Home Inspector's Becoming Licensed in Michigan

By
Home Inspector with Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC WI 739-106

As a few of you might be aware, a bill will sortly be introduced in the Michigan State Legislature which will require that all Home Inspectors be Licensed by the State before conducting any inspection.  I have included a copy of the previous Bill which was introduced but never voted on (there have been a few changes to the new Bill).  When it comes back from the drafters, I will post it here.

As Real Estate professionals, what do you think of Home Inspectors being Regulated in Michigan?  Good Idea?  Bad Idea?

 

00658'05 LBO HOUSE BILL No. 4076

HOUSE BILL No. 4076

HOUSE BILL No. 4076

January 27, 2005, Introduced by Rep. Accavitti and referred to the Committee on Regulatory

Reform.

A bill to amend 1980 PA 299, entitled

"Occupational code,"

by amending section 303a (MCL 339.303a), as amended by 1995 PA

183, and by adding article 14.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

1 Sec. 303a. The terms provided for in this act shall commence

2 on the following dates:

3 Accountancy July 1

4 Architects April 1

5 Athletic board of control April 1

6 Barbers October 1

7 Collection agencies July 1

8 Community planners July 1

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1 Cosmetology January 1

2 Employment agencies October 1

3 Foresters April 1

4 Hearing aid dealers October 1

5 HOME INSPECTORS JULY 1

6 Land surveyors April 1

7 Landscape architects July 1

8 Marriage counselors October 1

9 Mortuary science July 1

10 Nursing home administrators January 1

11 Professional engineers April 1

12 Real estate appraisers July 1

13 Real estate brokers and salespersons July 1

14 Residential builders April 1

15 Social workers October 1

16 ARTICLE 14

17 SEC. 1401. AS USED IN THIS ARTICLE:

18 (A) "ACCESSORIES" MEANS APPLIANCES THAT ARE FIXTURES IN THE

19 RESIDENCE. ACCESSORIES INCLUDE BUILT-IN APPLIANCES AND VACUUM

20 SYSTEMS BUT DO NOT INCLUDE A SECURITY SYSTEM.

21 (B) "CLIENT" MEANS THE PERSON ON WHOSE BEHALF A HOME

22 INSPECTOR IS ACTING.

23 (C) "ELECTRICAL SYSTEM" MEANS THE TOTAL SYSTEM IN A

24 RESIDENCE THAT FACILITATES THE FLOW OF ELECTRICITY BEGINNING WITH

25 THE MAIN PANEL AND EXTENDING TO THE SUBPANELS AND INCLUDING

26 BRANCH CIRCUITS, AND DIRECTLY WIRED ELECTRICAL AND LIGHTING

27 FIXTURES.

28 (D) "FOUNDATION" MEANS 1 OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING UPON WHICH

29 A RESIDENCE IS PLACED:

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1 (i) SLAB.

2 (ii) CRAWL SPACE.

3 (iii) BASEMENT.

4 (iv) PIERS.

5 (E) "HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM" MEANS A SEPARATE

6 OR COMBINED SYSTEM USED TO DISTRIBUTE OR RADIATE HEAT OR COOL AIR

7 THROUGHOUT ALL OR PART OF A RESIDENCE. THE RADIATION OR

8 DISTRIBUTION OF HEAT MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED BY MEANS OF A CENTRAL

9 HEAT SOURCE OR THERMOSTATICALLY CONTROLLED HEAT SOURCES IN 1 OR

10 MORE ROOMS OF A RESIDENCE. AIR CONDITIONING DOES NOT INCLUDE A

11 UNIT MOUNTED IN A WALL OR A WINDOW UNLESS THE UNIT UTILIZES DUCTS

12 TO DISTRIBUTE THE AIR.

13 (F) "HOME INSPECTOR" MEANS A PERSON ENGAGED IN, OR OFFERING

14 TO ENGAGE IN, THE BUSINESS OF PROVIDING HOME INSPECTION SERVICES

15 BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

16 (i) A PERSON ACTING ON BEHALF OF A LOCAL, STATE, OR FEDERAL

17 GOVERNMENTAL UNIT OR AGENCY CONDUCTING AN INSPECTION OR

18 INVESTIGATION CONCERNING COMPLIANCE WITH EITHER OR BOTH OF THE

19 FOLLOWING:

20 (A) HEALTH OR SAFETY LAWS OR REGULATIONS.

