Florida Home Inspection Licensing Legislation

By
Home Inspector with Pillar To Post® Professional Home Inspection

Senate Bill 2234 (Chapter No. 2007-235) Synopsis

As many of you know, there has been proposed legislation in the Florida House and Senate the past couple of years.  The legislation was finally approved last month.  Here is a synopsis of the requirements:

Senate Bill 2234 was signed into law by Governor Charlie Crist on June 27, 2007. It will go into effect on July 1, 2010. The law will be administered under the jurisdiction of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Key components of the bill are as follows: 

Exemptions

Government employees

Court appointed officers

Safety inspectors (utility equipment)

Certified energy auditor

 

Requirements for licensure

Be of good moral character as defined in 468.8313(5);

Pass an approved home inspection examination; and

Successfully complete an approved 120 hour course of study in home inspection that includes:

-        Structure;

-        Electrical system;

-        HVAC system;

-        Roof covering;

-        Plumbing system;

-        Interior components;

-        Exterior components; and

-        Site conditions

 

Continuing education

14 hours for each biannual license renewal period

Certification of corporations and partnerships

All personnel under the corporation or partnership shall be properly licensed

Certification is not required for those offering home inspection in his/her own name

Renewed every two years

Prohibited acts (first degree misdemeanor)

Providing home inspection or use the title, "certified home inspector", "registered home inspector", licensed home inspector", "professional home inspector", or "home inspector" while not in complete compliance with licensure requirements

Use of another's license

Providing false of forged evidence to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation or an employee of the agency

Use of a suspended or revoked license

Perform repairs on a property in which the inspector has performed the inspection (excludes home warranty repairs)

Inspect a property in which the licensee has a financial interest

Offer or deliver compensation directly or indirectly for the referral of business (no quid pro quo)

Accept an inspection or make an omission on a prepared report that is done so on a contingent basis

Disclosures (prior to contracting for or performing the home inspection)

Provide a copy of the licensee's state issued home inspector license

Provide a copy of the scope and exclusions of the home inspection

Insurance requirements

Commercial general liability insurance in the amount of $300,000 or more

Reporting requirements

Systems or components that, in the professional opinion of the inspector, are significantly deficient or near the end of their service lives;

If self-evident, a reason why the system or component in significantly deficient or near the end of its service life; and

Systems or components not inspected and a reason why they were not

Grandfathering

Meet the requirements of pre-licensing by July 1, 2010

Comments (15)

Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Seem reasonable, alhtough if there is a liability insurance requirement that sounds a little low.

Liability insurance should be at one million if required.

Jul 24, 2007 12:43 PM
Mike Jewett
JaxHomeSpy, LLC - Jacksonville, FL
The problem is, this does nothing to solve consumer issues. Any Joe Schmoe with a toolbelt, a ladder, and some construction knowledge can become an inspector by 2010. There will still be shoddy inspectors and some organizations out there already require these standards PLUS some.
Jul 24, 2007 12:52 PM
Scott Patterson, ACI
Trace Inspections, LLC - Spring Hill, TN
Home Inspector, Middle TN
The license law will add accountability to a profession that now has none in FL.
Jul 24, 2007 02:59 PM
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Mike the FDA inspects one percent of the food coming into this country.

So to make a comparison would you wish the FDA did not exist at all.What would be a bettor solution than no regulation at all.

I am a libertarian at heart and still see the need for something to boost perception of the industry.It is a good thing we are here at the beginning where we could get involved if we wish to help by having a voice.

 

Jul 24, 2007 03:13 PM
Jeffrey Owen
IonHomeInspection.com - Houston Metro Home Inspection - Katy, TX

Wow. Sounds like Florida really got off pretty easy.  Which is a shame really.  I am a Texas Inspector and we have much more stringent educational, testing, and background requirements. It is a step in the right direction, however, as I am sure Florida really needs good inspectors with the environment in that part of the country.

 

Jeffrey Owen
Ion Home Inspection
IonHomeInspection.com

 

 

Jul 24, 2007 06:48 PM
Scott Patterson, ACI
Trace Inspections, LLC - Spring Hill, TN
Home Inspector, Middle TN

TX has it's problems as well.  The TX exam has not been updated or changed in many years, so the schools are teaching to pass the exam.  The main reason it has not been updated is the low test fee and that the state can't get the test updated due to the low cost of the exam.  This should change in the next couple of years as the legislature has removed the cap on the fee. 

