I recently participated in the CMC Energy Home Tune-Up training class. While redoing my programs, forms, etc. I ran into a question on the TAC regulations. What I found out was very interesting and I would like to thank Devon Bijansky, TREC Legal, for clearing the air. She is always so helpful!!
I will sum it up here but also include her responses to my inquiries. In a nutshell, as she succinctly stated:
Devon Bijansky wrote:
[FONT=Arial][size=2]As a licensed professional inspector, any sort of inspection or property condition consultation performed for a buyer or seller is considered an "inspection" if you are providing a written or oral opinion as to the condition of improvements to real property, regardless of what you call it. Therefore, any such service is subject to Chapter 1102 of the Texas Occupations Code and the TREC Rules.
In summary no matter what type of inspection or property condition consulting you are performing on a TREC controlled real estate transaction you must issue the TREC REI-7A-0 form. Here are the series of memo's that occurred. Please do not deluge TREC with clarifications as it is very clear here and they are busy there.
Also keep into account this was with regards to the Home Tune-Up report that CMC Energy generates as a .pdf file to give to my clients. We all know that .pdf files are significantly different format from other editing programs. In general to add this to another electronic report (in the absence of a .pdf editor) it would have to be embedded or attached to the report. My software package is not capable of doing this nor is MS Word as far as I am aware.
My first inquiry and TREC response:
[FONT=Arial][size=2]From: Devon Bijansky [mailto:DevonB@trec.state.tx.us]
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 1:48 PM
Subject: RE: Lic# 7593 Question regarding required REI 7A-0 entries
If this inspection is being performed for a buyer or seller, it would need to be reported on the TREC REI 7A-0. You could do this by entering window information in the window section, HVAC information in the HVAC section, etc., or by appending this report to the end of your usual inspection report. If you are only providing the energy efficiency information (and not performing a typical inspection), you would need to be very clear in the report (in the Additional Information section and/or in each section throughout the standard report) that by agreement with the client, you did not perform the inspection in accordance with the Standards of Practice.
Outside the context of a real estate transaction (immediate or anticipated), such as for a person who has recently closed on a purchase and would like to explore energy efficiency, you could use any report format you wish. In that case, TREC would not require your license number to appear on the report.
We hope this information is helpful to you.
Devon V. Bijansky
fax (512) 465-3962
I have recently completed the Kaplan/CMC Energy Home Tune-Up course here in the Dallas area. Attached is a sample report from the CMC report generation function. If this service is provided in conjunction with a TREC controlled real estate inspection may I issue this report separately from the Form REI 7A-0? If not then at what point on the Form REI 7A-0 must it be embedded? If this is allowed, are there any other required annotations that must be made on this report to satisfy TREC Regulations?
If this function is provided to a client as a stand alone service, i.e. I am not providing the TREC defined inspection, but the report is being performed for a potential buyer, seller, Real Estate professional or other party to the home sale, can this report be issued as it currently is? In this example am I bound at any point to provide the client the REI 7A-0 in any form with any entries?
If this function is provided as a stand alone service, under the condition described in paragraph 2 above, and the report can be issued to the client in its current form (see attachment) then must I still annotate the report with my TREC license number and business information?
Your assistance with this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Emmanuel J. Scanlan
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
TREC License # 7593
From here I had a series of memos between myself, Kaplan and CMC Energy regarding this which generated a number of memo's. I've left them out as they are not significant enough. There was one slight area of doubt and I generated the following memo to Devon Bijansky and her response is also here.
**[FONT=Arial]From:[size=3] Devon Bijansky [DevonB@trec.state.tx.us]
**Sent:**** Tuesday, November 13, 2007 7:17 AM
*Subject:* RE: Issue with Home Tune-Up and TREC regulations
I apologize for my delay in responding. I was unexpectedly out of the office yesterday.
As a licensed professional inspector, any sort of inspection or property condition consultation performed for a buyer or seller is considered an "inspection" if you are providing a written or oral opinion as to the condition of improvements to real property, regardless of what you call it. Therefore, any such service is subject to Chapter 1102 of the Texas Occupations Code and the TREC Rules.
Inspections of one-to-four-family residential property (for a buyer or seller) must be reported on the TREC REI 7A-0 form, even if you do not intend to do a "typical" Standards of Practice inspection. (As you know, there is no required form for other types of properties.) However, that does not mean that you must always provide the full Standards of Practice-type service every time someone wants to hire you to provide energy efficiency inspection services. Section 535.227(c)(2)-(4) of the TREC Rules (the departure provision) clarifies that you may provide a more specific type of inspection by agreement with your client. By agreement with your client, you may depart from the Standards of Practice in full. However, there is no provision for "departing" from the standard form, so the REI 7A-0 must still be used even if you depart wholly from the Standards of Practice. It would be fine to note in the Additional Information section of the standard form that the energy audit is a part of that report but in a separate computer file.
Please feel free to forward this information to anyone else who may find it helpful.
Devon V. Bijansky
fax (512) 465-3962
*From:* escanlan [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
*Sent:* Monday, November 12, 2007 6:31 PM
*To:* 'Devon Bijansky'
*Subject:* FW: Issue with Home Tune-Up and TREC regulations[/FONT]
I emailed last week regarding the addition of a second report to my inspection services. Attached below is the response I have received from Kaplan schools regarding my inquiry to them, and CMC Energy the parent company of this project. As you can see the Kaplan response is to email two separate reports when the electronic report delivery method is used. Since the CMC Energy report is in .pdf format it is not possible to append it in many software packages, nor Microsoft Word based REI-7A-0 format.
Your response to me seemed quite clear but possibly I have misunderstood and would like to clarify with an additional question. As I understood your response the intent was that the CMC Energy, Home Tune-Up report was to be appended to the TREC REI-7A-0 report with the concept of preventing the reports from being separated in any way. In other words, wherever the CMC Energy report went the TREC REI-7A-0 report would also go. Would it be amenable to TREC, and the regulations, to annotate the REI-7A-0 "Additional Comments" section to indicate that the Home Tune-Up report is part of the REI-7A-0 report but in a separate file attachment in the email that also contains the REI-7A-0 electronic report?
One last question regarding the scenario where the Inspector does not perform the home inspection but does perform the Home Tune-Up audit. At one time the minimum required reporting was the I. Structural Systems, A. Foundations section, with a statement making the opinion of the foundation performance as mandatory. Other than the REI-7A-0 form, the TAC leaves the impression that now any and all sections of this report can be disclaimed if the client agrees to this. Is this a correct interpretation that any and all sections can be disclaimed now?
Emmanuel J. Scanlan[/size][/size]
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
TREC License # 7593 & #8950
Hopefully this helps keep some of us out of trouble and within the regulations.