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AB-1129 Home Inspectors License Law.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/18/2021 09:00 PM
AB1129:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1129


Introduced by Assembly Member Frazier

February 18, 2021


An act to amend, repeal, and add Sections 101 and 205 of, to add Sections 7199.1 and 7199.8 to, and to add Chapter 9.3 (commencing with Section 7193) to Division 3 of, the Business and Professions Code, relating to home inspectors.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1129, as introduced, Frazier. Home Inspectors License Law.
Existing law regulates a person who performs certain home inspections for a fee in connection with a transfer of real property. Existing law provides that it is the duty of a home inspector who is not licensed as a general contractor, structural pest control operator, or architect, or registered as a professional engineer to conduct a home inspection with the degree of care that a reasonably prudent home inspector would exercise. Under existing law, contractual provisions that purport to waive this duty, or limit the liability of the home inspector to the cost of the home inspection report, are contrary to public policy and invalid. Existing law prohibits commencement of a legal action for breach of duty arising from a home inspection report more than 4 years from the date of the inspection. Under existing law, certain activities by a home inspector or a company that employs a home inspector constitute unfair business practices.
This bill, commencing January 1, 2023, would enact the Home Inspectors License Act, which would revise and recast those provisions, and would make various substantive changes. The bill would establish the Bureau of Home Inspectors in the Department of Consumer Affairs. The bill would also establish the position of Chief of the bureau and would require the chief to administer the licensing program for home inspectors, as provided. The bill would delete the provisions concerning a home inspector’s duty of care and unlawful business practices. The bill would authorize the chief to investigate the actions of any applicant for a home inspector license or a home inspector within the state and to administer specified disciplinary actions if the applicant or licensee commits an act or omission constituting cause for disciplinary action, including a willful departure in any material respect, except as provided, from accepted standards of practice and codes of ethics. The bill would require a complaint against a licensee alleging commission of any act or omission that may constitute grounds for legal action to be filed in writing with the chief within 4 years of the alleged act or omission.
This bill would establish the Home Inspectors License Fund, and would require all fees, fines, and penalties collected pursuant to these provisions to be deposited into the fund, which the bill would make available for administration of these provisions, upon appropriation by the Legislature. The bill would authorize the bureau to set reasonable fees according to a specified fee schedule.
This bill would require the chief to adopt regulations governing the process of applying for a license and any conditions on the maintenance of a license once issued, as provided. The bill would prohibit a person from acting or holding oneself out as a home inspector, by advertisement or otherwise, unless that person is licensed in accordance with the act, except as specified. The bill would make a willful violation of this provision a public offense punishable by imprisonment, by a fine not exceeding $10,000, or by both imprisonment and fine. By creating a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would make additional conforming changes.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 101 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

101.
 The department is comprised of the following:
(a) The Dental Board of California.
(b) The Medical Board of California.
(c) The State Board of Optometry.
(d) The California State Board of Pharmacy.
(e) The Veterinary Medical Board.
(f) The California Board of Accountancy.
(g) The California Architects Board.
(h) The State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.
(i) The Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists.
(j) The Contractors State License Board.
(k) The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.
(l) The Bureau of Household Goods and Services.
(m) The Board of Registered Nursing.
(n) The Board of Behavioral Sciences.
(o) The State Athletic Commission.
(p) The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau.
(q) The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.
(r) The Court Reporters Board of California.
(s) The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians.
(t) The Landscape Architects Technical Committee.
(u) The Division of Investigation.
(v) The Bureau of Automotive Repair.
(w) The Respiratory Care Board of California.
(x) The Acupuncture Board.
(y) The Board of Psychology.
(z) The Podiatric Medical Board of California.
(aa) The Physical Therapy Board of California.
(ab) The Arbitration Review Program.
(ac) The Physician Assistant Board.
(ad) The Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board.
(ae) The California Board of Occupational Therapy.
(af) The Osteopathic Medical Board of California.
(ag) The Naturopathic Medicine Committee.
(ah) The Dental Hygiene Board of California.
(ai) The Professional Fiduciaries Bureau.
(aj) The State Board of Chiropractic Examiners.
(ak) The Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers.
(al) The Structural Pest Control Board.
(am) The Bureau of Cannabis Control.
(an) Any other boards, offices, or officers subject to its jurisdiction by law.
(ao) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2018. remain operative until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 101 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

