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The Texas Real Estate Commission’s Enforcement Division has 37 people—10 attorneys, legal assistants, and investigators. They enforce the laws and rules that regulate real estate brokers, sales agents, real estate inspectors, and timeshare plans, through the investigation of consumer complaints. They also review the fitness of an applicant for licensure.

The only way enforcement can initiate an investigation is through a filed complaint, which can be done by anyone.

In 2023, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) opened 6,307 enforcement cases. 86 of those involved inspectors.

The Commission has jurisdiction to investigate a complaint that is filed within four years from the date of inspection. Because of this, inspectors should maintain copies of the inspection report in a format this is readily available. Also, keep photos, emails, and other documents. They may serve as further evidence that could help an inspector’s case.

Common Inspector Violations

  • Using the wrong report form (Property Inspection Report form here).
  • Conducting an inspection with an expired/inactive license.
  • Failure to register a business name (DBA).
  • Engaging in false/misleading advertising.
  • Failure to note in report the reason a system of a component was not inspected.
  • Failure to report a deficiency.
  • Performing an inspection in a negligent/incompetent manner.
  • Failure to render a written opinion as to the foundation performance.
  • Failure to provide vantage point from which crawlspace was inspected.
  • Failure to report evidence of water penetration.

How Should I Respond to a Complaint Filed Against Me?

  • Cooperate with the investigation.
  • Provide organized records and documents.
  • Share any corrective actions made since.
  • Cite any applicable Texas Real Estate Commission rules or standards of practice in response and provide the investigator a written chronology/timeline of events.

Tips to Avoid a Complaint

  • Kindness may avoid a complaint. Remember, consumers may be emotional about the inspection process.
  • Be competent. Have the necessary education, training, and experience to perform an inspection.
  • Be careful. Leave the property in the same condition as it was upon arrival.
  • Be clear. Inspectors are required to explain findings in the corresponding section of the report. Anything incorrect, incomplete, unclear, or confusing is a frequent cause a consumer files a complaint.