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  1. #1
    RobertSmith's Avatar
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    Default Consulting in texas

    If I don't do residential & commercial inspections, and just consult, would I need any sort of licensing?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Since your already an inspector, I believe that your wanting to maybe dance around the licensing.

    Personally, I think the answer is going to be NO from TREC.

    I'd would contact them to find out for sure.

    rick


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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    When I served on the state home inspector board in MS, we use to say this: "If it quacks like a duck, it is a duck".

    I'm sure that TREC will say the same. It is not worth the problems that you might get into by simply trying to avoid paying for the new E&O requirement in TX.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Default Re: Consulting in Texas

    (underlining is mine)
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSmith View Post
    If I don't do residential & commercial inspections,
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    When I served on the state home inspector board in MS, we use to say this: "If it quacks like a duck, it is a duck".
    And, because it does not look like a duck, does not walk like a duct, and does not quack like a duct ... the answer will likely be 'No.', as Rick said.

    Also, as Rick said, TREC could answer that for sure.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    If you are looking for a 'solution' to get around the E&O requirement to maintain your TREC license ... there isn't one.

    I've heard some HIs working a 'deal' with an insurance person to sign off on coverage that is 'masked' as E&O and it is in fact just GL. I'm guessing the boom will drop on everyone in that trail before long.

    I'm just waiting on that one.

    As Rick noted best recommendation is to contact TREC and verify to keep everything and everyone honest.


  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Actually, (you will have to read it yourself) I believe that the inspecting (consulting) and giving your findings in writing to a client about the condition of the property is in fact a home inspection. As you are already a home inspector I do not think I would go that route. If you were not a home inspector, my argument is that you could do consulting and by doing so you still are doing an inspection. That is where that lies. If you are inspecting a property and consulting with a client about your inspection. You are doing a home/building inspection and must have a home inspectors licence.

    Personally I think it is bull. Every time I mention it to anyone they keep telling me the same thing. It all comes down to the inspection. After all, you cannot consult on the property unless you inspected it. So that makes you an inspector. That means you have to be a home inspector licensed in the state of TX.

    Please read the info in the TREC website. I guess if you never read it and opened a business as a consultant, well, could you be doing anything wrong? I don't see a clear line where the home inspection ends and you don't have to be licensed.

    I would love to call myself a consultant. No 3,000 a year for E&O. Use my own forms. No continuing ed etc etc.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    If you are looking for a 'solution' to get around the E&O requirement to maintain your TREC license ... there isn't one.

    I've heard some HIs working a 'deal' with an insurance person to sign off on coverage that is 'masked' as E&O and it is in fact just GL. I'm guessing the boom will drop on everyone in that trail before long.

    I'm just waiting on that one.

    As Rick noted best recommendation is to contact TREC and verify to keep everything and everyone honest.
    Nolan

    Now which insurance company did you say that was Hmm 500.00 a year instead of 3,000 a year. My goodness


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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Like others have said, the buck stops at the State.

    I guess if I was on the Board, the first question I would have is: 'What kind of consultant are you?", "What is the scope of your consultation?".

    IF your answer was you were an energy consultant, then maybe you wouldn't need to be licensed as a home inspector (not sure, I don't know TX laws). If you were a feng shui consultant, then maybe not too.

    I would check with the State before THEY check with you.


  9. #9
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Like others have said, the buck stops at the State.

    I guess if I was on the Board, the first question I would have is: 'What kind of consultant are you?", "What is the scope of your consultation?".

    IF your answer was you were an energy consultant, then maybe you wouldn't need to be licensed as a home inspector (not sure, I don't know TX laws). If you were a feng shui consultant, then maybe not too.

    I would check with the State before THEY check with you.

    Energy consultant is cool. You don't need a TREC license for that and you don't have to use their forms or follow their rules. If thats all you are doing!!!!!!!!!


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Consulting would still be giving people advice and that to me would still me a big liability requiring some professional insurance to keep yourself out of court and protect your assets.

    Both Jerrys' on board are consultants. I bet they still have some type of coverage to protect them.