21 (B) CONSTRUCTION OR BUILDING LAWS, CODES, OR REGULATIONS.

22 (ii) A PERSON LICENSED, REGISTERED, OR CERTIFIED UNDER 1 OR

23 MORE OF THE FOLLOWING WHILE CONDUCTING AN INSPECTION THAT IS

24 REASONABLY RELATED TO A TASK OR PROSPECTIVE TASK WITHIN THE SCOPE

25 OF LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION:

26 (A) ARTICLE 20.

27 (B) ARTICLE 24.

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1 (C) ARTICLE 25.

2 (D) ARTICLE 26.

3 (E) THE STATE PLUMBING ACT, 2002 PA 733, MCL 338.3511 TO

4 338.3569.

5 (F) THE ELECTRICAL ADMINISTRATIVE ACT, 1956 PA 217, MCL

6 338.881 TO 338.892.

7 (G) THE FORBES MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS ACT, 1984 PA 192, MCL

8 338.971 TO 338.988.

9 (G) "HOME INSPECTION SERVICES" MEANS SERVICES PROVIDED TO A

10 CLIENT, FOR CONSIDERATION, THAT ARE DESIGNED TO IDENTIFY AND

11 DISCLOSE THE FUNCTIONAL CONDITION OF THE MAJOR SYSTEMS AND

12 ACCESSORIES IN A RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF THE INSPECTION. HOME

13 INSPECTION SERVICES DO NOT INCLUDE AN INSPECTION DESIGNED ONLY TO

14 DISCLOSE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

15 (i) COMPLIANCE WITH LOCAL, STATE, OR FEDERAL BUILDING OR

16 CONSTRUCTION LAWS, CODES, OR REGULATIONS.

17 (ii) COMPLIANCE WITH LOCAL, STATE, OR FEDERAL HEALTH AND

18 SAFETY LAWS OR REGULATIONS.

19 (iii) THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF PESTS, TERMITES, OR OTHER

20 VERMIN OR DAMAGE RESULTING FROM THE PRESENCE OF PESTS, TERMITES,

21 OR VERMIN.

22 (H) "MAJOR DEFICIENCY" MEANS A DEFECT IN 1 OR MORE MAJOR

23 SYSTEMS OR ACCESSORIES THAT MAY CAUSE THE REASONABLE LIKELIHOOD

24 OF HARM TO THE SAFETY OF THE OCCUPANTS SO AS TO REQUIRE THEIR

25 EVACUATION OF THE RESIDENCE FOR MORE THAN 3 DAYS OR THAT MAY

26 RESULT IN THE REASONABLE LIKELIHOOD OF A MAJOR SYSTEM OR

27 ACCESSORY BECOMING NONOPERATIONAL.

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1 (I) "MAJOR SYSTEM" MEANS ANY 1 OF THE FOLLOWING:

2 (i) ELECTRICAL SYSTEM.

3 (ii) HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM.

4 (iii) PLUMBING SYSTEM.

5 (iv) STRUCTURE AND FOUNDATION.

