I never did get a second reply from Larry Foster on this question. After rereading the TREC rules, I still feel that there is an inconsistency between what the rules state and what common sense and what we are being told regarding whether the form is required for Phase inspections.
Because of this, I am posting my dialog with Larry here for the record. I have elected NOT to use the TREC form for phase inspections. If I get grief from TREC, I’ll refer to this dialog as justification (older messages are at the bottom).
That may well be possible (I hope it’s the case). My perception that the rule applied to phase inspections for potential buyers was based on my first hand reading of the rules themselves. Specifically, it was these paragraphs of Section 535.223 that caused be to interpret it the way that I did (emphasis added).
(1) Except as provided by this section, inspections **performed for a prospective buyer or prospective seller **of one-to-four family residential property shall be reported on Form REI 7A-1 adopted by the Commission (“the standard form”).
(6) This section does not apply to the following:
(D) quality control construction inspections of new homes performed for builders, including phased construction inspections, inspections performed solely to determine compliance with building codes, warranty or underwriting requirements, or inspections required by a municipality and the builder or other entity requires use of a different report, and the first page of the report contains a notice either in bold or underlined reading substantially similar to the following: “This report was prepared for a builder or other entity in accordance with the builder’s requirements. The report is not intended as a substitute for an inspection of the property by an inspector of the buyer’s choice. Standard inspections performed by a Texas Real Estate Commission licensee and reported on Texas Real Estate Commission promulgated report forms may contain additional information a buyer should consider in making a decision to purchase.” If a report form required for use by the builder or builder’s employee does not contain the notice, the inspector may attach the notice to the first page of the report at the time the report is prepared by the inspector.
The first paragraph seems to set a default standard that all buyer/seller inspections are required to use the form. My interpretation of the exemption for phased construction inspections applies only if it is being performed for the builder or an entity other than a buyer/seller.
As I said, I hope your initial guidance is correct, but it’s not the way I’m interpreting the rule and I don’t want to run afoul of the commission.
I will be performing/documenting a frame inspection tomorrow and would very much like to use a more concise report form. If you would please confirm for me, I would greatly appreciate it.
Ph: (936) 522-8633
From: Larry Foster [mailto:Larry@fosterinspections.com]
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 10:47 PM
Subject: RE: TREC REI 7A-1 Form Policy Request
Apparently you have misunderstood the Rules of the Commission. Phases inspections have been exempted from the use of the form since we first adopted it and we strengthened that exemption recently. You can use any form for phase inspections unless you are doing a completed home for a buyer. The commission actually exempts buyer orientation performed for a builder and buyer from using the form as long as the orientation form contains a statement that the orientation is not an inspection for the purposes of the Texas Rules.
Please visit the TREC web site for the rules. www.trec.state.tx.us
If you received this information from an educator or school, I would interested in knowing that so that we can communicate accurate information to them for dissemination.
I personally have been performed phase inspections for 30 years and fully understand the differences and the need to use a form or format that pertains specifically to the type of inspection performed.
I hope this helps you.
Larry J. Foster, Professional Inspector #3
Foster Inspections & Construction Consulting, Inc.
3800 Ben Garza Lane
Austin, TX 78749-1512
[INDENT]From: Chuck@homecert.com [mailto:Chuck@homecert.com]
Sent: 2009-02-23 10:05 PM
To: Larry Foster
Subject: TREC REI 7A-1 Form Policy Request
I’m submitting this request to you as the Chairperson of the TREC Inspector Advisory Committee.
My request pertains to the required use of TREC Form REI 7A-1 for all prospective buyer inspections. In particular, its use for construction phase inspections (e.g., foundation pre-pour and frame/pre-cover inspections). While I do understand the desire to utilize a standardized format and to retain all of the standard property, client and inspector information as well as the preamble; it does not seem to be well advised to require that all of the additional sections (e.g., appliances) be required to be maintained in reports for types of inspections where they are irrelevant. In the case of a pre-pour inspection, the vast majority of standard content sections and subsections are simply inapplicable. All of this extraneous content actually makes it more difficult for the client to sift through to find the actual relevant items in the report, the rest simply becomes clutter.
My suggestion is: retain the requirement to use the base form for construction phase inspections performed on behalf of prospective buyers including: standard demographic data, headers, footers, preamble, checkboxes, typeface, etc. But allow the inspector to delete sections and subsections which are not applicable to the type of phase inspection being performed and renumber remaining sections as appropriate, maintaining the same relative order. This change would help clean up these specialty reports by removing useless clutter, which in turn, will help the consumer to more readily locate the report findings which are really relevant to them.
I would appreciate it if the committee would consider revising this requirement.