TITLE 22. EXAMINING BOARDS

PART 14. TEXAS OPTOMETRY BOARD

CHAPTER 273. GENERAL RULES

22 TAC §273.4

The Texas Optometry Board adopts amendments to §273.4 of Chapter 273, Title 22, without changes to the proposed text published in the September 8, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4559).

The amendments set fees for license renewal. The amendments will fund the agency's contribution to the costs of the Prescription Monitoring Program as set out in House Bill 2561, Regular Session, 85th Legislature. Fee changes will also fund the agency's national databank query at license renewal. The query is required by Senate Bill 314, Regular Session, 85th Legislature. The rule also amends language referring to fingerprint requirements in this title.

No comments were received.

The amendment is adopted under the Texas Optometry Act, Texas Occupations Code, §§351.151, 351.152, 351.154, 351.304, and 351.308; and House Bill 2561 and Senate Bill 314, Regular Session, 85th Legislature. No other sections are affected by the amendments.

The Texas Optometry Board interprets §351.151 as authorizing the adoption of procedural and substantive rules for the regulation of the optometric profession. The agency interprets §§351.152, 351.154, 351.304, and 351.308 as authorizing the agency to set license renewal and late renewal fees and requiring a deposit to the University of Houston of a percentage of the renewal fee. House Bill 2561 amends the Prescription Monitoring Program and authorizes the agency to increase renewal fees to fund a transfer to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. Senate Bill 314 requires the agency to query a national databank at cost for each license renewal.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704603

Chris Kloeris

Executive Director

Texas Optometry Board

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: September 8, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 305-8500


CHAPTER 277. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

22 TAC §277.1, §277.11

The Texas Optometry Board adopts amendments to §277.1 of Chapter 277, Title 22, and new rule §277.11, without changes to the proposed text published in the September 8, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4560).

The amendments state that anonymous complaints cannot be accepted and that the agency will attempt to preserve the confidentiality of the complainant in the investigative process, with some exceptions. The new rule authorizes the agency to require a licensee or applicant to submit to a Mental or Physical Examination if evidence of an incapacity prevents or could prevent the applicant or license holder from practicing with reasonable skill, competence, and safety to the public.

No comments were received.

The amendments and new rule are adopted under the Texas Optometry Act, Texas Occupations Code, §§351.151, 351.2045, and 351.205; and Senate Bill 314, Regular Session, 85th Legislature, including new §351.5014. No other sections are affected by the amendments.

The Texas Optometry Board interprets §351.151 as authorizing the adoption of procedural and substantive rules for the regulation of the optometric profession. The agency interprets §§351.2045, and 351.205 as setting out the confidential status of a complaint and requiring the agency to adopt rules concerning the investigation of a complaint. Senate Bill 314 adds requirements regarding anonymous complaints and notice requirements for complaints from insurers, agents, administrators and drug companies. Senate Bill 314 in §351.5014 creates a process for the agency to order a physical or mental examination.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704604

Chris Kloeris

Executive Director

Texas Optometry Board

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: September 8, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 305-8500


PART 22. TEXAS STATE BOARD OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANCY

CHAPTER 511. ELIGIBILITY

SUBCHAPTER D. CPA EXAMINATION

22 TAC §511.92

The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy adopts an amendment to §511.92, concerning Definitions, without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 6, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 5360). The amended rule will not be republished.

The amendment to §511.92 utilizes the best language for describing impairments.

No comments were received regarding adoption of the amendment.

The amendment is adopted under the Public Accountancy Act (Act), Texas Occupations Code, §901.151 which provides the agency with the authority to amend, adopt and repeal rules deemed necessary or advisable to effectuate the Act.

No other article, statute or code is affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704670

J. Randel (Jerry) Hill

General Counsel

Texas State Board of Public Accountancy

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: October 6, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 305-7842


22 TAC §511.94

The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy adopts an amendment to §511.94, concerning Documentation of the Need for an Accommodation, without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 6, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 5361). The amended rule will not be republished.

The amendment to §511.94 utilizes the best language for describing impairments.

No comments were received regarding adoption of the amendment.

The amendment is adopted under the Public Accountancy Act (Act), Texas Occupations Code, §901.151 which provides the agency with the authority to amend, adopt and repeal rules deemed necessary or advisable to effectuate the Act.

No other article, statute or code is affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704671

J. Randel (Jerry) Hill

General Counsel

Texas State Board of Public Accountancy

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: October 6, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 305-7842


SUBCHAPTER F. EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

22 TAC §511.123

The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy adopts an amendment to §511.123, concerning Reporting Work Experience, without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 6, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 5362) and will not be republished.

The amendment to §511.123 adopts language requiring the supervising CPA to affirm in writing that he has supervised the work of the applicant for at least one year and expresses the opinion that the applicant is qualified to perform accounting work in accordance with professional standards.

No comments were received regarding adoption of the amendment.

The amendment is adopted under the Public Accountancy Act (Act), Texas Occupations Code, §901.151, which provides the agency with the authority to amend, adopt and repeal rules deemed necessary or advisable to effectuate the Act.

