Home inspectors will now be required to check for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The legislature’s Regulation Review Committee unanimously approved updates to existing regulations governing home inspections during an October 24 meeting.

The changes require home inspectors to report on whether warning equipment, including smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, are present in a home, as well as the location and number of them. Additionally, reports must note whether the inspector is able to test the equipment, whether the equipment has been previously tested, the method of testing, and the test result. Inspectors must also note whether they are able to verify that the equipment is less than 10 years old.

If an inspector cannot test warning equipment, they must note that prominently in their report.

The updates to the regulation also included new requirements for home inspector interns. Interns will now have to complete all licensing requirements and apply for a license within four years of being issued a home inspector intern permit. Failure to do this will result in the permit being rendered inactive unless that individual can demonstrate evidence of a “bona fide health or other individual hardship,” in which case the Home Inspection Licensing Board may grant an extension.

The new regulations are not expected to have any fiscal impact on the state or municipalities as the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) already licenses home inspectors and issues permits for interns. It is also not anticipated to have any effect on small businesses.

According to a notice on decision to take action on the proposed regulation issued by DCP, the purpose of the new requirements for warning protection is to enhance the department’s “objective of consumer protection.” The purpose of the new requirements for home inspector interns is to “provide a clear and consistent path to home inspector licensure.”

Comments received by the agency during a public comment period expressed concerns that home inspectors might be held liable for nonfunctional warning equipment or that they might inadvertently trigger or damage the equipment during an inspection.

DCP made no changes to the proposed regulation on the back of these comments because they state inspectors are not required to test or dismantle equipment.

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An advocate for transparency and accountability, Katherine has over a decade of experience covering government. She has degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Maine and her...

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