It has been New York law since 2005 that home inspectors be licensed by the Department of State. The reasons are fairly numerous, but they include the following:
- Consumer protection. Licensure is a starting point for vetting people to hire for the job.
- Oversight. The population of inspectors is no longer murky, either.
- Peace of Mind. This can be misleading, as licensed inspectors can still stink.
- Professional Standards. Making them statutory protects the consumer.
In short, it is all about the consumer. I have great respect for ASHI and professional trade organizations with their own guidelines, but licensure gives consumer protection teeth. I should add that since the law went into effect I have had very few problems with any home inspectors. I could count on one hand the number of companies I would be reticent to work with, and that is more due to alarmist communication than competence.
To look up whether or not a home inspector is licensed, check them out on the New York Department of State Website.