6 (J) "PLUMBING SYSTEM" MEANS THAT SYSTEM REGULATING THE

7 INWARD AND OUTWARD FLOW OF WATER AND SEWAGE IN A RESIDENCE AND

8 INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, WATER HEATERS, FIXTURES,

9 FAUCETS, VALVES, AND PIPES. PLUMBING DOES NOT INCLUDE WELLS,

10 SEPTIC SYSTEMS, WATER SOFTENERS, OR SUMP PUMPS UNLESS INCLUDED IN

11 WRITING IN THE CONTRACT FOR HOME INSPECTION SERVICES.

12 (K) "RESIDENCE" MEANS A BUILDING USED PRIMARILY FOR FAMILY

13 LIVING QUARTERS AND DESIGNED FOR OCCUPANCY OF NOT MORE THAN 4

14 FAMILIES IN SEPARATE LIVING QUARTERS.

15 (l) "STRUCTURE" MEANS THE WALLS, WINDOWS, DOORS, AND ROOF ON

16 THE EXTERIOR OF A RESIDENCE AND THE WALLS, CEILINGS, FLOORS,

17 WINDOWS, AND DOORS ON THE INTERIOR OF A RESIDENCE.

18 SEC. 1402. THERE IS CREATED A HOME INSPECTORS BOARD.

19 SEC. 1403. (1) BEGINNING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE RULES

20 PROMULGATED BY THE DEPARTMENT UNDER SUBSECTION (2), AN INDIVIDUAL

21 SHALL NOT PROVIDE, OR OFFER TO PROVIDE, HOME INSPECTION SERVICES

22 UNLESS LICENSED UNDER THIS ARTICLE OR UNLESS THE INDIVIDUAL OR

23 SERVICES ARE EXEMPTED FROM LICENSURE UNDER THIS ARTICLE AS

24 DESCRIBED IN SECTION 1401(F)(i) OR (ii). AN INDIVIDUAL SHALL NOT

25 USE THE TERM "HOME INSPECTOR" OR ANY OTHER SIMILAR TITLE THAT

26 CONNOTES LICENSURE UNDER THIS ARTICLE.

27 (2) WITHIN 180 DAYS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS

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1 ARTICLE, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROMULGATE RULES TO SET MINIMUM

2 STANDARDS FOR EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE REGARDING ELIGIBILITY FOR

3 LICENSURE UNDER THIS ARTICLE. THE DEPARTMENT, IN CONSULTATION

4 WITH THE BOARD, MAY PROMULGATE RULES TO SET STANDARDS FOR

5 EXAMINATION OF APPLICANTS WHO DO NOT MEET THE EDUCATION AND

6 EXPERIENCE STANDARDS DESCRIBED IN THE RULES PROMULGATED UNDER

7 THIS SUBSECTION.

8 (3) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL LICENSE AN INDIVIDUAL AS A HOME

