HOME INSPECTORS OF TENNESSEE ASSOCIATION, INC.
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE “HOME INSPECTORS OF TENNESSEE ASSOCIATION, INC.”
Accepted by the Membership in vote on November 3, 2018
This Association shall be known as “HOME INSPECTORS OF TENNESSEE ASSOCIATION, INC.”
This Association shall be incorporated under the Non-Profit Corporation Law of the State of Tennessee.
The objectives of this Association are: 1) to promote better relations between Realtors, public organizations, their agents, and the general public; 2) to maintain high professional standards, in the conduct of work; 3) to combat unfair practices; 4) to encourage efficiency among all our inspectors; 5) to encourage those methods of contracting for work – which relieve inspectors of improper risks; 6) to encourage sound businesslike methods tending to raise the standards of all inspectors generally in the business world; 7) to strive for harmonious and economically justifiable relations with employees; 8) to cooperate with other associations of its type; 9) and promote continuing education for the membership and industry.
Scope of Activities
The scope of activities of the Association and its influence and interest shall, ordinarily, unless formally undertaken and ratified, be limited to The Great State of Tennessee.
Section 1. Members. Any individual actively engaged in the home inspection business having a permanently established business in the area served by the Association shall be entitled to apply for membership as a member of this Association, subject to the provisions for admission hereinafter set forth. Any individual who is in the process of getting licensed or has an “inactive” license status with the State of Tennessee may become an Associate member of this Association subject to the provisions hereinafter set forth.
Section 2. Application for Membership. Any individual desiring to become a member of this Association shall make application on a form supplied by this Association. The application shall contain an agreement binding the applicant, if accepted to membership in this Association, to be governed by its Constitution and By-Laws and all amendments thereto; to obey and comply with all lawful agreements, decisions, orders, rules and regulations of this Association; and to pay all dues and assessments provided for and levied pursuant to these by-laws.
Section 3. Duties of the Director of Membership and Committee. It shall be the duty of the Director and Membership Committee to receive applications for membership and examine the level of membership requested and qualifications stated. If the applicant is qualified and has provided the required documentation, the membership committee shall approve individuals for membership. Any applicant that is rejected may submit a written appeal to the Board of Directors. This appeal shall be read at the next scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors.
Section 4. Qualifications of the Applicant. The Association shall consider application for membership in the Association from individuals providing the following conditions are satisfactorily met.
Or for an Associate member applicant (inactive)
D. The applicant is listed as “inactive” by the State of Tennessee and currently not doing business as a home inspector in the State of Tennessee.
Section 5. Approval of Applicant. The Membership Committee has the authority to accept or reject the application for membership. The Board of Directors shall review any appeals submitted by applicants that are rejected at their next scheduled meeting. Applicants will be notified in writing of the findings of the Board of Directors, which shall be final.
Section 6. Initiation Fees and Dues. Upon submission of application, and prior to accepting applicant as a member, the applicant shall pay to the Association dues and fees that are applicable at the time of application.
Section 7. Resignation from Membership. Any member may resign from membership in this Association by delivering to the President, Secretary or Treasurer of the Association a notice, in writing, of such intention to resign thirty (30) days in advance of the effective date of resignation; provided that, at the date of such notice, said member is not in arrears on dues or any other monies owed to this Association; and further provided that such member shall remain subject to any and all contractual obligations incurred while a member of the Association, and provided further that the membership shall vote acceptance of resignation with or without prejudice.
Section 8. Withdrawal from Membership. Any member of the Association who discontinues the business of home inspections and/or becomes employed by another individual, firm or corporation, not engaged in home inspections shall be considered as having withdrawn from the Association and shall be furnished with a letter of Withdrawal upon payment of amount due the Association. Should the withdrawn member desire reinstatement, subject to state qualifications of the Constitution and By-Laws, said person not having committed act or acts injurious to the Association, he sha1l be reinstated upon the payment of one year’s dues at rates in effect at the time of reinstatement.
Section 9. Reinstatement of Members. Any person or persons, who sever their connections with the Association for any reason, except by withdrawal, may be reinstated, by paying indebtedness upon the books of the Association, in addition to a new initiation fee. Any member reinstated by paying all past due indebtedness to the date of dropping, suspension or expulsion, and in addition must pay the required initiation fee.
Section 10. Absentee or Proxy Vote. A membership shall stand in the name of the individual. Each member may designate in writing one individual known as “designee” who shall represent the member at membership meetings with full power and authority to vote and act on behalf of such member. A member may at any time revoke the designation of such member’s designee and make a new designation. Any action taken at a regular or special meeting of members, duly called and convened, shall be binding upon all members, whether any designee fulfills such qualifications and its decision shall be binding on all persons. An Absentee or Proxy vote must be made in writing to the designated member with respect to voting instructions. The written record shall be maintained until the conclusion of the election process.