Jul 25, 2007 03:05 AM
Mitchell Captain
AllSpec Professional Property Inspections Inc - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Home inspections in Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach

No real rules or regulations are in the bill. It will be up to the department of professional regulation to determine the direction of home inspection in Flori da. If the past is used as an indicator then it does not look good for the consumer.

Our legislators would be better off just collecting their money and staying away from Tallahassee. Possibly the dumbest place to have a state capital.

I've goto take an antidepressant bye. 

Jul 25, 2007 04:06 AM
Carla Horne
Grand View Home Inspections, LLC. - Meredith, NH
NH licensed Home Inspector

That sounds pretty reasonable to me, and not in enforcment until 2010

the only thing that I disagree with and it is also written in proposed NH licensing, there should

not be an amount of hours on the education, as all of the home inspection schools have very

different numbers. I completed AHITI and it was only 53 hours in 1998

well I think that all states will have licensing in the near future so you guys didn't get hit too hard!

good luck with it, keep us posted.

Carla

Jul 25, 2007 08:58 AM
Kelly Cox
Pillar To Post® Professional Home Inspection - Melbourne, FL

Great comments by all.  I agree that the requirements are somewhat lacking.  I think that the initial education requirements are acceptable, we need to ensure that we have adequately educated inspectors.  However, I would like to have seen additional requirements for annual CEU's.

The big bone that have have contention with is the insurance requirement.  I think that to protect the consumer, there should be a requirement for not only adequate General Liabiliy Insurance, we should also have to carry Error & Omissions Insurance as this is what really protects the consurmer!

 

Jul 25, 2007 12:07 PM
Christopher Currins
CBC Home Inspections - Godfrey, IL
Metro East Home Inspector - IL.
Kelly, regarding E&O, I'm in Illinois and live in a county that is widely known for BIG TIME class action lawsuits. In Illinois we are not required to carry E&O. We can if we want to and I have spoken to some very  knowledgeable attorneys about having E&O and they have told me it is like having a target on you that says "You Can Sue Me". We have close to 4,000 inspectors and since we have became a licensed State beginning Jan. 1, 03 there have been very few law suits. Even though E&O does protect you, it is something to think about.
Jul 25, 2007 06:21 PM
Mitchell Captain
AllSpec Professional Property Inspections Inc - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Home inspections in Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach
Kelly E&O insurance is to protect the inspector not the consumer. If you want consumer protection you should ban Realtor referrals of inspectors. If you do that every inspector will just work for one client and his job success will be based on one client and and his referrals will come from his past clients not Realtors.
Jul 25, 2007 11:53 PM
Kelly Cox
Pillar To Post® Professional Home Inspection - Melbourne, FL

Mitchell,

I agree that E&O insurance protects the inspector.  I believe that it also gives the consumer protection from mistakes made by unqualified inspectors.  It's too easy for people to enter our profession and it's way to easy for inspectors to walk away from their problems knowing that they are not properly insured.

As for referrals?  I agree with you whole heartedly.  But until we can move our profession to a consumer based service its something that we area going to have to live with.  I think that most Realtor's would love to get out of the referral business.

Jul 26, 2007 12:53 AM
Scott Case
RE/MAX Elite - Satellite Beach, FL
CDPE IRES

Mitchell,

Most brokers discourage direct referrals and instead have a list of several of each type of service company needed by homebuyers to deflect liability. I have developed a relationship with an inspector I trust and I confidently reccomend to my customers.

Apr 08, 2008 01:52 PM
Kelly Cox
Pillar To Post® Professional Home Inspection - Melbourne, FL

Scott,

That's how it should be.  If you know an inspector who is qualified, competent and you trust.  I think that you lessen any potential liability on your part by recommending that inspector as apposed to handing a list to your client and letting them choose from that list.  Either way, if something goes wrong, your client is going to say "you gave me the list of inspectors to choose from". 

Find someone you trust and recommend them with confidence!

Apr 10, 2008 10:04 AM
Joseph Lang
Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Home Inspector, Southern California
Mitchell, E&O insurance does not guarantee a competent inspector, so in that sense it doesn't protect the consumer.  However the consumer is protected because most inspectors wouldn't be able to pay a $10,000 settlement, yet alone a $100,000 settlement, while their insurance could.  So there is some protection to the consumer.
Apr 11, 2008 01:53 PM