Best and Worst Places for Home Inspection
ASHI Reveals its 2007 State Rankings: Louisiana, New Jersey and Arizona Retain Top Three Spots
for Protecting Consumers; Homeowners in Florida, Pennsylvania and California Beware
Chicago (January 03, 2008) – Later this month, when state legislators in Florida, Pennsylvania and California reconvene for the 2008 session, they may want to take a close look at the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) 2007 state ranking of the best and worst home inspection regulation laws in the United States. In the last 10 years, 28 states have enacted some form of home inspection regulation. Many wonder, however, if these laws are enough to protect the interests of consumers.
“Florida is the latest state to regulate home inspection,” said Frank Lesh, 2007 ASHI president. “We wonder why lawmakers would enact a law that does not require home inspectors in the state of Florida to take and pass a valid psychometric examination or adhere to standards of practice?”
ASHI’s 2007 Position Statement includes a recommendation that states authorize a sunrise review by a neutral public agency to determine the need, costs, benefits and alternatives to the proposed regulations prior to adoption. This is in addition to ASHI’s 2006 provision to evaluate whether laws as drafted are enforceable.
Pennsylvania, for example, was ranked fifth on ASHI’s 2005 list but dropped dramatically in 2006 and 2007 because the state’s “inspector experience” requirement as stated was not enforceable. California has been ranked dead last for two years because several of its provisions — including its “prohibited acts” provision, which outlines an inspector’s code of ethics — cannot be enforced.
ASHI’s 2007 State Rankings
Below are ASHI’s 2007 rankings of state regulations governing the home inspection industry from best to worst:
2. New Jersey
6. Connecticut/North Carolina
10. Rhode Island/West Virginia
12. South Dakota/Tennessee
21. Alabama/Oregon/New York
28. South Carolina
30. North Dakota
Note: Rankings are based upon the overall grading of states with existing laws regulating home inspectors where “1” indicates the best ranking “32” indicates the poorest ranking.
Criteria for State Rankings
ASHI’s state ratings are based on a multi-criteria system. Because laws vary significantly from state to state, a detailed set of criteria is used to review each state’s regulation to determine the positive elements of legislation as well as areas that may need improvement. States receive points according to the weight or importance ASHI places on different regulation standards and are evaluated against 13 criteria, including experience, education, testing requirements, standards of practice and codes of ethics.
Complete details of the findings, state scores and grading criteria can be found in ASHI’s official Position Statement on Regulation of Home Inspectors.
ASHI’s Model Licensing Bill
In addition to providing rankings for each state, the ASHI Position Statement includes a model licensing bill that states can use as a guideline to develop strong home inspector legislation. The model also provides information about appointing a governing body to administer the laws, and it proposes that members of the governing body be free of conflicts of interest in the regulation of home inspectors.
“Legislators in each state must determine whether regulation is necessary to protect their constituents,” said Lesh. “Should they decide to take that route, ASHI is dedicated to providing guidelines for laws that are meaningful to the consumer and foster excellence within the home inspection profession.”
ASHI encourages legislators who are interested in adopting home inspection laws to look to Louisiana, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona, or Massachusetts as models for legislation. States without home inspection regulation are: Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.
About the American Society of Home Inspectors
In its 31st year and with nearly 6,000 members, ASHI is the oldest and most widely recognized non-profit, professional organization of home inspectors in North America. Its Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are the industry standard. ASHI’s mission is to meet the needs of its membership and promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession. For more information, visit www.ASHI.org or call 800-743-2744.
To become an ASHI Certified Inspector, ASHI members must pass two written tests, including the National Home Inspectors Examination, and have performed a minimum of 250 professional fee-paid inspections conducted in accordance with ASHI’s Standards of Practice and subscribe to the Code of Ethics. ASHI Certified Inspectors are also required to obtain 20 continuing education credits per year to keep current with the latest in building technology, materials and professional skills.