Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Michael P. O'Handley's Avatar
    Michael P. O'Handley Guest

    Default Washington Inspectors - Were You Grandfathered?

    Experienced Washington State Inspectors, did you make the deadline to be grandfathered and to receive your new home inspector's license? If you are an experienced home inspector reading this and your first response is, "What the...?" You're not going to be happy with what I have to tell you - you've missed the boat.

    Here's why:

    During the transition period as licensing is phased in there are three categories of inspectors.

    Very new inspectors - Those who hadn't actively performed home inspections on or before June 12, 2008.

    Newer inspectors - Those that had less than 2 years in the profession and fewer than 100 home inspections completed as of June 12, 2008.

    Experienced inspectors - Those with at least 100 home inspections and proof of having been in the business for 2 years before the effective date of the law, June 12, 2008.

    To be grandfathered, an experienced inspector had to prove to DOL that he or she had completed more than 100 inspections and been in the business at least two years prior to June 12, 2008. Once the experienced inspector had proven that to DOL, the inspector was allowed to be licensed by merely passing the National Home Inspector exam and a Washington State Home Inspectors' Exam.

    If an "experienced" inspector hadn't met all of the grandfathering requirements by today, the inspector essentially lost his or her "experienced" status and is now relegated to the ranks of the "newer" inspectors; as such, the inspector has until July 1, 2010 to complete all requirements that "newer" inspectors and "very new" inspectors must meet.

    Sucks, doesn't it? Nonetheless, it's now the law.

    Something else took place last night at midnight, if you are a "very new" inspector in Washington state, and you haven't yet completed all of the training and experience requirements, you must shut down operations immediatley until you've met all licensing requirements. Fail to do that and get caught, and you're subject to a significant civil fine levied by the Department of Licensing.

    Is this going to change the face of home inspections in Washington State overnight? No, absolutely not. "Experienced" inspectors and "newer" inspectors are still allowed to practice during the transition period between now and July 1, 2010; they just aren't allowed to advertise or hold themselves out to be "licensed" inspectors. However, if they haven't completed the requirements by then, they must shut down their operations until their license has been issued.

    There is actually one other significant change that took place last night at midnight; that's the fact that all inspectors in the state now have to comply with the new state standard of practice and code of ethics and must have pre-inspection contracts with specific language and must keep copies of records pertaining to their home inspection business for 3 years because the state has the right to audit them. That's pretty significant, because up until now inspectors who were members of various competing organizations only inspected to their own association's standard of practice, which the state could not enforce.

    Now, even independents - those inspectors that aren't members of any organization and make up about 2/3 of all inspectors in Washington state - are required to follow the new Washington State Home Inspectors' Standard of Practice and comply with all other administrative procedures required by the new law.

    Today there are inspectors in Washington State that are breathing a sigh of relief because they got everything done in time and now have their license. However, there have also been some inspectors who called DOL or showed up in Olympia today very upset, claiming that they never heard anything about the law because the DOL had never sent them a written notice telling them that they had to be licensed.

    Hmm, there was no license for home inspectors, therefore there were no records of home inspectors. Exactly was DOL to do that when they didn't know who all of those persons were? Here it is, fully 3 years after the Senator that sponsored that bill and put the handwriting for licensing on the wall, since we in the business all began talking about licensing, and fully 17 months after the law passed out of the legislature and was signed by the Governor. Since that time there have been dozens of board meetings, public legislative hearings and a representative from DOL even spent a week traveling around the state to deliver the message that licensing was on the horizon. It's pretty hard to believe that anyone in the business couldn't possibly have known about these changes.

    So, what are the "requirements" that an experienced inspector must meet if he or she missed last night's deadline? they're not pretty, those inspectors not have exactly 10 months left from today to complete a 120-hour state-approved Fundamentals of Home Inspection course, do 40 hours of supervised inspections under the watchful eye of a licensed inspectors, while writing not less than 5 inspection reports, and then they'll need to take and pass both the National Home Inspection Exam and the Washington Home Inspector's Exam before they'll be issued a license.

    What happens if they miss that second deadline? Miss the second deadline and those inspectors be forced to shut your doors on July 2, 2010 until they've completed all of the training requirements, been tested and have received their license.

    So, did you make the deadline?

    ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

    Mike O'Handley, LHI#202
    Your Inspector LLC.
    Kenmore, Washington

    Similar Threads:
    NHIE Practice Exam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Washington Inspectors - Were You Grandfathered?

    Yes I did. I am now a Washington State Licensed Home Inspector.