Section 11. Voting. Each member in good standing with this Association shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the members. The “designee” present at the meeting can cast votes.
Section 12. Duties of Members.
A) All members of the Association shall review a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws. It shall be the duty of each member to abide by the Constitution and By-Laws and all rules of the Association.
B) Members are required to pay dues in accordance with the rules of the Association.
C) Members of the Association are required to notify the Secretary of any change of address, in writing, within ten (10) days of such change of address.
D) Members are required, as a minimum, to perform inspections in accordance with the Standards of Practice and follow the Code of Ethics set forth by the rules and regulations of the State of Tennessee. Members are additionally required to pass an Ethics test administered by the Association biennially with at least an 80% score. New members shall be required to pass the test before obtaining full membership status. Said test shall be based on the requirements of the State of Tennessee and these By-Laws.
Section 13. Enforcement of Duties.
A) Any member charged with violation of the Constitution and By-Laws or any ruling of this Association shall be notified of the charges brought; said notice to be sent to such member at their last known email address, and “the notice” shall specify a hearing of such charges by the Board of Directors.
B) The Board of Directors shall review the charges, take any actions necessary to determine the facts and request that the member respond to the charges in writing. The Board shall vote on its recommendations for action. If the Board of Directors, passes a majority vote then the member may be censured, fined, suspended or expelled. In the event a member is found guilty of violating any part of the Constitution and By-Laws or any special rules adopted and a fine is imposed, the amount of the fine is left to the discretion of the Board of Directors.
E) When a member is suspended or expelled for non-payment of dues and desires to be reinstated in the Association, he shall first pay all dues owed to the Association by him at the time of his suspension, plus dues for the current year plus penalties, as voted by the Board of Directors and approved by the Membership.
The officers of the Association shall consist of a President, a Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and seven (7) Directors elected from the general membership of the Association. Attempt should be made to have (3) Director positions filled from the East, Middle and West regions of the State respectively if possible. The remaining unfilled Director positions may be from any region.
The additional 4 directors are to perform the duties of Director at Large, Membership Director, Education Director and Social Media Director.
Originally the board consisted of the officers and (4) board members. The additional (3) board members were voted into existence by the members present at the August 4, 2018 annual business meeting.
Election of Officers
Section 1. The Officers and Directors shall be chosen biennially by ballot at the first regular summer meeting or by electronic means if no summer meeting is held. The person or persons, as the case may be, receiving a majority of the votes rightfully cast, shall be declared elected. No member of the Association shall be eligible to hold office unless he is in good standing on the day of nomination, and has been a member of the Association for a period of six (6) months. In addition, all nominees for Officer positions must have previously held a position as an Officer or a Director for at least one year. There is no additional requirement for a member to be a Director.
The Election Committee shall be responsible for obtaining candidates for Officers and Directors. They should seek to obtain at least 2 candidates for each position if possible. The Election Committee shall report to the Board of Directors the list of proposed candidates at the meeting immediately preceding the annual elections. The ballots shall be produced based on these nominations. There will also be a request for any nominations from the floor at the time of the election, any of which will be written in to the ballots prior to the election.
The Officers and Directors shall serve for a term of two years until the next biennial election.
The term of office for all officers and board members was originally one year. The length of the elected term was officially changed to two years at the August 4, 2018 annual business meeting.
Section 2: Any Officer, Director, or Chairperson of a Standing Committee of the Association absenting himself for three (3) meetings in succession, except in the case of illness or other valid reason, shall have his position declared vacant by the Board of Directors and filled by appointment of the President with the approval of a majority of the Board. The requirement for waiting for three (3) meetings in succession to be missed prior to being declared vacant is waived in the event a member becomes incapable of performing their duties.
President: The President shall have general management of the Association, subject to the Constitution and By-Laws.
The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association, appoint all committees not otherwise provided for, see that the Constitution and By-Laws are enforced and generally perform such duties as his position demands.
The President shall have the power to appoint in his discretion any committee between regular meetings he deems necessary for the benefit of the Association, reporting same at the next regular meeting.
Vice-President: During the absence or disability of the President, the Vice-President shall have similar duties and powers.
Secretary: The Secretary shall be responsible for the keeping of the minutes of each meeting, any correspondence of the Association, and any records of attendance, and any other matters concerning the day-to-day functions of the Association.
Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping regular books of accounts that are necessary; he shall countersign such instruments as require his signature; and shall perform all duties incidental to this office.
Directors of East, West, Middle, At Large: These positions shall be responsible for their respective districts and address concerns by the members. Concerns shall be taken to the board for consideration where appropriate. The Director at Large shall address concerns from all three regions and assist each regional director in their tasks.
