With only a few session days left before the end of this General Assembly - this may be our last chance to pass legislation licensing home inspectors in Ohio. This is the number one legislative priority of the Ohio REALTORS. We need YOU to act and contact your State Senator and let them know of your support for the bill and urge them to pass HB 211 before the this session is adjourned.
Home inspection is one of the last unregulated real estate-related industries. At least 30 states have some form of home inspector licensing or registration requirements, including our neighboring states of Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. House Bill 211 proposes reasonable industry standards and consumer protections.
HB 211 is the product of many meetings and thoughtful debate by representatives of the home inspection profession, the Department of Commerce, the Division of Real Estate and Professional licensing, the Ohio Homebuilders Association and the Ohio REALTORS.
HB 211 establishes a regulatory board that includes representation from the home inspector profession, charged with adopting standards of practice, educational requirements and provides an opportunity for a consumer to have a complaint addressed.
A great deal of attention was given during these collaborative discussions to ensure that the requirements to act as a home inspector were such that they would protect consumers, but also not be overly burdensome, intrusive or represent a significant barrier to those already practicing in the current unregulated environment. As such, the proposal expands grandfathering opportunities for current home inspectors.
Under the proposed legislation, a real estate licensee is not required to provide a buyer with names of home inspectors. However, in those instances where buyers are provided with names, the real estate licensee must provide the names of at least three inspectors. It's worth noting that HB 211 does include protections for the real estate licensee.
Earlier this year, when the measure was being debated by the House Committee, proponent testimony was given by representatives of the Ohio REALTORS, The Home Inspectors Institute, Inter - Nachi and the American Society of Home Inspectors. The strong support of the Ohio Chapter, North Central Ohio and Southern Ohio Chapters of ASHI is a clear indication that it is one of the more inspector-friendly bills they have seen.
Ohio is one of the few remaining states that lack set standards for inspectors that are advising potential home buyers when they are considering making their potentially largest financial investment. HB 211 rectifies this situation.
This basic licensure program will provide consumers with confidence that the person they hire has had basic training in the field.
The complete analysis of House Bill 211 can be viewed here