101.
 The department is comprised of the following:
(a) The Dental Board of California.
(b) The Medical Board of California.
(c) The State Board of Optometry.
(d) The California State Board of Pharmacy.
(e) The Veterinary Medical Board.
(f) The California Board of Accountancy.
(g) The California Architects Board.
(h) The State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.
(i) The Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists.
(j) The Contractors State License Board.
(k) The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.
(l) The Bureau of Household Goods and Services.
(m) The Board of Registered Nursing.
(n) The Board of Behavioral Sciences.
(o) The State Athletic Commission.
(p) The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau.
(q) The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.
(r) The Court Reporters Board of California.
(s) The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians.
(t) The Landscape Architects Technical Committee.
(u) The Division of Investigation.
(v) The Bureau of Automotive Repair.
(w) The Respiratory Care Board of California.
(x) The Acupuncture Board.
(y) The Board of Psychology.
(z) The Podiatric Medical Board of California.
(aa) The Physical Therapy Board of California.
(ab) The Arbitration Review Program.
(ac) The Physician Assistant Board.
(ad) The Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board.
(ae) The California Board of Occupational Therapy.
(af) The Osteopathic Medical Board of California.
(ag) The Naturopathic Medicine Committee.
(ah) The Dental Hygiene Board of California.
(ai) The Professional Fiduciaries Bureau.
(aj) The State Board of Chiropractic Examiners.
(ak) The Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers.
(al) The Structural Pest Control Board.
(am) The Bureau of Cannabis Control.
(an) The Bureau of Home Inspectors.
(ao) Any other boards, offices, or officers subject to its jurisdiction by law.
(ap) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2023.

SEC. 3.

 Section 205 of the Business and Professions Code, as amended by Chapter 312 of the Statutes of 2020, is amended to read:

205.
 (a) There is in the State Treasury the Professions and Vocations Fund. The fund shall consist of the following special funds:
(1) Accountancy Fund.
(2) California Architects Board Fund.
(3) Athletic Commission Fund.
(4) Barbering and Cosmetology Contingent Fund.
(5) Cemetery and Funeral Fund.
(6) Contractors License Fund.
(7) State Dentistry Fund.
(8) Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation Fund.
(9) California Architects Board-Landscape Architects Fund.
(10) Contingent Fund of the Medical Board of California.
(11) Optometry Fund.
(12) Pharmacy Board Contingent Fund.
(13) Physical Therapy Fund.
(14) Private Investigator Fund.
(15) Private Security Services Fund.
(16) Professional Engineer’s, Land Surveyor’s, and Geologist’s Fund.
(17) Consumer Affairs Fund.
(18) Behavioral Sciences Fund.
(19) Licensed Midwifery Fund.
(20) Court Reporters’ Fund.
(21) Veterinary Medical Board Contingent Fund.
(22) Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians Fund.
(23) Electronic and Appliance Repair Fund.
(24) Acupuncture Fund.
(25) Physician Assistant Fund.
(26) Board of Podiatric Medicine Fund.
(27) Psychology Fund.
(28) Respiratory Care Fund.
(29) Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Fund.
(30) Board of Registered Nursing Fund.
(31) Animal Health Technician Examining Committee Fund.
(32) State Dental Hygiene Fund.
(33) Structural Pest Control Fund.
(34) Structural Pest Control Eradication and Enforcement Fund.
(35) Structural Pest Control Research Fund.
(36) Household Movers Fund.
(b) For accounting and recordkeeping purposes, the Professions and Vocations Fund shall be deemed to be a single special fund, and each of the several special funds therein shall constitute and be deemed to be a separate account in the Professions and Vocations Fund. Each account or fund shall be available for expenditure only for the purposes as are now or may hereafter be provided by law.
(c) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2022.
(d) This section shall remain operative until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 4.

