For consumers, one of the biggest transactions they make during the course of their lifetime is the sale or purchase of a home. Home inspectors have a tremendous amount of access to the most private spaces in a person’s home. Currently, Colorado does not require home inspectors to be licensed, making this the only unfettered process of home buying. This unconstrained part of the home-buying process poses a public safety risk to consumers. After learning about previous investigations by the Department of Regulatory Agencies and CBS4, and listening to numerous senate testimonials, I have introduced a bill to address this issue face on. We can no longer let this problem fly under the radar when consumer safety is at risk.
In 2014, the Department of Regulatory Agencies released a 22-page report stating “the evidence of harm identified during the course of research for this sunrise review [of home inspectors] demonstrates financial, emotional and physical harm to consumers in Colorado.” Coloradans across the state are faced with a risk of faulty inspections. These faulty inspections include failure to find gas leaks, harmful molds, leaking windows, weak roofs, and cracks in the home’s foundation. The lack of licensing of home inspectors and failure to identify critical structural issues can lead to potentially dangerous situations. Consumers who experience inadequate inspections are also compounded by the increased costs they face when they entrust individuals who call themselves “home inspectors”, who then fail to perform their duties. As a result, home buyers are forced to spend more money to fix problems not identified and these uncertified home inspectors continue to reap the profits and escape legal liability by filling broad disclaimers. In Colorado, there have been some cases of home inspectors allegedly sexually assaulting a minor female, and burglarizing homes.
These unfortunate realties highlight the need to implement policies to certify home inspectors and ensure accountability, a standard of proficiency and safety for all home buyers and their families. We need to start mitigating and preventing instead of reacting to not only assault cases, but safety issues that derive from uncertified home inspections. While not all home inspectors are unqualified nor have malicious intent, my bill (SB17-038) seeks to certify inspectors and be a first step towards protecting consumers from unqualified and fraudulent home inspectors.
Sen. Nancy Todd represents state Senate District 28 in Aurora.