Does a home inspector need to be licensed in New York?

Effective December 31, 2005, the real property law is amended by adding a new Article 12-B, “The Home Inspection Professional Licensing Act.” In essence, any persons engaged in performing home inspections of residential buildings for compensation, must be licensed.

Article 12-B of the Real Property Law is entitled “Home Inspection Professional Licensing.” The section law as written is clear as to the licensing of individuals who provide home inspections for compensation. The relevant text of the article is as follows:

§ 444-d. License requirements for home inspectors

No person shall conduct or represent that he or she has the ability to conduct a home inspection for compensation unless such person is:

  1. LICENSED as home inspector pursuant to this article; or
  2. a person regulated by the state or a political subdivision thereof as an ARCHITECT who is acting within the scope of his or her profession; or
  3. a person regulated by the state or a political subdivision thereof as an ENGINEER who is acting within the scope of his or her profession; or
  4. a person who is employed as a code enforcement official by the state or a political subdivision thereof when acting WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THAT GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT; or
  5. a person making home inspections for the purpose of meeting the requirements of section 444-e of this article to qualify for licensure as a home inspector.

Therefore, any individual who claims to be able to inspect a home for compensation must be licensed (UNLESS THAT PERSON IS AN ARCHITECT, ENGINEER OR CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL pursuant to §444-d).

What is Home Inspection?

Home Inspection is defined as the process by which a home inspector observes and provides a written report of the systems and components of a residential building including but not limited to:

  1. Heating System
  2. Cooling System
  3. Plumbing System
  4. Electrical System
  5. Structural Components – foundation, roof masonry structure, exterior and interior components or any other related residential building component recommended by the Home Inspection Council and implemented by the Department through the regulatory process.

Who must apply for a license?

Persons engaged in performing home inspections of residential buildings FOR COMPENSATION.

What do you mean by residential buildings?

A Residential Building means a structure consisting of 1 to 4 dwelling units and their garages and carports, but shall not include any such structure newly constructed or not previously occupied as a dwelling unit.

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