Changes to TX Residential Construction Commission do not fix the problem

In an earlier posting I applauded the decision of the Texas Sunset Commission staff to recommend the abolition of the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC). That agency currently accomplishes little more than preventing homeowners from quickly taking home builders to court to compel them to fix problems with the builder’s or remodeler’s work on their homes.

Homeowners are required under the existing law to go through a lengthy process through the TRCC of getting an independent inspection of their home and waiting for the TRCC to give them permission to go to court. Homeowners have been singled out to have to jump through this hoop and endure delays of up to a year or more simply because the home building industry has convinced the Texas Legislature to abridge homeowner’s rights in this way. The TRCC was originally created as a crass effort to slow down and discourage homeowners from exercising their rights in court to get the work on their home done right.

On December 16 the Texas Sunset Commission, a joint Texas House/Senate/public board considered the staff recommendation and voted to reject it and instead keep the TRCC for four more years while imposing some changes on the way the TRCC does business. [The deliberations of the Sunset Commission can be watched here.  The discussion begins at 8:26].

The changes adopted by the Sunset Commission, with one exception, would make the TRCC better. The amount of time the TRCC can take to go through their process is limited and that’s a good thing.

But the fact that Sunset Commission did not allow homeowners to bypass the TRCC altogether and take their case to court if they choose is the fatal flaw in the recommendations.