Texas Register Preamble
The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) proposes amendments to 22 TAC §§535.1, 535.3 - 535.5, 535.20, 535.31, 535.33, 535.34, 535.43, 535.45, 535.50 - 535.53, 535.57, 535.58, 535.60, 535.61, 535.63 - 535.67, 535.71, 535.72, 535.74, 535.75, 535.82, 535.121, 535.122, 535.133, 535.141, 535.147, 535.148, 535.208 - 535.210, 535.213, 535.214, 535.218 - 535.220, 535.224, 535.400 - 535.405 and new 535.120 in Chapter 535, General Provisions. First, the proposed changes to §535.64 streamline the rule and modify two of qualifying course approval forms that are adopted by reference. Although the proposed changes remove the specific topics and units listed in the rule itself, those topics and units will continue to be listed in the forms adopted by reference. The proposed changes to the agency's Real Estate Brokerage course approval form are being made to better address the broker-agent relationship and associated responsibilities. The proposed changes to the Property Management course outline (being renamed Residential Property Management) are made to more accurately reflect the agency's jurisdiction and ensure relevancy. These course approval form revisions were recommended by the Education Standards Advisory Committee.
Next, the proposed changes to §535.218(f) serve to extend the amount of time an instructor of a ride-along inspection course can provide a certificate of course completion to receive continuing education credit. Now, such instructors can provide documentation within the instructor's current license period for a course taught within that same term. The proposed changes were recommended by the Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee.
The remainder of the proposed amendments to Chapter 535 are made as a result of the Commission's quadrennial rule review. The proposed changes update terminology for consistency and clarity throughout the chapter. Additionally, the following proposed changes are being made:
- Subsections (a) of 22 TAC §§535.51, 535.208, and 535.400 are being amended to correct a typographical error in the subsection.
- In 22 TAC §535.52(b)(4), the term "denial" is added to better reflect current agency practice.
- The proposed change in subsection (j)(1) of §535.65 is made to account for the agency's updated education reporting system, whereby providers can post course credit on behalf of certain students.
- The proposed changes to 22 TAC §535.57 are being made to better reflect current contractual provisions.
- In 22 TAC §535.58 and §535.133, proposed changes are made to remove references to residency requirements, which were removed from Chapter 1101, Texas Occupations Code, as a result of the agency's most recent Sunset review.
- The proposed removal of the venue provision in subsections (j)(2) of 22 TAC §535.61, (b)(5) of §535.67, and (e)(2) of §535.71 is made to be consistent with current State Office of Administrative Hearing processes.
- The proposed changes to 22 TAC §§535.63, 535.72, 535.74, 535.214, and 535.218 are being made to reflect the fact that in 2021, a new eight-hour non-elective course--the Inspector Legal and Ethics and Standards of Practice Review--replaced the two four-hour courses in 2021.
- The proposed changes to 22 TAC §535.213 are also being made to streamline the rule. The topics and units will continue to be listed in the forms adopted by reference.
- The proposed additions to 22 TAC §535.65 are being made to clarify the timing requirements for execution of pre-enrollment agreements and certain distance education delivery requirements for providers. The proposed change to subsection (i)(2) corrects a rule reference.
- The proposed change in 22 TAC §535.66(c)(1) is made to reflect current course approval practice by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
- In 22 TAC §535.67(c) and (d), the time period is being proposed to change from 15 to 14 days to be more consistent with other similar rules.
- The proposed removal of the term "author" in 22 TAC §535.72(h)(1)(B) is being made because the agency is the author of these courses.
- The proposed changes to 22 TAC §535.75(d) clarify that a provider is not prohibited from providing a course completion certificate to a student.
- Proposed new 22 TAC §535.120 makes clear that a license holder cannot engage in real estate brokerage activity while on inactive status. Although this is currently prohibited by statute, there was no corresponding, discrete rule.
- The proposed changes to §535.141 are made to better track Chapter 1101, Occupations Code, and to better reflect the potential for consumer harm. The proposed change in now subsection (c)(2)(D) corrects a rule reference. Finally, subsection (i) is removed to more appropriately reflect agency practice and jurisdiction.
- Subsections (f) and (g) of 22 TAC §535.148, as well as the form adopted by reference, are amended to reflect updated terminology used by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
- The proposed repeal of certain language in §535.209 and §535.213 reflects the expiration of those sections by rule.
- The proposed repeal of subsection (c) in 22 TAC §535.218 is the result of duplicative language. Subsection (d)(1) is removed to account for the scenario whereby an inspector renews the inspector's license after the license's expiration date.
- The proposed changes to 22 TAC §535.219 correct a reference to another rule.
- The proposed changes to 22 TAC §535.224 more fully cite the applicable rules.
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, as well as ensuring relevant education for license holders.
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 or decrease 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 §§535.58, 535.133, and 535.141(i) will limit an existing regulation to correspond with applicable law, and new 22 TAC §535.120 will create a new regulation in order to provide greater consumer protection through clarity to license holders regarding conducting licensed activity while on an inactive license status.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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