Limits of liability

When the last TREC bill was pushed through I raised the question about limits of liability several times. It seems no one considered it a concern.

On 7-26-13 the TREC enforcement inspector subcommitee has the following on the agenda.

Discussion and possible action regarding 22 TAC §535.223 requirements and inspector liability waiver addendums to inspection report form.

This would be one thing we north Tx inspectors could discuss If we got together once and a while

I have received confirmation that TREC disagrees with limits of liability and for that matter 7 day notice of a complaint. They are pushing to force inspectors to remove any such comment from the report.

IMO they are setting up the inspector committee to be the fall guy for the decision. The inspector committee should table the matter and force TREC to take credit for the decision. I doubt that will happen. The law says “the inspector committee serves the Commissioners”.

Does this also mean we will not be able to include verbiage regarding liability limits in our inspection agreements/contracts?

Not sure. Will have to see. However, the conflict between a state agency policy and contract law exists. Inspectors have been laying low on this topic for years. Playing a dual jeopardy game. Liability to the state and to the civil process. The topic will reach Commissioner level. They have the authority to allow the civil process to work. The law causing TREC does not require them to write the rules as they have chosen to do. The entire mess is being driven by staff. For years staff has “created” rules instead of implementing them.

Inspections that start out at $1,000.00 to help make up for that will get attention.

Maybe the agent will become the liability shield for ones that can’t afford inspections. That should have them worried.

Regardless, one can find a deficiency in everything.

Well John, from the looks of the agenda, the IAC enforcement subcommittee is going to take up the topic of preventing such on the reports. If so they have now limited what can go on the report…a very dangerous precedent.

The process has been initially approved. It will take months to go through. From what I hear no one has seen a TREC attorney do a cart wheel then skip down the hall dropping rose petals before. Hell, I did not know they could smile. Problem is there are two kind of smiles. :smiley: and :twisted:

If they proceed the result is predictable. 1) Deal crushing reports. The bias will become totally “self defense” whereas it is only 95% that way now ;). 2) Longer reports. The Commissioners are complaining about long reports now so what the heck, show them how good they had it. 3) Less inspectors. Hmmmmm. Shortage of inspectors? Higher fees? I am already cherry picking in this market. I turn down the hard inspections and still stay busy.

In that public protection is the argument perhaps enforcement could also include language that prevents defect summaries. They have potential of misleading the client.

Well John, guess what, someone heard you and TREC is attempting to limit our reporting ability. This is not good!
Texas inspectors, if ever you have needed to voice your thots to TREC

I think you should post clear instructions for us. Who should we call/write?

All inspectors in licensed states should pay attention to this. Please keep up informed.

They will do what they are gonna do and you adjust accordingly. Inspectors are a tiny minority and their voice is smaller. Sure some letters will result in minor allowances but the history of regulation since 1991 has been anti-inspector and since 2006 has been extremely anti-inspector. I will keep people informed but I concentrate on how to adjust and survive. My primary objective is to get out of the business. The smartest inspector I know stopped doing them and started this association. Will keep you informed.

I’m with you John. I’ve spoken to my E&O provider about getting tail coverage when I renew later this month. I think it’s time to pick up my toys and go home.

In case you all have not noticed before, BUT for the past 3-4 years certain un-named groups involved in real estate have been trying their dead level best to write laws that would prevent home inspectors from using language that limits their liability in a real estate contract. Although LoL clauses are common in many other professions and businesses (such as getting lasik, enrolling in college classes, building a home, realtors sales contracts, sending your children on a school outing or off to summer camp).

I’m amazed no major media source has looked into which group(s) are pushing this.

I have asked TREC to address liability several times and invited them to state clearly that the inspector cannot limit liability to less than xxx. Putting their apparent ideology aside they know the adverse affects that such would cause.

Will provide contacts soon. This is in subcommittee, then goes to committee, then to the Commissioners. The inspector committee levels are just a way to flush out objections and negotiate a compromise they are planning for all along. Hold comment until it goes to the Commissioner level. That is the only place your comment will count.