other pols in Olympia over the past week. Since 3132 was dropped, WHILAG voted to drop that passage that you like so much because some folks successfully argued that since home inspectors are not pest inspectors that there shouldn't be anything related to pest inspectors in a home inspectors' law. It might be a mistake, but there it is. If you think it's a good idea, let some WHILAG folks know about it stat or stop by their meeting. WHILAG is meeting today from 9 to 12 to try and hash out a position paper for Monday's hearing at the Denny's near 165th on N. Aurora in Shoreline.

Spanel is sticking to her guns in some areas and seems to be willing to compromise in others. One thing that is interesting is that she apparently didn't fully understand how home inspectors were, by default, pest inspectors here, and how onerous that is for home inspectors. Maybe, now that it's been explained to her, she might be willing to yield a little bit.

I guess we'll have to see what happens at the hearing on Monday. I imagine that she won't reveal her position until after she's heard all of the pro and con from the folks who show up at the hearing. She'll probably provide her input after the hearing separately to the committee and then they'll have to consider it before bringing it back to the senate for a vote. If history is any lesson, what goes to the floor might not look anything like what you're seeing now. If it makes it to the house, the process starts all over again. It's still too early to know what might possibly make it out of the house or whether it even will. For the past two years, it's died in committee.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Anyone who wants to send their comments about either version of this law to the Washington Home Inspector Legislative Advisory Group, which is a coalition of home inspectors from all over Washington State can do so by emailing any of the folks below:

Sandy Hartman, Secretary - sandyhartman@comcast.net

Hugh M. Kelso, HKI Building Inspections - hugh@hkibuildinginspections.com

Joanne MacKintosh, Centennial Home Inspections - joanne.mackintosh@hotmail.com

Michael O'Handley, Your Inspector Inc. - hausdok@msn.com

Rick Bunzel, Pacific Crest Inspections - rick@paccrestinspections.com

Dave Pioli, Criterium Engineers - davepioli@criterium-pioli.com

Pat Knight, World Inspection Network - pknight@wini.com

Gary Fuller, Building Tech Northwest - gary@buildingtechnw.com

Bruce MacKintosh, Centennial Home Inspections - lochmoighman@yahoo.com

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Hi Mike,

First, let me thank all, including yourself, who braved the conditions to drive down to Olympia. I wimped out after getting up, seeing my street covered and noticing that no one was attempting the nearby hill. The mini just doesn't do snow well. So...I went back to bed. I did watch the entire video.

I'm really not sure what I could have added in the limited time allowed but I do still have some thoughts that I will attempt to organize and e-mail to the senator and others concerned. Most of that has to do with the vaguries of the senate bill over the house bill regarding SPIs.

I will also point out the impracticality of the licensing requirements without some type of grandfathering. I.E. If every HI, including all existing His, are required to complete the 40 hours of "supervised" inspections to be licensed, I would have to assume the "supervisor" would be required to be a licensed inspector...otherwise it's meaningless. The catch-22 is that there wouldn't initially be any licensed inspectors to supervise. It seems such an obvious and impossible "chicken and egg" situation that I'm surprised Sen. Spanel's bill didn't address it.

So what happens next? When does the (much better) house bill come up? Did I really hear $600 to $800 for the license? Why do I have to find out about the activities of my legislators here?

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A few more thoughts on the 40 hours of "supervised" inspections requirement...

While I'm in favor of the concept, for new inspectors, I do wonder about the real world mechanics of that. No problem for someone wishing to join a multi-inspector company but how would that work for someone wishing to start off with their own independant business? Especially in more rural areas, I can see a natural reluctance for existing businesses to facilitate increased competition. I don't see how you could force an existing HI to provide the supervision. There's also the problem of being responsible for a "stranger" in an occupied house. I've done a little "mentoring" but I already knew and trusted the gentleman very well. And then there's the possible distraction from the job at hand. While you could set ground rules for the newbie, and even enforce them by refusing future supervision, I worry that just one disrupted inspection is way too much for for that particular client.