No other article, statute or code is affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704672

J. Randel (Jerry) Hill

General Counsel

Texas State Board of Public Accountancy

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: October 6, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 305-7842


CHAPTER 515. LICENSES

22 TAC §515.8

The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy adopts an amendment to §515.8, concerning Retired or Disability Status, without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 6, 2017 issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 5363) and will not be republished.

The amendment to §515.8 provides guidance on what constitutes retirement, requires retired CPAs to identify themselves as "retired," and expands upon what constitutes what may be considered to be volunteer work performed in retired status.

No comments were received regarding adoption of the amendment.

The amendment is adopted under the Public Accountancy Act (Act), Texas Occupations Code, §901.151 which provides the agency with the authority to amend, adopt and repeal rules deemed necessary or advisable to effectuate the Act.

No other article, statute or code is affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704673

J. Randel (Jerry) Hill

General Counsel

Texas State Board of Public Accountancy

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: October 6, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 305-7842


CHAPTER 519. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

22 TAC §519.7

The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy adopts an amendment to §519.7, concerning Misdemeanors that Subject a Licensee or Certificate Holder to Discipline by the Board, without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 6, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 5365) and will not be republished.

The amendment to §519.7 puts in place the process for determining whether a misdemeanor conviction in another state is comparable to a misdemeanor in Texas which would subject a licensee to possible disciplinary action.

No comments were received regarding adoption of the amendment.

The amendment is adopted under the Public Accountancy Act (Act), Texas Occupations Code, §901.151 which provides the agency with the authority to amend, adopt and repeal rules deemed necessary or advisable to effectuate the Act.

No other article, statute or code is affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704676

J. Randel (Jerry) Hill

General Counsel

Texas State Board of Public Accountancy

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: October 6, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 305-7842


PART 23. TEXAS REAL ESTATE COMMISSION

CHAPTER 531. CANONS OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND CONDUCT

22 TAC §531.18

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §531.18, Consumer Information in Chapter 531, Canons of Professional Ethics and Conduct, with changes to the proposal, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4228).

The amendments to §531.18 increases the font size of the link to the required notice and prohibits its placement in the footer so that the link to the notice will be easier for consumers to find. The amendments also define "business website" and provide additional methods for compliance for social media platforms.

Eighteen comments were received on the amendments as published, two from trade associations. Most of the commenters pointed out that the footer is a good place for consumers to find the link to the required notice and that is should not be prohibited. The Commission agrees and has revised the language to remove the prohibition of placing the link to the notice in the footer. The Commission notes however, that if placed in the footer, the link must still meet the font size and "readily noticeable" requirement in the rule. Other commenters, including the associations stated that those who are currently in compliance should not have to redo the link in another font size. The Commission agrees and added the shortened version of the link name in a larger font size as a second option, rather than a replacement. This shorter version may be a better fit on social media sites that are used as business websites.

The revisions to the rules as adopted do not change the nature or scope so much that they could be deemed different rules. The rules as adopted do not affect individuals other than those contemplated by the rules as proposed. The rules as adopted do not impose more onerous requirements than the proposed rules.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is greater clarity in the rule to achieve better compliance by license holders, so the consumer is better informed.

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 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this amendment are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

§531.18.Consumer Information.

(a) The Commission adopts by reference the Consumer Protection Notice TREC No. CN 1-2. This document is published by and available from the Texas Real Estate Commission, P.O. Box 12188, Austin, Texas 78711-2188, www.trec.texas.gov.

(b) Each active real estate broker and sales agent shall provide the notice adopted under subsection (a) by:

(1) displaying it in a readily noticeable location in each place of business the broker maintains; and

(2) providing a link to it in a readily noticeable place on the homepage of each business website, labeled:

(A) "Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Protection Notice", in at least 10 point font; or

(B) "TREC Consumer Protection Notice", in at least 12 point font.

(c) For purposes of this section, business website means a website on the internet that:

(1) is accessible to the public;

(2) contains information about a license holder's real estate brokerage services; and

(3) the content of the website is controlled by the license holder.

(d) For purposes of providing the link required under subsection (b)(2) on a social media platform, the link may be located on:

(1) the account holder profile; or

(2) a separate page or website through a direct link from the social media platform or account holder profile.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704611

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


22 TAC §531.20

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §531.20, Information About Brokerage Services in Chapter 531, Canons of Professional Ethics and Conduct, with changes to the proposal, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4229).

The amendments to §531.20 increases the font size of the link to the required notice and prohibits its placement in the footer so that the link to the notice will be easier for consumers to find. The amendments also clarify existing requirements, define "business website" and provide additional methods for compliance for social media platforms.

Eighteen comments were received on the amendments as published, two from trade associations. Most of the commenters pointed out that the footer is a good place for consumers to find the link to the required notice and that it should not be prohibited. The Commission agrees and has revised the language to remove the prohibition of placing the link to the notice in the footer. The Commission notes however, that if placed in the footer, the link must still meet the font size and "readily noticeable" requirement in the rule. Other commenters, including the associations stated that those who are currently in compliance should not have to redo the link in another font size. The Commission agrees and added the shortened version of the link name in a larger font size as a second option, rather than a replacement. This shorter version may be a better fit on social media sites that are used as business websites.

