§ 4101 Objectives.
(a) The primary objective of the Board of Home Inspectors, to which all other objectives and purposes are secondary, is to protect the general public, specifically those persons who are the direct recipients of services regulated by this chapter, from unsafe practices and from occupational practices which tend to reduce competition or fix the price of services rendered.
(b) The secondary objectives of the Board are to maintain minimum standards of practitioner competency and to maintain certain standards in the delivery of services to the public. In meeting its objectives, the Board shall develop standards assuring professional competence; shall monitor complaints brought against practitioners regulated by the Board; shall adjudicate at informal hearings; shall promulgate rules and regulations; and shall impose sanctions where necessary against licensed practitioners.
§ 4102 Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter shall have the meanings ascribed to them under this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) "Board" shall mean the State Board of Home Inspectors established in this chapter.
(2) "Division" shall mean the State Division of Professional Regulation.
(3) "Excessive use or abuse of drugs" shall mean any use of narcotics, controlled substances, or illegal drugs without a prescription from a licensed practitioner, or the abuse of alcoholic beverage such that it impairs the ability to perform the work of a home inspector.
(4) "Home" shall mean any residential property, or manufactured or modular home, which is a single-family dwelling, duplex, triplex, quadruplex, condominium unit, or cooperative unit. The term does not include the common areas of condominiums or cooperatives.
(5) "Home inspection" shall mean a visual analysis for the purposes of providing a written professional opinion of the condition of a building and its carports and garages, any reasonably accessible installed components and the operation of the building systems, including the controls normally operated by the owner, for the following components of a residential building of 4 units or fewer: heating system; electrical system; cooling system; plumbing system; structural components; foundation; roof covering; exterior and interior components; and site aspects as they affect the building.
(6) "Licensed home inspector" shall mean a person, who has met the licensing requirements of this chapter and who holds a current, valid license issued under this chapter.
(7) "Person" shall mean an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association, joint stock company, limited partnership, limited liability company, and any other legal entity and includes a legal successor of those entities.
(8) "Personal supervision" shall mean the active oversight by the licensed home inspector of the home inspector trainee. The trainee may assist in the completion of a home inspection report, and may co-sign a home inspection report, provided that the trainee has been under the personal supervision of the licensed home inspector, and provided further that the licensed home inspector shall review and sign the home inspection report and accept total responsibility for said home inspection report.
(9) "State" shall mean the State of Delaware.
(10) "Substantially related" shall mean the nature of the criminal conduct for which the person was convicted, has a direct bearing on the fitness or ability to perform 1 or more of the duties or responsibilities necessarily related to the practice of home inspecting.
(11) "Trainee" shall mean a person who has satisfied the requirements as set forth in § 4109 of this title and any requirements as set forth in the rules and regulations as established by the Board.
§ 4103 Board of Home Inspectors; appointments; composition; qualifications; term; vacancies; suspension or removal; unexcused absences; compensation.
(a) There is created a State Board of Home Inspectors, which shall enforce and administer this chapter.
(b) The Board shall consist of 5 members, who are residents of this State, and are appointed by the Governor. Three of the 5 members shall be licensed home inspectors, 1 of which shall be a certified HUD inspector, engaged primarily in the home inspection business. The initial members of the Board required to be licensed home inspectors shall be given a reasonable amount of time after their appointment to the Board to become licensed home inspectors pursuant to the licensure requirements set forth in this chapter. Two of the 5 members shall be public members. A public member shall not be, nor ever have been, a home inspector nor a member of the immediate family of a home inspector; shall not have been employed by a home inspector or a company engaged in the practice of home inspection; shall not have a material interest in the providing of goods and services to home inspectors; nor have been engaged in an activity directly related to home inspection.
(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, each member shall serve a term of 3 years, and may succeed himself or herself for 1 additional term; provided, however, that where a member was initially appointed to fill a vacancy, such member may succeed himself or herself for only 1 additional full term. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former member. Each term of office shall expire on the date specified in the appointment; however, the member shall remain eligible to participate in board proceedings unless and until replaced by the Governor.
(d) A person, who has never served on the Board, may be appointed to the Board for 2 consecutive terms; but no such person shall thereafter be eligible for 2 consecutive appointments. No person, who has been twice appointed to the Board or who has served on the Board for 6 years within any 9-year period, shall again be appointed to the Board until an interim period of at least 1 term has expired since such person last served.