The only solution I can think of off hand is to increase the initial training hours to 160, 40 of which should be supervised inspections (with critiqued reports) of actual houses. It would then be up to the schools to find the test homes. (???)

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Hi Rich,

Actually, the chicken and the egg issue is something that the board director would be responsible for. If you read the bill carefully, the director, whoever that's going to be, will have broad powers to establish rules for that first group of folks that sits on the board, in order to get things ramped up.

As long as we can get them to buy off on allowing very experienced inspectors to challenge the requirements with a test, in order to allow some segment of inspectors to be grandfathered, there will be enough inspectors available to do the supervising. The conundrum that Spanel and the other pols has to deal with is where they are going to draw the line in time-in-business and experience and education requirements in order to allow grandfathering.

I think the committee understands clearly though that WHILAG's position is that, regardless of what kind of grandfathering is decided upon, they feel unanimously that every practicing inspector in the state needs to at least be able to pass a psychometrically-validated exam. However, since there are currently only two of those, the selection is limited.

At this point, I think that the exam is kind of like a high school diploma. We tell our kids that most people in this country can't be successful in the world without a high school diploma, because it shows that you have the bare minimum amount of learning necessary to get on in the world. I think that these exams do the same thing - they show that the inspector has the bare minimum amount of knowledge necessary to get started in this profession.

The committee will probably go into executive session in the next day or two, if not today, and Sen. Spanel may, like last year, offer a substitute bill with amendments. At that point, there might be more hearings, it might die in committee, or it might be brought before the house for a vote. If it were to be brought up for vote and passed the Senate, it would then move on to the house where the process would be repeated. Keep in mind that Rep. Springer has submitted his own version of a licensing bill. So far, no hearings have been scheduled for that. It too could move from the house to the senate for debate. There's still a long way to go and, even if one or both gets passed, they still need to move to the Governor's desk for a signature. She could veto one and pass the other, veto them both, or send them back for more revisions. Whatever happens, it would be about two years before everyone had to physically have a license.

The amounts you were hearing are what the finance people in Olympia figured last year would be required to find this thing. They figured $800 for the first two year licensing period ($400 a year) for ramp-up and $600 every two years ($300 a year) after that. At least one Senator on that panel, Sen. Holmquist ® is very concerned with this aspect of the whole thing because Tim Eyeman's latest anti-fees initiative has kind of tossed a wrench into the works of anything in Olympia that's going to require new fees or taxes.

Stay tuned.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Hi Mike, Rich, and interested,

After watching the video on TVW, I was impressed with the presentations from WHILAG. This advisory group has come a long way since its inception in Jan. '06. They are now recognized by Senator Spanel and other legislators as an authoritative group. It's clear that the information and reasoning put forth is intended to benefit the HI profession, and keeps the home buyer interests in mind. In doing so, any bias in favor of, or against specific HI association has not been in the equation. That isn't to say that particular issues or features that an association may bring aren't addresed, eg.: testing moduals. It's about time for WA to have an independent legislative resource group of HIs. The time spent by these folks in studying issues, bills, ammendments, understanding HI licensure trends country wide, writing ammendments, proposing a bill, and working tirelessly to gain the ear of sponsoring legislators has all been a feat we can benefit from. The process remains ongoing. It ain't over till the fat lady sings. (That's a saying, the honorable Governor appears trim to me, and I have no idea if she can sing.)

Yes, the grandfathering to eliminate the 120 hour ed and 40 hour field training needs to be eliminated from this SB 6606, with some form of "maturity" accepted. M.O. spoke clearly on this (amazing how concise he can express his thoughts verbally). Still, if this issue is on anyone's mind, emailing Sen. Spanel and others on this would be helpful. Watching the video, it was again clear that the Senators are looking for concise specific suggestions, with brief reason for. One of the highlights on grandfathering came when Mike was asked by a Commerce/Labor Comm. Sen. if he felt the exam should be required of the experienced inspector. (The HI exams are generally minmal, H.S. diploma, DOL generally acknowledges that licensing is intended to qualify at a minimal level.) Mike responded that some HIs out there may have 15 years experience, but be out performed by a one year inspector, that these folks need to be found, and yes, the exam should be required for all to pass.

