440.97(5)(a) (a) The condition of the improvements to residential real property that contains not more than 4 dwelling units.
440.97(5)(b) (b) The condition of mechanical and structural components of the improvements specified in par. (a).
440.97(6) (6) “Home inspector" means an individual who, for compensation, conducts a home inspection.
440.97(7) (7) “Technically exhaustive" means the extensive use of measurements, instruments, testing, calculations and other means to develop scientific or engineering findings, conclusions or recommendations.
440.97 History History: 1997 a. 81.
440.971 440.971 Registry established. The department shall establish a registry of home inspectors.
440.971 History History: 1997 a. 81.
440.9712 440.9712 Registration required.
440.9712(1) (1) Except as provided in s. 440.9715, no individual may act as a home inspector, use the title “home inspector", use any title or description that implies that he or she is a home inspector or represent himself or herself to be a home inspector unless the individual is registered under this subchapter.
440.9712(1m) (1m) No business entity may provide home inspection services unless each of the home inspectors employed by the business entity is registered under this subchapter.
440.9712(2) (2) No business entity may use, in connection with the name or signature of the business entity, the title “home inspectors" to describe the business entity's services, unless each of the home inspectors employed by the business entity is registered under this subchapter.
440.9712 History History: 1997 a. 81.
440.9715 440.9715 Applicability. A registration is not required under this subchapter for any of the following:
440.9715(1) (1) An individual who conducts a home inspection while lawfully practicing within the scope of a license, permit or certificate granted to that individual by a state governmental agency.
440.9715(2) (2) An individual who constructs, repairs or maintains improvements to residential real property, if the individual conducts home inspections only as part of his or her business of constructing, repairing or maintaining improvements to real property and if the individual does not describe himself or herself as a registered home inspector or convey the impression that he or she is a registered home inspector.
440.9715(3) (3) An individual who conducts home inspections in the normal course of his or her employment as an employee of a federal, state or local governmental agency.
440.9715 History History: 1997 a. 81.
440.972 440.972 Registration of home inspectors.
440.972(1) (1) The department shall register an individual under this subchapter if the individual does all of the following:
440.972(1)(a) (a) Submits an application for registration to the department on a form provided by the department.
440.972(1)(b) (b) Pays the fee specified in s. 440.05 (1).
440.972(1)(c) (c) Submits evidence satisfactory to the department that he or she is not subject to a pending criminal charge, or has not been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or other offense, the circumstances of which substantially relate to the practice of home inspection.
440.972(1)(d) (d) Passes an examination under s. 440.973 (1).
440.972(2) (2) The renewal date for certificates granted under this section is specified under s. 440.08 (2) (a) 38g., and the renewal fee for such certificates is determined by the department under s. 440.03 (9) (a).
440.972 History History: 1997 a. 81; 2007 a. 20.
440.972 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. SPS 131, Wis. adm. code.
440.973 440.973 Examinations.
440.973(1)(1) No person may be registered under this subchapter unless he or she passes an examination approved by the department. In approving an examination under this subsection, the department shall consider the use of an examination that is similar to an examination that is required for membership in the American Society of Home Inspectors.
440.973(2) (2) The department shall conduct examinations for home inspector registration at least semiannually at times and places determined by the department.
440.973(3) (3) An individual is not eligible for examination unless the individual has satisfied the requirements for registration under s. 440.972 (1) (a) to (c) at least 30 days before the date of the examination.
440.973 History History: 1997 a. 81.
440.973 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. SPS 131, Wis. adm. code.
440.974 440.974 Rules.
440.974(1)(1) The department shall promulgate rules necessary to administer this subchapter, including rules to establish all of the following:
440.974(1)(a) (a) Standards for acceptable examination performance by an applicant for registration.
440.974(1)(b) (b) Subject to s. 440.975, standards for the practice of home inspection by home inspectors and standards for specifying the mechanical and structural components of improvements to residential real property that are included in a home inspection. The rules promulgated under this paragraph shall include standards for the inspection of carbon monoxide detectors. The rules promulgated under this paragraph may not require a home inspector to use a specified form for the report required under s. 440.975 (3).
440.974(1)(c) (c) Subject to s. 440.975, the information that a home inspector is required to provide to a client concerning the results of the home inspection conducted by the home inspector.
440.974(2) (2) The department shall promulgate rules establishing continuing education requirements for individuals registered under this subchapter. The rules promulgated under this subsection shall require the completion of at least 40 hours of continuing education every 2 years.
440.974 History History: 1997 a. 81; 2009 a. 158; 2013 a. 124.
440.974 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. SPS 131, Wis. adm. code.
440.975 440.975 Standards of practice.
440.975(1) (1) In this section, “reasonably competent and diligent inspection" means an inspection that complies with the standards established under this subchapter or the rules promulgated under this subchapter.
440.975(2) (2) A home inspector shall perform a reasonably competent and diligent inspection to detect observable conditions of an improvement to residential real property. Except for removing an access panel that is normally removed by an occupant of residential real property, this subsection does not require a home inspector to disassemble any component of an improvement to residential real property. A reasonably competent and diligent inspection under this subsection is not required to be technically exhaustive.
440.975(3) (3) After completing a home inspection, a home inspector shall submit a written report to a client that does all of the following:
440.975(3)(a) (a) Lists the components of an improvement to residential real property that the home inspector is required to inspect under the rules promulgated under s. 440.974 (1) (b).
440.975(3)(b) (b) Lists the components of an improvement to residential real property that the home inspector has inspected.
