Just a reminder to all Texas inspectors that TREC has defined numerous rule changes that will be presented and voted on at the 11/15/10 TREC meeting in Austin. They will be approved without much doubt. There are scores of proposed rule revisions and they have been posted to the Texas Register therefore they are in the “public comment” time frame now. While many of the rule changes are general in nature and affect RE agents, education, etc there are some that directly affect inspectors and I’ve shown those below. I encourage all Texas inspectors to read these and even the other non-inspector specific proposed changes and let your voice be heard if you have any comments. I will not be coordinating any response to TREC on this myself.
…a number of substantive changes are being proposed.
- new §535.201, Definitions, would consolidate definitions related to regulation of inspectors, including code organization and trade association, and introduces a Texas Standards of Practice/Legal/Ethics Update course.
- amendments to §535.206, The Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee, would clarify that a member only serves until a successor has been appointed if the member completes his or her term and would make other non-substantive changes to the section.
- new §535.209, Examinations, would move the examination provisions from §535.214 and lower the minimum passing score on the professional inspector examination from 80% to 75%.
- new §535.212, Education and Experience Requirements for an Inspector License, would allocate the numbers of hours of education required by Chapter 1102 for licensure as a real estate inspector or professional inspector among the core subject matter areas. This proposed change addresses both the hours required under the traditional three-tier method of licensure, as well as the hours required for the education/experience substitute method.
- new §535.213, Approval of Courses in Real Estate Inspection, increases the maximum amount of classroom course time that may be spent on field work from 10% to 50% and would further define a core course area of “legal/ethics.”
- new §535.214, Providers of Real Estate Inspection Courses, incorporates content from current §535.212 regarding the requirements for providers of courses in real estate inspection.
- amendments to §535.215, Inactive Inspector Status, reflects a change in requirements regarding inactive and active status to better take advantage of opportunities for online license management.
- amendments to §535.216, Renewal of License or Registration, reflect the commission’s move toward online filing of applications and related forms, as well as electronic delivery of notices.
- new §535.217, Contact Information, would require that licensees provide the commission with a phone number and email address in addition to the permanent mailing address that is currently required, and this proposed section would further require licensees to keep the commission apprised of any changes to this contact information.
- amendments to §535.218, Continuing Education, would require all real estate inspectors and professional inspectors to take a six-hour Texas Standards of Practice/Legal/Ethics Update course in order to renew a license. This course would not increase the total number of hours required to renew but would be counted toward the 32-hour requirement to renew a 2-year license.
- amendments to §535.221, Advertisements, would explicitly bring electronic social media used for the purpose of gaining business into the definition of “advertisements” and would clarify how the rules relating to inspector advertising apply to these types of advertisements and how inspectors must identify themselves and provide their license numbers on such advertisements.
- amendments to §535.222, Inspection Reports, would clarify that the names of each inspector who participated in performing an inspection, as well as all supervising real estate inspectors and/or sponsoring professional inspectors, must appear on inspection reports. The proposed amendments would also eliminate the signature requirement on inspection reports and would require inspectors to deliver reports within three days unless otherwise agreed to in writing.
- amendments to §535.226, Sponsorship of Apprentice Inspectors and Real Estate Inspectors, would reflect the move toward online license management and would also eliminate language requiring signatures on inspection reports.