The Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee met via teleconference on July 20th. The agenda was reasonably short this time around. The education rules which change the pre-licensure process were proposed at the previous Commission meeting, and they have gone through the public comment period. After considering the comments received, the Inspector Committee voted to forward the rules as proposed, along with some non-substantive changes made as a result of questions raised by the Governor’s office, to the Commissioners for approval at their meeting in August. Prior to the rules going to the Commissioners, the rules as amended will be sent to the Governor’s office for a final review to ensure that they are in line with their directives.
The Standards of Practice Subcommittee has been working diligently in their current review of the Standards. The committee’s goal is to get all of the changes put together in one package, and then submit them to the full IAC for public comment and approval. The SOP subcommittee should have the review of the Standards completed by the end of the year.
Amendments to the Consumer Protection Notice were also discussed at the meeting. Some additional verbiage was added to the Notice to ensure that the public was aware that inspectors may limit their liability within their own inspection agreements. There was also a discussion about whether there should be a separate Notice for inspectors and one for brokers/agents. The committee decided to simply amend the notice, as that is the best way to ensure that consumers are provided the relevant information that they would need, regardless of whether they saw the Notice at a broker’s office or at an inspector’s office. The new Consumer Protection Notice was voted on and forwarded to the Commissioners for consideration at their August meeting.
The plumbing board has recommended amending the rule that prohibits anyone other than licensed plumbers to perform sewer scope tests. The opinion from the Attorney General’s office indicated that the plumbing board’s restriction on that ability to test could be challenged, but did not outright invalidate that rule. While the plumbing board goes through the process to amend the rule to remove the prohibition, the prohibition is still in in effect. Any amendment to the rule to allow other persons to scope sewer lines will likely not be finalized until September 1 at the earliest, and we look forward to clarification that should be coming from the plumbing board.
On TREC’s website, a license holder’s business address is listed. For most brokerages, that isn’t much of a concern. That may not be as accurate for inspectors. Since most inspectors are sole proprietors, the address that is listed as their business address is often their home address. This could pose a safety risk having their home addresses listed for the public to see. TREC staff recognizes the potential concern here, and they will be working on a possible policy change to address that concern in the future.
The next meeting of the Inspector Advisory Committee will be on October 12th at 10am. This will also likely be a teleconference meeting as well. All license holders and the public are encouraged to attend.