9 INSPECTOR IF THE INDIVIDUAL IS LICENSED OR OTHERWISE REGULATED IN

10 ANOTHER STATE THAT HAS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME STANDARDS FOR

11 LICENSURE AS THIS STATE, AS DETERMINED BY THE BOARD, AND THAT

12 OFFERS RECIPROCITY TO LICENSEES IN THIS STATE.

13 SEC. 1404. (1) BEGINNING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE,

14 AN INDIVIDUAL PROVIDING OR OFFERING TO PROVIDE HOME INSPECTION

15 SERVICES SHALL COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION AND

16 SECTION 1405.

17 (2) A HOME INSPECTOR WHO ENTERS INTO A CONTRACT FOR HOME

18 INSPECTION SERVICES THAT IS NOT IN CONFORMANCE WITH THIS ARTICLE

19 IS SUBJECT TO AN ACTION FOR DAMAGES BROUGHT BY THE CLIENT OR

20 SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF HIS OR HER LICENSE, OR BOTH.

21 (3) A HOME INSPECTOR SHALL INSPECT THOSE MAJOR SYSTEMS AND

22 ACCESSORIES OF A RESIDENCE THAT ARE THE SUBJECT OF A CONTRACT FOR

23 HOME INSPECTION SERVICES ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THOSE MAJOR

24 SYSTEMS AND ACCESSORIES ARE READILY ACCESSIBLE AND VISIBLE TO THE

25 HOME INSPECTOR. A HOME INSPECTOR SHALL INDICATE IN WRITING ANY

26 ACCESSORY OR MAJOR SYSTEM, OR ANY PART OF AN ACCESSORY OR MAJOR

27 SYSTEM, THAT WAS NOT ABLE TO BE INSPECTED AND THE REASONS FOR THE

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00658'05 LBO

1 INABILITY TO INSPECT.

2 (4) A HOME INSPECTOR WHO INSPECTS A RESIDENCE SHALL NOT

3 REPAIR OR OFFER TO REPAIR A RESIDENCE THAT WAS THE SUBJECT OF

4 HOME INSPECTION SERVICES PROVIDED BY THAT HOME INSPECTOR UNLESS

5 THE REPAIR IS PURSUANT TO A HOME WARRANTY PROVIDED BY THE HOME

6 INSPECTOR.

7 (5) THE HOME INSPECTOR SHALL DISCLOSE WHETHER HE OR SHE, AN

8 EMPLOYEE OR AGENT, OR AN IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER HAS AN OWNERSHIP

9 INTEREST IN THE RESIDENCE BEING INSPECTED.

10 (6) A HOME INSPECTOR SHALL DISCLOSE WHETHER HE OR SHE, AN

11 EMPLOYEE OR AGENT, OR AN IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER IS A MEMBER OF A

12 BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF, OR AN OFFICER OF, AN ENTITY THAT HAS AN

13 OWNERSHIP INTEREST IN THE RESIDENCE BEING INSPECTED.

14 (7) A HOME INSPECTOR SHALL FURNISH TO THE CLIENT A DOCUMENT

15 ENTITLED "DISCLOSURE STATEMENT", WHICH SHALL BE PRESENTED AT THE

16 TIME THE WRITTEN HOME INSPECTION REPORT IS CONVEYED TO THE CLIENT

17 AND SHALL CONTAIN, AT A MINIMUM, BOTH OF THE FOLLOWING:

18 (A) THE SCOPE OF THE HOME INSPECTION SERVICES WITH A

19 DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE MAJOR SYSTEMS AND ACCESSORIES TO BE

20 INSPECTED, THE TYPE OF MAJOR DEFICIENCIES THE HOME INSPECTION IS

21 DESIGNED TO REVEAL, AND ITEMS THAT ARE EXCLUDED FROM COVERAGE

22 UNDER THE CONTRACT OF HOME INSPECTION SERVICES.

23 (B) A STATEMENT THAT A HOME INSPECTOR INSPECTING A

24 PARTICULAR RESIDENCE SHALL NOT REPAIR OR OFFER TO REPAIR A

25 RESIDENCE THAT WAS THE SUBJECT OF HOME INSPECTION SERVICES

26 PROVIDED BY THAT HOME INSPECTOR UNLESS THE REPAIR IS PURSUANT TO

27 A HOME WARRANTY PROVIDED BY THE HOME INSPECTOR.

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1 SEC. 1405. (1) A CONTRACT FOR HOME INSPECTION SERVICES SHALL

2 BE IN WRITING, EXECUTED BY THE HOME INSPECTOR AND EITHER THE

3 CLIENT OR THE CLIENT'S AGENT, AND IN CONFORMANCE WITH SUBSECTION

4 (4). A COPY OF THE EXECUTED CONTRACT FOR HOME INSPECTION SERVICES

5 SHALL BE PROVIDED TO THE CLIENT AT THE TIME OF ITS EXECUTION.

6 (2) ALL TERMS OF THE CONTRACT FOR HOME INSPECTION SERVICES

7 SHALL BE CONTAINED IN THE WRITTEN CONTRACT EXCEPT THAT CONDITIONS

8 OF THE RESIDENCE AFFECTING THE HOME INSPECTOR'S ABILITY TO

9 CONDUCT A HOME INSPECTION SHALL BE NOTED IN A SEPARATE DOCUMENT

10 ATTACHED TO THE CONTRACT. ANY CHANGES OR MODIFICATIONS OF THE

11 TERMS OF THE CONTRACT FOR HOME INSPECTION SERVICES SHALL BE

12 REDUCED TO WRITING.

13 (3) UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED IN WRITING, THE PURCHASER OF

14 A RESIDENCE BEING INSPECTED IS CONSIDERED THE CLIENT IN THE CASE

15 OF A HOME INSPECTION CONDUCTED AS PART OF A SALE OF THE

16 RESIDENCE.

17 (4) THE FOLLOWING SHALL BE CONTAINED IN A CONTRACT FOR HOME

18 INSPECTION SERVICES:

19 (A) A DESCRIPTION OF THE HOME INSPECTION SERVICES TO BE

20 PROVIDED.

21 (B) ANY DISCLAIMERS INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE

22 ABSENCE OF ANY WARRANTIES AS TO THE ADEQUACY OF FUTURE

23 PERFORMANCE OF A MAJOR SYSTEM OR ACCESSORY AND THE FACT THAT THE

24 HOME INSPECTION IS CONSIDERED A VALID ASSESSMENT OF THE CONDITION

25 OF THE RESIDENCE ONLY AS OF THE DATE THE HOME INSPECTION WAS

26 CONDUCTED.

27 (C) ANY EXCLUSION OF DEFECTS NOT REASONABLY APPARENT BY

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1 VISUAL INSPECTION.