(e) Any act or vote by a person appointed in violation of this section shall be invalid. An amendment or revision of this chapter is not sufficient cause for any appointment or attempted appointment in violation of subsection (d) of this section, unless such an amendment or revision amends this section to permit such an appointment.
(f) A member of the Board shall be suspended or removed by the Governor for misfeasance, nonfeasance, malfeasance, misconduct, incompetency, or neglect of duty. A member subject to disciplinary hearing shall be disqualified from Board business until the charge is adjudicated or the matter is otherwise concluded. A member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.
(g) No member of the Board, while serving on the Board, shall hold elective office in any professional association of home inspectors; this includes a prohibition against serving as head of the professional association's political action committee (PAC).
(h) The provisions set forth in Chapter 58 of Title 29 shall apply to all members of the Board.
(i) Any member, who is absent without adequate reason for 3 consecutive meetings, or who fails to attend at least half of all regular business meetings during any calendar year, shall be guilty of neglect of duty.
(j) Each member of the Board shall be reimbursed for all expenses involved in each meeting, including travel, and in addition shall receive compensation per meeting attended in an amount determined by the Division in accordance with Del. Const. art. III, § 9.
§ 4104 Organization; meetings; officers; quorum.
(a) The Board shall hold regularly scheduled business meetings at least once in each quarter of a calendar year, and at such times as the chair deems necessary, or, at the request of a majority of Board members.
(b) The Board annually shall elect a chair and vice-chair. Each officer shall serve for 1 year and shall not succeed himself or herself for more than 2 consecutive terms.
(c) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business. No disciplinary action shall be taken without the affirmative vote of at least 3 members of the Board.
(d) Minutes of all meetings shall be maintained and the Division shall maintain copies. At any hearing where evidence is presented, a record from which a verbatim transcript can be prepared shall be made. The expense of preparing any transcript shall be incurred by the person requesting it.
§ 4105 Records.
The Division shall keep a register of all approved applications for licensed home inspectors and home inspector trainees, and complete records relating to meetings of the Board, examinations, rosters, changes and additions to the Board's rules and regulations, complaints, hearings, and such other matters as the Board shall determine. Such records shall be prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the Board.
§ 4106 Powers and duties.
(a) The Board of Home Inspectors shall have authority to:
(1) Formulate rules and regulations, with appropriate notice to those affected, including rules and regulations governing any training, experience, or educational requirements to licensure as a home inspector; all rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the procedures specified in the Administrative Procedures Act (Chapter 101 of Title 29) of this State. Each rule or regulation shall implement or clarify a specific section of this chapter;
(2) Designate the application form to be used by all applicants and process all applications;
(3) Designate the written, standardized examination to be taken by all persons applying for licensure and certification. The Board shall determine whether to use an exam that is prepared by a national entity. Applicants who qualify for licensure or certification by reciprocity shall have achieved a passing score on all parts of the designated examination or a comparable, alternative national or regional examination, if the designated examination was not available at the time of the applicant's original licensure;
(4) Evaluate the credentials of all persons applying for a license as a home inspector in this State, in order to determine whether such persons meet the qualifications for licensing set forth in this chapter;
(5) Grant licenses to, and renew licenses of, all persons who meet the qualifications for licensure and delegate license issuance to the Division for applications that meet criteria established by the Board and the Director;
(6) Register applicants as home inspector trainees;
(7) Issue temporary licenses to persons who qualify;
(8) Establish by rule and regulation continuing education standards required for license renewal;
(9) Evaluate certified records to determine whether an applicant for licensure, who previously has been licensed, certified, or registered in another jurisdiction as a home inspector, has engaged in any act or offense that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter and whether there are disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against such applicant for such acts or offenses;
(10) Refer all complaints from licensees and the public concerning licensed home inspectors or concerning practices of the Board or of the profession, to the Division for investigation pursuant to § 8735 of Title 29; and assign a member of the Board to assist the Division in an advisory capacity with the investigation of the technical aspects of the complaint;
(11) Conduct hearings and issue orders in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29; and
(12) Where it has been determined after a hearing, that penalties or sanctions should be imposed, to designate and impose the appropriate sanction or penalty.
(b) The Board of Home Inspectors shall promulgate regulations specifically identifying those crimes which are substantially related to the practice of home inspection.