The revisions to the rules as adopted do not change the nature or scope so much that they could be deemed different rules. The rules as adopted do not affect individuals other than those contemplated by the rules as proposed. The rules as adopted do not impose more onerous requirements than the proposed rules.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is greater clarity in the rule to achieve better compliance by license holders, so the consumer is better informed.

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 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this amendment are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

§531.20.Information About Brokerage Services.

(a) The Commission adopts by reference the Information About Brokerage Services Notice, TREC No. IABS 1-0 (IABS Notice). The IABS Notice is published by and available from the Texas Real Estate Commission, P.O. Box 12188, Austin, Texas 78711-2188, www.trec.texas.gov.

(b) Each active real estate broker and sales agent shall provide:

(1) a link to a completed IABS Notice in a readily noticeable place on the homepage of each business website, labeled:

(A) "Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Services", in at least 10 point font; or

(B) "TREC Information About Brokerage Services", in at least 12 point font; and

(2) the completed IABS Notice at the first substantive communication as required under §1101.558, Texas Occupations Code.

(c) For purposes of §1101.558, Texas Occupations Code, the completed IABS Notice can be provided:

(1) by personal delivery by the broker or sales agent;

(2) by first class mail or overnight common carrier delivery service;

(3) in the body of an email; or

(4) as an attachment to an email, or a link within the body of an email, with a specific reference to the IABS Notice in the body of the email.

(d) The link to a completed IABS Notice may not be in a footnote or signature block in an email.

(e) For purposes of this section, business website means a website on the internet that:

(1) is accessible to the public;

(2) contains information about a license holder's real estate brokerage services; and

(3) the content of the website is controlled by the license holder.

(f) For purposes of providing the link required under subsection (b)(1) on a social media platform, the link may be located on:

(1) the account holder profile; or

(2) a separate page or website through a direct link from the social media platform or account holder profile.

(g) License holders may reproduce the IABS Notice published by the Commission, provided that the text of the IABS Notice is copied verbatim and the spacing, borders and placement of text on the page must appear to be identical to that in the published version of the IABS Notice, except that the Broker Contact Information section may be prefilled.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704612

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


CHAPTER 533. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

SUBCHAPTER B. GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

22 TAC §533.3

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §533.3, Filing and Notice, in Chapter 533, Practice and Procedure, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4230).

The amendments to §533.3 extend the time the applicant has to request a hearing following notice from the Commission and clarifies the starting date for the statutory two year waiting period following denial before an applicant can reapply. The amendments were recommended by the Commission's Enforcement Committee.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is greater clarity in the rule.

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 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this amendment are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704613

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


CHAPTER 534. GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

22 TAC §534.3

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §534.3, Employee Training and Education, in Chapter 534, General Administration, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4230).

The amendments to §534.3 set out the general rules required by Subchapter C, Chapter 656 of the Texas Government Code but allows the detail regarding employee eligibility for training, and employee obligations after completion of training and education, etc. to be set by the Executive Director through employee policies. This will allow more flexibility for the Executive Director to respond to the needs of the workforce and to remain competitive in this area with other employers. It will also provide one central place for employees to find detailed information about the Commission's policies on employee education and training.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is increased ability to respond to the training needs of the agency workforce.

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 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this amendment are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704614

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


CHAPTER 535. GENERAL PROVISIONS

SUBCHAPTER B. GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF LICENSURE

22 TAC §535.17

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §535.17, Broker Price Opinion or Comparative Market Analysis, in Chapter 535, General Provisions, with non-substantive changes to the text as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4231).

The amendments to §535.17 include estimated worth or sales price in the types of price statements that require a broker to provide a written statement to consumers. The amendments also revise and shorten the required written statement. "Salesperson" was also updated to the statutory term "sales agent" wherever it appeared.

Five comments were received on the proposed amendments. Three commenters were in favor of the change and two had questions regarding the change. Staff recommended a clarifying change to the language in the disclosure due to proposed rule changes in federal law regarding appraisals required for loans. The Commission agreed with the change.

The revisions to the rules as adopted do not change the nature or scope so much that they could be deemed different rules. The rules as adopted do not affect individuals other than those contemplated by the rules as proposed. The rules as adopted do not impose more onerous requirements than the proposed rules.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is greater consumer protection by making consumers aware of the basis of the figure given by license holders regarding what their home is worth. This is particularly needed with the proliferation of online tools that give these figures out to consumers on internet sites.

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 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this amendment are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

§535.17.Broker Price Opinion, Comparative Market Analysis, or Sales Price Estimate.

(a) A real estate license holder may not perform an appraisal of, or provide an opinion of value for, real property unless the license holder is licensed or certified under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1103.

(b) If a real estate license holder provides a broker price opinion, comparative market analysis, or estimated worth or sale price under the Act, the license holder shall also provide the person for whom the opinion, analysis, or estimate is prepared with a written statement containing the following language: "This represents an estimated sale price for this property. It is not the same as the opinion of value in an appraisal developed by a licensed appraiser under the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice."

(c) The statement required by subsection (b) of this section must be made part of any written opinion, analysis, or estimate of worth or sale price and must be reproduced verbatim in at least 12-point font.