    I believe in Texas, no matter what, if you give anyone any advice on real estate if its either about the condition, purchasing, or selling, you have to be licensed.

    rick


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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    1102.407. CRIMINAL PENALTY FOR PRACTICING WITHOUT
    LICENSE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person does not
    hold a license under this chapter and knowingly engages in the
    business of real estate inspecting
    , including performing an
    inspection while the person's license is revoked or suspended.
    (b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
    (9) "Real estate inspection" means a written or oral
    opinion as to the condition of the improvements to real property,

    including structural items, electrical items, mechanical systems,
    plumbing systems, or equipment.
    (10) "Real estate inspector" means a person who
    represents to the public that the person is trained and qualified to
    perform a real estate inspection under the indirect supervision of
    a professional inspector and who accepts employment to perform a
    real estate inspection for a buyer or seller of real property.
    See you in court...

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Nolan

    Now which insurance company did you say that was Hmm 500.00 a year instead of 3,000 a year. My goodness

    $3,000 a year is high. I renewed my E&O ($500,000) with Business Risk Partners in July for around $1,800, this even includes GL coverage for $500K. My rate went down this year about $600.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    See you in court...
    Hey Mr Jim

    Not arguing with you by any means. I get the same thing out of it myself.

    I do believe that an energy consultant is not going to have to be a home inspector. Shoot the cities do energy audits on homes as well as say the electric company. Now they certainly are not home inspectors.

    Like I said there has to be a line somewhere.

    What about a contractor that inspects the entire home to give someone a full cost of rehab or remodel. Now they are checking everything in that case.

    Don't get me wrong but there has to be a limit. TREC cannot be in control of the world of home ownership or remodelling or just a full rehab. All of that requires inspection of all the components to a home.


  14. #14
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    $3,000 a year is high. I renewed my E&O ($500,000) with Business Risk Partners in July for around $1,800, this even includes GL coverage for $500K. My rate went down this year about $600.
    Hey Scott

    Its more like 2500 but I think it is to high. When it reaches the half way point on thousands I think of it as the next rounded up thousand. Still ticks me off

    Come on guys, how many of you have actually been sued???????????

    Now that would be a good poll if it has not always been done.

    And for what and how much. I have known a serious amount of inspectors over the years and not any have been sued. Have they paid for a little item here or there. I think a couple but not sued.

    Yeah yeah, alls it takes is once. Well make sure when you are at your inspections you are not sleeping!!!!!!!!!!!


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Well, let me rephrase.

    I want to drop my license.

    I don't want to inspect the residential / commercial properties in the entirety anymore.

    What I want to do, for example, If a consumer thinks they have a problem with their roof or plumbing or whatever, then I would look at it just that. In other words, I only want to inspect with respect to a component of a home or commercial property. I also want to just get involve in disputes, attorney related stuff.

    TREC is clear about the occupant code of inspecting w.r.t to a property as part of a real estate transaction.


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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Just curious, why would you want to drop your license? Surely its not just the E&O insurance.

    rick


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    Default Re: Consulting in Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    I believe in Texas, no matter what, if you give anyone any advice on real estate if its either about the condition, purchasing, or selling, you have to be licensed.

    But what would you have to be licensed in?

    As Ted stated "What about a contractor that inspects the entire home to give someone a full cost of rehab or remodel. Now they are checking everything in that case.", I am sure there are restrictions on what "requires" TREC license and what does not.

    As I recall (not sure though) it seems to me that you guys posted the language which included wording to the effect that it was a sale or purchase. If not for sale or purchase, then what does TREC have to do with it?

    As a licensed General Contractor I can look at what I want and do and say what I want.

    As a licensed building code inspector (Standard Inspector - Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical - Residential and Commercial) I can look at what I want and do and say what I want.

    I don't need a "Home Inspection" license.

    Now ... *IF* ... if I were doing that to assist in a purchase or a sale ... and they were to rely on my information ... then, yes, I would be doing a "Home Inspection" and would need to be licensed as a "Home Inspector" - whenever that licensing takes effect. BUT ... I do not do those "inspections".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    www.AskCodeMan.com

  18. #18
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    I believe that digging into the TREC verbiage about licensing for 'inspections' relate to the buying/selling transaction of real property. (I believe as noted by Robert Smith a post or two above).

