Increased Regulation of Home Inspectors to
Continue in 2002, Says New ASHI President
But Regulation Must Have "Meaning"
Regulation activity of the home inspection profession will continue to increase in 2002 at all levels - federal, state and even local - as the relatively young profession continues to be scrutinized. Yet regulators must work with consumer groups, home inspectors and others to ensure that regulation is meaningful.
So said Mike Casey, who recently became President of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) during Inspection World, the group's 26th Annual Conference in New Orleans. Casey, a noted author, lecturer and building construction and code expert, reflected on the opportunities and challenges associated with home inspector regulation.
Opportunity and Challenge
"As the service economy has developed and home sales have surged in recent decades, the home inspection profession has boomed," explained Casey, whose organization, with nearly 6,000 members, is by far the largest non-profit, professional society for home inspectors. "During that period, ASHI has worked to raise the level of professionalism within the industry. Today, our Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are the recognized benchmarks in the industry and consumers even seek out the ASHI Inspection by name."
Casey noted that as ASHI has worked to improve the professionalism of its members, federal agencies such as HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development), nearly every state and even some local communities, have examined the home inspection regulation issue. Despite this, consumers still must exercise care when selecting an inspector.
"Regulation has yet to affect most inspectors, so looking for professional credentials is still the best way for consumers to select an inspector," he added, pointing out that consumers are wise to look for ASHI membership, check for references and interview at least three inspectors before settling on one. "In addition to verifying these credentials, we also recommend consumers obtain the details on the regulation that affects them."
Testing and Professional Guidelines
The Haymarket, Va., resident noted that not all states have regulation based upon testing and professional guidelines, pointing out that only seven states have adopted the National Home Inspector Examination, which was introduced in 2000 by an independent organization called the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors. The exam has quickly become the most accepted means of testing the professional and technical competence of home inspectors. "In some states, regulation is a misnomer, since the so-called 'regulation' is as much a registration process as anything."
Casey explained that ASHI is committed to working with legislators that seek to develop regulation that is good for both consumers and home inspectors.
"ASHI continues to support regulation that has meaning in that it is based upon processes and testing that are at least as stringent as ASHI's own membership criteria," he concluded.
For More Information
To review the status of regulation that exists in states around the country, visit the ASHI Web site at www.ashi.org/customers/legislations.htm.
Homebuyers who wish to know more about the American Society of Home Inspectors or obtain the names of ASHI members near them may contact the organization at 932 Lee St., Suite 101, Des Plaines, IL 60016. Phone: 800-743-2744. Or visit the ASHI Web site at www.ashi.org.