I noticed that this public hearing had something different, several questions from the Committee. Part of this is a result of the issues being fine tuned, and the pols have more understanding-more interest, but again, the presence of an organized group of inspectors, and the credibility they are achieving bodes well for the chance of a reasonable law.

Dave

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Hugh Kelso, a member of a trade group organized to help shape the inspector legislation, said last year’s version of the bill failed because it lacked industry support.

The group met Monday with Spanel, and the current bill, he said, offers more in the way of continuing-education and testing requirements.

“We just fired off a letter saying we support the bill in its final version,â€

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Hi Richard,

No, there's nothing in stone.

I'm not an expert on this, but this is how I think it works:

If Sen. Spanel proposes a substitute bill and includes what she discussed with Kelso, I think this is what the bill will include:

  • All home inspectors to identify rot and pest conducive conditions, tell their clients what to do about them, and refer the client to a pest guy for anything insect related. Of course, if an inspector wants to, he can still get the bond, take the test, and pass all of the pest requirements to get a separate pest license and then be able to offer insect inspections and advice as an additional revenue stream.
  • Anyone practicing in the state will have to complete at least 120 hours of HI training, 40 hours of supervised inspections with a licensed inspector, and pass a psychometrically validated HI test.
  • Those already in business who meet certain time in business and number of inspection requirements will be able to fore-go the training and the supervised inspection requirements and will be able to challenge the test for immediate licensure.[* Nobody will be simply grandfathered - all inspectors will be required to take the test, regardless of experience.
  • There will be a 7-member board; all inspectors, one of whom must be a teacher in a board-approved home inspection course.
  • Inspectors will be required to complete 24 hours of CE every two years.
  • Licensed inspectors will be required to have their license number on their business cards and on every report they produce.
  • Realtors and anyone else referring inspectors will know that it's illegal to use an unlicensed inspector.
  • The pest law would be changed exempting home inspectors from the pest requirements for everything except insects.
Initial costs will probably be about $800 ($400 a year) for the first two years, and $600 ($300 a year) for the next two. After that, it should stabilize around the average cost of one inspection a year. There won't be any requirement for E & O or to have been licensed as a pest guy during the previous few years. This should motivate those operating without any kind of license or bond to come out of hiding and get licensed so that we get more accurate numbers about who's practicing in the state.

From that point, I think this is a reasonably accurate explanation of what will, or will not, happen with it from here:

  • If the senator presents a substitute bill to the one she dropped in the hopper 2 weeks ago, and the committee sends it to the senate floor for a vote, it has to pass muster with the senate and be voted on.
  • If the votes are in favor, it goes to the house where HB3132 has already been proposed.
  • A house committee will take it and schedule public hearings at which all interested parties will be invited to testify.
  • After that, the committee must decide whether to send it to the house for a vote. If they make even one change, even one very small, it goes back to the senate and the process starts all over (I think).
  • If it is voted on and passes, HB3132 is withdrawn, and it goes to the Governor for signature.
  • The governor will either veto it, sign it, or not sign it. If she refuses to sign it, it becomes law anyway.
She may have submitted the substitute bill already, I don't know, I haven't checked the state site today. If she has, inspectors should be contacting their legislators to voice their opinion, pro or con before it comes up for a vote in the senate.

That's about all I know right now. Hope this helps you understand the process a little better.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Thanks again! Looks much better.

I do have one issue (actually many...but most are personal and have nothing to do with this forum).

Section 2. (2) Any person performing the duties of a home inspector on the effective date of this act has until July 1, 2010, to meet the licensing requirements of this chapter. However, if a person performing the duties of a home inspector on the effective date of this act has proof that he or she has worked as a home inspector for at least two years and has conducted at least one hundred home inspections, he or she may apply to the board before September 1, 2009, for licensure without meeting the instruction and training requirements of this chapter.

That asssumes the board will be in place by then(???) and set the rules for acceptable "proof". Even if that somehow happens, the board will then initially be flooded with applications and I'd have to doubt they will have the time or resources to do any effective checking.

