TREC SOP Commentary - Oct '09

The TREC Inspectors Advisory Committee SOP sub-committee met Tuesday, Oct 6th via teleconference to discuss the status of the proposed SOP Commentary that has been on-hold for the last several months. Attached are my minutes from that meeting with my notes in blue, italics as usual. Also shown below are current drafts of the Preamble, General Provisions and Structural commentaries. Feel free to comment here or contact IAC members directly. Once the Commentary is complete it will be presented to the IAC for consideration then on to the full TREC commission for approval or denial and possible implementation. There will be a public comment period at some point as well but that is just a formality.

IAC-Commentary 100609.pdf (236 KB)
preamble 10-6-2009.pdf (53.5 KB)
General Provisions 10-6-2009.pdf (217 KB)
structural systems 10-6-2009.pdf (163 KB)

Michael as always thank you for keeping up with this. I will have to take the time to read through the comments.

Mike, I got into the meeting. Trick is to call Public Information Officer the day before. She will assure you a seat. My three emails to you know who were ignored.

The entire work appears re-written. The English is well done. It looks like an attorney wrote it. I know the 3 IC people did not because their english is barely better than mine. Point is there are some new and powerful implications made in the commentary.

Example: SoP state "The purpose of the inspection is to provide the client with information regarding the general condition of the residence at the time of inspection."The Commentary author increases the requirement of the SoP drastically. *“The inspector is encouraged to provide as much information as the inspector deems necessary for their client to understand the nature and importance of the items noted as deficient in the report.”*It is now the inspectors responsibility to not only report the defect but to assure the client understands the nature AND importance. BIG difference. Empowers TREC and encumbers the inspector immensely.The DANGER in the Commentary is TREC staff can turn it into a honed sword by creating interpreations as they see fit.

John…I thought it was funny when one member of the sub-committee on the teleconference said “I don’t know why, but we sure don’t get many participants on the teleconference do we”. I wanted to tell him why but figured I’d be immediately disconnected. :slight_smile: What John & I are referring to is the fact that even though the notice of the teleconference is posted on the TREC website the login information for the GoToMeeting teleconference is difficult or impossible to obtain. I finally just went to the TREC HQ and had them setup a conference room speakerphone connected to the teleconference.

Just read more of the Commentary. It redefines the adopted Rule with interpretations that fall far outside strict constructionist interpretation. Many hidden requirements come to light in a secondary document. I suspect the Commentary could be judged illegal because it redefines the intent of the original published rule. If the requirements of the SoP need to be more precisely defined then do it in the SoP rule.

Uh, the doorbell don’t work. This may cause persons wishing to contact you to have to knock, or, alternatively, throw rocks at the window to gain your attention. Inspector assumes no responsibility for bruised knuckle knockers or recipients of eyeball rocks.

What’s next John? Will it ever end? Good grief.

Yes, there’s one way & one way only for it to end. Once the source(s) of such nonsense are no longer in power then there’s a chance for normalcy. Now, will that happen in our lifetime…probably not. Here’s an example: the IAC is made up of 6 inspectors and 3 public members. The public members bring little to the table. The 6 inspector members serve staggered 6 year terms. When this regime was installed a couple of years ago two of those members terms were to expire at the beginning of this year. Interestingly, the chairman of the IAC told TREC that those two members were essentially indispensable and suggested re-appointing them for another 6 year term without any input or consideration of other HI’s or the public. Those two members were immediately re-appointed to the IAC. Guess who wrote the last major revision to the SOP and is now writing the proposed Commentary. An opportunity was lost to bring fresh voices to the IAC.

The best thing to do is help develop the Commentary and then support General Counsel in adopting the specifics into rule.

The Commentary has many errors and conflicts with the SoP. Lets fix them and then get them put into the SoP.

If the SoP ends up being 100 pages long that is OK providing that is what TREC requires for inspection.

Seek the truth.

Licensing solves nothing.