(d) A sales agent may prepare, sign, and present a broker price opinion, comparative market analysis, or estimate of worth or sale price for the sales agent's sponsoring broker, but the sales agent must submit the broker price opinion, comparative market analysis, or estimate of worth or sale price in the broker's name and the broker is responsible for it.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704615

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER G. REQUIREMENTS FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION PROVIDERS, COURSES AND INSTRUCTORS

22 TAC §535.71

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §535.71, Approval of CE Providers, in Chapter 535, General Provisions, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4234).

The amendments eliminate exemptions from TREC requirements for certain education providers of real estate inspection continuing education courses. These exemptions caused confusion in the marketplace, were inconsistent with exemptions allowed by TREC for education providers of real estate courses, and were only utilized by license holders to obtain continuing education course credits in a few limited circumstances.

No comments were received on the proposed amendments as published, and the Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee recommends adopting the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to eliminate confusion in the marketplace and clarify the inspector continuing education requirements for license holders and education providers.

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; and Texas Occupations Code §1102.058, which authorizes the Commission to adopt rules relating to continuing education requirements for inspectors.

The statute affected by the amendments is Chapter 1102, Texas Occupations Code. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704662

Kristen Worman

Deputy General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3093


SUBCHAPTER N. SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION OF LICENSURE

22 TAC §535.141

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §535.141, Initiation of Investigation, in Chapter 535, General Provisions, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4234).

The amendments to §535.141 removes subsection (a) which references the Mortgage Fraud Task Force that was abolished by SB 526 in the 85th Legislative Session. The remaining section was renumbered and "salesperson" was updated to the statutory term "sales agent" wherever it appeared.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to reflect recent statutory changes.

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 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this amendment are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704616

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


22 TAC §535.154

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts the repeal of 22 TAC §535.154, Advertising, in Chapter 535, General Provisions, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4236).

The repeal is necessary because a new rule is being adopted to provide greater clarity for advertising requirements and to conform the rule with statutory changes made by the 85th Legislature.

No comments were received on the repeal as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is the rule was replaced with new rules to align with recent statutory changes and to make it clear to the public who is responsible for the operation of the brokerage for the real estate services advertised.

The repeal is 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 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this repeal are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the repeal.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704620

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: May 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


22 TAC §535.154, §535.155

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts new 22 TAC §535.154, Registration and Use of Alternate, Team and Assumed Business Names Used in Advertisements and new 22 TAC §535.155, Advertisements, in Chapter 535, General Provisions, with changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4236).

The new rules align the rules with statutory changes adopted in SB 2212 by the 85th Legislature effective September 1, 2017 and implement changes to the rules recommended by the Commission's Executive Committee following over a year of study and input from stakeholders. The rule was split into two rules to separate out name and registration of name requirements from advertising requirements. Most of the new requirements involve changes to how team names are defined, registered and used. New statutory provisions and a consensus by stakeholders that team names presently cause most of the consumer confusion in advertisements drove these changes. Much of the new rules contains provisions that are similar or identical to the current rule but have been rewritten for clarity. Additionally, new definitions were added, the requirement for notifying the Commission of the use of an alternate name, assumed business name or team name was amended to require registration of the names with the Commission prior to their use, and the current safe harbor policy regarding the size of the broker's name in advertisement was put into the rule.

Twenty-two comments were received on the proposal as published. One was from a trade association and five other commenters supported their remarks. The trade association was generally in support of the new rules with the exception of subsections (d)(4) and (d)(7). Commission staff after reviewing the comments and consulting with the association recommended revisions that the association endorses. Staff also recommended additional language to further distinguish the definitions of a broker's assumed business name and a team name. Of the remaining commenters, seven were opposed to the requirements for team names and nine were generally in support.

The Commission recognizes that some license holders on teams will need to change their signage under the new rules. To ameliorate this expense, the Commission has extended the effective date of the rule until May 15, 2018 to allow those license holders to spread out the cost of new signage over time.

The revisions to the rules as adopted do not change the nature or scope so much that they could be deemed different rules. The rules as adopted do not affect individuals other than those contemplated by the rules as proposed. The rules as adopted do not impose more onerous requirements than the proposed rules.

The reasoned justification for the proposal is increased consumer protection by setting out requirements that will make it clear to the public who is responsible for the operation of the brokerage when they view license holders' advertisements.

The new rules 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 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this adoption are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

§535.154.Registration and Use of Alternate, Team and Assumed Business Names Used in Advertisements.

(a) Definitions. For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Advertisement" has the meaning assigned by §535.155.

(2) "Alternate name" (commonly known as an alias) means a name used by an individual license holder other than the name shown on the license issued by the Commission, such as a middle name, maiden name, or nickname. It does not include a common derivative of a name, such as Kim for Kimberly or Bill for William, which is considered the same as the name shown on the license.

(3) "Associated broker" means a broker who associates with and gets paid through another broker under a relationship that is intended to be a continuous relationship, including but not limited to, an employment or ongoing independent contractor relationship.

(4) "Assumed business name" (commonly known as a DBA or trade name) means any name used in business by a broker that meets the requirements of subsection (d), other than the name shown on the broker's license issued by the Commission, a team name, or an alternate name.

(5) "Team name" means a name used by a group of one or more license holders sponsored by or associated with the same broker that performs real estate activities under an exclusive collective name other than the broker's licensed name or assumed business name.

(b) Alternate names.