2 (D) ANY EXCLUSION OF ANY MAJOR SYSTEM OR ACCESSORY NOT

3 OPERABLE AT THE TIME OF THE CONDUCT OF THE HOME INSPECTION.

4 (5) AFTER PERFORMING HOME INSPECTION SERVICES, A HOME

5 INSPECTOR SHALL PROVIDE TO THE CLIENT A WRITTEN HOME INSPECTION

6 REPORT CONTAINING THE RESULTS OF THE HOME INSPECTION. THE HOME

7 INSPECTION REPORT SHALL INCLUDE A LIST OF THE MAJOR SYSTEMS OR

8 ACCESSORIES INSPECTED AND ANY MAJOR SYSTEMS OR ACCESSORIES NOT

9 INSPECTED. THE HOME INSPECTOR SHALL LIST IN THE REPORT ANY

10 CONDITIONS AFFECTING OR LIMITING THE ABILITY OF THE HOME

11 INSPECTOR TO PROVIDE HOME INSPECTION SERVICES PURSUANT TO THE

12 CONTRACT.

13 (6) THE HOME INSPECTION REPORT SHALL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING

14 STATEMENTS:

15 (A) THAT DEFECTS NOT REASONABLY APPARENT BY VISUAL

16 INSPECTION ARE EXCLUDED.

17 (B) THAT A MAJOR SYSTEM OR ACCESSORY NOT OPERABLE AT THE

18 TIME OF THE CONDUCT OF THE HOME INSPECTION IS EXCLUDED.

19 (7) THE HOME INSPECTOR SHALL INDICATE IN THE WRITTEN HOME

20 INSPECTION REPORT THE FACT THAT THE HOME INSPECTION IS CONSIDERED

21 A VALID ASSESSMENT OF THE CONDITION OF THE RESIDENCE ONLY AS OF

22 THE DATE THE HOME INSPECTION WAS CONDUCTED.

23 (8) A HOME INSPECTOR SHALL RETAIN A COPY OF THE CONTRACT FOR

24 HOME INSPECTION SERVICES AND THE WRITTEN HOME INSPECTION REPORT

25 FOR AT LEAST 3 YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF THE REPORT.

26 SEC. 1406. (1) A CLIENT SUFFERING DAMAGES DUE TO A VIOLATION

27 OF THIS ARTICLE MAY BRING AN ACTION FOR DAMAGES IN A COURT OF

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1 COMPETENT JURISDICTION.

2 (2) THE REMEDIES UNDER THIS ARTICLE ARE CUMULATIVE AND THE

3 USE OF 1 REMEDY DOES NOT BAR THE USE OF ANY OTHER REMEDY PROVIDED

4 BY LAW.

5 Enacting section 1. This amendatory act does not take

6 effect unless Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 4077(request

7 no. 00658'05 a) of the 93rd Legislature is enacted into law.

8 Enacting section 2. This amendatory act takes effect

9 October 1, 2005.

Comments (15)

Roger Stensland
Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound - Maple Valley, WA
Let's Move!
I think that it is a good idea for inspectors to get licensed.  Most professions that I have been affiliated with are required to be licensed.  Why would something as important as home inspections be left to unlicensed people?
May 05, 2007 08:30 AM
Gary Smith
Agent Marketing Today - Commerce Township, MI
Walt, I'm on the fence on this issue. I know the State is looking for more money and requiring many fields be relicensed every three years. I think it would just increase liability for each inspector.
May 05, 2007 10:57 AM
Walt Fish
Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC - Marquette, MI
Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector

Thanks Gary and Rodger,

 