 Section 205 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

205.
 (a) There is in the State Treasury the Professions and Vocations Fund. The fund shall consist of the following special funds:
(1) Accountancy Fund.
(2) California Architects Board Fund.
(3) Athletic Commission Fund.
(4) Barbering and Cosmetology Contingent Fund.
(5) Cemetery and Funeral Fund.
(6) Contractors License Fund.
(7) State Dentistry Fund.
(8) Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation Fund.
(9) California Architects Board-Landscape Architects Fund.
(10) Contingent Fund of the Medical Board of California.
(11) Optometry Fund.
(12) Pharmacy Board Contingent Fund.
(13) Physical Therapy Fund.
(14) Private Investigator Fund.
(15) Private Security Services Fund.
(16) Professional Engineer’s, Land Surveyor’s, and Geologist’s Fund.
(17) Consumer Affairs Fund.
(18) Behavioral Sciences Fund.
(19) Licensed Midwifery Fund.
(20) Court Reporters’ Fund.
(21) Veterinary Medical Board Contingent Fund.
(22) Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians Fund.
(23) Electronic and Appliance Repair Fund.
(24) Acupuncture Fund.
(25) Physician Assistant Fund.
(26) Board of Podiatric Medicine Fund.
(27) Psychology Fund.
(28) Respiratory Care Fund.
(29) Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Fund.
(30) Board of Registered Nursing Fund.
(31) Animal Health Technician Examining Committee Fund.
(32) State Dental Hygiene Fund.
(33) Structural Pest Control Fund.
(34) Structural Pest Control Eradication and Enforcement Fund.
(35) Structural Pest Control Research Fund.
(36) Household Movers Fund.
(37) Home Inspectors License Fund.
(b) For accounting and recordkeeping purposes, the Professions and Vocations Fund shall be deemed to be a single special fund, and each of the several special funds therein shall constitute and be deemed to be a separate account in the Professions and Vocations Fund. Each account or fund shall be available for expenditure only for the purposes as are now or may hereafter be provided by law.
(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2023.

SEC. 5.

 Section 7199.1 is added to the Business and Professions Code, immediately following Section 7199, to read:

7199.1.
 This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 6.

 Section 7199.8 is added to the Business and Professions Code, immediately following Section 7199.7, to read:

7199.8.
 This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 7.

 Chapter 9.3 (commencing with Section 7193) is added to Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  9.3. Home Inspectors
Article  1. Administration

7193.
 This chapter shall be known, and may be cited as, the Home Inspectors License Law.

7193.3.
 There is in the Department of Consumer Affairs a Bureau of Home Inspectors. Protection of the public shall be the highest priority for the Bureau of Home Inspectors in exercising its licensing, regulatory, and disciplinary functions. Whenever the protection of the public is inconsistent with other interests sought to be promoted, the protection of the public shall be paramount.

7193.5.
 (a) The Governor shall appoint, subject to confirmation by the Senate, the Chief of the Bureau of Home Inspectors who shall, in consultation with the Governor and the director, administer the licensing program for home inspectors. In making the appointment, consideration shall be given to the qualifications of an individual that demonstrate knowledge of the home inspection profession.
(b) The chief shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The salary for the chief shall be fixed and determined by the Director of Consumer Affairs with approval of the Department of Human Resources.
(c) The chief shall not have an active license under this act for the term of appointment, and thereafter the chief shall be subject to Section 87406 of the Government Code.
(d) The chief, in consultation with the director and in accordance with the State Civil Service Act (Part 2 (commencing with Section 18500) of Division 5 of Title 2 of the Government Code), may appoint and fix the compensation of legal, clerical, technical, investigation, and auditing personnel as may be necessary to carry out this chapter. All personnel shall perform their respective duties under the supervision and direction of the chief.

