Home Inspection Law
Both Georgia and Alabama have laws governing home inspection. In addition to Georgia’s law, Columbus has enacted its own law.
The laws vary greatly. Alabama has the most stringint of the three that govern our area. Most significantly, only Alabama requires inspectors follow a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Columbus does not require either of these so the quality of inspections can vary. Before you make your decision ask if the inspector follows a national associations Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and if they offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Make sure that you at least hire a home inspector that is in compliance with the laws in your area. Ask to see their license.
Licensure (Act 2002-517)
Requires individuals performing home inspections to become licensed by the Alabama Building Commission . The Alabama Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics (see Home Inspectors Rules and Applications) is adopted from the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. The Alabama Building Commission gratefully acknowledges ASHI's consent. The Building Commission adopted the National Home Inspection Examination to assess minimum competence. The bill also outlines educational and experiential requirements to become licensed, sets license fees and insurance requirements, and defines penalties under which licensure may be suspended or revoked. This law replaces Act 96-574 .
Trade practice act (Chapter 3, Title 8) enacted in 1994
Georgia law requires home inspectors to provide written documents containing certain information with regard to inspections. This written document must include the scope of the inspection, including the structural elements and systems to be inspected, that the inspection is a visual inspection, and that the home inspector will notify, in writing, the person on whose behalf such inspection is being made of any defects noted during the inspection.
There are no requirements of training, experience, insurance, standards of practice, code of ethics or testing. In essence home inspectors are unregulated in Georgia. To help insure that you are getting the best inspection possible hire an inspector that is licensed in Alabama as well as your local area.
Muscogee County and Columbus, requires home inspectors to be licensed by the City of Columbus. The City requires a home inspector hold membership in one of five home inspection associations, and provide letters from financial institutions and builders, architects, etc. The City also requires General Liability Insurance, but does not currently require Errors and Omissions Insurance.