May 13, 2007 07:59 AM
Stefan Scholl
Buyer's Broker of Northern Michigan, LLC - Petoskey, MI
Northern Michigan Real Estate
Thanks for the heads up, Walt.  I had no idea that this was being proposed.  I cannot think of a reason that home inspectors should not be regulated to meet minimum competency requirements. 
May 15, 2007 04:56 PM
Walt Fish
Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC - Marquette, MI
Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector

Stephan,

 Thanks for the comment.  I had expected more comments on this issue as it has a direct, and important bearing on home closings.  For my part, I am Licensed in Wisconsin and am not against licensing.  It is true though that the regulatory body in Wisconsin does a very poor job of enforcing violations.  Just one example:  an inspector notes in the report that there is concrete asbestos siding on a home.  In Wisconsin, it is against state regulations to identify asbestos without a lab first certifying the finding.  The inspectors who do this are never fined or sanctioned when reported to the state.

We will see how the provisions are formed in the Michigan bill once it becomes law.

 

May 18, 2007 10:57 AM
John Goad
Clarksville Home Inspections - Clarksville, TN

I am in Tn where licensing was required in 2006. You have to take 90 hrs class time to get certified then pass the state exam & get general liability as well as E&O. E&O for a home inspector is $4000-$5000 a year. You also have to have 32 hrs CE every 2 years. Home inspecting needs to be regulated even with the new requirements in TN there are still individuals that have no business being a professional home inspector out there. I know that most real estate agents tell me they have to give the client options for the home inspector to reduce their liability. The best way an agent can reduce their liability is to use the most thorough qualified inspector they know.

May 21, 2007 10:23 AM
Walt Fish
Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC - Marquette, MI
Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector

Thanks John for the comment,

Yes, in Wisconsin, the requirements are similar though the CE requirements are 40 hrs each 2 years.  They do not require EO insurance in WI or in MI (of course) though I think inspectors should be bonded instead.  EO insurance will cancel a home inspector if they ever have a claim. 

 

You are right that the Home Inspectors should all be competent.  I guess it is still buyer beware! 

 

May 21, 2007 01:41 PM
Joseph Hagarty
Main Line Inspections, Inc. - Parkesburg, PA
Read this story.

Quote:

County where deck fell has no safety code

BY RON SYLVESTER

The Wichita Eagle

The collapse of a deck at a new home that killed one man and injured numerous others occurred in a county that has no safety building codes or inspectors for new dwellings, the Elk County sheriff said Monday.

Sheriff Doug Hanks said his office is still trying to pull together a report on the injuries Saturday night, when the balcony on an upper deck broke away from the house and fell on the guests below.

Owners Brian and Donna Schreck of Wichita were holding a housewarming party at their new home on 1765 Road 25, about five miles north of Fall River. Gerard K. "Bud" Seiler, 46, of Andale was killed in the accident.

Others were taken to a hospital in nearby Fredonia, Hanks said. Some were airlifted to a Wichita hospital.

Hanks said Monday that Elk County has no building safety codes, nor does it inspect new structures.

"Not in Elk County -- we're not even zoned," Hanks said.

Kansas does not require cities or counties to have building safety codes.
"Obviously, some of the rural counties and cities have resisted this as being too much government intrusion," said Ed Flentje, chairman of the Hugo Wall School of Public and Urban Affairs at Wichita State University. "And then something like what happened last weekend just highlights it."

Wichita has had building codes on its books since 1888, said Kurt Schroeder, superintendent of the city's Office of Central Inspection. The city bases its code on the International Building Code and International Residential Buildings Codes.

Hanks, the sheriff, said his office is still trying to determine what happened Saturday night but that it appeared the balcony collapsed under the weight of too many guests.

Brian and Donna Schreck declined to comment when contacted Monday night at their Wichita home.

Reach Ron Sylvester at 316-268-6514 or mailto:rsylvester@wichitaeagle.com

 

Jun 02, 2007 02:46 PM
Walt Fish
Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC - Marquette, MI
Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector

Joe,

Your response seems a bit political.  I wouldn't generally ask people to take a stand on a policy issue unless they know all the facts.  Municipal Building Inspectors are only as good as they choose to be.  Many won't even enter the home that they are inspecting (at least in my experience) and simply meet the contractor and sign off on the code compliance.  If something was not done to code, the new home-owner is left holding the bag and they have little recourse.