(1) Before a license holder starts using an alternate name in an advertisement, the license holder must register the name with the Commission on a form approved by the Commission.

(2) The Commission may request supporting documentation evidencing the legal authority to use the alternate name if the last name submitted is different from the last name shown on the license issued by the Commission.

(3) A license holder must notify the Commission, and their sponsoring broker, not later than the 10th day after the date the license holder stops using an alternate name.

(c) Team names:

(1) A team name may not include any terms that could mislead the public to believe think that the team is offering brokerage services independent from its sponsoring broker.

(2) A team name must end with the word "team" or "group".

(3) Before an associated broker or a sales agent sponsored by a broker starts using a team name in an advertisement, the broker must register the name with the Commission on a form approved by the Commission.

(4) A broker must notify the Commission in writing not later than the 10th day after the date the associated broker or a sales agent sponsored by the broker stops using a team name.

(d) Assumed business names.

(1) Before a broker, associated broker or a sales agent sponsored by a broker starts using an assumed business name of the broker in an advertisement, the broker must:

(A) register the name with the Commission on a form approved by the Commission; and

(B) provide written evidence of legal authority to use the assumed business name in Texas, such as registration of the name with the Secretary of State or county clerk's office.

(2) A broker must notify the Commission in writing not later than the 10th day after the date the broker stops using an assumed business name.

§535.155.Advertisements.

(a) Each advertisement must include the following in a readily noticeable location in the advertisement:

(1) the name of the license holder or team placing the advertisement; and

(2) the broker's name in at least half the size of the largest contact information for any sales agent, associated broker, or team name contained in the advertisement.

(b) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Advertisement" is any form of communication by or on behalf of a license holder designed to attract the public to use real estate brokerage services and includes, but is not limited to, all publications, brochures, radio or television broadcasts, all electronic media including email, text messages, social media, the Internet, business stationery, business cards, displays, signs and billboards. Advertisement does not include a communication from a license holder to the license holder's current client.

(2) Associated broker has the meaning assigned by §535.154.

(3) "Broker's name" means:

(A) the broker's name as shown on a license issued by the Commission;

(B) if an individual, an alternate name registered with the Commission; or

(C) any assumed business name that meets the requirements of §535.154.

(4) "Contact Information" means any information that can be used to contact a license holder featured in the advertisement, including a name, phone number, email address, website address, social media handle, scan code or other similar information.

(5) "Party" means a prospective buyer, seller, landlord, or tenant, or an authorized legal representative of a buyer, seller, landlord, or tenant, including a trustee, guardian, executor, administrator, receiver, or attorney-in-fact. The term does not include a license holder who represents a party.

(6) "Team name" has the meaning assigned by §535.154.

(c) For an advertisement on social media or by text, the information required by this section may be located on a separate page or on the account user profile page of the license holder, if the separate page or account user profile is:

(1) readily accessible by a direct link from the social media or text; and

(2) readily noticeable on the separate page or in the account user profile.

(d) For purposes of this section and §1101.652(b)(23) of the Act, an advertisement that misleads or is likely to deceive the public, tends to create a misleading impression, or implies that a sales agent is responsible for the operation of the broker's real estate brokerage business includes, but is not limited to, any advertisement:

(1) that is inaccurate in any material fact or representation;

(2) that does not comply with this section;

(3) that identifies a sales agent as a broker;

(4) that uses a title, such as owner, president, CEO, COO, or other similar title, email or website address that implies a sales agent is responsible for the operations of a brokerage;

(5) that contains a team name with terms that imply that the team is offering brokerage services independent from its sponsoring broker, including, but not limited to, "realty", "brokerage", "company", and "associates";

(6) that contains the name of a sales agent that is not the name as shown on the sales agent's license issued by the Commission or an alternate name registered with the Commission;

(7) that contains the name of a sales agent whose name is, in whole or in part, used in a broker's name and that implies that the sales agent is responsible for the operation of the brokerage;

(8) that causes a member of the public to believe that a person not licensed to conduct real estate brokerage is engaged in real estate brokerage;

(9) that contains the name or likeness of an unlicensed person that does not clearly disclose that the person does not hold a license;

(10) that creates confusion regarding the permitted use of a property;

(11) about the value of a property, unless it is based on an appraisal that is disclosed and readily available upon request by a party or it is given in compliance with §535.17;

(12) that implies the person making the advertisement was involved in a transaction regarding a property when the person had no such role;

(13) about a property that is subject to an exclusive listing agreement without the permission of the listing broker and without disclosing the name of the listing broker unless the listing broker has expressly agreed in writing to waive disclosure;

(14) offering a listed property that is not discontinued within 10 days after the listing agreement is no longer in effect;

(15) about a property 10 days or more after the closing of a transaction unless the current status of the property is included in the advertisement;

(16) that offers to rebate a portion of a license holder's compensation to a party if the advertisement does not disclose that payment of the rebate is subject to the consent of the party the license holder represents in the transaction;

(17) that offers to rebate a portion of a license holder's commission contingent upon a party's use of a specified service provider, or subject to approval by a third party such as a lender, unless the advertisement also contains a disclosure that payment of the rebate is subject to restrictions;

(18) that offers or promotes the use of a real estate service provider other than the license holder and the license holder expects to receive compensation if a party uses those services, if the advertisement does not contain a disclosure that the license holder may receive compensation from the service provider;

(19) that ranks the license holder or another service provider unless the ranking is based on objective criteria disclosed in the advertisement; or

(20) that states or implies that the license holder teaches or offers Commission approved courses in conjunction with an approved school or other approved organization unless the license holder is approved by the Commission to teach or offer the courses.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704621

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: May 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER Q. ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES

22 TAC §535.191

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §535.191, Schedule of Administrative Penalties, in Chapter 535, General Provisions, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4238).