100% agree. In fact it impedes innovation and professionalism. It makes the profession a trade.

Agreed. The definition of profession is “an occupation requiring advanced education”. Licensing only requires very basic education. Thanks for pointing that out.

Why are doctors required to be licensed?

Same reasons as home inspectors. Promoted by the AMA to reduce competition using public protection arguments and to maintain pricing. Regulated by the State to generate revenue and empire build using public protection arguments.

Most inspectors I know that support licensing are angry or afraid of the competition who take away their work. A “they don’t do it my way; I lose business; everyone must do it my way to protect the public” syndrome. Past IC San Antonio member Jacobs (1995) clearly stated that the reason he wanted GFCI in the SoP was he called out GFCI and no one else did. The Realtors would not use him so he lobbied for everyone to do it with a public safety argument. The entire SoP has been built on that premise. A “Savior” mentality that is driven by fear of competition or mega egos that lack self esteem.

I know of some pretty bad doctors who are licensed. Reference the Jackson pill pushers.

Licensing does not solve problems. It creates revenue streams and a method of regulating competition.

OK, so far so good. The argument that " Licensing only requires very basic education" just isn’t correct though. That’s my point. There’s certainly arguments against licensing but that’s not one of them in my opinion.

The 'Savior" scenario is exactly why we now must lift shingles, describe previous roof repairs, etc.

With education is experience (apprentice or intern).

IF regulation must exist then the focus should be on education and experience.

Standards should be done by industry and enforcement by civil courts. we should be judged by our peers and not a government agency.

Commentaries on the Standards of Practice, drafted by the Standards of Practice Subcommittee of the Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee, have been posted on the TREC website as of 11/25/09. There is an email link for you to send them comments, observations or just share your thoughts about these commentaries.

Input from everyone - Texas inspectors, brokers & agents, lenders, the public - is earnestly sought and welcome. Proposed commentaries to other sections will be coming later.

The link is:

You can comment or make suggestions here:

Isn’t that the same link I posted?


Was Item 4 on the agenda left out? It said

Discussion and possible action to recommend to the Inspectors Advisory Committee that the Inspectors Advisory Committee request funding from the Texas Real Estate Commission for an independent, unbiased attorney to advise the Inspectors Advisory Committee so that the Inspectors Advisory Committee can properly represent the interests of the consumers of the State of Texas in inspection related matters

This seems to read as if the IC is challenging staff lawyers opinions. IF that is the reason it is a really stupid mistake and the item should be tabled.

Staff is in a predicament. They defeated the SoP my committee presented with 1) it lacks specificity 2) You cannot have a Commentary because it is not adopted as Rule. GC testified to the Commissioners on this. My SoP was tossed and Fred appointed. He wrote a very large and confusing document that he now wants to clarify with a Commentary. IF GC allows that then it makes it look like staff was manipulating the Commissioners to get my SoP dumped using an improper Commentary argument. Appearances aside the fact is ALL requirements and limitations need to be IN THE SoP if you are going to have a SoP like the monster we have. The current proposed Commentary changes the written word of the published rule significantly. That is wrong. You cannot write Rules like that. It’s a “I said this then and this is what I meant by it now” stratagy. Its illegal and I am sure a judge will agree.

Short of dumping the albatross, the best for inspectors to do is support GC and require ALL revisions, requirements and limitations to be clearly stated ONLY in the SoP. If it grows to 100 pages so be it. It is what Foster / Willcox / DeHay and the Commissioners demanded. A SoP with “specificity, safety and code”.

The IC boys need to quit their whining and get to work “telling us how it works” in the body of the SoP.

John…left out of where? That agenda item is still showing on the TREC website as well as the Texas Register so I believe it will be discussed and, I suspect, immediately shot down by TREC staff.

I have received the log-in credentials and plan to ‘attend’ the teleconference. I see where you will not be able to attend so I’ll update everyone late Tuesday.

Personally, I am hoping the work will cease on the Commentary. I would hate to see it rolled into the SOP.