Ohio Home Inspector Board

1301:17-1-16

At November’s Ohio Home Inspector Board meeting the prohibition against home inspectors performing new construction inspections was discussed. Board Chair John B. Cordell acknowledged the fact that licensed home inspectors could not perform new construction inspections. Despite being presented with the evidence Cordell stated that he would continue to perform these inspections.

Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing

Here is a communication sent to the OHIB that will be entered into the record at the next meeting 25 Jan. 2023.

Kimberly Wells

Division Counsel

Ohio Department of Commerce

Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing

77 South High St., 20th Fl, Columbus, Ohio 43215

16 January 2023

Please forward the following to all members of the OHIB. I would also like this entered into the record as a correspondence at the next OHIB meeting as if it was read in full.

OHIB Members

Jennifer Lynch

Benedict Weissenrieder

I would like to thank the two of you, the public members, for your vote to require licensed home inspectors to continue to adhere to both the statutory and administrative rules prohibiting licensed home inspectors from receiving compensation in violation of Ohio law.

I know that it must have been difficult to vote against the Chair John B. Cordell, and Vice Chair Rodney L. Berning who appeared to have been upset with not being able to receive this illegal compensation.

You may not be aware that I am asking that these two members be removed from the OHIB.

The other reason that I write you today, since neither of you were permitted to attend the initial rules package, is to bring you up to speed on one particular rule. That being the rule that was discussed in November’s meeting. Rule 1301:17-1-16(A)(8).

(8) Licensees shall not represent a determination of compliance with Ohio residential, mechanical, plumbing, or electrical codes, specifically the existence of serious hazards as defined in rule 4101:8-2-01 of the Administrative Code. Licensees may recommend a client seek further evaluation and repair or remediation of suspected safety hazards by a certified or licensed professional. Such recommendations shall be in the home inspection report.

If you had been allowed to participate in the original rules discussion you would have been aware that it was only added after receipt of an email from OBBS (Ohio Board of Building Standards). This rule was written by Steve Regoli, now retired, after I contacted the OBBS with my concerns that RC 4764.01(C)

(C) “Home inspection” means the process by which a home inspector conducts a visual examination of the readily accessible components of a residential building for a client. “Home inspection” does not include pest inspections; environmental testing; inspection of any property or structure conducted by an employee or representative of an insurer licensed to transact business in this state under Title XXXIX of the Revised Code for purposes related to the business of insurance; or determination of compliance with applicable statutes, rules, resolutions, or ordinances, including, without limitation, building, zoning, or historic codes.

was not made clear in the administrative rules. I understood the meaning, but I knew that unless expressly prohibited that licensed home inspectors would continue to scam the public by performing these “phase”, “pre-drywall” or “in-process” inspections. Something that they are not qualified to do, nor do they actually perform the new construction inspection that their clients believe that they are paying for. Any inspection during construction is a code inspection. Regardless of whether performed by a code official or a professional hired by the client. If these were home inspections, they would be called home inspections.

During the discussion at the last meeting where I gave my expert testimony as a Residential Building Official, I am sure that you heard Mr. Cordell ask what the public would do if home inspectors could not perform construction inspections. The answer is, what they use to do before self-certifying home inspectors claimed to be qualified to inspect new construction. If properly informed the public would contact a licensed professional. An architect. A Professional Engineer. Or added in 2006, a Residential Building Official/Inspector. This is the recommendation that all licensed real estate agents should have been giving since 2006.

The public does not know that licensed home inspectors are not qualified to perform these inspections because the real estate industry has been conned into believing what licensed home inspectors have told them even though these partial inspections have been explained to all home inspectors and all real estate agents last year. This is still posted on the Division’s website.

In December, 3 licensed home inspectors received letters telling them to cease their illegal advertising. Advertising code inspections. That has not happened. In fact, they now advertise that they follow ASHI®’s SOP instead of the required Ohio SOP. Could it be that they know that their fellow ASHI® members Cordell and Berning have their back and they can ignore letters from the Superintendent?

If you had been allowed to attend the initial OHIB meetings, you would have witness Mr. Cordell and others trying to copy the ASHI® SOP into Ohio’s SOP word for word. Luckily Anne Petit stopped them from doing so.

That fact that Mr. Cordell insulted 50% of certified OBBS Officials/Inspectors did not go unnoticed. His claim that his accumulated “code” knowledge allows him to perform new construction inspections is extremely offensive to someone like me who had to ask the state’s permission, yes I said ask, to test to become certified to use the code. Then he stated that he would continue to violate the law by performing these inspections.

The public is harmed in no way from these non-qualified home inspectors. If anything, they are more protected from these self-certified individuals. Remember that they have had almost 4 years to get state certified since I brought this to the OHIB’s attention in 2019 and 16 years since the state created certifications for inspecting new residential construction.

I am asking you to continue to do the great job that you are doing and hope that you can be a check on Cordell and Berning until such time that I can get them removed from the OHIB.

Respectfully,

Inspector Mike®

Residential Building Official #2116

Inspector Mike® – New Construction Inspector in Ohio

614-214-1487