Consumer confidence is the name of the game for recently-implemented laws in Texas, which place new rules and restrictions on several areas of real estate with more to follow in 2012.
The product of two laws passed earlier by the Texas legislature, the aim of the legislation is to “clarify and standardize application procedures” and “provide better protections for consumers and strengthen[ed] license holder education requirements.”
Under the new laws, property managers of single-family homes must be licensed, a new requirement for the industry; also, any firm that engages in brokerage activity – even partnerships – must be licensed, though sole proprietorships are still exempt.
Further changes will come in 2012 for Realtors seeking broker’s licenses. Starting in 2012, four years’ experience will be necessary for the license, a doubling of the current requirement of two years. Additionally, broker applicants will be required to demonstrate “practical competency by providing a detailed list of brokerage activities engaged in by the applicant during this same period.”
Licensed brokers also face new requirements. For those who renew their licenses after Sept. 1, 2012, a new mandatory course entitled “Broker Responsibility” must be taken, that covers the most current legal and ethical issues of the profession.