1) Several people including the Realtors lobbyist from
KAR (Luke Bell) and a Jeff Barnes testified to the Senate Committee that if a home inspector uses an
inspection agreement that includes a clause with a limit of liability clause and there’s EVER a problem the buyer has no recourse. This is false.
To start with, the Kansas “Small Claims Process” allows an aggrieved consumer to file a claim against
another party OR business (including Home Inspectors) through the Kansas Court System for an amount up to $4,000 without going to the expense of hiring an attorney. The special interest groups or proponents of HB-2315 failed to mention that fact to the committee.
2) As an expert witness I’m often hired to support or dispute another home inspector OR engineers report
- all of whom had limit of liability clauses in their contracts. Many professions use these types of clauses
in their service contracts with their clients. When my grandsons school sends students on an outing, they
have the parents sign a release of liability statement saying we won’t hold the school responsible if the
student is hurt; when I got lasik surgery the doctor gave me a 16 page limit of liability form to sign,
saying they’d do the best job they could - but it might not work and in some instances people have ended
up with worse vision than before the surgery OR have even gone blind; the Real Estate Contract used by the Kansas City Board of Realtors has over 5 clauses STATING they have NO LIABILITY to anyone if this or that happens. If what the KAR lobbyist told the committee is true, then neither the school, the
doctor or a Realtor could EVER be sued in our state - Kansas consumers have no recourse if these folks
botch something up – Right or Wrong. Its VERY wrong, and the KAR lobbyist or Trial Attorneys
lobbyist both know it (OR they LACK a lot of knowledge about their own profession and our states legal
system). If the bus driver is on drugs and rolls the bus and hurts a child; if the doctor shows up drunk and
nicks your cornea; if the Realtor tells a seller to not disclose things that later become problems for the
homebuyer - there is recourse. Its called our legal system (arbitration, mediation or in some cases a
lawsuit). It’s the SAME with home inspectors.
3) The KAR lobbyist (Luke Bell) talks of untold numbers of complaints against home inspectors in our
state. This past year Mr. Bell has sent emails (of which we have copies) to Realtors in Kansas indicating
the Real Estate Industry WANTS to PUSH regulation onto another PROFESSION (home inspectors) and asking Realtors to provide them with NEGATIVE EXERIENCES with inspectors to support their push. In Kansas there are approximately 175 to 225 home inspectors and around 15,000 real estate
licensees. The metropolitan Kansas City area is the largest city in Kansas, and the 2 largest home
inspection businesses there only have 4 home inspectors each working for them. About 95% of Kansas
home inspectors are small 1 man - mom and pop businesses in Kansas, Having a GIANT industry like Realtors (with 15,000 licensee’s in Kansas) trying to use the Kansas legislative system to manipulate or
control a very SMALL industry (under 225 members) seems like Restraint of Trade OR almost criminal.
Home Inspectors are not perfect but after seeing these emails we wondered about this ourselves and
contacted consumer complaint resources like the BBB (Better Business Bureau), the Kansas Attorney
Generals office for consumer complaints, and HADD (Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings). Mike Greenwalt, the President of KARCI (Kansas Association of Residential and Commercial Inspectors) has
provided written correspondence from these groups indicated less than 13 complaints against home
inspectors over the past 3 years. Nancy Seats (the National President of HADD and a past Kansas City
resident) wrote a letter this month to the Senate stating that she has not received ANY complaints against Kansas home inspectors BUT has received hundreds of complaints against builders, contractors and other related professions in Kansas. She has reviewed HB-2315 and thinks it is not only uncalled for thbut harmful to consumers - especially in a state like Kansas where 3/4 of the state is without mandatory building codes, mandatory code inspections and mandatory licensing of contractors.
4) The Realtors lobbyist and the President of KAREI (Jeff Barnes) told the Senate Committee that they
have been working with ALL home inspectors groups on this Bill. This is false. There are 2 State Home Inspector Associations (KARCI & KAREI); and 3 National Home Inspector Associations: ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors), NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors) and NACHI (InterNational Association of Home Inspectors). I believe 2 of the other inspectors (the Pres of the State NAHI Chapter, the Secretary of the 2nd State Association - KARCI, & an officer from the State NACHI Chapter stated that their groups have had no input into the Bill or contact with KAREI, the
KAR or the Trial Attorneys Association - NONE at all). It was also pointed out that while KAREI says
they represent all Home Inspectors in Kansas, etc - of the 98 members on their web site earlier this week -
14 were out of business, 1 was deceased, and 2 were retired. Of the remaining 81 home inspectors, 3 were NACHI members, 4 were NAHI members and the other 74 inspectors were ASHI members – KAREI is NOT a cross section of the state home inspector population, it’s a state ASHI group.
In short HB-2315 was put together, written and pushed on the home inspectors in Kansas by ONLY the Kansas Realtors Association, the trial attorneys in Kansas AND a group of ASHI home inspectors posing rd of the home inspectors in Kansas had no input whatsoever as a state association (KAREI). The other 2/3
in HB-2315. That meant that 1 state association (KARCI) , 2 National Associations (NAHI & NACHI) and all unaffiliated home inspectors in Kansas were left out in the cold. This is like enacting regulation
that affects all 3 major car manufacturers (Ford, Chrysler and General Motors), but only working
with Ford to put the rules in place. One association AND one association ONLY has had any input or contact with the KAR
5) For the 2nd time this session a licensed PE (this time the wife of the PE that testified before the House
of Rep's) stood and stated her and her husband both perform HOME INSPECTIONS and told how with
their vast knowledge, and their stringent COE that they didn't need extra training, or to have added
regulation upon themselves, etc AND since the state engineering laws already governed them THAT it was only right that ENGINEERS be exempted from HB-2315.
Besides doing home inspections, I periodically train people getting into home inspections. I’ve never met either her or her husband in person - however, when they decided to get into the home inspection
business about 4-5 years ago they hired an instructor that worked with me to train them in home
inspections. They didn't want to take off work, so they hired one of our Instructors to train them on
weekends for a month and a half. Over the past 5-8 years I have been hired to go up against an
ENGINEER in expert witness testimony probably 20-23 times because of a shoddy home inspection by
the engineer (to date we've not lost one time).
In KANSAS an engineer is not required to carry E&O insurance and in KC we have 21-22 licensed PE's
active in home inspection. These people would be exempted from the law. I have received letters from the
State Engineering Board to me - stating that 1&2 family houses are EXCLUDED from KANSAS
engineering laws and therefore the Board of Technical Registration has no jurisdiction over an
ENGINEER doing home inspections.
There are over 50 engineering degrees, including: optical science, waste water management, petroleum,
farm agricultural, computer software design, marine biology and others. ANYONE with a PE designation in these degrees can be a home inspector AND would be exempted from HB-2315. An engineer may be highly skilled in whatever field their engineering degree is in, but Home Inspection Training is not part of that training. Most engineering training does not qualify one of them to be a Home Inspector.
Dan Bowers, CRI, CMI