The TREC Commissioners met on August 9th in Austin. There were a few inspector-related items that were on their agenda. The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the new revisions to the Standards of Practice that have been in the works for the last few years. The new Standards of Practice will go into effect on February 1, 2022. This should allow for adequate time for licensees and education providers to become familiar with these standards prior to their implementation. As a result, the new Standard Report Form 7-6 was also approved. This new form can be used as of September 1, 2021, on a voluntary basis. The form will be required to be used as of February 1, 2022.
These changes have been in the works for over three years. I want to thank the IAC committee members, public members that assisted throughout the process, and those that submitted public comments through TREC’s new online public comment tool. I also wanted to thank the Commissioners for their involvement in this process as well. Many of the Commissioners took an active part in these discussions and revisions, which helped this process go quite smoothly for everyone involved. As always, the TREC staff went above and beyond to help make the changes and suggestions a reality, of which there were many. Again, thank you to everyone involved for the time and effort put into this.
A small modification was made to the rule regarding receiving compensation for the referral of a non-settlement service. The change was made to ensure that any approval from a client for such a fee must be obtained in writing. RESPA and TREC rules still prohibit brokerages, inspectors, and other licensees from requiring a fee in order to be included on any type of preferred vendor list. Please refer directly to the TREC rules for clarification, which can be found here.
A clarification was made to the Commissioners as well in regard to the fact that inspectors that perform inspections on properties that are a part of, or subject to, a sales transaction must do so in full compliance with the Standards of Practice. This includes performing all of the required items to be inspected and also having the Standard Report Form used. There has been a growing number of inspectors that are performing “walk-through” or “consultation” inspections, which consist of a short walk-through of the property and a quick verbal recap of any findings. This is a potential violation of TREC rules and that may result in disciplinary action.