  3. #3
    Justin Nickelsen's Avatar
    Justin Nickelsen Guest

    Default Re: Washington Inspectors - Were You Grandfathered?

    Michael,

    There are some who are a bit confused about the difference between 1) those who were grandfathered and, 2) newer inspectors, with regard to what they are allowed to do.

    Chapter 18.280.020 seems clear that "Beginning September 1, 2009,.a person shall not engage in or conduct, or advertise or hold himself or herself out as engaging in or conducting, the business of or acting in the capacity of a home inspector within thise state without first obtaining a license as provided by this chapter."
    So, are those who do not have a license but are in the "newer" category allowed to "advertise", etc. etc. etc.?

    This is very confusing to a lot of people.

    We are licensed, but there are MANY people in my county who are either not listed at all on the State license query system, or do not have their license yet who are "advertising", etc.

    I can't seem to find a clear, straightforward answer to this.

    Regards,

    Justin L. Nickelsen
    Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC
    LHI# 415


  4. #4
    Justin Nickelsen's Avatar
    Justin Nickelsen Guest

    Default Re: Washington Inspectors - Were You Grandfathered?

    Michael,

    I read your comments on the thread over at InterNACHI. That cleared it up for me (I think).

    Thanks!

    Justin Nickelsen


  5. #5
    Michael P. O'Handley's Avatar
    Michael P. O'Handley Guest

    Default Re: Washington Inspectors - Were You Grandfathered?

    Again,

    A lot of folks seem to be focusing on that first paragraph and are not reading past it. You must read the second paragraph that says that those who were in business on June 12, 2008 have until July 1, 2010 to complete their requirements and become licensed. A member of the board asked the bill's author, Senator Spanel, what was intended by those two paragraphs and the board also asked the AG for clarification of the law as written. Bottom line, it is exactly as the DOL put out on their website and as Rhonda announced on the list serve about a month ago.

    Essentially, Rhond's memo says, in not so many words, that:

    If you were grandfathered and have a license, you may advertise that you are a licensed inspector. If you are a newer inspector or a very new inspector that has completed all requirements and gotten the license, you may advertise that you are a licensed inspector.

    If you are an experienced inspector that missed the deadline, or you are one of those that's in the "newer inspector" category who hasn't yet gotten his or her license, you have until July 1, 2010 to complete all of the requirements and obtain your license. In the meantime, you may carry on inspecting homes and you may advertise and market as you always have - the only difference is that you may not advertise yourself as being a licensed inspector or hold yourself out to be a licensed inspector if someone asks if you are.

    What her memo doesn't state, but is the case, is that:

    If you are a very new inspector who wasn't in business on June 12, 2008, as of September 1st you must close down shop until you've completed all licensing requirements and gotten your license. Until then you are not allowed to advertise yourself as an inspector or hold yourself out to be an inspector.

    You are now under the new Washington Standard of Practice and your pre-inspection contracts must reflect the information required by the RCW. Additionally, if you do pre-offer consultations, and you haven't been using a contractor for those up to now, you must begin using a contract for those. The RCW clearly spells out what is required on the contract.

    If your website is worded in such a way that it misleads people into believing that you have more actual home inspection experience than you actually have, you must correct it.

    For instance, I cannot take my 13 years of experience in construction before I went into the military, and the 10 years of my time in the military as a criminal investigator, plus the 13 plus years I've actually been practicing home inspections, combine them together and say on my website that I have 36 years of experience investigating homes.

    My website must reflect my actual experience inspecting homes - 13 years. If I want to, I can state that I had 13 years of experience in construction, spent ten years out of 21 in the army as a criminal investigator, and I think that contributes to my ability to do a good inspection, but I am not allowed to imply that I have any more practical experience inspecting homes than the actual 13 years I've been doing it.

    There's a whole new set of rules governing how you can market your business and what you are required to divulge to clients about your relationship with anyone that's referred you, and what kinds of "gifts" you are permitted to give to those who refer you.

    You are no longer allowed to work on homes that you've inspected for at least one year after the inspection and you cannot participate in preferred provider arrangements where you are required to pay to be listed on a brokerage's approved list.

    There are many new rules and there are new administrative requirements - basically these mandate what records have to be maintained and for how long.

    Everything you need to know is on the DOL website at this link:

    http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/homei.../hilawbook.pdf

    ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

    Mike O'Handley, LHI
    Your Inspector LLC.
    Kenmore, Washington
    Wa. Lic. Home Inspector #202

    Last edited by Michael P. O'Handley; 09-16-2009 at 10:43 PM.