Not really an objection, but I have to wonder about the practicality.

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Looking at Section 18 of the Sub bill, it will require licensed HIs to report on conducive conditions for WDO's. This would include conducive conditions to wood destroying insects (WDO=rot and insects). There are some conducive conditions which are exclucive to insects, such as conducive debris in the crawl space, or a stump in the yard adjacent to the structure.

Seems like the wording should be: "...refer in his or her report to rot or conducive condtions for rot..."

Then there will be separation of WDRot and WDI.

Dave

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Hi Dave,

That wording has been beat back and forth for weeks. As it's written, the intent is that an inspector may identify deterioration and wood rot, as well as pest conducive conditions, and will be able to advise the client what to do about them. That includes issues that will be conducive to insect infestation. There won't be anything wrong with an inspector saying to a client, "You need to get all of that form wood out of the crawlspace because it's going to rot and wood rot attracts wood-destroying insects." That's just simple common sense and one doesn't have to be a pest guy to know that.

However, at the point where indications of active insects are seen - frass, fresh annobiide holes and frass, live insects, fresh emergence holes, etc., - unless the inspector also holds a pest license, the inspector is not allowed to identify the insects involved or advise the client what to do about them, and must defer that to a licensed pest guy for follow up and correction. Make no mistake, regardless of the way you think you are interpreting it, that is the intent of the bill.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike, my point on identifying CC to insects was to be consistant in the separation. Whether HI should be required to mention conducive debris, etc., was my point. I have been informed that WHILAG feels the intent on reporting rot and conducive conditions to WDO was that it is to allow this, not require it. These things can be further defined by the Board in the SoP, and perhaps in a separate document often used to clarify intent of new Administrative Code.

My point stands on the separation, it is not wordsmithing. Granted, these issues and wordings have been tweaked, dealt with enough, so going back to Spanel at this point might muddy waters.

Dave

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Hi,

I don't really see the distinction. The things that are conducive conditions are things that one inspects for anyway and should be reporting on regardless of whether it's mandated or not. The problem with the current situation is that one may not report on any of these issues unless one is a licensed pest guy and that makes no sense. So, the intent is to allow inspectors to do what they should have been doing all along, without the need to be a licensed pest guy to do it.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Posted - Feb 08 2008 : 2:16:00 PM

I don't really see the distinction. The things that are conducive conditions are things that one inspects for anyway and should be reporting on regardless of whether it's mandated or not. The problem with the current situation is that one may not report on any of these issues unless one is a licensed pest guy and that makes no sense. So, the intent is to allow inspectors to do what they should have been doing all along, without the need to be a licensed pest guy to do it.

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Mike, first, I don't see my input on separating both WDIs and pest conducive conditions, apart from rot and rot conducive conditions, as a big deal. As long as there is to be no dual license requirement, and not specific pest inspection requirement (that is bringing WSDA into DoL) in the new HI licensing law, then I think the intent of the RCW will be made clear in the future.

As I mentioned in my last post, as I had read Section 18 ...a licensed HI "shall only refer in his or her report to rot or conducive conditions to WDOs.." to mean that this was a requirement. Apparently this means that the HI is allowed to do this. This means that if a HI missed a rotted ledger board, deck collapses, people die, Suomi's revenge?

Sorry, back to point. You exceed standards, I exceed standards. Commenting on pest specific conducive conditions can may be obvious for rot, but not necessarily for bugs. If an inspector is not a Licensed SPI-specialist, then knowing that a scrap 2x laying against a foundation wall is conducive to sub terranium termites (and not to rot of a structural component) is akin to knowing and refering to damaged wood as having anobiid beetle damage, a no-no. It's cleaner to have a complete separation in the Law and/or WAC. No big deal, but more of a deal if the inspector is required to refer to rot and conducive conditions to WDOs.

I like the complete separation of the two kinds of WDOs, with rot and its conducive conditions being what a HI inspects for as part of their inspection of systems, components, and building science issues.

Mike, I know the basic intent brings back to pre 1991.