Director of Education: The Director of Education shall work to secure continuing education meeting locations and education credits at each quarterly meeting and for the Home Inspector Expo. The director may also appoint one (1) or more members as a committee to enhance the quality of speakers, locations, and educational needs. The Director of Education shall also work with the State of TN to gain approval and pay fees for education classes.
Director of Membership: The Director of Membership shall work to maintain the roster of active members of the association. The position also requires auditing the submission of reports to the Standards of Practice for Tennessee when members request upgrades to HITA Certified Inspector or HITA Master Inspector. The Director may also appoint on (1) or more members to assist with this position and the requirements of the job.
Director of Social Media: The Director of Social Media shall be responsible for the website, forum, and blog. Changes to these media shall be completed in a timely manner with regard to constraints in budget and internet access. The Director may also appoint on (1) or more members to assist with this position and the requirements of the job.
All Officers and Directors: To promote the Association throughout the state: To establish chapters of the Association where adequate membership is available, thereby reducing unnecessary travel and hardship upon membership. Area chapters are to operate within the requirements set forth for the state Association.
Board of Directors: The Board of Directors shall be composed of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and seven (7) additional members to be elected from the membership of the Association. The Secretary shall serve as Secretary at the Board of Director’s meeting. The Board shall have general supervision and authority over the conduct of the affairs of the Association, and its decision and acts shall be final and binding upon the Association unless reversed or suspended by a vote of the Association at the meeting following such action or decision. It shall meet upon the call of its Chairman or two (2) of the members. A quorum of the Board shall compromise not fewer than six (6) of its members. The Board shall elect a Chairman at its first meeting by majority vote.
The Standing Committees of the Association shall be appointed by the President, unless hereinafter provided, as soon as convenient after the election, and the members of these committees shall continue to serve during the ensuing year until their respective successors have been appointed, unless sooner relieved from service by order of the President or Board of Directors. All Committee Members shall be from its active membership and be in good standing at the time of appointment. In event of a vacancy, the President shall immediately appoint a successor. The Board of Directors shall have power to remove members of committees if they find it expedient. The following shall be Standing Committees:
Marketing Committee: Consisting of two (2) or more members, which shall devise means and ways to grow the membership of the Association and obtain cooperation of other organizations and individuals in the furtherance of Association purposes and objectives.
Changes and Amendments Committee: Consisting of two (2) or more members, which shall study any proposed changes or amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws and make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding same. All changes approved by the Board of Director’s shall be presented to the Membership at the next business meeting and approved upon a two thirds (2/3’s) vote of the members voting.
Election Committee: Consisting of two (2) or more members, this committee shall attempt to identify at least two (2) candidates for each Officer and Director position. They shall ensure that the candidates are qualified to hold the respective position and present their recommendations at the Board meeting immediately preceding the annual business meeting when the election is held.
Section 1: The dues of the Association and rules and regulations for reports in connection with computation of dues and payment of same, are established by the board of directors. The initial dues may, however, be determined by the members present at the organization meeting or any subsequent meeting of the Charter Members of the Association, upon three-fourths vote of the Charter Members. Dues may be prorated for new members who are approved and join the association between actual annual dues dates.
Section 2: The dues and assessments as set up and approved shall be used only for Association expenses, educational funds or other expenses for the good of the Association.
Section 3: All monies of the Association shall be deposited in such bank as shall be designated by the Board of Directors and shall be withdrawn upon such signatures and upon such terms as may be approved by the Board of Directors. However, if the Association has a surplus of funds, these funds may be invested as empowered by the Board of Directors.
Section 4: An annual review of the finances and accounts of the Association shall be made by an entity appointed by the Board of Directors of the Association at the end of each fiscal year.
The Association shall have the power to purchase, lease, hold, sell, mortgage or otherwise acquire, or dispose of real or personal property; to enter into, make, perform, or carry out contracts of every kind, with any firm, person, corporation, or association; to do acts necessary and expedient for carrying on any or all of the objects and purposes of the Association not forbidden by its Constitution and By-Laws or the laws of the State of Tennessee, or of the United States, but only through the duly elected officers of the Association.
Section 1: The regular meetings of the Association shall be held at least semi-annually at the time and place selected by the Association. Special meetings may be called by the President or Directors or at the written request of three (3) members.
Section 2: Meetings of this Association shall be conducted according to parliamentary procedure stated by Robert’s Rules of Order.
Section 3: After the President has called the meeting to order, the following order of business should be observed:
1. Roll call to determine if a quorum is present.
Section 4: At special meetings, the order of business shall be as follows:
Membership, Certification, Designations, and Affiliates
Section 1. An individual seeking full membership and/or Certification with HOME INSPECTORS OF TENNESSEE ASSOCIATION, INC. shall:
Not act in any capacity of a Real Estate Appraisal or Appraiser, Real Estate Agent or Broker, Closing Agent/Attorney, a Real Estate Title Company or Employee, an Agent or Employee of a Lending Institution, Agency, Contractor or Company for any property transaction that has been or will be inspected by the member ninety days prior to applying for, nor at any time while holding said membership and/or certification.
