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Our license holders are governed by the Texas Real Estate License Act, the Inspector Act, the Residential Service Company Act, and the Timeshare Act. These Acts establish the makeup of the Commission and its advisory committees and outline procedures by which a person can become real estate license holders in Texas. The Acts also describe TREC’s jurisdiction over license holders and registrants.

TREC has the authority to adopt administrative rules to provide specificity to provisions of the Acts. TREC may also adopt rules to establish policy regarding certain practices. Both the Acts and TREC rules are a great resource for helping consumers know what to expect from a real estate service provider.

TREC Rules

The tables below show all of our recently proposed and adopted rules. Written comments on proposed rules are accepted for 30 days after publication in the Texas Register. After that period, comments can be made in person at the next Commission meeting. Please send written comments to TREC's general.counsel@trec.texas.gov. For the complete version of our current rules go to:

Emergency Adopted Rules

Rule Number Rule Name Proposed Date Effective Date Summary Attachment(s)
22 TAC §535.154 Advertising 08/07/2017 09/01/2017

The amendments are adopted on an emergency basis to align the rules with statutory changes in SB 2212 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective September 1, 2017.

The amendments eliminate the current requirement that the advertiser be identified as a broker or sales agent in all advertising.

22 TAC §535.300 Advertising by Residential Rental Locators 08/07/2017 09/01/2017

The amendments are adopted on an emergency basis to align the rules with statutory changes in SB 2212 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective September 1, 2017.

The amendments eliminate the current required reference to the Commission in all advertising.

Recently Proposed and Adopted Rules

Rule Number Rule Name Proposed Date Adopted Date Effective Date Summary Attachment(s)
22 TAC §533.8 Motions for Rehearing 05/01/2017 08/07/2017 08/28/2017

The amendments clarify the ways a motion for rehearing may be filed with the Commission.

22 TAC §535.53 Business Entity; Designated Broker 05/01/2017 08/07/2017 08/28/2017

The amendments clarify the authorized positions by type of entity to alleviate confusion for applicants.

22 TAC §535.56 Education and Experience Requirements for a License 05/01/2017 08/07/2017 08/28/2017

The amendments relocate the complete list of course options for the 630 related classroom hours for a broker’s license from §535.64(c) for greater clarity for applicants and providers.

22 TAC §535.64 Content Requirements for Qualifying Real Estate Courses 05/01/2017 08/07/2017 08/28/2017

The amendments add course content guidelines for Real Estate Appraisal, Real Estate Investment, Real Estate Law and Residential Inspection for Real Estate Agents and relocates the complete list of course options for the 630 related classroom hours for a broker’s license from §535.64(c) to §535.56 for greater clarity for applicants and providers.

PDF icon 535.64_forms.pdf
22 TAC §535.91 Renewal of a Real Estate License 05/01/2017 08/07/2017 08/28/2017

The amendments establish a deadline for submission of an application and supporting documentation to be considered a timely filing. This will allow time for review by staff and the opportunity for curing any deficiencies by the entity 10 days prior to the license expiration date. It also clarifies the authorized positions by type of entity and sets out the statutory requirement that the entity be authorized to transact business in Texas in the list of what is required for renewal of an entity license for greater clarity for the license holder.

22 TAC §535.211 Professional Liability Insurance, or Any Other Insurance that Provides Coverage for Violations of Subchapter G of Chapter 1102 08/07/2017

The proposed amendments to §535.211 clarify the minimum standards of financial liability that an inspector must maintain during the period an inspector is licensed. The Legislature has enacted §1102.1141, Texas Occupations Code, which requires an inspector to maintain a minimum of $100,000 financial responsibility in the form of an insurance policy, bond, or other acceptable security, to provide for professional liability coverage to protect the public against a violation of Subchapter G, Chapter 1102, Texas Occupations Code. TREC has long interpreted the language in §1102.1141 to require inspectors who choose to maintain financial responsibility through an insurance policy to obtain a policy with the minimum liability coverage required in the statute excluding any offsets or reductions in coverage for attorney's fees, defense costs, or other costs. The basis for this long-standing interpretation is found in subsection (a)(1)(B), which requires the insurance policy to "provide[] for professional liability coverage to protect the public against a violation of [law]."

TREC has received questions about whether certain clauses in an insurance policy, such as a defense within limits or wasting clause, which reduce the limits of liability insurance coverage available under the policy, comply with the statutory requirements in §1102.1141. Because these and other similar clauses reduce the amount of liability insurance coverage available to protect the public against a violation of Subchapter G, Chapter 1102, Texas Occupations Code, TREC proposes these amendments to clarify its interpretation that an insurance policy containing such clauses does not satisfy the statutory requirements to maintain financial responsibility in §1102.1141.