7193.7.
 (a) The bureau is under the supervision and control of the director. The duty of enforcing and administering this chapter is vested in the chief, and they are responsible to the Director of Consumer Affairs therefor. The chief shall adopt and enforce rules and regulations as are determined reasonably necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. Those rules and regulations shall be adopted pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the powers and duties of the bureau, as set forth in this chapter, shall be subject to review by the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature. In that review, the bureau shall have the burden of demonstrating a compelling public need for the continued existence of the bureau and its regulatory program, and that its function is the least restrictive regulation consistent with the public health, safety, and welfare.
(c) The review shall be performed as if this chapter were scheduled to be repealed as of January 1, 2025.

Article  2. Application of Chapter

7194.
 For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Appliance” means an item in a residence with a specified purpose that includes, but is not limited to, an oven, dishwasher, or heater.
(b) “Client” means a person with a direct material interest in the outcome of a home inspection who hires the home inspector named on the inspection agreement and compensates a home inspector for the performance of a home inspection.
(c) “Material defect” means a condition that significantly affects the value, desirability, habitability, or safety of the dwelling. Style or aesthetics shall not be considered in determining whether a system, structure, or component is defective.
(d) “Structural” means a component that supports nonvariable forces or weights (dead loads) and variable forces or weights (live loads).
(e) “Transfer” means a transfer by sale, exchange, installment land sales contract, as defined in Section 2985 of the Civil Code, lease with an option to purchase, any other option to purchase, or ground lease coupled with improvements, of real property or residential stock cooperative, improved with or consisting of not less than one nor more than four dwelling units.

7194.1.
 A home inspector is a natural person licensed under this chapter who is engaged in the business of home inspection either full time or part time. A home inspector shall satisfy all the requirements imposed on home inspectors by this chapter.

7194.2.
 A home inspection is a noninvasive, physical examination, performed for a fee in connection with a transfer of real property, of the mechanical, electrical, or plumbing systems or the structural and essential components of a residential dwelling of one to four units designed to identify material defects in those systems, structures, and components. A home inspection shall include any consultation regarding the property that is represented to be a home inspection or any confusingly similar term.

7194.3.
 (a) For any transfer of real property with a swimming pool or spa, a home inspection shall include a noninvasive physical examination of the pool or spa and dwelling, without a determination of a safety feature’s compliance with any referenced law or standard, for the purpose of identifying with which, if any, of the seven drowning prevention safety features listed in subdivision (a) of Section 115922 of the Health and Safety Code the pool or spa is equipped.
(b) A violation of this section is a cause for disciplinary action.

7194.4.
 A home inspection may also include the following, if requested by the client:
(a) An inspection of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency items to be inspected may include the following:
(1) A noninvasive inspection of insulation R-values in attics, roofs, walls, floors, and ducts.
(2) The number of window glass panes and frame types.
(3) The heating and cooling equipment and water heating systems.
(4) The age and fuel type of major appliances.
(5) The exhaust and cooling fans.
(6) The type of thermostat and other systems.
(7) The general integrity and potential leakage areas of walls, window areas, doors, and duct systems.
(8) The solar control efficiency of existing windows.
(b) A Home Energy Rating System (HERS) California home energy audit pursuant to regulations adopted by the Energy Commission in compliance with Section 25942 of the Public Resources Code.
(1) The HERS California home inspection report accompanying any home inspection report defined in Section 7194.5 shall comply with the standards and requirements established by the Energy Commission for HERS California home energy audits as specified in Article 8 (commencing with Section 1670) of Chapter 4 of Division 2 of Title 20 of the California Code of Regulations, implementing the California Home Energy Rating System Program.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that a HERS California home energy audit may, at the request of the client, be performed by a home inspector who meets the requirements of Article 8 (commencing with Section 1670) of Chapter 4 of Division 2 of Title 20 of the California Code of Regulations.
(c) If the inspections prescribed by this section are requested by the client, the home inspector’s failure to adhere to these provisions constitutes a cause for disciplinary action.

