Historical Rule for the Texas Administrative Code

RULE §535.222Standards of Practice
Repealed Date:09/01/2000

(a) Definition of terms. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Act--The Real Estate License Act, Texas Civil Statutes, Article 6573a.

  (2) Determine--To come to a decision or resolve concerning the condition, function, operation of an item, part, component, system, or equipment.

  (3) Functioning--Performing in an expected or required manner; carrying out the design purpose or intended operation of a part, system, component, or member.

  (4) Identify--To determine and report as a particular item, condition or thing.

  (5) Inaccessible--Not having access without the use of special tools, equipment, or instruments, or removing doors, walls, stored items or similar obstructions, or by causing damage to a structure, finish or component, equipment or system, or by virtue of inadequate clearance, walkways, passageways, or hazardous condition.

  (6) In need of repair--Does not adequately function or perform.

  (7) Inspect--To look at or examine those items, parts, systems, or components which are accessible or can reasonably be seen, heard, or operated by the inspector without, except as required by this section, laboratory, scientific, or engineering evaluation or testing, or destructive tests, dismantling or removal of parts, members, or components.

  (8) Inspector--A person licensed as a professional inspector, a person licensed as an apprentice inspector, or a person licensed as a real estate inspector.

  (9) Observe--To take note of by means of sight, sound, smell, or touch.

  (10) Performance--The act of carrying out, completing, executing, or achievement of an operation, design, or function in a manner consistent with the intent of the manufacturer, designer, or accepted industry practice.

  (11) Report--A written or oral opinion of the results of observations, determinations, or findings.

(b) Scope. The standards of inspection practice established by this section are the minimum levels of inspection practice required of inspectors for the accessible parts, components, and systems typically found in improvements to real property, excluding detached structures, decks, docks and fences. The inspection is of conditions which are present and visible at the time of the inspection. All mechanical and electrical equipment, systems, and appliances are operated in normal modes and operating range at the time of the inspection. The inspector shall observe, render an opinion and report which of the parts, components, and systems present in the property have or have not been inspected. The inspector's report must specifically indicate if the inspected parts, components or systems are not functioning or in need of repair. The inspector shall report on visible existing recognized hazards and shall report as in need of repair any recognized hazard specifically listed as such in this section. The report used by the inspector must address all of the parts, components, and systems contained in subsections (e)-(g) of this section and found in the property being inspected. All written inspection reports must contain the name and license number of the inspector who performed the inspection. The inspector may provide a higher level of inspection performance than required by this section and may inspect parts, components, and systems in addition to those described by this section. In the event of a conflict between a specific provision and a general provision, the specific provision shall control. These standards do not apply to the following:

  (1) parts, components, or systems other than those specifically described in this section;

  (2) conditions other than those specifically described in this section, such as environmental conditions, presence of toxic or hazardous wastes or substances, presence of termites or other wood-destroying insects or organisms or compliance with codes, ordinances, statutes, or restrictions or the efficiency, quality, or durability of any item inspected; and

  (3) any part, component, or system the inspector has excluded from inspection in accordance with the departure provision contained in this section.

(c) Departure provision. An inspector shall exclude from the inspection any part, component, or system which the inspector is not competent or qualified to inspect. An inspector may exclude any part, component or system required for inspection by subsections (e)-(g) of this section which is inaccessible, which cannot be inspected due to circumstances beyond the control of the inspector, or which the client has agreed should not be inspected. This provision is not intended to prohibit an inspector from specializing or limiting himself to a given specialty nor to require the inspector to specifically exclude other parts, components, or systems not ordinarily considered a part of his specialty; however, the inspector shall comply with these standards of practice for the items being inspected or notify the client as required by this provision. If an inspector excludes any part, component, or system described in subsections (e)-(g) of this section, other than one which the client has agreed should not be inspected, the inspector shall:

  (1) advise the client at the earliest practicable time that the specific part, component, or system will not be included in the inspection; and

  (2) confirm in any written inspection report given to the client that the specifically listed part, component, or system has not been inspected.

(d) Enforcement. Failure to comply with this section is a ground for disciplinary action as prescribed by the Act, §23(1)(7), and §535.224 of this title (relating to Proceedings before the Committee).

(e) Structural systems.

  (1) Scope.

  (2) Components for inspection.

    (A) Foundations.

      (i) Inspection guidelines. The inspector shall do the following:

        (I) identify the type of foundation (for example, slab-on-grade or pier and beam);

        (II) inspect the foundation, related structural components, and/or slab surfaces;

        (III) inspect the crawl space area to determine the general condition of foundation components and report the method used to observe the crawl space when an area is not entered due to inaccessibility or hazardous conditions or when access or visibility is limited;

        (IV) render an opinion as to the performance of the foundation;

        (V) observe for the presence of crawl space ventilation;

        (VI) observe the conditions or symptoms that may indicate the possibility of water penetration, such as improper grading around foundation walls or plumbing leaks; and

        (VII) observe the site for conditions which may be adversely affecting foundation performance, such as erosion or water ponding.

      (ii) Specific limitations. The inspector is not required to enter a crawl space or any areas where headroom is less than two feet, or where the inspector reasonably determines conditions or materials are hazardous to health or safety of the inspector.

    (B) Interior walls, doors, ceilings and floors.

      (i) Inspection guidelines. The inspector shall do the following:

        (I) observe the deficiencies of the surfaces of walls, ceilings and floors as related to structural performance or water penetration;

        (II) inspect operation of accessible doors;

        (III) inspect steps, stairways, balconies and railings.

      (ii) Specific limitations. The inspector is not required to do the following:

        (I) determine the condition of floor, wall, or ceiling coverings except as they affect structural performance or water penetration;

        (II) identify obvious damage to floor, wall, or ceiling coverings; or

        (III) determine the condition of paints, stains, and other surface coatings;

        (IV) determine condition of cabinets; or

        (V) inspect for the presence of safety glass.

    (C) Exterior walls and doors, windows and door glazing.

      (i) Inspection guidelines. The inspector shall do the following:

        (I) observe deficiencies of exterior walls as related to structural performance and water penetration;

        (II) observe and report on condition and operation of exterior doors and garage doors;

        (III) inspect the condition of windows and exterior doors to determine whether glazing is present and undamaged;

        (IV) inspect insulated glass windows for fogging or other evidence of broken seals;

        (V) observe the presence and condition of window and door screens;

        (VI) inspect burglar bars for functional egress in appropriate areas; and

        (VII) operate windows at burglar bar locations of sleeping rooms or egress areas and a random sampling of others which are accessible.

      (ii) Specific limitations. The inspector is not required to do the following:

        (I) report the condition or presence of storm windows or doors, awnings, shutters, locks, latches, or other security devices or systems;

        (II) determine the condition of paints stains or other surface coatings;


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