1) The Realtors lobbyist from KAR (Luke Bell) stood and told the

By Carolyn Matthews,2014-05-05 18:04
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1) The Realtors lobbyist from KAR (Luke Bell) stood and told the

    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 theres 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.

Thank You,

Dan Bowers, CRI, CMI

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