Texas Register Preamble

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to §535.208, Application for a License; §535.209, Examinations; §535.212, Education and Experience Requirements for a License; §535.213, Qualifying Real Estate Inspector and Courses; and new §535.214, Education and Experience Requirements for a License, in Subchapter R of Chapter 535, General Provisions, with the below-described changes to the proposed text, as published in the June 12, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 3990). The rules will be republished.

The amendments to §535.208 eliminate an obsolete requirement for an applicant for an apprentice inspector license to provide a photo to the Commission prior to issuance of a license. The amendments also eliminate certain requirements and waivers for Military Service Members, Veterans, or Military Spouses that are now addressed under §535.58.

The amendments to §535.209 move the one-year period for exam results to remain valid to a new subsection and create certain eligibility and course requirements for candidates in order to be able to take the state portion of the real estate inspector exam. Replaces specific hourly course requirements for someone who fails the exam three times with specific inspector modules addressed in the amendments to §535.213. The amendments also allow for an out of state inspector who has already passed the national portion of the licensing exam to simply take the state portion of the exam after completion of certain Texas specific coursework.

The amendments to §535.212 specifies the timeframe for education submitted under this rule is valid.

The amendments to §535.213 provide a transition period for which education completed under the current requirements will be accepted. The amendments lay out in detail the topics that must be covered in the new module courses, and the in-person Texas Practicum. The amendments detail the required qualifications for an individual to supervise the Texas Practicum. The amendments also establish a Commission audit processes related to the Texas Practicum credit request form.

New §535.214 establishes the education and experience requirements for a real estate inspector license after March 1, 2021. The new rule maintains the education and number of inspections currently required under the sponsorship pathway to licensure. The rule also details the substitute experience required for education in obtaining an inspector license based on the modules and practicum in §535.213.

The amendments and new rule were recommended by the Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee.

Two comments were received regarding §535.208 and §535.209 and one comment was received regarding §§535.212 - 535.214. One commenter requested some formatting changes to §535.208 and §535.209, which the Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee incorporated at its July 2020 meeting. The other commenter requested the rules be amended because he believed inspectors' ability to take coursework would be limited, inspectors would be penalized and require double coursework, and that there was unnecessary duplication in hours required and conflict with the agency's Sunset Review. The Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee declined to make additional changes in response to the second commenter after it reviewed these comments. Contrary to the commenter's assessment of the rules limiting opportunity for inspectors, the Committee believes the reduction in the overall education hours is to the benefit to the inspector industry and the consistency gained with transitioning to the proposed modules system is to the benefit to both inspectors and the consumers of Texas. The Committee believes that the proposed language is in compliance with the directives of the with the agency's recent Sunset Review.

The amendments and new rule were submitted to the Governor's Office of Regulatory Compliance in accordance with Chapter 57 of the Texas Occupations Code. The Governor's Office of Regulatory Compliance requested clarification of certain language in the revised rules. These clarifications were brought to the Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee who subsequently made modifications to the rules. Changes included renaming required courses and correcting subsection references under §535.209, adding back in language previously struck during the initial review of § 535.213 relating to 200 hours of experience credit, and adding experience requirement language to §535.214. The Regulatory Compliance Division issued its final determination letter on August 6, 2020, providing final approval for the Commission to move forward with adoption of these rules.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §1101.151, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapters 1101 and 1102; and to establish standards of conduct and ethics for its license holders to fulfill the purposes of Chapters 1101 and 1102.

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