Jump to content

Kansas Attorney Speaks Out On Licensing Law


Chad Fabry
 Share

Recommended Posts

I think a more informed public is always better. With that said, just because a state passes legislation governing a business does not assure that the public knows and understands what it means.

I wonder about the part where they say the HI cannot limit their liability below $2000. Is that a rule anywhere else? I mean, a court of law can always determine any amount of liability. So in Kansas my agreement would say, "my fee is $400" and in another part, "my liability is not less than $2000".

I'm not sure I would agree with that part.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All state governments should have minimum standards for home inspector qualifications and the reports that they produce. It's good for our industry but it doesn't appear to me that inspector Jeff Barnes is able to function properly as chairman of the newly created Kansas Home Inspection Registration Board. He has taken advantage of his membership on the Board to portray himself as a superior inspector as evidenced by his website. Mr. Barnes is in a highly visible position and can further improve the image of the home inspection industry in his state by taking the initiative to observe simple ethics.

Marc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, not a balanced article.

Everyone's got an opinion about this gig. Everyone. The degree of earnestness in their arguments are inversely proportional to their direct involvement and experience in the profession.

IOW, those that know the least have the strongest opinions. In my own state, I've gently suggested to a number of the folks that have made inspector regulation their life that I have a few things for them to think about. No one has ever wanted to hear those things.

I'll exempt the Washington State law from my cynicism. I've read over the law and talked about this with Mike a few times, and honestly, it's not a bad bit of legislation. I wish other states would follow their model.

I've (more or less) stopped thinking about this stuff. One cannot argue intelligently against licensing without seeming to be a total crank whackjob. The sum total of my interest in licensing stuff is understanding what I have to do to comply with the law.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Barnes wanted to eliminate the perception that he's unfairly using his membership on the board to give himself a leg up over other inspectors in Kansas, he should do what we did here in Washington, start the numbers somewhere else other than at #1 and then not use his board standing as fluff on his website.

Our numbers start at #201 here and we haven't gone out and openly publicized that fact. We're required to have the words "Licensed Home Inspector," plus our license number, on our business cards and all documents related to a home inspection now. I didn't want to throw away about 500 cards; so I've been writing that information on the back of my cards as I hand them out. The other day I got a chuckle when I quickly wrote my number on my card, handed it to a realtor and the realtor asked me if I knew who the guy carrying license #1 was. "Nope, can't say that I do," I answered. Later, I imagined him back at his office calling around to other realtors and inspectors, or maybe even DOL, trying to find out who inspector #1 was.

The job he does should do Barnes' talking for him. Perhaps his position and the bragging compensates for less-than-stellar capabilities that heretofore prevented him from garnering sufficient referrals. A real pro with cajones wouldn't need to brag and inflate himself in order to get the work.

Tsk.

Just my curmudgeonly opinion, worth the price charged.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been an advocate of regulation in Michigan for abt 10yrs; in various forms. I repeatedly told everyone that I wanted to have license #1. I did that for a couple of years and then realized the reason I thought I needed that "status". I thought being license #1 somehow indicated I knew more about home inspections, when in fact it didn't mean squat. I stopped saying that. Now, I don't want no stiiiiinking license - regardless of the number!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now, I don't want no stiiiiinking license - regardless of the number!

I've said it before: licensing doesn't improve our profession. All it does is make every inspector have the same credential so that we become a commodity.

I dunno, I think that if licensing establishes a consistent baseline for competency that all inspectors must meet, instead of grandfathering individuals based on time in business or number of inspections, that equates to some degree of improvement. Maybe not a lot of improvement, but any improvement is better than none at all in my book.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am for a minimum educational requirement and continuing education. Like SOP's however it is still a minimum.

Licensing to assure the minimum education or experiance and requiring disclosure of any conflict of interest in the real estate transaction or in the suggested repairs is needed.

But!, I do not favor the board setting a minimum liability. Liability is for the courts to asses on a case by case basis. I don't believe a great number of inspections end up in court, so why address it up front.

If I give my client my best and educate them on the house I am inspecting then I have done my job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am for a minimum educational requirement and continuing education. Like SOP's however it is still a minimum.

Licensing to assure the minimum education or experiance and requiring disclosure of any conflict of interest in the real estate transaction or in the suggested repairs is needed.

But!, I do not favor the board setting a minimum liability. Liability is for the courts to asses on a case by case basis. I don't believe a great number of inspections end up in court, so why address it up front.

If I give my client my best and educate them on the house I am inspecting then I have done my job.

Hi,

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think that this law actually sets a minimum award; I think it only prevents an inspector from limiting his/her liability to anything less than $2000.

I doubt there is anything in that law that prevents a home inspector from saying, "You know what, I might not be allowed to limit my liability to less than $2000 for major screw-ups, but if you think that I'm going to give you $2000 for a $50 error, you're out of your tree. Take me to small claims court."

Something else, am I remembering it incorrectly or doesn't this law also cap liability at $10,000 unless a court decides differently? Anyone out there a Kansas inspector whose actually had his/her lawyer look at this and explain it?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reality of HI biz problems is, if someone thinks you're a doof and wants reimbursement, and you can get out of the jam for a couple grand, it's a good deal.

I mean, what's the real difference between $500 and $2000? (and no wags telling me $1500, pleez.) If it's a real problem, a couple grand is chump change. If it's a small problem, you cut them a check for the problem and move on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't forget that there are learning curves associated with HI boards. Remember the FPE advisory bulletin that prohibited us good ol' boys and girls in KY from saying Stab-Loks were dangerous and should be replaced?

Histoire.

The board tried to reprimand a guy who trashed a FPE panel, an inspector who's also an attorney challenged them, and the board's attorney had to concede that the board had no legal basis upon which to issue advisory bulletins or reprimand anyone for allegedly violating the regs of another board. The FPE advisory bulletin has now been rescinded and I'm once again unleashed and able to tell my clients the truth about fire hazards masquerading as electrical equipment.

Free at last, as someone pretty cool once said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. . . Remember the FPE advisory bulletin that prohibited us good ol' boys and girls in KY from saying Stab-Loks were dangerous and should be replaced?

Histoire.

The board tried to reprimand a guy who trashed a FPE panel, an inspector who's also an attorney challenged them, and the board's attorney had to concede that the board had no legal basis upon which to issue advisory bulletins or reprimand anyone for allegedly violating the regs of another board. The FPE advisory bulletin has now been rescinded and I'm once again unleashed and able to tell my clients the truth about fire hazards masquerading as electrical equipment.

Free at last, as someone pretty cool once said.

I'm pleased to hear about that outcome. But it isn't really a victory unless someone was canned or resigned. It's like trimming blackberrys. Unless you get the roots, the victory is only short lived.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...