22 TAC §531.18 Consumer Information 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 12/06/2017

The amendments to §531.18 increases the font size of the link to the required notice and prohibits its placement in the footer so that the link to the notice will be easier for consumers to find. The amendments also define "business website" and provide additional methods for compliance for social media platforms.

Eighteen comments were received on the amendments as published, two from trade associations. Most of the commenters pointed out that the footer is a good place for consumers to find the link to the required notice and that is should not be prohibited. The Commission agrees and has revised the language to remove the prohibition of placing the link to the notice in the footer. The Commission notes however, that if placed in the footer, the link must still meet the font size and "readily noticeable" requirement in the rule. Other commenters, including the associations stated that those who are currently in compliance should not have to redo the link in another font size. The Commission agrees and added the shortened version of the link name in a larger font size as a second option, rather than a replacement. This shorter version may be a better fit on social media sites that are used as business websites.

22 TAC §531.20 Information About Brokerage Services 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 12/06/2017

The amendments to §531.20 increases the font size of the link to the required notice and prohibits its placement in the footer so that the link to the notice will be easier for consumers to find. The amendments also clarify existing requirements, define “business website” and provide additional methods for compliance for social media platforms.

Eighteen comments were received on the amendments as published, two from trade associations. Most of the commenters pointed out that the footer is a good place for consumers to find the link to the required notice and that is should not be prohibited. The Commission agrees and has revised the language to remove the prohibition of placing the link to the notice in the footer. The Commission notes however, that if placed in the footer, the link must still meet the font size and “readily noticeable” requirement in the rule. Other commenters, including the associations stated that those who are currently in compliance should not have to redo the link in another font size. The Commission agrees and added the shortened version of the link name in a larger font size as a second option, rather than a replacement. This shorter version may be a better fit on social media sites that are used as business websites.

22 TAC §533.3 Filing and Notice 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 12/06/2017

The amendments to §533.3 extend the time the applicant has to request a hearing following notice from the Commission and clarifies the starting date for the statutory two year waiting period following denial before an applicant can reapply. The amendments were recommended by the Commission's Enforcement Committee.

22 TAC §534.3 Employee Training and Education 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 12/06/2017

The amendments to §534.3 set out the general rules required by Subchapter C, Chapter 656 of the Texas Government Code but allows the detail regarding employee eligibility for training, and employee obligations after completion of training and education, etc. to be set by the Executive Director through employee policies. This will allow more flexibility for the Executive Director to respond to the needs of the workforce and to remain competitive in this area with other employers. It will also provide one central place for employees to find detailed information about the Commission's policies on employee education and training.

22 TAC §535.17 Broker Price Opinion or Comparative Market Analysis 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 12/06/2017

The amendments to §535.17 include estimated worth or sales price in the types of price statements that require a broker to provide a written statement to consumers. The amendments also revise and shorten the required written statement. "Salesperson" was also updated to the statutory term "sales agent" wherever it appeared.

Five comments were received on the proposed amendments. Three commenters were in favor of the change and two had questions regarding the change. Staff recommended a clarifying change to the language in the disclosure due to proposed rule changes in federal law regarding appraisals required for loans. The Commission agreed with the change.

22 TAC §535.71 Approval of CE Providers 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 12/06/2017

The amendments eliminate exemptions from TREC requirements for certain education providers of real estate inspection continuing education courses. These exemptions caused confusion in the marketplace, were inconsistent with exemptions allowed by TREC for education providers of real estate courses, and were only utilized by license holders to obtain continuing education course credits in a few limited circumstances.

22 TAC §535.141 Initiation of Investigation 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 12/06/2017

The amendments to §535.141 removes subsection (a) which references the Mortgage Fraud Task Force that was abolished by SB 526 in the 85th Legislative Session. The remaining section was renumbered and "salesperson" was updated to the statutory term "sales agent" wherever it appeared.

22 TAC §535.191 Schedule of Administrative Penalties 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 12/06/2017

The amendments to §535.191 inserts administrative penalties for failure to comply with Commission rules §531.18 and §531.20. These rules were adopted 18 months ago and, following a long education campaign, the Commission now needs to clarify and modify the sanctions in place for license holders who still do not properly provide these important statutorily required consumer notices. The amendments also adds §535.155 to align with the new rule to replace current §535.154 and adds §535.65 related to responsibilities and operations of education providers.

