Nov. 1 is the deadline for getting grandfathered into an Ohio home inspector license.

Ohio’s grandfathering window was limited to 120 days.  It closes just days from now.

               Most Kentucky inspectors should be eligible.

               Starting Nov. 1, 2019, anyone doing home inspections in Ohio must be licensed.  The rules include a requirement that inspectors have a written contract, but it is not required for the grandfathering application.  Same for required fingerprints.  They can be done up to 10 days after applying.

               Beginning Nov. 1, Ohio real estate professionals are required to provide the names of at least three licensed home inspectors.

               If you’ve been working north of the river, don’t miss this.        

Ohio’s special grandfather application is online at:

https://www.com.ohio.gov/documents/real_HIGFLicenseApplication.pdf.

               The rules sound complicated, but that’s bureaucrats for you.

               Just apply. 

               But if you want to get a closer look, here are the basics:

               For those currently providing home inspection services, Ohio’s new licensing law allows for a 120-day period to apply for an Ohio home inspector license under a special, limited provision.

                Requirements for grandfathering include:

  1. An applicant provides proof of maintaining or being covered by a comprehensive or commercial general liability insurance policy;
  2. Understands an applicant can be subject to discipline by the Ohio Home Inspector Board and agrees to comply with all rules adopted by the Board;
  3. Completes a criminal history check;
  4. Completes a license application and provides proof by signed affidavit that an applicant has met three of the following eight requirements prior to April 5, 2019;
  • Completed at least 200 home inspections for compensation from clients;
  • Successfully passed a national home inspector examination within two years from the date an application is submitted to the Division;
  • Actively operated a home inspection business in Ohio for three years;
  • Was employed as a home inspector with a home inspector business for 36 consecutive months;
  • Successfully completed 80 hours of home inspector education;
  • Currently maintains an active home inspector license in a jurisdiction where the requirements to obtain that license are substantially similar to Ohio’s home inspector license requirements;
  • Prepared at least five home inspection reports that have been verified as being compliant with standards adopted by a national home inspector organization;
  • Completed at least one peer review session conducted by a national home inspector organization within one year prior to April 5, 2019

                                                                                          BACKGROUND

Overview of Ohio’s new Home Inspector Licensing

  • Senate Bill 255 was signed into law on Jan. 4, 2019, creating the Home Inspector Program, to be headed up by the Department of Commerce’s Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing.
  • Part of the new program establishes home inspector licensure in Ohio, adding a crucial layer of regulation previously missing from the home buying process.
  • Beginning Nov. 1, 2019, any person performing a home inspection for a client, for compensation, must be actively licensed with the Division
  • Once all members of the Ohio Home Inspector Board (OHIB) were appointed, existing home inspectors working in Ohio could apply for a “grandfathered” license. That window of opportunity will stay open for just 120 days.
  • OHIB responsibilities for regulating the home inspector industry include:
    • Adopting rules, including a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, which guide licensees’ delivery of services;
    • Determining the education and experience required for obtaining a home inspector license;
    • Determining and monitoring continuing education requirements;
    • Approving both pre-licensing and continuing education curricula and providers;
    • Administering the duties and operation of the Ohio Home Inspector Board;
    • Administering enforcement duties including investigation of complaints against licensed home inspectors; and
    • Investigating allegations of unlicensed activity.

Home Inspector Program – Things to Know

  • Requires licensure for individuals wishing to perform home inspections in Ohio.
    • It also lays out certain requirements that Ohio-licensed home inspectors will have to follow, such as: having a written contract between the licensee and the client before work is performed, requiring that a written report of the home inspection be provided, having a records retention of five years for certain documentation, etc.
  • Creates the Ohio Home Inspector Board (OHIB).
    • This board will exist within the Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing to regulate the licensure and performance of home inspectors. The seven-member board will be required to adopt rules related to standards for conducting home inspections, education and experience requirements, prohibitions against conflicts of interest, etc. Disciplinary hearings and appeals of Superintendent decisions fall under the authority of this board. Five members will be Ohio-licensed home inspectors appointed by Gov. Mike DeWine. The two remaining members are both consumer advocates; one appointed by the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, the other by the Ohio Senate President.
  • Requires real estate professionals to provide the names of at least three licensed home inspectors.
    • The bill also requires a real estate broker or salesperson who provides the name of a home inspector to a purchaser or seller of real estate to provide the names of at least three licensed home inspectors.
  • Creates the Home Inspection Recovery Fund.
    • This is for the purpose of satisfying certain judgments against a licensed home inspector when the judgment creditor has exhausted other avenues for recovery.
  • Ohio is the 34th state to have a program in place regulating home inspectors.
  • Overall, this program aims to give potential homebuyers, making arguably the biggest purchase of their lives, peace of mind in knowing any inspector they plan to hire is properly trained.

Click here to sign up for the latest news and updates on the new Home Inspector Program.

Ohio Division of Real Estate