So, although I do support enforcing building code requirements, I also support making the Building Code Inspectors or the municipalities they serve liable for poor inspections.

The example you cited, never did state whether the balcony was code compliant (i.e. state or national).  It may have simply been that too many people were on that balcony.  Put enough people there and you can make any balcony (or almost any) collapse.

 

Walt    

Jun 02, 2007 11:36 PM
Joseph Hagarty
Main Line Inspections, Inc. - Parkesburg, PA

Walt,

 I edited what you found to objectional. The point I was making, with regard to the Article, is that there are no Codes, Inspections and/or Municipal Inspectors.

 

Jun 03, 2007 12:23 AM
Walt Fish
Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC - Marquette, MI
Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector

Joe,

 Regarding your point, yes, I agree with you.  It is a scary thought that there are no towns in Kansas required to have building codes.  It makes one think of the Latin admonishment "Caveat Emptor"...or Buyer Beware.

But to tie this all together, I do think there is a parallel between Home Inspectors and Municipal Building Inspectors that is of concern.  It has to do with enforcing rules that are violated in each Industry by the Inspectors.  If a home Inspector is in a licensing state and is required to inspect the furnace, but chooses not to, what does the regulatory authority do with a complaint from an irate home buyer with a cracked heat exchanger?  I know that in Wisconsin, for example, some Inspectors put disclaimers in their inspection agreements along with liability limits.  Though it is directly and clearly a state violation, Wisconsin Poo Poos the complaints it gets and rarely follows it's own protocol for sanctions.  Why?  bad for business.  They seem only to care about the licensing fees.  MBI inspectors seem immune to any sanctions for not doing their jobs.

I am concerned that if Michigan does pass licensing requirements for home inspectors, will the state choose to enforce the standards it sets?  If not, licensing is useless.     

Jun 03, 2007 01:22 AM
Ethan Dozeman
Realty Executives Platinum Group - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate in Grand Rapids
If they are proposing licensing home inspectors, can somebody please propose making mortgage and loan officers be licensed? 
Jun 03, 2007 10:09 AM
Walt Fish
Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC - Marquette, MI
Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector

Ethan,

Are you saying that Michigan has no licensing of Mortgage Loan Officers?  How does that work?  Do they function under the Mortgage Broker's License?

Again...I point out, Licensing...and then what?  A Mortgage Loan Officer shares confidential loan application information with other customers, the applicant finds out and files a complaint with the regulatory agency and an investigation is done.  Through several letters both from the applicant and the company, the investigating officer gives deference to the company and the case is closed with no wrongdoing found.  So what has licensing really accomplished here?  It certainly didn't protect the customer. 

Jun 04, 2007 01:18 AM
Terry Lynch
LAR Notary and Closing Services - Saint Clair Shores, MI

Walt

I think the main objective to licensing is to try and maintain at least a minimum level of competency. Here in Michigan all you need to be a home inspector is your word you are one. 

Jun 04, 2007 01:54 AM
Tom Comstock
Tex-Pro Residential & Commercial Inspections - Houston, TX

Walt, there are so many complexities brought up in your blog and these comments. We are licensed in Texas, and in general, it has improved the quality of home inspections for the consumer. Improper inspections that are reported to TREC are reviewed and license suspensions or revocations are not unheard of. Is it enough, are there still inspectors doing low quality inspections? YES. Closer scrutiny of active inspectors and their reports wouild be ideal, but that would take a lot of tax money that no one wants to spend. The requirements to become an inspector have just changed this summer, making it harder, requiring more education or more training as an apprentice, in the hopes that the newest inspectors will be better out of the shoot, but that doesn't ensure consistent quality.

A realtor recommendation does not ensure a quality inspection either. In Texas, the reason an agent is not allowed to suggest only one inspector is to prevent that inspector from giving that realtor the kind of inspection they want, rather than the kind the client needs. We don't like to think that kind of thing happens, but it does. Even though there are laws against it, it still happens, right here in Houston.

Back to your question, state licensing will improve the consumer confidence in your inspectors, and that by itself is a positive. If it is properly governed, the more the better.

Aug 29, 2007 04:24 PM