Three comments were received on the amendments as published. All were against the proposal stating that the amount of penalties were excessive for violations of rules 531.18 & 531.20. The Commission disagrees for two reasons. First, posting the notices on the license holder's business website is important for consumer education and protection, especially in light of the recent statutory change for prohibiting the Commission from requiring any reference to the Commission or a license holder's status as an agent or a broker in advertisements. Secondly, the violation of the rules, when not listed on the schedule of penalties would default to the statutory provision that contains the general requirement. This statute is Section 1101.558. Violation of that statute falls under the highest penalty range on the schedule. The Commission considers violation of the posting requirements for the links to the notices to be a lesser violation than not providing them at all, and placed the rules in the second tier of penalties. Therefore, the amendments actually lessens the amount of penalties that can be assessed for violation of these rules.

22 TAC §535.218 Continuing Education Required for Renewal 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 12/06/2017

The amendments eliminate exemptions from TREC requirements for certain education providers of real estate inspection continuing education courses and conform this rule with amendments to §535.71 of this Chapter. These exemptions caused confusion in the marketplace, were inconsistent with exemptions allowed by TREC for education providers of real estate courses, and were only utilized by license holders to obtain continuing education course credits in a few limited circumstances.

22 TAC §539.31 Definitions 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to improve comprehension.

22 TAC §539.41 Disclosures 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018, and to increase comprehension.

22 TAC §539.51 "Employed By" Defined 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments update the term "salesperson" to the statutory "sales agent".

22 TAC §539.61 Application for Residential Service Company License 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018, and to increase comprehension. The reference to the fees is for clarity of the process. The fees are not new and have not changed.

22 TAC §539.62 Application to Approve Evidence of Coverage/Schedule of Charges 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018, and to increase comprehension. The reference to the fees is for clarity of the process. The fees are not new and have not changed.

22 TAC §539.63 Termination of Application 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The repeal is necessary because a new rule is being adopted to conform the rule with statutory changes made by the 85th Legislature and to increase comprehension.

22 TAC §539.63 Application to Approve Contract 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The new rules align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension. The reference to the fees is for clarity of the process. The fees are not new and have not changed.

22 TAC §539.64 Mailing Address and Other Contact Information 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments to §539.64 and §539.65 align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension.

22 TAC §539.65 Change in Company Ownership or Officers 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments to §539.64 and §539.65 align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension.

22 TAC §539.71 Miscellaneous Forms 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension.

22 TAC §539.81 Funded Reserves 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments to §539.81 and §539.82 align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279, adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018, and to increase comprehension.

22 TAC §539.82 Security 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments to §539.81 and §539.82 align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279, adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018, and to increase comprehension.

22 TAC §539.91 Annual Report 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments to §539.91 align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension. The subsection regarding mid-year reports was moved and rewritten from another rule that is being repealed for better clarity. The reference to the fee is for clarity of the process. The fee is not new and has not changed.

22 TAC §539.121 Examinations 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments to §539.121 align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension.

22 TAC §539.137 Mid-Year Report 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The repeal aligns the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018. The subject matter of this rule was moved to section 539.91 dealing with all reports for greater clarity.

22 TAC §539.160 Copy of Residential Service Company Contract 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The repeal aligns the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018.

22 TAC §539.231 Fees 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 01/01/2018

The amendments to §539.231 align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension.

22 TAC §535.154 Advertising 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 05/15/2018

The repeal is necessary because a new rule is being proposed to provide greater clarity for advertising requirements and to conform the rule with statutory changes made by the 85th Legislature.

22 TAC §535.154 Registration and Use of Alternate, Team and Assumed Business Names Used in Advertisements 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 05/15/2018

The new rules align the rules with statutory changes adopted in SB 2212 by the 85th Legislature effective September 1, 2017 and implement changes to the rules recommended by the Commission's Executive Committee following over a year of study and input from stakeholders. The rule was split into two rules to separate out name and registration of name requirements from advertising requirements. Most of the new requirements involve changes to how team names are defined, registered and used. New statutory provisions and a consensus by stakeholders that team names presently cause most of the consumer confusion in advertisements drove these changes. Much of the new rules contains provisions that are similar or identical to the current rule but have been rewritten for clarity. Additionally, new definitions were added, the requirement for notifying the Commission of the use of an alternate name, assumed business name or team name was amended to require registration of the names with the Commission prior to their use, and the current safe harbor policy regarding the size of the broker's name in advertisement was put into the rule.

