Late last week the Division of Real Estate issued two notices with respect to the licensing of home inspectors in Ohio. One involved the implementation of the program and the second included links to guidance on several issues for inspectors, including protocols to scheduling inspectionscontracts and reports and standards of practice and ethical requirements.

The legislation requiring home inspectors to be licensed in Ohio was passed in 2019. However, numerous steps had to be taken by both the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing and the new Home Inspector Board to create this new regulatory program.

After delays caused by the pandemic, the Division has recently completed the process to adopt necessary rules that provide a framework for inspector licensure. These rules establish the requirements for conducting home inspections, industry standards, pre-licensure curriculum, experience requirements, and continuing education course requirements. The Division has announced that while these and other necessary provisions are now in place, additional time is needed to allow for course development and for applicants to complete those courses.

For this reason, the Division has announced that it will not begin enforcement of the requirement to be licensed as a home inspector at this time. Likewise, the Division will not enforce the provision requiring real estate licensees who choose to provide consumers with the name of a home inspector to provide the names of at least three licensed inspectors.

While no specific date for enforcement has been set by the Division, it is expected to be sometime this year. The Superintendent has indicated she will give ample notice of the effective date to allow for the industry to make any adjustments to its practices and contract provisions regarding inspections.

It should also be noted that there are over 1,000 home inspectors who have already been issued a license under the “grandfathering” process. To see if an inspector has already obtained their license, you can search the License Look-Up page on the Division’s website and search by name. You may also search by county and download a list of licensed inspectors in the counties in which you work.

Here is more general information on Ohio’s Home Inspector Program.

By Peg Ritenour, Vice President, Legal Services