The Inspector Committee held its regularly scheduled meeting on April 13th. Due to social distancing rules throughout the state, the meeting was held via teleconference. This was the first time in my tenure that this has happened. A huge thank you goes out to TREC staff for getting this put together quickly to help us all stay safe while still getting the important work done that we need to.
Commissioner Turner joined the meeting to discuss proposed changes to the Consumer Protection Notice. Commissioner Turner gave unique insight to the notice that had not come up in previous discussions. As a result, The IAC will work with Commissioner Turner to see about coming up with verbiage for the Notice that would address those concerns. Another option was also discussed to create a completely separate notice for inspectors. Currently there is one notice for both real estate licensees and inspector licensees. The committee will be reviewing the various options at its next meeting in July.
There have been proposed amendments to the qualifying education requirements in the works for quite some time now. These rules were submitted to the Governor’s Regulatory Compliance Division, which reviewed the proposed amendments to ensure that they were in line with the recent directive from the Governor’s office to reduce regulatory barriers to entry for professional industries and the Sunset requirement to streamline the inspector education requirements. Though this was one of the main goals in the proposed changes, there were some issues brought to our attention by the Governor’s office. The committee and TREC staff have reviewed those concerns from the Governor’s office, and we have either provided further explanation back to their office, or made changes to proposed rule amendments to address their concerns. . These rules will be proposed at the May TREC meeting. After the May TREC meeting, the updated rule amendments will be sent back to the Governor’s office for review. If all goes as expected and the rules are approved by Regulatory Compliance Division, they will be up for adoption at the August TREC meeting, which will allow time for public input prior to adoption.
The Attorney General sent back an opinion regarding the plumbing board’s rule regarding an unlicensed person the ability to perform a sewer line inspection. The opinion appeared to lean in the direction that the plumbing board could not restrict that to those only with a plumbing license. The question was then brought up about whether a set of standards should be set up for Professional Inspectors that may choose to perform such inspections. In an effort to ensure that sufficient time and thought go into the effects of such standards, this issue has been sent to the Standards of Practice subcommittee for review.
On TREC’s website, a licensee’s contact information is listed when one looks up their license number. With real estate licensees, this usually reflects a business address which tends to be commercial space. Since the vast majority of Professional Inspectors are sole proprietors, the address that they list as their business address may end up being their personal residence. This can potentially be a safety concern, as their personal residence addresses are listed for the public to see. TREC staff will be looking into a possible rule change to allow an inspector to either modify that address to reflect a mailing address or possibly not making that information so easily accessible on the website.
The SOP Subcommittee is scheduled to meet on Monday, May 11 at 10 am via teleconference. The next meeting of the full inspector committee is scheduled for July 20, 2020 at 10 AM.