7194.5.
 A home inspection report is a written report prepared for a fee and issued after a home inspection. The report shall clearly describe and identify the inspected systems, structures, or components of the dwelling, any material defects identified, and any recommendations regarding the conditions observed or recommendations for evaluation by appropriate persons.

7194.6.
 (a) A home inspection report shall include the following:
(1) If issued for a dwelling with a pool or spa, an identification of which, if any, of the seven drowning prevention safety features listed in subdivision (a) of Section 115922 of the Health and Safety Code the pool or spa is equipped with and shall specifically state if the pool or spa has fewer than two of the listed drowning prevention safety features.
(2) If issued in response to a home inspector’s observation of any shade of yellow corrugated stainless steel tubing, identification of the observation and the following notification: “Manufacturers of yellow corrugated stainless steel tubing believe that yellow corrugated stainless steel tubing is safer if properly bonded and grounded as required by the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Proper bonding and grounding of this product can only be determined by a licensed electrical contractor.”
(A) For the purposes of this subdivision, “corrugated stainless steel tubing” means a flexible, stainless steel pipe used to supply natural gas and propane in residential, commercial, and industrial structures.
(b) A violation of this section is a cause for disciplinary action.

7194.7.
 A home inspection report may include an irrigation system inspection report prepared by either a home inspector or certified landscape irrigation auditor, for the purposes of improving landscape water use and irrigation efficiency on a parcel containing an in-ground landscape irrigation system, the operation of which is under the exclusive control of the owner or occupant of the dwelling. In those cases, the report may contain any or all of the following:
(a) Examination of the irrigation system controller, if present, noting observable defects in installation or operation, or both.
(b) Activation of each zone or circuit providing irrigation water to turf grass, noting malfunctions observed in the operation of each of the following:
(1) The irrigation valve.
(2) Visible irrigation supply piping.
(3) Sprinkler heads and stems.
(c) During activation of the system pursuant to subdivision (b), observation of any of the following during the period of operation, in minutes, specified in the report:
(1) Irrigation spray being directed to hardscape.
(2) Irrigation water leaving the irrigated area as surface runoff.
(3) Ponding of irrigation water on the surface of the irrigated area.
(4) Notation whether inspection is limited due to snow, ice, or other site conditions that impede an inspection.
(d) Notwithstanding any other law, a sanction or penalty regarding prohibited hours, days, or effects of operation of a landscape irrigation system shall not be levied upon either the home inspector, the landscape irrigation auditor, the occupant, or the owner of a property by any state or local agency or water purveyor as a consequence of the operation of a landscape irrigation system for the purpose of an irrigation system inspection carried out under this section.
(e) A home inspector is encouraged to provide information or access to information regarding water-efficient landscape irrigation systems within the home inspection report.
(f) To the extent funds are available, the Department of Water Resources, in consultation with the California Real Estate Inspection Association and the Department of Housing and Community Development, shall compile an estimate of the number of properties for which an irrigation system inspection report has been prepared each year, beginning with 2018, for inclusion in an update to the California Water Plan. .

7194.8.
 (a) An inspection agreement is a written contract signed by the client that outlines the standards and work to be performed by the home inspector and any limitations. An inspection subject to this chapter shall not be conducted without an inspection agreement as required by this section. The inspection agreement shall meet the following requirements:
(1) Be signed by the client.
(2) Set forth the standards and work to be performed by the home inspector.
(3) Provide the name and license number of the home inspector.
(4) Include the following statement: “THE HOME INSPECTOR WILL NOT DETERMINE AND THE REPORT PROVIDED UPON COMPLETION OF THE HOME INSPECTION WILL NOT CONTAIN A DETERMINATION OF WHETHER THE HOME OR COMPONENTS AND/OR SYSTEMS OF THE HOME THAT HAVE BEEN INSPECTED CONFORM TO LOCAL OR STATE BUILDING CODE REQUIREMENTS.”
(5) An inspection report shall be provided to the client by the date set forth in the inspection agreement and, in the event that the agreement does not set forth a date by which the report shall be provided to the client, the home inspector shall provide the report to the client no later than five days following the completion of the home inspection.
(b) A violation of this section is a cause for disciplinary action.