The amendments to §535.191 inserts administrative penalties for failure to comply with Commission rules §531.18 and §531.20. These rules were adopted 18 months ago and, following a long education campaign, the Commission now needs to clarify and modify the sanctions in place for license holders who still do not properly provide these important statutorily required consumer notices. The amendments also adds §535.155 to align with the new rule to replace current §535.154 and adds §535.65 related to responsibilities and operations of education providers.

Three comments were received on the amendments as published. All were against the proposal stating that the amount of penalties were excessive for violations of rules 531.18 & 531.20. The Commission disagrees for two reasons. First, posting the notices on the license holder's business website is important for consumer education and protection, especially in light of the recent statutory change for prohibiting the Commission from requiring any reference to the Commission or a license holder's status as an agent or a broker in advertisements. Secondly, the violation of the rules, when not listed on the schedule of penalties would default to the statutory provision that contains the general requirement. This statute is Section 1101.558. Violation of that statute falls under the highest penalty range on the schedule. The Commission considers violation of the posting requirements for the links to the notices to be a lesser violation than not providing them at all, and placed the rules in the second tier of penalties. Therefore, the amendments actually lessens the amount of penalties that can be assessed for violation of these rules.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to reflect recent rule revisions in the appropriate levels in the schedule.

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 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this amendment are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704624

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER R. REAL ESTATE INSPECTORS

22 TAC §535.218

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §535.218, Continuing Education Required for Renewal in Subchapter R, Real Estate Inspectors, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4240).

The amendments eliminate exemptions from TREC requirements for certain education providers of real estate inspection continuing education courses and conform this rule with amendments to §535.71 of this Chapter. These exemptions caused confusion in the marketplace, were inconsistent with exemptions allowed by TREC for education providers of real estate courses, and were only utilized by license holders to obtain continuing education course credits in a few limited circumstances.

No comments were received on the amendments as published, and the Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee recommends adopting the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to eliminate confusion in the marketplace and clarify the inspector continuing education requirements for license holders and education providers.

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; and Texas Occupations Code §1102.058, which authorizes the Commission to adopt rules relating to continuing education requirements for inspectors.

The statute affected by this amendment is Chapter 1102, Texas Occupations Code. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704663

Kristen Worman

Deputy General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: December 6, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3093


SUBCHAPTER S. RESIDENTIAL RENTAL LOCATORS

22 TAC §535.300

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §535.300, Advertising by Residential Rental Locators, in Chapter 535, General Provisions, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4241).

The amendments are adopted to align the rules with statutory changes in SB 2212 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective September 1, 2017. As required by the statutory changes, the amendments eliminate the current required reference to the Commission in all advertising. "Salesperson" was also updated to the statutory term "sales agent" wherever it appeared.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rule with recent statutory and rule changes.

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 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

The statutes affected by this amendment are Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1101. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704636

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: May 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


CHAPTER 537. PROFESSIONAL AGREEMENTS AND STANDARD CONTRACTS

22 TAC §537.11

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §537.11, Use of Standard Contract Forms in Chapter 537, Professional Agreements and Standard Contracts, with changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4242).

The amendments to §537.11 clarifies when a license holder can hire an attorney to prepare a form for use by the license holder's clients and the specific disclosures such a form must contain. The remaining amendments to the rule consolidate and update how a license holder can use the standard contract forms approve by the Commission and what is considered the unauthorized practice of law.

Texas real estate license holders are generally required to use forms promulgated by TREC when negotiating contacts for the sale of real property. These forms are drafted and recommended for adoption by the Texas Real Estate Broker-Lawyer Committee, an advisory body consisting of six attorneys appointed by the President of the State Bar of Texas, six brokers appointed by TREC, and one public member appointed by the governor.

Twenty-seven comments were received on the amendments as published. Four were from trade associations. One comment was in full support of the changes. The other non-association comments were from members of one of the associations in support of the letter written by that association. All of the associations expressed concern over having to revise their forms used by Commission license holders to meet the requirements of proposed amendments. The Commission did not feel that this presented an undue burden on the associations, especially in light of the increased consumer protection in the form of greater transparency in the forms. However, some of the comments presented by the associations did result in staff recommended changes to the proposal. One comment was received regarding the possibility that the changes proposed in subsection (a)(3) was an overly restrictive interpretation of the statutory exception in Texas Occ. Code §1101.155(b). The Commission agreed and changed that provision to mirror the statutory language. While most of the associations understood and agreed with the intent behind subsection (a)(4), they opposed new subsection (b) and requested revisions to (a)(4) to allow the associations to be able to quickly respond to changes in the market and meet the needs of their members. The Commission agreed and deleted new subsection (b) and revised subsection (a)(4) to require several additional disclosures only when a form changed the rights, obligations or remedies of a party under a contract or addendum form approved by the Commission for mandatory use by license holders.

