Results 1 to 6 of 6
Thread: Licensure In Utah
03-06-2008, 10:17 AM #1
Licensure In Utah
I live in Utah and home inspection in this state is similiar to Thunder Dome. Home inspectors are not required to be licensed. This reflects poorly on the profession and allows part timers to tarnish inspectors reputations. My question is, has anyone been involved with a state imposing licensing requirements for home inspectors. I would like to see utah move to license requirements for inspectors. Any suggestions how to get the process started or if anyone has spearheaded an effort such as this.
03-06-2008, 12:41 PM #2
Re: Licensure In Utah
You might want to contact Kurt Salomon @ email@example.com. He is the past Secretary of ASHI and is very involved at both State and National levels.
03-06-2008, 01:07 PM #3
Re: Licensure In UtahScott Patterson, ACI
Spring Hill, TN
03-23-2008, 10:00 AM #4
Re: Licensure In Utah
You'll need a legislator who will agree to sponsor whatever proposed law that you have in mind. If you try to do it solo, or with only one or two other inspectors involved, that's going to be difficult because the pols want to know that you've got a modicum of support for the idea or they won't waste their time.
Once you find a sponsor, the sponsor will intruduce it in his/her chamber - either the house or the senate - as a bill. It will be sent to a committee for study. If that committee decides that it's something that they consider worthy of further action, they'll schedule public hearings on the bill. If they don't think it's worthy of study (this is where the backroom politicking comes in), they'll kill it by sending it for a sunrise review or find another reason why it "won't grow legs this year," and it will quietly die on the vine and you'll have to try again the next year.
It is possible to revive it during a sunrise review if you take an active interest in it and stay on top of the process. However, don't expect those doing the sunrise review to work at it very diligently. If the sunrise review folks don't aggressively pursue their mandate, it will die; they have to know that there are folks lined up waiting to testify on both sides of the issue for their hearings or they'll never even schedule any. However, if you can get them to go ahead with hearings, it might be possible to bring enough folks to make the case for your bill and get them to finish the review and send back to the committee that assigned it with a recommendation for amendments or passage. If that happens, and your sponsor is still willing, you can get it reintroduced the next legislative session and try again. Basically, the sunrise review is a crapshoot.
However, if the bill makes it to public hearings, inspectors you've never heard of will pour out of the woodwork to condemn it and provide reasons for why it won't work. Depending on how the hearings go, the sponsor might make changes and introduce a substitute bill with changes to the committee. At that point, if the committee is not in favor as a result of either political inclination or negative input at the heartings, the committee will probably kill it by not pulling it onto the floor for a vote. However, if the majority of folks commenting are in favor of it, and the pols on the committee are in favor of it, they might pull it to the floor of the chamber for a vote. If it passes, it moves on to the other chamber; if it doesn't pass, it'll be dead and you'll have to try again next year.
Once it makes it out of one chamber and goes to the other, if you haven't gotten your ducks in a row in the other chamber, it could die in committee or be sent to a sunrise review or simply die as a result of a floor vote. Or, it might pass but with amendments. If one chamber amends and passes a bill sponsored and passed by another chamber, it must go back to the first chamber where the amendments are explained to the committee involved and then the committee decides whether the amendments are acceptable or are off the mark and then the committee either kills it or pulls it back to the floor of its chamber for a vote - maybe with even more amendments. If it makes it out of the sponsored chamber with amendments, the next to last chance for opposition to kill it is when it goes to the second chamber for another vote for acceptance before moving on to the governor. If you haven't got your ducks in a row and your opposition has been actively lobbying the pols in the second chamber, it could die for lack of passage; however, since it passed that chamber the first time, it's liable to go on to the governor unchallenged.
Then you've got the governor. This is the very last place where opposition can derail it. However, if the governor thinks there is money can be found in the budget for the law, and if the governor thinks passage will benefit the governor in the next election or his/her record, it gets signed. If the governor doesn't agree with it, or sees no benefit for him/her in signing it, it will probably get vetoed.
If the governor refuses to sign it or veto it, depending on laws in your state, it might be killed or it might automatically pass after a certain amount of time has elapsed with nobody opposing it.
Now, that's the basics, but don't even try it unless you're prepared for a long hard battle. Understand that unless you can mount a bi-partisan effort, with members of all of the associations plus independents in Utah involved, you'll run into major resistance from both legislators, other home inspectors, and maybe even consumers, if your bill isn't consumer friendly, and will find yourself thoroughly vilified from all sides and frustrated at every turn.
It requires a huge amount of homework and preparation before you can even try to get it off the ground, so an alliance is, in my opinion, the only way to get it done. Bring all of the entities involved together first and ask them whether they want to work together, and, if so, whether they are for against licensing. If they say against, don't even bother trying, 'cuz you'll never get anywhere. If they are for licensing, then maybe you can do it, but then you'll need to figure out what form the licensing is going to take and what the rules will be. That's hugely difficult because that's when all of the associations in your coalition will start the partisan bickering and will all want their association's model to be the one that's used. If you're smart, you'll talk them into developing their own model - one which they might not all necessarily be completely comfortable with but everyone can live with. Expect that to take literally months and expect that, if you're able to form a coalition, that they will not want to break up into committees to work on various parts of the puzzle in small groups because they won't trust each other. So, the work will have to be done in large meetings and every sentence will be hotly debated over and over before it gets accepted or rejected. Meanwhile, expect that another group will have heard about your work and will be forming up to oppose long before you're ready to turn your bill over to the sponsor.
