When state legislators in Florida, Pennsylvania and California convene for the next session, they may want to take a close look at the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) 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 but enacted a law that does not require home inspectors to take and pass a valid examination or adhere to standards of practice.
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.
Pennsylvania 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.
Below are ASHI's 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
In fairness to California, it could be worse. States not listed have NO license requirement.
Regardless of where you live, and whether your state has a license requirement or not, I recommend always using an ASHI certified inspector. Home Inspectors who have the dedication to pass ASHI's rigorous examination and adhere to both its Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics will no doubt be among the cream of the crop.