The revisions to the rules as adopted do not change the nature or scope so much that they could be deemed different rules. The rules as adopted do not affect individuals other than those contemplated by the rules as proposed. The rules as adopted do not impose more onerous requirements than the proposed rules.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is greater clarity in the rule for license holders and greater transparency in forms given to consumers to use in transactions by license holders.

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 and ensure compliance with Chapters 1101 and 1102.

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

§537.11.Use of Standard Contract Forms.

(a) When negotiating contracts binding the sale, exchange, option, lease or rental of any interest in real property, a real estate license holder shall use only those contract forms approved for mandatory use by the Texas Real Estate Commission (the Commission) for that type of transaction with the following exceptions:

(1) transactions in which the license holder is functioning solely as a principal, not as an agent;

(2) transactions in which an agency of the United States government requires a different form to be used;

(3) transactions for which a contract form, or addendum to a contract form, has been prepared by a property owner or prepared by a lawyer and required by a property owner; or

(4) transactions for which no mandatory contract form or addendum has been approved by the Commission, and the license holder uses a form:

(A) prepared by a lawyer licensed by this state, or a trade association in consultation with one or more lawyers licensed by this state, for the particular type of transactions involved that contains:

(i) the name of the lawyer or trade association who prepared the form;

(ii) the name of the broker or trade association for whom the form was prepared;

(iii) the type of transaction for which the lawyer or trade association has approved the use of the form;

(iv) any restrictions on the use of the form; and

(v) if it is an addendum that changes the rights, obligations or remedies of a party under a contract or addendum form approved by the Commission for mandatory use, the form must also include:

(I) a statement about how the addendum changes the rights, obligations or remedies of a party, with a reference to the relevant paragraph number in the mandatory use form;

(II) a statement that the form is not a mandatory Texas Real Estate Commission form; and

(III) a statement that Commission rules prohibit real estate license holders from giving legal advice; or

(B) prepared by the Texas Real Estate Broker-Lawyer Committee (the committee) and approved by the Commission for voluntary use by license holders.

(b) A license holder may not:

(1) practice law;

(2) directly or indirectly offer, give or attempt to give legal advice;

(3) give advice or opinions as to the legal effect of any contracts or other such instruments which may affect the title to real estate;

(4) give opinions concerning the status or validity of title to real estate;

(5) draft language defining or affecting the rights, obligations or remedies of the principals of a real estate transaction, including escalation, appraisal or other contingency clauses;

(6) add factual statements or business details to a form approved by the Commission if the Commission has approved a form or addendum for mandatory use for that purpose;

(7) attempt to prevent or in any manner whatsoever discourage any principal to a real estate transaction from employing a lawyer; or

(8) employ or pay for the services of a lawyer, directly or indirectly, to represent a principal to a real estate transaction in which the license holder is acting as an agent.

(c) This section does not limit a license holder's fiduciary obligation to disclose to the license holder's principals all pertinent facts that are within the knowledge of the license holder, including such facts which might affect the status of or title to real estate.

(d) It is not the practice of law for a license holder to fill in the blanks in a contract form authorized for use by this section. A license holder shall only add factual statements and business details or shall strike text as directed in writing by the principals.

(e) This section does not prevent the license holder from explaining to the principals the meaning of the alternative choices, factual statements and business details contained in an instrument so long as the license holder does not offer or give legal advice.

(f) When a transaction involves unusual matters that should be reviewed by a lawyer before an instrument is executed, or if the instrument must be acknowledged and filed of record, the license holder shall advise the principals that each should consult a lawyer of the principal's choice before executing the instrument.

(g) A license holder may employ and pay for the services of a lawyer to represent only the license holder in a real estate transaction.

(h) A license holder shall advise the principals that the instrument they are about to execute is binding on them.

(i) Forms approved by the Commission may be reproduced only from the following sources:

(1) electronically reproduced from the files available on the Commission's website;

(2) printed copies made from copies obtained from the Commission;

(3) legible photocopies made from such copies; or

(4) computer-driven printers following these guidelines:

(A) The computer file or program containing the form text must not allow the end user direct access to the text of the form and may only permit the user to insert language in blanks in the forms. Blanks may be scalable to accommodate the inserted language. The Commission may approve the use of a computer file or program that permits a principal of a license holder to strike through language of the form text. The program must be:

(i) limited to use only by a principal of a transaction; and

(ii) in a format and authenticated in manner acceptable to the Commission.

(B) Typefaces or fonts must appear to be identical to those used by the Commission in printed copies of the particular form.

(C) The text and order of the text must be identical to that used by the Commission in printed copies of the particular form.

(D) The name and address of the person or firm responsible for developing the software program must be legibly printed below the border at the bottom of each page in no less than six point type and in no larger than 10 point type.

(j) Forms approved or promulgated by the Commission must be reproduced on the same size of paper used by the Commission with the following changes or additions only:

(1) The business name or logo of a broker, organization or printer may appear at the top of a form outside the border.

(2) The broker's name may be inserted in any blank provided for that purpose.

