• Board for Asbestos, Lead, and Home Inspectors

    Upcoming Changes Affecting Home Inspector Regulation

    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

    Update as of April 5, 2017

    After considering public comments received on the draft regulations, the Board adopted the proposed changes to the Home Inspector Regulations to transition from certification to licensing, along with the new training program requirements for pre-license education and the NRS training module. The amendments to the regulations will become effective in two stages: 

    First Regulatory Action

    • On March 6, 2017, the first action—which includes all education and training approval changes—will be published in the Virginia Register of Regulations. The provisions for pre-license education course approval and NRS training modules will be effective on April 17, 2017 
    • Education and training providers may begin submitting applications for program approval after Monday, April 17, 2017
    • The Board’s goal is to have education and training providers offering approved courses before the July 1, 2017, implementation date for mandatory home inspector licensing. 

    Second Regulatory Action

    • The second regulatory action—which includes all other changes necessary to transition home inspector regulation from voluntary certification to mandatory licensing—will be published in the Register on May 15, 2017. By law, these regulations will not be effective until July 1, 2017. 
    • View an updated graphic of the timeline for the regulatory actions and effective dates.

    Update as of Jan. 16, 2017

    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: 

    • Advance Board approval of all Pre-Licensing training programs 
    • Reference to specific Board-approved examination 
    • Clarification of general liability insurance policy requirements, proof of insurance for license renewal, and incorporation of related guidance documents 
    • After July 1, 2017, experience must be gained under supervision of a licensee 
    • Technical amendments to clarify application procedures, general entry requirements, and definitions  

    For Training Programs (NRS, NRS CPE, and Pre-Licensing), the draft text includes: 

    • Program content standards for NRS and Pre-Licensing training providers 
    • Criteria for initial approval as NRS and Pre-Licensing training program 
    • Maintenance requirements for Board-approved training programs (reporting changes, etc.) and authority to audit for compliance 

    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: 

    1. Training Program and Pre-License Education provisions, and 
    2. Home Inspector Licensing provisions. 

    About the new law effective July 1, 2017

    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.

    • The Board formed an Implementation Committee to recommend amendments to the regulations for transitioning home inspector credentialing from certification to licensure.  

    What does this mean for home inspectors in Virginia?

    EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2017: 

    • An individual who holds an unexpired certificate as a home inspector issued by the Board will be issued a license to practice as a home inspector. 
    • A home inspector license with the NRS specialty designation will be required in order to perform home inspections on new residential structures. To obtain the NRS specialty, the individual must complete a Board-approved training module on the Virginia Residential Code. 
    • Education providers must apply for approval to offer the Virginia Residential Code training module for Virginia home inspectors. The requirements for the training module will be included in the proposed regulations.  
    • Individuals without current certification who wish to become licensed in order to perform home inspections after July 1, 2017, will be required to apply for licensure. 

    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.