Texas Register Preamble

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) proposes amendments to 22 TAC §535.54, Hearing on License Denial: Probationary Licenses; §535.55, Education and Sponsorship Requirements for a Sales Agent License; §535.56, Education and Experience Requirements for a Broker License; §535.91, Renewal of a Real Estate License; §535.92, Continuing Education Requirements; §535.101, Fees; §535.132, Eligibility for Licensure; and §535.216, Renewal of License, in Chapter 535, General Provisions.

The proposed amendments to §535.91 eliminate the "lookback period" currently found in §535.93 (currently proposed for repeal), which allows a license holder to renew after the expiration date of their license without any lapse in active licensure, as long as certain certifications are made. Under these proposed changes, a license holder who late renews (meaning no later than 6 months after the expiration date) would automatically renew on inactive status. A corresponding change is made to §535.216 relating to inspector licenses. Proposed §535.91 also adds a new, single subsection addressing license reinstatement--the requirements of which are currently found in several different rule sections--as well as a subsection regarding renewing on inactive status, to be more consistent with §535.216. As a result, language related to license reinstatement is removed from §535.55 and §535.56.

The proposed change to §535.54 reflects the proposed repeal of §535.93. The proposed change to §535.101 would remove the late reporting fee of $250 to reactivate a license, as a result of the elimination of the lookback period in §535.91.

In 22 TAC §535.132, proposed changes are made to remove references to the waiver provisions in §535.55 and §535.56, as well as residency requirements, which were removed from Chapter 1101, Texas Occupations Code, as a result of the agency's most recent Sunset review.

In order to mirror the format of §535.216 (which relates to inspectors), the relevant language of §535.93 has been added to §535.91.

Subsection (b) of §535.55 also contains a proposed change recommended by the Education Standards Advisory Committee that would require a sales agent to complete the 30-hour qualifying real estate brokerage course as part of the additional 90 hours of qualifying courses that must be completed by the expiration date of the sales agent's initial licensing period.

The remainder of the changes are either updates to terminology or form for consistency throughout the chapter or are made to reflect updated processes.

Vanessa Burgess, General Counsel, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed amendments are in effect there will be no fiscal implications for the state or for units of local government as a result of enforcing or administering the sections. There is no adverse economic effect anticipated for small businesses, micro-businesses, rural communities, or local or state employment as a result of implementing the proposed amendments. There is no significant economic cost anticipated for persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendments. Accordingly, no Economic Impact Statement or Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is required.

Ms. Burgess also has determined that for each year of the first five years the section as proposed are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the section will be greater clarity and consistency in the rules, ensuring relevant education for new license holders, and greater consumer protection by eliminating the "lookback period."

Except as noted below, for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments are in effect, the amendments will not:

--create or eliminate a government program;

--require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions;

--require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency;

--require an increase in fees paid to the agency;

--create a new regulation;

--expand, limit or repeal an existing regulation;

--increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability;

--positively or adversely affect the state's economy.

The proposed amendments to §535.101 will decrease fees paid to the agency by removing the late reporting fee authorized by subsection (a)(21). The proposed change to §535.55 regarding the real estate brokerage course requirement will not increase the overall education hours, but will require a specific course be taken and in a majority of cases, will also result in a real estate broker license applicant having to take the course twice if the rule is ultimately adopted. Finally, the proposed amendments to §535.132 will limit an existing regulation to correspond with applicable law.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted through the online comment submission form at https://www.trec.texas.gov/rules-and-laws/comment-on-proposed-rules, to Vanessa Burgess, General Counsel, Texas Real Estate Commission, P.O. Box 12188, Austin, Texas 78711-2188, or via email to general.counsel@trec.texas.gov. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed 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 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this proposal are Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 1101 and 1102. No other statute, code or article is affected by the proposed amendments.

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