Twenty-two comments were received on the proposal as published. One was from a trade association and five other commenters supported their remarks. The trade association was generally in support of the new rules with the exception of subsections (d)(4) and (d)(7). Commission staff after reviewing the comments and consulting with the association recommended revisions that the association endorses. Staff also recommended additional language to further distinguish the definitions of a broker's assumed business name and a team name. Of the remaining commenters, seven were opposed to the requirements for team names and nine were generally in support.

The Commission recognizes that some license holders on teams will need to change their signage under the new rules. To ameliorate this expense, the Commission has extended the effective date of the rule until May 15, 2018 to allow those license holders to spread out the cost of new signage over time.

22 TAC §535.155 Advertisements 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 05/15/2018

The new rules align the rules with statutory changes adopted in SB 2212 by the 85th Legislature effective September 1, 2017 and implement changes to the rules recommended by the Commission's Executive Committee following over a year of study and input from stakeholders. The rule was split into two rules to separate out name and registration of name requirements from advertising requirements. Most of the new requirements involve changes to how team names are defined, registered and used. New statutory provisions and a consensus by stakeholders that team names presently cause most of the consumer confusion in advertisements drove these changes. Much of the new rules contains provisions that are similar or identical to the current rule but have been rewritten for clarity. Additionally, new definitions were added, the requirement for notifying the Commission of the use of an alternate name, assumed business name or team name was amended to require registration of the names with the Commission prior to their use, and the current safe harbor policy regarding the size of the broker's name in advertisement was put into the rule.

Twenty-two comments were received on the proposal as published. One was from a trade association and five other commenters supported their remarks. The trade association was generally in support of the new rules with the exception of subsections (d)(4) and (d)(7). Commission staff after reviewing the comments and consulting with the association recommended revisions that the association endorses. Staff also recommended additional language to further distinguish the definitions of a broker's assumed business name and a team name. Of the remaining commenters, seven were opposed to the requirements for team names and nine were generally in support.

The Commission recognizes that some license holders on teams will need to change their signage under the new rules. To ameliorate this expense, the Commission has extended the effective date of the rule until May 15, 2018 to allow those license holders to spread out the cost of new signage over time.

22 TAC §535.300 Advertising by Residential Rental Locators 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 05/15/2018

The amendments are adopted to align the rules with statutory changes in SB 2212 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective September 1, 2017. As required by the statutory changes, the amendments eliminate the current required reference to the Commission in all advertising. "Salesperson" was also updated to the statutory term "sales agent" wherever it appeared.

22 TAC §537.11 Use of Standard Contract Forms 08/07/2017 11/13/2017 05/15/2018

Texas real estate license holders are generally required to use forms promulgated by TREC when negotiating contacts for the sale of real property. These forms are drafted and recommended for adoption by the Texas Real Estate Broker-Lawyer Committee, an advisory body consisting of six attorneys appointed by the President of the State Bar of Texas, six brokers appointed by TREC, and one public member appointed by the governor.

Twenty-seven comments were received on the amendments as published. Four were from trade associations. One comment was in full support of the changes. The other non-association comments were from members of one of the associations in support of the letter written by that association. All of the associations expressed concern over having to revise their forms used by Commission license holders to meet the requirements of proposed amendments. The Commission did not feel that this presented an undue burden on the associations, especially in light of the increased consumer protection in the form of greater transparency in the forms. However, some of the comments presented by the associations did result in staff recommended changes to the proposal. One comment was received regarding the possibility that the changes proposed in subsection (a)(3) was an overly restrictive interpretation of the statutory exception in Texas Occ. Code §1101.155(b). The Commission agreed and changed that provision to mirror the statutory language. While most of the associations understood and agreed with the intent behind subsection (a)(4), they opposed new subsection (b) and requested revisions to (a)(4) to allow the associations to be able to quickly respond to changes in the market and meet the needs of their members. The Commission agreed and deleted new subsection (b) and revised subsection (a)(4) to require several additional disclosures only when a form changed the rights, obligations or remedies of a party under a contract or addendum form approved by the Commission for mandatory use by license holders.

22 TAC §541.1 Criminal Offense Guidelines 11/13/2017

The proposed amendments to §541.1,  are recommended by the Enforcement Committee of the Commission after review of the list of crimes that directly related to an applicant’s fitness to practice as a real estate license holder, inspector or easement and right-of-way agent.

22 TAC §535.52 Moral Character Requirements for Individual Applicant 11/13/2017

The proposed amendments to §535.52, clarify that violating the terms of an administrative order by the Commission or any other governmental body tends to indicate that the applicant does not possess the honesty, trustworthiness or integrity to hold a real estate license.