In addition to the requirements of Article V, meet the requirements for the appropriate level of membership desired as specified in remainder of this Article below.
Section 2. HITA Inspector
All Inspector applicants will join as HITA Inspectors. A HITA Inspector is a Home Inspector licensed by the state of Tennessee and is in the process of fulfilling the requirements of a Certified Home Inspector designated below, but has not yet obtained certification. HITA Inspectors in the Association do not have all privileges granted to Certified Inspectors. This includes, but is not limited to, use of any certified inspectors insignia and/or logos by the Association. A HITA Inspector is not allowed to advertise as a certified member. This privilege is reserved for HITA Certified Inspectors ONLY.
Section 3. HITA Certified Inspector
The HITA member applying for the HITA Certified Inspector designation must have been licensed in the State of Tennessee for a minimum of 24 consecutive months, performed a minimum of one-hundred fee paid home inspections and pass the Peer Review Process. The protocol for the Peer Review Process is determined by the Director of Membership and its Committee which may be changed and/or updated, as needed, with the approval of the HITA Board of Directors.
Section 4. HITA Master Inspector
The HITA member applying for the HITA Master Inspector designation must have been licensed in the State of Tennessee for a minimum of 60 consecutive months, performed a minimum of five-hundred fee paid home inspections and pass the Peer Review Process. The protocol of the Peer Review Process is determined by the Director of Membership and its Committee which may be changed and/or updated, as needed, with the approval of the HITA Board of Directors.
A HITA Master Inspector shall promote the home inspection industry, counsel, encourage and offer guidance to all members of the Home Inspectors of Tennessee Association. A HITA Master Inspector shall always conduct themselves in a manner as to project honesty, integrity and professionalism.
Section 5: Affiliate Members
Affiliate memberships of the Association do not have any privileges granted to HITA or HITA Advanced Certification Memberships. Affiliate memberships are for those individuals who seek to be informed about the home inspection industry and are typically in trades, fields of endeavor or other industries related to real estate. Affiliate members are entitled to receive all correspondence, attend all meetings and training sessions of the association at the same cost levels afforded to HITA or HITA Certified Memberships. Affiliate membership levels and fees shall be set by the Board of Directors.
Section 6. All Member Inspectors:
Each Inspector is held responsible for the quality of the inspections and resulting reports; said Inspector shall be liable for only the inspections they performed.
Failure to adhere to the requirements set forth herein will result in litigations before HOME INSPECTORS OF TENNESSEE ASSOCIATION, INC. and could result in expulsion from said Association.
Section 7. Continuing Education:
A Continuing Education Program should include every aspect of the “Residential Inspection”. The Professional Residential Inspector must be versed in not only the mechanics involved, but also the verbal language, written analysis, and Professional Ethics as required by THE HOME INSPECTORS OF TENNESSEE ASSOCIATION, INC. Successful completion of sixteen (16) hours approved by HITA is required every two (2) years effective September 1992. Thus the following criteria are suggested:
a) DO’S AND DON’T’S
b) HEALTH AND SAFETY
c) LIABILITIES CREATED DURING INSPECTION
b) DESCRIPTION OF THE INSPECTION STYLE
c) PROTECTING LIABILITIES AFTER THE INSPECTION
d) PROFESSIONAL ETHICS OF REPORTING
Section 8. Associate Members:
Associate memberships of the Association do not have any privileges granted to HITA or HITA Advanced Certification Memberships. Associate memberships are for those individuals who have an inactive state license and are seeking to obtain continuing education credits. Associate members are entitled to receive all correspondence, attend all meetings and training sessions of the association at the same cost levels afforded to HITA or HITA Advanced Certification Memberships. Associate membership levels and fees shall be set by the Board of Directors.
All proposed changes or amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws shall be submitted by three members of the Association and said proposed change will thereupon be referred to the Committee on Changes and Amendments for study and thereafter will make its report to the Association as to whether the Change should be adopted. The change will then be called for a vote and the majority will either reject or adopt the same.
The foregoing Constitution and By-Laws having been approved in regular meeting of the Association, by the members of THE HOME INSPECTORS OF TENNESSEE ASSOCIATION, INC. are hereby adopted as the Constitution and By-Law for this Association,
Official Roll of the Association
Each member of the Association does hereby agree to abide by the Constitution and By-Laws of this Association and all amendments thereto and there shall be an official Copy of the Constitution and By-Laws of this Association, and all members thereto, kept in the custody of the Secretary.