    If a contractor 'consults' or 'inspects' a property for a remodel or addition, etc., etc. TREC obviously does not apply.

    Almost all of the consultants I know, who do consulting with respect to litigation, expert witness all are still carrying their license (with required insurance) as that is good credibility.


  19. #19
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    I believe that digging into the TREC verbiage about licensing for 'inspections' relate to the buying/selling transaction of real property. (I believe as noted by Robert Smith a post or two above).

    If a contractor 'consults' or 'inspects' a property for a remodel or addition, etc., etc. TREC obviously does not apply.

    Almost all of the consultants I know, who do consulting with respect to litigation, expert witness all are still carrying their license (with required insurance) as that is good credibility.
    You know this is a good conversation. I am certainly not looking for ways to skirt the licensing because, well, I am an inspector.

    A man buying a home to fix it up and resell is infact inspecting the home for repairs and then fixing them and then selling the property. He does not have to be a home inspector. He is certainly doing it for money.

    My personal belief is that particular wording is in place to diswade the vast majority of folks against operating as a home inspector unless licensed.

    There are a tiny handful of folks out there that will, with out a heart or morals that will rip folks off without a second thought.

    I do not believe it was ever meant to have such a broad blanket and I am sure it is not.

    The selling of real estate is always going to be. If one were to think about it. Anyone buying and then eventually selling a home would be involved under a TREC guidelines in being a home inspector, even a home owner. Anyone inspecting that home would fall under the guidelines because they are inspecting it (maybe the home buyer) living in and fixing and then sometime selling.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    The big question is does TREC has jurisdiction over people who hold no license with TREC?

    Or can they only govern their licenees?

    rick


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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    The big question is does TREC has jurisdiction over people who hold no license with TREC?

    Or can they only govern their license?

    rick
    1102.407. CRIMINAL PENALTY FOR PRACTICING WITHOUT
    LICENSE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person does not
    hold a license under this chapter and knowingly engages in the
    business of real estate inspecting
    , including performing an
    inspection while the person's license is revoked or suspended.
    (b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
    I think the legislature covered that aspect, making it a criminal offense to practice without a license.

    I did not post the verbiage, but there are exceptions for various trades people, municipal inspectors, etc.
    But if you are offering an opinion on real estate outside of your particular trade, you are regulated by TREC. You might beat the law, but I would not want to be the test case.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    I think the legislature covered that aspect, making it a criminal offense to practice without a license.

    I did not post the verbiage, but there are exceptions for various trades people, municipal inspectors, etc.
    But if you are offering an opinion on real estate outside of your particular trade, you are regulated by TREC. You might beat the law, but I would not want to be the test case.
    As far as the thread goes. I guess the question is what your consulting business would be named and exactly what type of consulting you are doing.

    Mr Robert Smith

    I guess the question has to go to you since you are the thread starter and question ask-er.

    What exactly are your intentions ???????


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    From:
    Texas
    "OCCUPATIONS CODE
    CHAPTER 1102. REAL ESTATE INSPECTORS
    SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
    1102.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter

    (9) "Real estate inspection" means a written or oral
    opinion as to the condition of the improvements to real property,
    including structural items, electrical items, mechanical systems,
    plumbing systems, or equipment."

    This seems pretty clear.

    but,:

    " 1102.002. APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER. (a) This
    chapter does not apply to a person who repairs, maintains, or
    inspects improvements to real property, including an electrician,
    plumber, carpenter, or person in the business of structural pest
    control in compliance with Chapter 1951, if the person does not
    represent to the public through personal solicitation or public
    advertising that the person is in the business of inspecting those
    improvements.
    (b) This chapter does not prevent a person from performing
    an act the person is authorized to perform under a license or
    registration issued by this state or a governmental subdivision of
    this state under a law other than this chapter."

    The bold is mine. From the occupations code quoted above, it appears if you are not a licensed real estate inspector or advertising yourself as one you may (and I am saying "may" as in I am not sure) be able to do "consulting" work on real properties provided all guidelines are met.

