Changes to Inspector Rules... Effective February 1, 2009

By
Real Estate Agent with Metro Realty Partners

At its meeting on October 27, 2008, the Texas Real Estate Commission adopted revised Standards of Practice for inspectors, as well as a new required inspection report form for 1- to 4-family residential property. These revisions will take effect on February 1, 2009.

The newly adopted inspection report form looks very similar to the current form, with a few important changes.

  • The explanatory text on the first page of the report form has been expanded to two pages to provide more information about the inspection.
  •  The "Not Functioning or In Need of Repair" check box has been replaced with a "Deficiency" check box.
  • The report form has been rearranged to match the order of the major systems that are subject to inspection.

The Standards require inspectors to report certain items for informational purposes only and other items only if they are found to be deficient. Some of the items inspectors will be required to report (regardless of whether they are deficient) are as follows:

  • the type of foundation, roof covering, branch circuit conductors, and heating and cooling systems
  • the energy source of the heating system, cooling system, and water heater
  • the vantage point from which the crawl space, attic, and roof were inspected, as well as any levels of the roof that were not accessed
  • evidence of previous repairs to roofing materials
  • evidence of water penetration
  • the presence and approximate average depth of attic insulation and thickness of vertical insulation, where visible
  • static water pressure
  • the location of the water meter and main water supply valve
  • water heater capacity

The current list of unsafe conditions, including excessive baluster spacing and the absence of safety glass at hazardous locations, was increased to include the absence of properly functioning arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) devices at required locations (family/living rooms, dining rooms, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas). Unlike ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) devices, which have long been required by building codes to protect occupants from risk of shock, AFCIs have been introduced more recently to protect property from the risk of fire caused by sparks. Form OP-I, Texas Real Estate Consumer Notice Concerning Hazards and Deficiencies, addresses the safety component of the inspection. The Commission approved this form for voluntary use by all licensees

The TREC web page dedicated to these changes is:

 http://www.trec.state.tx.us/inspector/SpecialTopics/SoP_Changes_2008.asp

The full copy of the new Standards of Practice is available at:

http://www.trec.state.tx.us/pdf/rules/535.227-233.pdf

Comments (1)

Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

What a great thing....does anyone know if California has state mandated standards? I've seen some very weak inspections. I think it's completely up to the buyers to find out on their own and we agents really have to watch to make sure they are getting a good inspection.

Jan 30, 2009 02:33 AM