  6. #6
    Justin Nickelsen's Avatar
    Justin Nickelsen Guest

    Default Re: Washington Inspectors - Were You Grandfathered?

    I have a question, Michael.

    Is it really necessary that everything spell out "Licensed Home Inspector"? No truncated version?

    In Oregon, where I am also licensed, we are allowed to truncate Oregon Construction Contractors Board to "CCB" and are allowed to truncate Oregon Certified Home Inspector to OCHI

    Example:

    CCB 172294
    OCHI 1173

    That is what would appear on my business cards, etc.

    It seems cumbersome to spell the whole darn thing out: "Licensed Home Inspector"

    Your thoughts?


  7. #7
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Washington Inspectors - Were You Grandfathered?

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Nickelsen View Post
    I have a question, Michael.

    Is it really necessary that everything spell out "Licensed Home Inspector"? No truncated version?

    In Oregon, where I am also licensed, we are allowed to truncate Oregon Construction Contractors Board to "CCB" and are allowed to truncate Oregon Certified Home Inspector to OCHI

    Example:

    CCB 172294
    OCHI 1173

    That is what would appear on my business cards, etc.

    It seems cumbersome to spell the whole darn thing out: "Licensed Home Inspector"

    Your thoughts?
    And they want it in # 20 font size...

    Best

    Ron


  8. #8
    Michael P. O'Handley's Avatar
    Michael P. O'Handley Guest

    Default Re: Washington Inspectors - Were You Grandfathered?

    Hi Justin,

    I think that's a question that you need to put directly to DOL. That portion of the rules - 18.280 RCW - is codified in law and the board had nothing to do with it. The board isn't allowed or able to change it. Anything that inspectors object to in the RCW must be revised by the legislature and the only one that can make determinations about what is, and isn't acceptable, is the AG who is charged with enforcing RCW.

    The best thing to do is to send those questions to DOL. They are compiling a list of questions like that and they bring them to the board. The board may make recommendations about such rules to the Director and the director, with the help of the Governor, can submit a bill to make changes to the RCW. Until then, it is what it is.

    ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

    Mike


  9. #9
    Michael P. O'Handley's Avatar
    Michael P. O'Handley Guest

    Default Re: Washington Inspectors - Were You Grandfathered?

    Hi All,

    Some Washington State home inspectors who hang here might not know that there was recently a bill submitted in the state senate to modify the home inspector licensing law in the state.

    The bill was sponsored by a Yakima based senator who was said to have been responding to one of his constituents who had complained in a letter to the good senator that it was unfair that "experienced" inspectors who hadn't passed the tests and completed all of the licensing requirements by the September 2009 deadline were being forced to go back to school and garner 120 hours of training, get 40 hours of supervised inspections under a licensed inspector, submit 5 written reports for review based on that time with the licensed inspector and take and pass the NHIE and Washington state exams in order to be licensed.

    When the bill was submitted, it sought to extend the licensing deadline from September 2009 to July 1, 2010, exempt home inspectors who'd gone back to school for training as a result of missing the Sept 2009 deadline from the CE requirement until 2016 and force the Washington Home Inspectors' Advisory Licensing Board to try and get state colleges in the eastern half of the state to set up the 120 hour Fundamentals of Home Inspection licensing course in the eastern half of the state or report back to the Senate in a year with an explanation of why no courses had been established.

    Despite multiple hearings with only persons in opposition to passage of the bill testifying, the bill made it through the senate with a vote of 45 to 2, went on to the house, was passed to the Labor and Commerce committee, who passed it on to the Rules committee with a "do pass" recommendation. That committee had until today to send it to the full house for a vote or it was dead.

    Well, the board chairman just put out via e-mail that this bill died in rules committee. I would have preferred to wait until Monday to confirm that it absolutely is dead, but he apparently knows someone in Olympia who know someone who knows these things, so I guess those folks who were hoping to get privileges nobody else had are going to be out of luck.

    Those folks now have 117 days left to get their training, spend 40 hours with a licensed inspector doing supervised inspections, complete five reports and then take and pass the NHIE and the Washington State exam.

    If anyone here knows anyone in this category, get word to them to make reservations to take the NHIE as soon as possible; because the new exam vendor isn't nearly as accommodating schedule and seating wise as the previous vendor. If they wait too long, they might just find themselves in a situation where they won't be able to complete it all by July 1st and will have to cease all operations until they have.

    ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

    Mike O'Handley, LHI.
    Your Inspector LLC.
    Kenmore, Washington
    Wa. Lic. Home Inspector #202


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •