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Up until June 30, 2010, there are no licensing or training requirements to be a home inspector in Florida. As of July 1, 2010, all home inspectors in Florida must be licensed in order to carry out home inspections. All new inspectors will have to meet the new requirements and take the home-inspector license exam. Existing home inspectors may be grandfathered in providing they meet certain requirements.
Home inspector licensure candidates must have either a high school diploma or the equivalent. They must also complete 120 hours of study in an approved program in HVAC, plumbing, roofing, electrical, structure and site grounds and grading. The hours must be obtained in a state-approved home-inspection course allowed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Several of these courses can be taken online.
There are no experience requirements to apply for a Florida home inspection license. Experience working with a home inspector may assist with the course requirements and with the license exam itself. The experience of existing home inspectors will not override the continuing education requirement for maintaining a license after July 1, 2010.
Good Moral Character
A candidate is required to be of "good moral character." The Department defines this as having a history of honesty, fairness and respect for others' rights and the law. Although the regulations do not set out how the Department will judge moral character, it is likely that a criminal record or other public proof of inappropriate behavior would violate this requirement.
Once licensed, a Florida home inspector must provide proof of 14 hours of continuing education during the two years leading up to a license renewal application. If the licensee does not meet this requirement, the Department can add additional hours on top of the 14 before issuing a license renewal.
A Florida home inspector must maintain his or her "good moral character" while licensed and cannot be under investigation in any other state for performing home inspections. He must also own a $300,000 general liability insurance policy.
The final step in obtaining a home-inspection license in Florida after July 1, 2010 is to apply to sit for the license exam. If the exam is passed and all other requirements are met, the state will issue the candidate a license to provide home-inspection services.
Angie Mohr is a syndicated finance columnist who has been writing professionally since 1987. She is the author of the bestselling "Numbers 101 for Small Business" books and "Piggy Banks to Paychecks: Helping Kids Understand the Value of a Dollar." She is a chartered accountant, certified management accountant and certified public accountant with a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Wilfrid Laurier University.