7194.9.
 (a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to allow home inspectors who are not registered engineers to perform any analysis of the systems, components, or structural integrity of a dwelling that would constitute the practice of civil, electrical, or mechanical engineering, or to exempt a home inspector from Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 5500), Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 6700), Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000), or Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 8500) of Division 3.
(b) This chapter does not apply to a registered engineer, licensed land surveyor, or licensed architect acting pursuant to their professional registration or license, nor does it affect the obligations of a real estate licensee or transferor under Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 1102) of Chapter 2 of Title 4 of Part 3 of Division 2 of, or Article 2 (commencing with Section 2079) of Chapter 3 of Title 6 of Part 4 of Division 3 of, the Civil Code.

Article  3. Licensing

7195.
 (a) Unless expressly exempt from licensure under Section 7194.9, a person shall not act or hold oneself out as a home inspector, or assume or use the title, designation, or abbreviation of a licensed home inspector, by advertisement or otherwise, unless that person is licensed as a home inspector in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(b) A person who willfully violates this provision is guilty of a public offense punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the imprisonment and fine.
(c) For the purposes of this section, “advertisement” means a communication or dissemination within this state directed to the general public by television, radio or internet, or by any print medium including newspaper or other publication or advertising device; or any card, contract proposal, sign, billboard, lettering on vehicles registered in this or any other state, brochure, pamphlet circular, newspaper, magazine, airwave or any electronic transmission, or any form of directory under any listing denoting, “home inspection,” “home inspector,” or any word or words of a similar import or meaning requesting any work for which a license is required by the Home Inspectors License Law.

7195.3.
 (a) The chief shall adopt regulations governing the process and the procedure of applying for a license through license issuance, which shall include, but not be limited to, necessary experience or education, equivalency, and minimum requirements of the National Home Inspector Certification Council and California Real Estate Inspection Association, if any. The chief shall, by regulation, require the application for a home inspector license to include the applicant’s social security number or individual taxpayer identification number. In adopting these regulations, the chief shall consider and promote the requisite skills and qualifications necessary for a licensee to provide safe and effective services to the public.
(b) The chief shall prescribe by regulation equivalent courses and equivalent experience to implement this section.
(c) In evaluating the experience of any applicant for a license, regardless of the number of hours required of that applicant, the chief shall apply the same standards to the experience of all applicants.
(d) The bureau shall issue a license, the form and content of which shall be determined by the chief in accordance with Section 164. In addition, the bureau shall issue a “Certificate of Licensure” to any licensee , upon request and upon payment of any fees as provided in this chapter.
(e) The bureau shall not issue a license to an applicant who is less than 18 years of age or does not possess a high school diploma.

7195.5.
 The chief shall adopt regulations governing the imposition of any conditions on the maintenance of a home inspector license once issued, which shall include, but not be limited to, continuing education, minimal financial or insurance requirements, and any license maintenance requirements of the National Home Inspector Certification Council and California Real Estate Inspection Association. In adopting these regulations, the chief shall consider and promote the requisite skills and qualifications necessary for a licensee to provide safe and effective services to the public.

7195.7.
 (a) A license issued under this chapter shall expire two years from the last day of the month in which the license is issued, or two years from the date on which the renewed license last expired.
(b) (1) An expired license may be renewed upon the filing of an application for renewal and payment of the renewal fee within 30 days after its expiration.
(2) If a license is renewed more than 30 days after its expiration, the licensee, as a condition prior to renewal, shall also pay the late delinquency fee as set forth in this chapter.
(3) A license that has expired and has not been renewed for a period of 12 months shall be terminated.
(c) The bureau shall establish by regulation the form and content of the license renewal and provisions for the voluntary inactivation of a license.