22 TAC §535.65 Responsibilities and Operations of Providers of Qualifying Courses 11/13/2017

The proposed amendments to §535.65 implement changes made to Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupations Code in HB 1508, adopted by the 85th Legislature effective September 1, 2017. These changes require education providers to notify potential students before they enroll in an occupational licensing education program that a criminal history may make them ineligible for the license they seek and that they have a right to request a criminal history evaluation from the licensing authority. The statutory changes also provide authority for licensing agencies to order reimbursements be paid to the student if the provider fails to give the required notices. In addition, subsection (h)(1) is amended to clarify that all final examinations are to be closed book examinations. This change was recommended by the Commission's Education Standards Advisory Committee.

22 TAC §537.20 Standard Contract Form TREC No. 9-12 11/13/2017

Texas real estate license holders are generally required to use forms promulgated by TREC when negotiating contacts for the sale of real property. These forms are drafted and recommended for adoption by the Texas Real Estate Broker-Lawyer Committee, an advisory body consisting of six attorneys appointed by the President of the State Bar of Texas, six brokers appointed by TREC, and one public member appointed by the governor.

The Broker Lawyer Committee recommended revisions to the contract forms adopted by reference under the proposed amendments and new rules to Chapter 537 to address issues that have arisen since the last contract revisions.

The changes listed below apply to all contract forms unless specified otherwise. Paragraph numbers referenced are from the One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale).

Paragraph 2 is amended to clarify that any reservations of mineral rights must be done in a separate addendum.

Paragraph 5 is amended to require Earnest Money to be delivered within 3 days of the Effective Date. If the 3rd day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the earnest money is due on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. Seller may terminate the contract if buyer fails to timely deliver the Earnest Money and time is made of the essence for this paragraph.

"Effective Date" is made a defined term throughout the contracts but is still tied to the final date of acceptance provided on the signature page.

Paragraph 6A(9) is amended to include an exception for minerals as approved by the Texas Department of Insurance.

Paragraph 6B the phrase "due to factors beyond Seller's control" is removed from the sentence allowing Buyer to terminate the contract if the Commitment and Exception documents are not timely received.

Paragraph 6D is amended to define the time by which seller is to cure objections as the "Cure Period", provide a specific time frame by which the buyer must notify the seller that the buyer will terminate or waive the objections if the objections are not cured within the Cured Period, and address additional time periods for the buyer to object and the seller to cure if a revised commitment, revised survey, or updated exception documents are provided.

Paragraph 20 is amended to clarify what is meant by "applicable law" and an "affidavit" when seller is a "foreign person."

The space for fax numbers were removed from the Broker Information page and a space for phone numbers for the brokers were added.

Separate receipt boxes were added to the forms for Earnest Money, the Contract and Additional Earnest Money.

Paragraph 2B(2) and 2C (Condominium Contract Only) is amended to clarify that the seller bears the expense to deliver the condominium documents and the resale certificate to buyer.

Paragraph 2F. Reservations (Farm and Ranch Contract Only) is amended to strike the parenthetical stating that reservations may be included in special provisions (suggesting that reservations are to be addressed only in a properly drafted addendum).

PDF icon 9-12 DRAFT.pdf
22 TAC §537.28 Standard Contract Form TREC No. 20-13 11/13/2017 PDF icon 20-13 DRAFT.pdf
22 TAC §537.30 Standard Contract Form TREC No. 23-14 11/13/2017 PDF icon 23-14 DRAFT.pdf
22 TAC §537.31 Standard Contract Form TREC No. 24-14 11/13/2017 PDF icon 24-14 DRAFT.pdf
22 TAC §537.32 Standard Contract Form TREC No. 25-11 11/13/2017 PDF icon 25-11 DRAFT.pdf
22 TAC §537.37 Standard Contract Form TREC No. 30-12 11/13/2017 PDF icon 30-12 DRAFT.pdf
22 TAC §537.55 Standard Contract Form TREC No. 48-0 11/13/2017

A new addendum is proposed to address who pays for and is responsible for damages from a hydrostatic test, if the parties agree to have one performed.

PDF icon 48-0 DRAFT.pdf
22 TAC §537.56 Standard Contract Form TREC No. 49-0 11/13/2017

A new addendum is proposed to address the situation where the parties create a contingency to the contract based on the appraisal performed by the lender and termination rights or waiver associated with that contingency.

PDF icon 49-0 DRAFT.pdf