Policy Advisory Board Policies and Guidelines (Home Inspectors)
Table of Contents
Policy on Manufactured Homes
Find Policy on Manufactured Homes in attached PDF below.
November 2012 Board Guideline On Certain Ethical Practices
Find November 2012 Board Guideline On Certain Ethical Practices in attached PDF below.
Information Regarding 266 CMR 6.08
As of July 24, 2009, Home Inspectors and Associate Home Inspectors are required to distribute a document outlining the procedures and benefits of a home energy audit to all Clients purchasing a single-family residential dwelling, a multiple-family residential dwelling with less than 5 dwelling units or a condominium unit in structure with less than 5 dwelling units.
Please see the "Forms" tab for the document and the FAQ's for more information on how to comply.
Policy On Relocation Inspections
Board of Registration of Home Inspectors Policy
POLICY ON RELOCATION INSPECTIONS
Enacted April11, 2007
The purpose of this bulletin is to offer guidance to companies that perform relocation inspections in Massachusetts.
Q. What is a relocation inspection?
A. Relocation inspections are home inspections requested by third-party relocation companies that are performed for individuals who are relocating.
Q. Who is authorized to perform relocation inspections?
A. Only a licensed home inspector may perform relocation inspections.
Q. If I perform a home inspection in Massachusetts for a relocation company, does the inspection report have to comply with 266 CMR 6.00 et seq. (Mass. Standards)?
Q. What if the client (relocation company) requests that I use forms that it provides and the forms do not meet Mass. Standards?
A. Currently, inspectors are allowed to exclude items requested by a client. (266 CMR 6.11 (2) (a) 9.) If an item is reported on, the report must comply with Mass. Standards. It is the Board's position that it is better practice to have the exclusions in writing on the report. The proposed new regulations require that all exclusions be noted on the home inspection report.
Q. What if the relocation company requests cost estimates regarding the discrepancies noted on my report?
A. You must inform the relocation company that Massachusetts law prohibits home inspectors from giving cost estimates. (266 CMR 6.11 (2) (c) 5.)
Newly effective 266 CMR 2.00, 3.00, 4.00, 5.00, 5.00, 8.00, 9.00 and 10.00
Enacted February 4, 2008
New regulations governing the practice of the profession of Home Inspecting took effect on January 25, 2008. The purpose of this bulletin is to offer guidance to Home Inspectors and their staff on the implementation of the new regulations.
IN ORDER TO ALLOW A REASONABLE TIME FOR LICENSED HOME INSPECTORS TO COME INTO COMPLIANCE WITH THE NEW REGULATIONS, THE BOARD WILL REFRAIN FROM TAKING ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE NEW REGULATIONS (WHERE THE REGULATIONS IMPOSE A HIGHER STANDARD) UNTIL MAY 31, 2008.
The Board, by unanimous vote, has decided to phase in the regulations.
The Board will fully enforce the new regulations on June 1, 2008. This policy will allow applicants to utilize the existing regulations until June 1, 2008. Inspectors are encouraged to use the new Standards of Practice prior to the June 1, 2008. Should any inspector decide to take advantage of this option they should understand that if a Board complaint is filed against them the complaint will be adjudicated by the Board under the new Standards of Practice. All complaints regarding home inspections completed on and/or after June 1, 2008 will be processed and adjudicated in accordance with the new regulations.
UNTIL MAY 31, 2008, ALL APPLICATIONS FOR HOME INSPECTOR OR ASSOCIATE HOME INSPECTOR LICENSURE WILL BE PROCESSED UNDER THE STANDARDS SET FORTH IN THE REGULATIONS THAT WERE EFFECTIVE UNTIL JANUARY 25, 2008.
At the January 30, 2008, Board meeting the Board voted to direct its staff to process application using the standards that existed until January 25, 2008 until May 31, 2008.
HOME INSPECTORS ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE 12 CREDIT HOURS OF CONTINUING EDUCATION BY MAY 31, 2008.
At the January 30, 2008, Board meeting the Board voted that the provision of the new regulations reducing the number of hours of continuing education required from twenty-four (24) to twelve (12) will take effect immediately. In the interest of fairness, the Board will not enforce the provision requiring four (4) credit hours on the standards of practice and one (1) on ethics until the renewal period that takes effect on June 1, 2008. Consequently, all licensees must have completed four (4) credit hours dedicated to the 266 CMR standards of practice and one (1) credit hour dedicated to professional ethics between May 31, 2008 and May 31, 2010 in order to meet the renewal requirements set forth in 266 CMR 5.01.
Policy on Limitation of Liability Clauses
May 13, 2009
The purpose of this bulletin is to offer guidance to home inspectors what limitation language is permissible in contracts with clients. Policy: M.G.L. c. 112, s. 225 (6) (v) prohibits home inspectors from "attempting to limit liability for negligent or wrongful errors or omissions by use of a clause within a performance contract that limits the cost of damages for negligent or wrongful errors or omission."
The issue of whether a particular limitation of liability clause violates M.G.L. c. 112, s. 225 (6) (v) will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and is factual dependent. Limitation of liability clauses are only applicable to civil liability may not be used to limit administrative actions. Arbitration clauses are must comply with M.G.L. c. 251. In coming to a determination the Board will review factors including but not limited to:
1) Whether it limits the types of damages available. E.g. precludes consequential or punitive damages and/or limits the amount recoverable;
2) Whether any conditions associated with making a claim are reasonable. E.g. A clause which requires the client to notify the home inspector of the claim prior to taking corrective action and does not exempt emergency repairs may be unreasonable;
3) Whether the limitation is limited to a specific component or is global;
4) Whether the clause is unconscionable. E.g. Where there is the imposition of excessive fees or other conditions onerous to the client associated with filing a claim;