440.975(3)(c) (c) Describes any condition of an improvement to residential real property or of any component of an improvement to residential real property that is detected by the home inspector during his or her home inspection and that, if not repaired, will have a significant adverse effect on the life expectancy of the improvement or the component of the improvement.
440.975(3)(d) (d) Provides any other information that the home inspector is required to provide under the rules promulgated under s. 440.974 (1) (c).
440.975(4) (4) A home inspector is not required to report on any of the following:
440.975(4)(a) (a) The life expectancy of an improvement to residential real property or a component of an improvement to residential real property.
440.975(4)(b) (b) The cause of the need for any major repair to an improvement to residential real property or a component of an improvement to residential real property.
440.975(4)(c) (c) The method of making any repair or correction, the materials needed for any repair or correction or the cost of any repair or correction.
440.975(4)(d) (d) The suitability for any specialized use of an improvement to residential real property.
440.975(4)(e) (e) Whether an improvement to residential real property or a component of an improvement to residential real property complies with applicable regulatory requirements.
440.975(4)(f) (f) The condition of any component of an improvement to residential real property that the home inspector was not required to inspect under the rules promulgated under s. 440.974 (1) (b).
440.975(5) (5) A home inspector may not report, either in writing or verbally, on any of the following:
440.975(5)(a) (a) The market value or marketability of a property.
440.975(5)(b) (b) Whether a property should or should not be purchased.
440.975(6) (6) This section does not require a home inspector to do any of the following:
440.975(6)(a) (a) Offer a warranty or guarantee of any kind.
440.975(6)(b) (b) Calculate the strength, adequacy or efficiency of any component of an improvement to residential real property.
440.975(6)(c) (c) Enter any area or perform any procedure that may damage an improvement to residential real property or a component of an improvement to residential real property, or enter any area or perform any procedure that may be dangerous to the home inspector or to other persons.
440.975(6)(d) (d) Operate any component of an improvement to residential real property that is inoperable.
440.975(6)(e) (e) Operate any component of an improvement to residential real property that does not respond to normal operating controls.
440.975(6)(f) (f) Disturb insulation or move personal items, furniture, equipment, vegetation, soil, snow, ice or debris that obstructs access to or visibility of an improvement to residential real property or a component of an improvement to residential real property.
440.975(6)(g) (g) Determine the effectiveness of a component of an improvement to residential real property that was installed to control or remove suspected hazardous substances.
440.975(6)(h) (h) Predict future conditions, including the failure of a component of an improvement to residential real property.
440.975(6)(i) (i) Project or estimate the operating costs of a component of an improvement to residential real property.
440.975(6)(j) (j) Evaluate acoustic characteristics of a component of an improvement to residential real property.
440.975(6)(k) (k) Inspect for the presence or absence of pests, including rodents, insects and wood-damaging organisms.
440.975(6)(L) (L) Inspect cosmetic items, underground items or items not permanently installed.
440.975(6)(m) (m) Inspect for the presence of any hazardous substances.
440.975(7) (7) A home inspector may not do any of the following:
440.975(7)(a) (a) Perform or offer to perform any act or service contrary to law.
440.975(7)(b) (b) Deliver a home inspection report to any person other than the client without the client's consent.
440.975(7)(c) (c) Perform a home inspection for a client with respect to a transaction if the home inspector, a member of the home inspector's immediate family or an organization or business entity in which the home inspector has an interest, is a party to the transaction and has an interest that is adverse to that of the client, unless the home inspector obtains the written consent of the client.
440.975(7)(d) (d) Accept any compensation from more than one party to a transaction for which the home inspector has provided home inspection services without the written consent of all of the parties to the transaction.
440.975(7)(e) (e) Pay or receive, directly or indirectly, in full or in part, for a home inspection or for the performance of any construction, repairs, maintenance or improvements regarding improvements to residential real property that is inspected by him or her, a fee, a commission, or compensation as a referral or finder's fee, to or from any person who is not a home inspector.
440.975(8) (8) This section does not prohibit a home inspector from doing any of the following:
440.975(8)(a) (a) Reporting observations or conditions in addition to those required under this section or the rules promulgated under this section.
440.975(8)(b) (b) Excluding a component of an improvement to residential real property from the inspection, if requested to do so by his or her client.
440.975(8)(c) (c) Engaging in an activity that requires an occupation credential if he or she holds the necessary credential.
440.975 History History: 1997 a. 81.
440.975 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. SPS 131, Wis. adm. code.
440.976 440.976 Disclaimers or limitation of liability. No home inspector may include, as a term or condition in an agreement to conduct a home inspection, any provision that disclaims the liability, or limits the amount of damages for liability, of the home inspector for his or her failure to comply with the standards of practice prescribed in this subchapter or in rules promulgated under this subchapter.
440.976 History History: 1997 a. 81.
440.977 440.977 Liability of home inspectors.
440.977(1) (1) Notwithstanding s. 893.54, an action to recover damages for any act or omission of a home inspector relating to a home inspection that he or she conducts shall be commenced within 2 years after the date that a home inspection is completed or be barred. The period of limitation under this subsection may not be reduced by agreement.
440.977(2) (2) A home inspector is not liable to a person for damages that arise from an act or omission relating to a home inspection that he or she conducts if that person is not a party to the transaction for which the home inspection is conducted.
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2015-16 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2017 Wis. Act 58 and all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders effective on or before September 20, 2017. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after September 20, 2017 are designated by NOTES. (Published 9-20-17)