    As usual, state codes and rules are often ambiguous at best and/or contradictory. As stated before, the real answer would come from TREC or other entities regulating this industry.

    I have wondered about the rules on similar inspection situations when people who are not putting their house on the market for sale have asked if I can do a general maintenance inspection on the home to determine any maintenance items that might need attention. Of course there is always the chance that they have full intention of putting the house on the market later and are just not saying so.

    Eric


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Consulting in Texas

    Eric,

    What *I think* it would come down to is:

    a) If a "consultant" "inspects" a house for the purpose of inspecting for a buyer or a seller where the house is "already offered for sale" or is "intended to be offered for sale", than that "consultant" actually performed an "home inspection" and would be required to *also be* a licensed "home inspector".

    b) If a "consultant" "inspects" a house for the purpose of litigation, storm damage, or some other purpose not related to, or not intended to relate to, the house being "offered for sale", then the "consultant" is not performing a "home inspection" and would thus not be required to also be licensed as a "home inspector".

    *I think* that is what it would hinge on, or something close to that.

    I suspect that if the "consultant" did a 'maintenance inspection' and that was that, no "home inspector" license would be required, however, if the seller then offered the house for sale and offered the "maintenance inspection" as evidence of the house already having been inspected, then the "consultant" would likely be required to be a licensed "home inspector".

    Especially since "home inspectors" are under the "real estate" commission in Texas, if the house is not being sold, they really don't care - i.e., they have no dog in the fight, but ... if the house is being sold, they want to try to control the inspection so it meets standards, their dog is now in the fight - they want to muzzle the other dogs.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Shoot the cities do energy audits on homes as well as say the electric company. Now they certainly are not home inspectors.
    I don't know what you mean about cities doing energy audits. Are you saying that city inspectors inspect houses for energy compliance and they are not home inspectors?

    The State of Texas requires city inspectors to be certified in the IECC in order to review energy plans and inspect for compliance if they perform those duties.

    Some cities don't have certified inspectors so they use 3rd party.


  26. #26
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    I don't know what you mean about cities doing energy audits. Are you saying that city inspectors inspect houses for energy compliance and they are not home inspectors?

    The State of Texas requires city inspectors to be certified in the IECC in order to review energy plans and inspect for compliance if they perform those duties.

    Some cities don't have certified inspectors so they use 3rd party.
    That was hear say on my behalf Wayne. I have been told by a few clients, I think North Richland Hills, maybe Keller and some where else that the city not only had the free energy audits done but then the folks received money for upgrades and if I am not mistaken one said they got a tax break for upgrading and saving on energy costs.

    Again I apologize for repeating hear say but after a few folks tell you the same think It sounds believable.

    Maybe it was the state. Not sure, it was some time ago.

    Didn't mean to give the impression of fact.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    They may have offered an incentive through some type of assistance program through the city.

    There is money available through Tarrant County (housing Urban Developement) to upgrade homeowners who "qualify" (read not much money) to do a complete remodel of their homes. There's about a year waiting list and you don't have to pay back the money if you live in it for a certain amount of time..

    Oncor, formerly TXU offered incentives on their electrical bills as in rebates if homeowners upgraded to higher efficiency appliances/windows/insulation. I don't know if they still offer it or not! They did a year or so ago!


  28. #28
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    They may have offered an incentive through some type of assistance program through the city.

    There is money available through Tarrant County (housing Urban Developement) to upgrade homeowners who "qualify" (read not much money) to do a complete remodel of their homes. There's about a year waiting list and you don't have to pay back the money if you live in it for a certain amount of time..

    Oncor, formerly TXU offered incentives on their electrical bills as in rebates if homeowners upgraded to higher efficiency appliances/windows/insulation. I don't know if they still offer it or not! They did a year or so ago!
    Yeah, the last time I heard it was a year plus ago on all three folks and I do believe you are right about the income and assistance level. The only thing that differs from what you say is it was about 2 months time on all of them.

    Anyway I was just making the point about the state licensing and the whole no one can inspect anything theory unless they are a licensed home inspector.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Consulting in texas

    Ted, Got ya! Totally agree and understand where you were coming from!


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