Inspectors Push State Licensing; but Some Are Concerned the Process Would Be Less Stringent Than Trade Associations

Article excerpt


ATLANTA -- Now that licensing of Georgia homebuilders is under way, the people who inspect the nooks and crannies of that construction could be next in line for statewide regulation.

Members of the trade group that represents home inspectors plan to urge lawmakers to add their industry to the list of professions licensed at the state level.

"We're looking for some regulation on it so that anybody can't pick up a flashlight off the sidewalk and call themselves a home inspector like they can now," said Shannon Cory, president of the Georgia chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors. "We need some regulation and control so that the public can be protected."

While supporters of the added scrutiny say it will help weed out untrained or unscrupulous inspectors, others are concerned whether the additional bureaucracy is necessary.

Several states, including South Carolina, require licenses for practicing inspectors, who are typically hired by prospective home buyers to check the structure and systems before a sale takes place.

Georgia's law only requires inspectors to hand over paper copies about their work to their clients but does not broach licensing or exam requirements.

Some counties that adopted registry rules for builders before the state law took effect also included regulation of home inspectors.

One is Columbia County. "The pitfalls would be the lack of experience," Richard Harmon, who heads the county' s Building Commercial Services Department, said about unchecked inspectors working in the market. "It could cost the sale of the house."

That's one reason why Cory believes the statewide law needs an update.

Cory said that, for the first time, his group is drafting a legislative proposal for licensing that ASHI-Georgia's lobbyist will promote at the Capitol when the General Assembly returns in January. …


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