After postponing consideration of proposed changes to inspector insurance requirements at their November 2017 meeting, TREC took no action on the proposed rule amendments and remanded the matter to the Real Estate Inspector Committee at the Commission’s February 2018 meeting. TREC asked the Inspector Committee to gather input from stakeholders on all consumer recovery issues and bring recommendations on potential legislative solutions to the Commission for consideration at a future Commission meeting.
At its meeting on February 26, 2018, the Inspector Committee accepted this charge from the Commission and convened a Working Group that includes all members of the Inspector Committee and representatives from two of the largest inspector trade associations, the Texas Association of Real Estate Inspectors (TAREI) and the Texas Professional Real Estate Inspector Association (TPREIA), to listen to and consider license holder and consumer input, to discuss all possible options, and recommend potential legislative solutions to the Commission.
The Inspector Committee has tasked the Working Group to consider all consumer recovery issues, including:
- whether to retain the Real Estate Inspection Recovery Fund as a means of reimbursing consumers for actual damages caused by inspector license holders;
- whether to retain the financial responsibility requirements in §1102.1141 as an alternative recovery mechanism for consumers; and
- if the financial responsibility requirements in §1102.1141 are to be retained, whether an inspector’s use of liability limitation clauses in consumer agreements conflicts with these financial responsibility requirements.
The Working Group will hold its first meeting on March 26, 2018. This meeting is open to all stakeholders, including license holders and members of the public. To further ensure that stakeholders have the opportunity to provide input, the Working Group will also develop a survey to gather input on possible solutions before making any recommendations for consideration by the Inspector Committee.
To the extent comments have suggested that the Inspector Committee or TREC Staff has predetermined the outcome on any of the consumer recovery issues to be considered by the Working Group, such comments or suggestions are inaccurate and mischaracterize information provided to the Inspector Committee by TREC Staff at the Inspector Committee meeting on February 26th. The statements made by TREC Staff provided factual information in response to questions asked by the Inspector Committee and members of the public, including licensed inspectors, who attended the February 26th meeting. None of these statements represents a final legal determination or suggests a predetermined outcome on the part of TREC Staff, the Working Group, the Inspector Committee, or the Commission.