WSR 18-12-109
[Filed June 6, 2018, 9:14 a.m., effective July 7, 2018]
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: The adoption removes any contradictory language and clarifies written disclosure to ensure consumer protection and the consumer's right to freely pick a home inspector. The proposal also balances between prohibiting the industry to develop an environment that allows compensation or reward for referrals or inclusion on a preferred list, while removing language that regulates a licensee's marketing, advertising, or promotional activities.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 308-408C-020.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.280.050 and 18.280.060.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 18-07-066 on March 16, 2018.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: June 6, 2018.
Damon Monroe
Rules Coordinator
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 09-08-014, filed 3/20/09, effective 4/20/09)
WAC 308-408C-020 EthicsStatement of purpose.
In order to ensure the integrity and high standard of skill and practice in the home inspection profession, the following rules of conduct and ethics shall be binding upon the inspector.
The home inspector must:
(1) Provide home inspection services that conform to the Washington state home inspectors' SOP.
(2) Provide full written disclosure, to the home inspector's client, of any business ((or)), familial, or financial relationships or other conflicts of interest between ((themselves)) the home inspector and any other party to the transaction. Written disclosure is required prior to the client's signing of the preinspection agreement. Disclosure is required to ensure the consumer's right to freely pick a home inspector of the buyer's or seller's choice and prevent collusion between the home inspector and the parties to the transaction. Parties may include, but are not limited to, buyers, sellers, appraisers, real estate licensees, mortgage representatives, title companies, vendors and service contractors.
(3) Act as an unbiased party and discharge his or her duties with integrity and fidelity to the client.
(4) Perform services and express opinions based on genuine conviction and only within the inspector's area of education, training, or expertise.
(5) Not conduct a home inspection or prepare a home inspection report that knowingly minimizes, compromises or attempts to balance information about defects for the purpose of garnering future referrals.
(6) Not provide services that constitute the unauthorized practice of any profession that requires a special license when the inspector does not hold that license.
(7) Not accept compensation for a home inspection from more than one party without written disclosure to the inspector's client(s).
(8) Not for one year after completion of the inspection repair, replace, or upgrade for compensation components or systems on any building inspected - This section applies to the inspector's firm and other employees or principals of that firm or affiliated firms.
(9) ((Not provide compensation, inducement, or reward directly or indirectly, to any person or entity other than the client, for the referral of business, inclusion on a list of recommended inspectors or preferred providers or participate in similar arrangements. The purchase and/or use of low-value advertising or marketing services or products that does not exceed ten dollars per item, is not considered inducement or reward.)) Not offer an inducement to any individual or entity by providing compensation or reward in exchange for performing an inspection.
(10) Not disclose information contained in the inspection report without client approval or as required by law. However, at their discretion inspectors may disclose when practical observed safety or health hazards to occupants or others that are exposed to such hazards.
(11) Not advertise previous experience in an associated trade as experience in the home inspection profession. An inspector's advertised inspection experience will reflect only the inspector's experience as a home inspector and inspectors shall not advertise, market or promote their home inspection services or qualifications in a fraudulent, false, deceptive or misleading manner.
(12) Not accept a home inspection referral or perform a home inspection when assignment of the inspection is contingent upon the inspector reporting predetermined conditions.