WINFIELD, W.Va. -- A Putnam County judge agreed Monday to let a home inspection company operate in Hurricane, at least temporarily, after the company argued it was unfairly denied a city business license and one of its employees was fined.
Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers granted a temporary injunction Monday against the Hurricane city ordinance, passed earlier this year.
According to the complaint, Advantage Home Environment and Inspection Services Inc. was denied a business license in Hurricane and one of its employees was cited and fined because the ordinance makes it "unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to perform building inspections, either residential or commercial, without proper certification from the International Code Council (ICC) and the West Virginia Fire Marshal's Office."
According to attorney Henry Glass, who represented the company, there are nearly 120 home inspection companies operating in the state, and none is required by state law to have ICC certification.
The ICC certification is required for code enforcement and inspections, Glass said, but "home inspection is a totally different animal.
"[Home inspectors] have no obligation to report to anybody as to whether a particular dwelling is within code," Glass said. "They're doing a broad, thorough inspection of the dwelling concerning its general inhabitability, the suitability of it for a prospective buyer, things of that nature.
"What the city has done is basically usurped the power and authority exclusively reserved by the state Fire Commission."