The Inspector Committee had a full agenda for its April meeting. The meeting was accompanied by the newest appointments to the Inspector Committee, as well as the incoming General Counsel for the Real Estate Commission, Chelsea Buchholtz. There was also significant representation from multiple trade associations and education providers as well.
The Education Subcommittee forwarded its recommendations in regard to the new education requirements for the paths to licensure to become an inspector. These changes apply to inspector education rules 535.209, 535.212, and 535.213. The Inspector Committee reviewed the recommendations of the subcommittee, and it has recommended approval by the Commission at their May meeting. There will be an opportunity for interested parties to make comments or suggestions based on the current recommendations prior to these changes going into effect. The soonest that these changes would go into effect would be January 1, 2020, in order to give ample time for education providers to make the necessary modifications to their curriculum.
These changes represent a substantial number of hours put in by the Education Subcommittee and staff at the TREC. Based on information obtained from recent licensees, statistical data from providers and National and State test metrics, a path to licensure that was focused more on quality rather than quantity was chosen in order to best equip a new inspector with the proper amount of education while providing the best protection for the consumer. This was a substantial undertaking by the subcommittee, and their efforts are greatly appreciated.
The proposed updates to the Legal/Ethics 4-hour course were discussed and will be up for approval by the Commission at its May meeting. This 4-hour course must be updated every two years. The previous version was the first to be written through a cooperating effort between the Inspector Committee, staff, and the TAMU Real Estate Center. Based on feedback from providers in the last two years, several modifications were made to the course that will help providers with a clearer course outline, more focused timelines, different case studies to encourage dialogue between the instructor and the student.
The Professional Conduct and Ethics rule (535.220) was modified to more clearly reflect RESPA and other guidelines, as they relate to service providers. A proposed rule will be before the Commissioners at their May meeting that would duplicate the rules for brokers and salespersons that is already in existence for inspectors. This is an effort to make the rules consistent across all license holders as it relates to paying for inclusion on a list of service providers and the benefits and/or restrictions therein.
The Inspector Committee proposed a modification of the rule that relates to the timely delivery of an inspection report (535.222) to reflect that the report must first be paid for prior to delivery of the report. Previously, the inspector was required to deliver the report within 3 days. With the proposed rule, being that the rule will specify that the report must be paid for first, the time frame in which an inspector must deliver the report will be shortened to 2 days from the time of payment.
Another proposed change (535.218) to allow inspectors to receive up to 4 hours of CE per license period for attending any of the meetings of the full Inspector Committee will also be proposed. Previously, this rule only applied to the February meeting. The next meeting of the IAC will be on July 15th at 10 am at the TREC Conference Room at the Stephen F. Austin Building in Austin. All interested parties can attend the Inspector Committee meeting in July or subcommittee meetings. Meeting dates, times, agenda and related materials are posted on the TREC website.