Real estate commission could regulate home inspectors - - The News for South Mississippi

Real estate commission could regulate home inspectors

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

If a bill making its way through the legislature becomes law in Mississippi, home inspectors will be regulated and licensed by the state real estate commission. It's a move some inspectors are uneasy about, given the fact that inspectors can warn home buyers when to walk away from a potential sale.

"I don't think it will be the fox guarding the henhouse necessarily," said Sen. Gary Jackson, a republican from French Camp.

Jackson authored the bill and says it may not be a perfect solution to an existing problem but something has to be done. A home inspectors board was created by the legislature to regulate the industry back in 2001. Since then, its members have quit and those positions have not been filled. That's because, Jackson says, a low number of inspectors in the state and their bi-annual dues aren't enough to support the financial needs of maintaining a board.

"Hopefully after we come out of this housing crunch, their numbers will increase and there will be a need or there will be an opportunity to have a board, a full board," said Jackson.

Jackson says not having a functioning board means more and more complaints and concerns from home buyers piling up with no where to go. With the board already using space at the real estate commission, Jackson says it just makes sense to let the commission have oversight.

"What we're trying to go is give an avenue for the public that has a grievance to have a way to air it, air their grievance," said Jackson. "Right now, they don't."

Jackson says the real estate commission did not ask to take on the oversight but agrees to the responsibility. While he would like to see the home inspectors board back in operation, Jackson says it'll take time.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2698, passed the senate unanimously and now goes to the house of representatives for debate.

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