Dave

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Here's a couple of things I find interesting in the House version

NEW SECTION. Sec. 26. LIMIT OF LIABILITY. The home inspector

8 shall be able to limit the home inspector's liability by mutual

9 agreement with the client.

10 NEW SECTION. Sec. 27. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. All actions to

11 recover damages for any act or omission of a home inspector relating to

12 a home inspection that the home inspector conducts must be commenced

13 within one year after the date that the home inspection was completed.

It appears that the House is attempting to enforce Liability Limitations, which may lead to many legal challenges. It cfould of course save Washington Inspectors a few thousand $$$ a year in E&O.

The Sunrise committee Review was a pretty good document, it doesn't seem that either the Washington Senate members or those of the House bothered to read it though.

Both these Bill proposals are worthless, it reminds me of that piece of crap that came up 3 years ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

Well, the Washington State House Labor & Commerce Committee met at 8:00 PM last night in Olympia to hear testimony for and against Senator Spanel's bill, SB 6606.

I'd meant to drive down for the hearing but was unable to because I was working on a bear of a report. I'm kind of glad that I didn't, because there were folks who made that long drive and signed up to speak but weren't heard. I always seem to arrive late to these affairs, so I probably would have ended up making the drive for nothing.

In any event, I got to see the hearing this morning via the magic of televised hearings.

The first two-and-a-half minutes of the hearing video is taken up by some give and take between this bills prime sponsor, Senator Spanel, and the committee chair.

For the next hour and 8 minutes, they introduce and discuss other bills before they actually begin hearing testimony of inspectors at precisely 1:10:50 into the recording. Then for the next 32 minutes and 32 seconds they take testimony from those interested in this bill before concluding testimony about it and breaking for recess.

For those of you who are interested in watching the video, here it is.

Those who testified strongly in favor of the bill were:

  • Sandy Hartman - Secretary and spokesperson for the Washington Home Inspectors Legislative Advisory Group (WHILAG)
  • Hugh Kelso - ASHI
  • Pat Knight - WIN Home Inspection Franchises
  • Paul Luczyk - ASHI
  • Troy Walton - interNACHI
  • Bob Mitchell - Washington Realtors (WAR)
Others spoke against the bill or in favor of the bill with changes. These were:
  • Duane Roundy - Washington State Pest Control Association (WSPCA) and Kaplan Schools (Against).

    Roundy said that the bill has come a long way over the past few years, and that he was 95% in favor of it, but:

    1. He takes issue with sections 18 and 21 that remove the mandatory requirements that all home inspectors in the state also be licensed pest inspectors.

    2. He doesn't like the idea of dual licensing that will be required if a home inspector also chooses to do bug inspections.

    3. He says that the bill as written would remove the financial responsibility requirement that currently protects consumers by removing the requirement for a mandatory $25,000 bond or a $100,000 E & O policy.

    4. He explained to the committee that under the current system an inspector can get the bond for between $300 and $500 a year but that E & O costs a minimum of $2000 to $3000 per year. Thus, if the pest requirement is removed from home inspectors, the public will be left unprotected. He made it sound like the bond was, for the consumer, the better option, because inspectors could better afford that.

    5. He said that the training requirements in the law that require at least 120 hours of education plus 40 hours of supervised inspections were excessive, and that Kaplan's research had determined that, in the 21 states where licensing exists and there is a mandatory training requirement, that the average amount of training required is only 75 hours, and that other states (Texas and NJ) have had to half their requirements after they encountered difficulties. He says that Kaplan favors only 80 hours of education plus another 30 of supervised inspections.

  • Charlie Buell - ASHI, interNACHI, Bellingham Technical College HI Instructor (In favor with changes)

    Buell testified that the bill was pretty good but stated that he'd like to see the mandatory pest license requirement remain in the law, or at least see a requirement where all inspectors would need to prove, via the state's structural pest inspector's exam, that they at least were capable of identifying pests and pest conducive conditions.

Michael Gaffey (sic) - Attorney (Against)

He claims to have represented two clients who'd been the victims of horrible home inspections and says that the bill is too weak and needs to be substantially strengthened. Points he made were:

1. He wants a mandatory probing requirement because he feels that a visual inspection is inadequate.

2. He wants more education and complains that the current bills' education requirement is less than 1/4 of that required to get through community college.