Article  4. Revenue

7196.
 (a) The Home Inspectors License Fund is hereby established within the State Treasury. Moneys in the fund shall be used, upon appropriation by the Legislature, by the department for the administration of this chapter.
(b) All moneys, including fines or penalties imposed under this chapter, collected pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited into the fund.

7196.5.
 The bureau may set reasonable fees by regulation. These fees shall be set according to the following schedule:
(a) The fee for an application for an original home inspector license shall not exceed one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175).
(b) The fee for the renewal of a home inspector license shall not exceed seventy-five dollars ($75).
(c) The fee for a certificate of licensure shall not exceed twenty-five dollars ($25).
(d) The fee for inactive status shall not exceed twenty-five dollars ($25).
(e) The delinquency fee for reactivation of an expired license shall not exceed 50 percent of the renewal fee in effect on the date of expiration.
(f) The replacement fee for a lost or destroyed certificate of license shall not exceed ten dollars ($10).

Article  5. Disciplinary Proceedings

7197.
 (a) The chief may upon their own motion or through a designee, and shall upon the verified complaint in writing of any person, investigate the actions of any applicant for a home inspector license or a home inspector within the state. The chief may deny the licensure or the renewal of licensure of, or cite, temporarily suspend, or permanently revoke any license, if the applicant or licensee commits any one or more of the acts or omissions constituting causes for disciplinary action in this chapter.
(b) For the purposes of this section, with respect to administrative proceedings or hearings to suspend or revoke a home inspector license, the chief at all times shall have the burden of proof to establish by clear and convincing evidence that they are entitled to the relief sought in the petition.

7197.1.
 (a) A complaint against a licensee alleging commission of any patent acts or omissions that may be grounds for legal action shall be filed in writing with the chief within four years after the act or omission alleged as the ground for the disciplinary action.
(b) The proceedings under this article shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and the chief shall have all the powers granted therein.

7197.2.
 The decision may:
(a) Provide for the immediate complete suspension by the licensee of all operations as a home inspector during the period fixed by the decision.
(b) Impose upon the licensee compliance with such specific conditions as may be just in connection with the licensee’s operations as a home inspector disclosed at the hearing and may further provide that until such conditions are complied with, no application for restoration of the suspended or revoked license shall be accepted by the bureau.

7197.5.
 If, upon investigation, the chief has probable cause to believe that a licensee, or an applicant for a license under this chapter, has committed any acts or omissions which are grounds for denial, revocation, or suspension of license, the chief may, in lieu of proceeding pursuant to this article, issue a citation to the licensee or applicant. Each citation shall be in writing and shall describe with particularity the nature of the violation, including a reference to the provisions alleged to have been violated. In addition, each citation may contain an order of correction fixing a reasonable time for correction of the violation or an order, against the licensee only, for payment of a specified sum to an injured party in lieu of correction, and may contain an assessment of a civil penalty.

7197.7.
 (a) Any licensee or applicant for licensure served with a citation pursuant to Section 7197.5, may appeal to the chief within 15 working days from service of the citation with respect to violations alleged by the chief, correction periods, amount of penalties, and the reasonableness of the change required by the chief to correct the condition.
(b) If a licensee or applicant for licensure notifies the chief that they intend to contest a citation issued under Section 7197.5, the chief shall afford an opportunity for a hearing. The chief shall thereafter issue a decision, based on findings of fact, affirming, modifying, or vacating the citation or penalty, or directing other appropriate relief. The proceedings under this section shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and the chief shall have all the powers granted therein.

7197.9.
 A willful departure in any material respect of a home inspector who is not licensed as a general contractor, structural pest control operator, or architect, or registered as a professional engineer, from accepted standards of practice and codes of ethics of the California Real Estate Inspection Association, the American Society of Home Inspectors, or other nationally recognized professional home inspection associations constitutes a cause for disciplinary action.

Article  6. Operative Date
Article  6. 

7197.12.
 This chapter shall become operative on January 1, 2023.

SEC. 8.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.