As a result of legislation from the two most recent General Assembly sessions, significant changes are coming that affect regulation of home inspectors in Virginia. Here’s what you need to know as the Board for Asbestos, Lead, and Home Inspectors works to implement the changes:
The public comment period for the draft Home Inspector Regulations to transition the program from certification to licensure closed on January 15, 2017. The draft text is still available to view or download here, but the Board cannot accept any additional comments for consideration. A transcript of comments from the public hearing, as well as a summary of all public comments received, will be provided to the Board for its consideration prior to adoption of final Regulation language.
On November 15, 2016, the Board accepted the Implementation Committee’s recommended two-part plan for transitioning the home inspector program from certification to licensure.
Amendments to the Board’s regulations are necessary to accomplish the transition to mandatory licensure, as well as to establish criteria for the New Residential Structure (NRS) provisions. Additional regulatory changes of significance suggested by the Implementation Committee, and endorsed by the Board, include:
For Training Programs (NRS, NRS CPE, and Pre-Licensing), the draft text includes:
In order to provide reasonable opportunity for training program and education providers to apply for and obtain Board approval—while leaving sufficient time to accept students before the mandatory licensure and NRS implementation date of July 1, 2017—the regulatory action will be separated into two parts:
Today, a person performing home inspections in Virginia may choose to obtain certification from the Board as a home inspector, but it is not required. Current law does not prohibit an individual without a certificate from performing home inspections.
HB 2103, passed by the 2015 General Assembly, amended the law to restrict home inspections on new construction to Certified Home Inspectors who complete special building code training. The Board began the process of amending its regulations to establish training criteria for a New Residential Structure (NRS) specialty designation, to be used to identify a Certified Home Inspector who completes the necessary training module on the International Residential Code component of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.
A person without the NRS designation will be prohibited by law from conducting home inspections of new residential structures. NOTE: Although this restriction was originally slated to become effective this summer, legislation from the 2016 Session pushed the date forward one year to July 1, 2017.
The 2016 General Assembly approved legislation (HB 741 and SB 453) to transition the voluntary certification program for home inspectors to a mandatory licensing requirement. As a result, the act of performing a home inspection in Virginia will require a license issued by the Board beginning July 1, 2017. The requirement for NRS specialty designation remains in effect for those performing home inspections on new residential structures, but with a delayed effective date of July 1, 2017, to align with the new licensing requirement.
EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2017:
To stay informed and take advantage of the opportunity to participate during the public comment period, sign up for notifications on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall. Registering will allow you to receive notices about regulatory changes as well as upcoming Board and Committee meetings.
If you still have questions not addressed here, please contact Board staff at:
(804) 367-8595 or ALHI@dpor.virginia.gov.
please contact us in writing or via telephone and we will work with you to make the information available.