3. He complained that the 40 hours of supervised training requirement in the bill is inadequate because it only says that an inspector must to "up to" 40 hours of training and no minimum is specified.

4. He complained that as written the bill has no financial responsibility requirement.

5. He wants the mandatory pest inspectors license requirement to remain in the bill.

6. He complained that limits of liability in current home inspectors contracts were unfair.

7. He complained that the bill's enforcement provisions were inadequate.

8. He complained that there is nothing in the enforcement provisions of the bill to address deceptive acts or advertising.

At that point, the chairman stopped him and asked if he'd submitted his complaints to the staff and whether he'd ever discussed these issues with the bill's prime sponsor before it went through the senate. He said that he'd spoken at last years hearings and at the sunrise review hearings but that he'd not had an opportunity prior to the hearings in the Senate to address these issues to the Senator although she's aware of them from prior conversations. The chairman moved onto the next person.
  • Paul Neiss - ASHI (In favor with changes). Neiss said that he was in favor of the bill but would like to see the pest inspector requirement remain in the bill.
  • JIm Irish, representing a coalition of appraisers (Against if changes aren't made) - Irish testified only that the things that home inspectors do - visual inspections, write reports on general conditions, etc., have been done by appraisers for decades and the appraisers wish to be exempted from the law. When the chair asked him if he'd spoken to the bill's prime sponsor about this, he said that the Senator had told him that there were already too many groups exempted from the bill.
  • A fellow from the Department of Licensing (DOL)He testified briefly that they take issue with a couple of conflicts between sections 7 & 9 of the bill based on their sunrise review findings. He didn't elaborate on what these were and said that DOL had submitted their issues to the staff in writing
At that point, the meeting went into recess.

Roundy's background is as a pest inspector who expanded his business into home inspections. For nearly 2 years he'd been a member of WHILAG but had quit when he couldn't convince the group to favor keeping the mandatory pest requirement in the bill. Like other WHILAG members, he'd agreed when he joined that the point of the group was to work toward common ground. He'd also agree, as had all WHILAG members, that, regardless of one's personal feelings about specific issues, when the coalition voted on a position, that position would be the public position that all members would take, irrespective of personal feelings. Eventually, he demonstrated that his word wasn't his bond, when, even though the inclusion of his vote resulted in many positions and opinions by other WHILAG members being voted down, when it came to not getting his own way, he cut and run and he is now speaking out against the work of the coalition.

What Roundy neglected to mention in his testimony to the committee, is that the bond requirement and the E & O requirement only currently apply to pest inspections, and, that if an inspector who is currently practicing wants to have his or her home inspections covered by insurance, he or she still must spend the $2000 to $3000 a year for E & O insurance, regardless of the current pest law. It was no doubt a very shrewd, calculated, and convenient omission on his part, because the committee members didn't seem to see the distinction.

At this point it's anyone's guess what's going to happen - this committee can vote to send this bill on to the house floor for a vote or they can send it back to the Senate for more work. Alternatively, they could kill it and still hear the companion bill that's been authored by WHILAG in the house. However, I doubt that they'll do this because right now the two bills are so close on so many points.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Hi All,

Well engrossed substitute bill SB 6606 has just been unanimously voted out of committee with some amendments. I've linked the committee's vote here. Fast forward to 14 minutes and 15 seconds into the video to hear discussion about this bill.

It should go now to the rules committee, and, since there is an amendment involving fees added by the Department of Licensing, it may go back to the Senate for some more work. If it does, since it's a short legislative session this year, it's going to be touch and go as to whether it will make it back to the house in time to be voted on before the end of session.

We'll continue to watch it.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I was fast-forward thinking.

When and if any bill in any shape or form becomes law, how does the word spread?

It seems it could take a few years before everyone knows that licensing required. We could have real estate agents, mortgage folks and even home inspectors themselves operating for quite a while before everyone knows they'd be required to have a license.

It'd probably even take longer for the public themselves to know about it!

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