Bottom line, you'll spend a lot of money and time fighting an uphill war. You'll need to understand that your bill will probaby be defeated 2,3,4 times, or maybe even more times, before it manages to make it out of the first chamber, and then it starts all over again, so expect to get comfortable with being frustrated.
Lastly, understand that you'll need a professional lobbyist who knows people in the state government and can stick his/her toe in the door of legislators' offices long enough for you to get in to discuss what it is you're trying to do. Make sure that you've rehearsed your talking points, 'cuz they'll try and trip you up with very pointed questions. If you're not prepared, they won't give you the time of day. If you get through the door, you'll never be given enough time to say your whole piece - especially at committee hearings - and you can expect that your sponsor may jump ship on you in the middle of the channel if helping you is not politically expedient.
Here in Washington State the bullet barely missed us. Out of the blue, a powerful senior senator one day decided that she was going to get HI's licensed and we were almost caught flat-footed. If another inspector hadn't already attempted a solo effort at getting a screwy HI registration bill intruduced, we would have been seriously behind the curve. Fortunately, we'd already made contacts with members from all interested entities and were in the process of putting together a coalition when she dropped her bomb on us. As a coalition, we managed to get the bill killed that year by forcing it into sunrise review. When she attempted to do it again the next year, we testified in force against it and again forced it into peer review. However, this time we were prepared for the peer review process and took an active part by ensuring that members of the coalition showed up at every meeting to testify. Lastly, after the peer review came out, we sat down to decide whether to take a chance that this time the senator wouldn't get her bill through and oppose it, or try and get her to come around. The coalition decided to try and get her to come around by getting someone to sponsor a companion bill in the other chamber and we managed to get the backing of one of the major organization chapters who allowed the coalition to utilize their lobbyist. So, as soon as the new session opened and she introduced her new version of the bill, the competing companion bill was introduced in the other chamber and she found herself facing other legislators who for weeks had been approached by members of the coalition, along with the lobbyists. That finally brought her around, and, this time when she talked to the coalition she listened and made some changes to her bill that favorably impacted inspectors here. With the support of entities, it sailed through both chambers and on to the governor's desk where it was signed within two weeks.
Contact Sandy Hartman, Secretary of the Washington Home Inspector's Legislative Advisory Group at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sandy is the glue that kept that fragile coalition together for the past two years and she's kept careful minutes of every meeting. She can probably provide you everything you need to look at before you'll want to decide whether to try and do this thing or not.
ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!
04-08-2008, 01:05 PM #5
Re: Licensure In UtahARE YOU NUTS????!!!!! Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. And, licensing won't make you happy.AND, just what the heck is wrong with a "part time" inspector, you scared of a little competition? And part timers tarnish the the industry? I would suspect there are more full time inspectors tarnishing the industry than part timers. "It reflects poorly on the profession": not really, it reflects poorly on that inspector, and he will shortly be out of business. The same lousy inspectors will always be out there, licensing or no licensing.
There are many of us older part time inspectors, probably with a heck of a lot more experience than you, out there. Nifty way to supplement that pathetic social security check.
I would suggest that you concern yourself with how you can improve your service to become the best you can be, and not worry about what others might do. By concentrating on that, others can not "tarnish" your reputation", only you can do that.
IF you still insist on pursuing the licensing avenue, then listen to Michael O'Handley, he is an independent, not beholding to any organization, and did a reasonable job on our states HI Licensing law, even thou we disagree in the need for the legislation, he is a source of good/reasonable information. I would run like heck away from ASHI, will cause you more problems than it's worth, you will become their "poster boy for licensing".
You just may find that as many as might be for licensing, there will be at least an equal or more amount against. Therefore, you have just alleniated yourself from that group!! Good Luck,
Home inspection "profession"??? Get over it, it's just a job, providing a service, if you do good work, are honest and give value to the customer,does it really matter that "you consider yourself professional", it's the product that counts, not the title you must need for your own self esteme.
Last edited by Steven Meyer; 04-08-2008 at 01:54 PM.
04-24-2008, 12:50 AM #6
Re: Licensure In Utah
As an independent home/building inspector consultant for over the past twenty-two years, I have to heartily agree with Steven Meyer's post. We have licensing in the state of Illinois and all it has accomplished to date is to draw attention to the profession where everyone wants to make a fast buck, or so they think, by becoming a home inspector. RE agents love it because now they can add a plethora of mediocre home inspectors to their list. In fact, they're the ones responsible for enacting the legislation here in the state of Illinois. If you think you have competition now, just wait. You haven't seen nothing until state licensing takes effect. Don't take my word for it. Just take some time to do the research to find out what's transpired in other states that have licensed home inspectors. Bottom line is, it's just another source of revenue for the state, nothing more or less. Moreover, the state requirements for conducting a home inspection are abysmal and pathetic at best! When you consider that the ASHI Standards of Practice are minimal, our state requirements in Illinois to conduct a home inspection pale in comparison. As such, I kind of saw this coming years ago and decided to devote my time and energy to performing commercial property condition assessments (PCA's), an area that most home inspectors wouldn't know where to begin. Just my 2-cents worth but, if and when your state decides to license home inspectors, prepare for the worst to come!
Last edited by Martin Potokar; 04-24-2008 at 02:24 AM.