Home Inspectors Licensing Program
On October 22, 2013, Rule Chapter 61-30, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), became effective. These rules, along with Chapter 468, Part XV, Florida Statutes, are the result of many coordinated efforts between the Department and industry stakeholders and are now final. Some parts of the pre-licensing and continuing education programs for home inspectors have changed as a result of these new rules. Some key changes are detailed below:
- Per Rule 61-30.501, F.A.C., the fee to renew or obtain a new provider license was reduced from $500 to $250.
- Per Rule 61-30.503(5)(b) and (5)(c), F.A.C., the 14 hours of continuing education required for licensed home inspectors must include 12 hours based on the components of a home as described in the rule, as well as 2 hours of instruction regarding hurricane mitigation training. Courses approved prior to October 22, 2013, will meet the existing education requirements for the 2014 license renewal cycle, but will not be renewed after the course’s expiration date. If a provider desires to continue offering the continuing education course after it expires, the provider will be required to submit a new course application that complies with the new requirements.
- Per Rule 61-30.503(6), F.A.C., the course topics included in the initial 120-hour pre-licensure education course must be based on the components of a home as described in the rule, and no longer include a live, field-based component. Courses approved prior to October 22, 2013, will continue to be accepted but will not be renewed after the course’s expiration date. If a provider desires to continue offering the pre-licensure education course after it expires, the provider will be required to submit a new course application that complies with the new requirements.
- Per Rule 61-30.503(9)(a), F.A.C., all instructors must hold active or inactive licenses as home inspectors. Unlicensed individuals may not serve as instructors for any approved course.
While key changes to the rules have been identified here, all providers and licensees are encouraged to review the full text of the laws and rules at the Home Inspectors Licensing Program website by visiting www.MyFloridaLicense.com > Our Businesses & Professions > Home Inspectors > Statutes and Rules.
Effective immediately the Florida Association of Building Inspectors (FABI) examination (2011 version) will be accepted by DBPR for applicants seeking licensure in Florida as Home Inspectors. Please note that passing an examination is only one of the requirements for licensure in Florida. Candidates who pass the FABI exam will still need to meet the educational requirements as listed in 468.8313, F.S. in order to be licensed.
Continuing Education Requirements reduced for Activation of an Inactive License
HB 517 was approved by Governor Rick Scott on April 6, 2012 and reduces the continuing education required to activate an inactive license. You now only have to complete one renewal cycle of continuing education instead of completing continuing education for all the renewal cycles your license was in an inactive status. Applicants will need to provide proof of completing the continuing education requirements in effect at the last renewal date immediately prior to their application.
Licensure by Grandfathering
Legislation passed during the 2011 legislative session which allows three new groups of professionals to apply for licensure by grandfathering as a home inspector. These groups include individuals with current certification as one- and two-family dwelling inspector issued by the International Code Council or the Southern Building Code Congress International, individuals with current certification (active or inactive) as one- and two- family dwelling inspector issued by the Florida Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board, and individuals with a current (active or inactive) Division I contractor license issued under part I of Chapter 489, F.S. Grandfathering for these individuals will be available until July 1, 2012. The department will continue to process the applications that were previously filed by applicants who applied by March 1, 2011 under the prior grandfather provisions.
Are providers who offer Home Inspectors Pre-licensure Courses required to include qualifications of the instructors when submitting course applications?
Yes. To eliminate delays and expedite the approval process, providers must include a detailed Instructor’s resume’ with their applications. The 20 hours of “Field Experience” must be directly supervised by a Florida Licensed Home Inspector.
Enforcement of Unlicensed Activity for Home Inspectors will begin July 1, 2011
House Bill 713 delayed unlicensed enforcement of home inspector licensure until July 1, 2011. This delay allowed initial applicants and those who were already working in the profession the necessary time to complete education, experience and testing necessary to meet the licensure requirements. In addition, this delay helped to identify any unintended consequences of the new legislation and present possible solutions during the 2011 Legislative Session. Starting on July 1, 2011, the full enforcement of home inspector licensure requirements per Chapter 468, Part XV, Florida Statutes. This means anyone holding themselves out to be home inspectors needs to be licensed through the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Please review Chapter 468, Part XV, Florida Statutes for the laws detailing Home Inspection services.
Streamlined Applications Released
In an effort to assist applicants through the licensure process and to reduce the number of deficient applications, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation conducted a complete review and revision of all applications. The updated applications were launched June 28, 2012.