Kortz: It’s time to protect the homebuyer

HARRISBURG, Jan. 11 – In an effort to protect homebuyers, state Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, and Rep. Sue Helm, R-Dauphin/Lebanon, are proposing two pieces of legislation that would provide oversight to the home buying process and protect residential customers.

“Buying a home is most likely the largest purchase one will make in a lifetime,” Kortz said. “And many homebuyers have been hurt by unlicensed, and in some cases, poorly trained home inspectors.”

Kortz explained that current law doesn’t require home inspectors to be licensed while practicing in Pennsylvania, nor are there statewide standards.

“This legislation will ensure that commonsense safeguards and standards are put into place to protect the new homebuyer,” Kortz said. “Home inspectors are the only professionals that are not regulated in the home-buying process, leaving little to no recourse for the consumer.”

In addition to proposed legislation for licensing home inspectors, Kortz is also proposing legislation that would require the disclosure of mold at the time of an inspection. Further, Kortz explained his legislation would also require home inspectors to advise residential clients to get a professional evaluation if mold is found at the time of inspection.

“Considering that the nondisclosure of mold risks serious health issues and can be financially devastating to a homeowner -- sometimes costing more than $100,000 to remedy, and in extreme cases cause the loss of a home or bankruptcy -- it was extremely important to me to require both the disclosure of mold and the much-needed oversight,” Kortz said. “This legislation provides long-needed consumer protections.”

Both bills are expected to be introduced within the next few weeks.