(k) Standard Contract Forms adopted by the Commission are published by and available from the Commission at P.O. Box 12188, Austin, Texas 78711-2188 or www.trec.texas.gov.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704640

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: May 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


CHAPTER 539. RULES RELATING TO THE RESIDENTIAL SERVICE COMPANY ACT

SUBCHAPTER D. DEFINITIONS

22 TAC §539.31

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §539.31, Definitions, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4245).

The amendments align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to improve comprehension.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rules with recent statutory changes.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this amendment is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704641

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER E. DISCLOSURES

22 TAC §539.41

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §539.41, Disclosures, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4246).

The amendments align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018, and to increase comprehension.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this amendment is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704642

Kerri Lewis

Executive Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER F. AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL

22 TAC §539.51

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §539.51, "Employed By" Defined, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4246).

The amendments update the term "salesperson" to the statutory "sales agent".

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this amendment is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704645

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER G. APPLICATIONS AND MAINTENANCE OF LICENSE

22 TAC §539.61, §539.62

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §539.61, Application for Residential Service Company License and §539.62, Application to Approve Evidence of Coverage/Schedule of Charges, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4247).

The amendments align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018, and to increase comprehension. The reference to the fees is for clarity of the process. The fees are not new and have not changed.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by these amendments is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704647

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


22 TAC §539.63

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts the repeal of 22 TAC §539.63, Termination of Application, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4247).

The repeal is necessary because a new rule is being adopted to conform the rule with statutory changes made by the 85th Legislature and to increase comprehension.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The repeal is adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this amendment is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the repeal.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704649

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


22 TAC §539.63

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts new 22 TAC §539.63, Application to Approve Contract, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4248).

The new rules align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension. The reference to the fees is for clarity of the process. The fees are not new and have not changed.

No comments were received on the new rule as published.

The reasoned justification for the new rule is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The new rule is adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this adoption is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704651

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


22 TAC §539.64, §539.65

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §539.64, Mailing Address and Other Contact Information, and §539.65, Change in Company Ownership or Officers, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4248).

The amendments to §539.64 and §539.65 align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this amendment is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704653

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER H. MISCELLANEOUS FORMS

22 TAC §539.71

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §539.71, Miscellaneous Forms, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4249).

The amendments align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this amendment is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704655

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER I. FINANCIAL ASSURANCES

22 TAC §539.81, §539.82

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §539.81, Funded Reserves and §539.82, Security, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4249).

The amendments to §539.81 and §539.82 align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279, adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018, and to increase comprehension.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this amendment is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704656

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER J. ANNUAL REPORT

22 TAC §539.91

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §539.91, Annual Report, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, with changes to the proposal, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4250).

The amendments to §539.91 align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension. The subsection regarding mid-year reports was moved and rewritten from another rule that is being repealed for better clarity. The reference to the fee is for clarity of the process. The fee is not new and has not changed.

No comments were received on the amendments as published but a typographical error was corrected in subsection b since no fee is currently required for the mid-year report.

The revisions to the rules as adopted do not change the nature or scope so much that they could be deemed different rules. The rules as adopted do not affect individuals other than those contemplated by the rules as proposed. The rules as adopted do not impose more onerous requirements than the proposed rules.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this amendment is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

§539.91.Reports.

(a) Annual Report. Each residential service company shall file an Annual Report on a form prescribed by the Commission for that purpose and submit the required fee under §539.231 no later than February 1 of each year for the preceding calendar year, with the financial statements filed no later than April 1.

(b) Mid-Year Report. Each residential service company shall file a Mid-Year Report on a form prescribed by the Commission for that purpose and submit any required fee under §539.231 no later than August 1 of each year for the preceding months of January through June.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704657

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER M. EXAMINATIONS

22 TAC §539.121

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §539.121, Examinations, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4251).

The amendments to §539.121 align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this amendment is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704658

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER N. MID-YEAR REPORT

22 TAC §539.137

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts the repeal of 22 TAC §539.137, Mid-Year Report, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4251).

The repeal aligns the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018. The subject matter of this rule was moved to section 539.91 dealing with all reports for greater clarity.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The repeal is adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this amendment is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the proposed repeal.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704659

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER Q. ISSUES AFFECTING CONSUMERS

22 TAC §539.160

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts the repeal of 22 TAC §539.160, Copy of Residential Service Company Contract, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4252).

The repeal aligns the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018.

No comments were received on the repeal as published.

The reasoned justification for the repeal is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The repeal is adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this repeal is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the proposed repeal.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704660

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092


SUBCHAPTER X. FEES

22 TAC §539.231

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopts amendments to 22 TAC §539.231, Fees, in Chapter 539, Rules Relating to the Residential Service Company Act, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4252).

The amendments to §539.231 align the rules with statutory changes in HB 2279 adopted by the 85th Legislature to be effective January 1, 2018 and to increase comprehension.

No comments were received on the amendments as published.

The reasoned justification for the amendments is to align the rule with recent statutory changes.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, §1303.051, which authorizes the Texas Real Estate Commission to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer Chapter 1303.

The statute affected by this amendment is Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1303. No other statute, code or article is affected by the amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 16, 2017.

TRD-201704661

Kerri Lewis

General Counsel

Texas Real Estate Commission

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-3092