New form helps property managers comply with TREC rule

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A blank form with the word

03/01/2017 | Author: Legal Staff

The Texas Real Estate Commission in February adopted a rule change, effective March 6, that allows the unescorted viewing of a vacant property available for lease. Such unescorted access to the property is permitted as long as certain methods are used to control access and verify identity of the potential tenant, and the property owner consents in writing.

According to the TREC rule, the consent must specify (in bold print and at least 12-point font) whether the broker enabling access or the owner will be responsible for any damage that results, and that the owner is aware unescorted access may occur. 

The Texas Association of REALTORS® has created a written consent form that complies with these requirements: The Owner’s Authorization Concerning Unescorted Access to Property (TAR 2223) is currently available on TAR’s blank forms page and in zipForm. 

Categories: Property Management
Tags: property management, trec, vacant, lease, unescorted access


Ward Lowe on 03/23/2017

It is now available in zipForm. I’ll update the post.
-Ward Lowe, TAR staff

Dawn Weller on 03/23/2017

When will this form be available in zip forms?

Jose l Escobedo on 03/15/2017

I don’t believe in letting the possible prospect go and preview the property without a licensed agent. This business will always require an agent to show a property. I feel that we all have to deal with ideas that help a few but effect everybody. The agents that are to lazy to go show a property and expect the prospect go on their own, might as well turn in his or her license and we will give it to the prospect . I can’t believe that we have become so technically advanced that we are willing to let somebody else show a property for lease or to buy. The comment about some agents not knowing how to fill out an application , well maybe the agent needs some training on this matter. The creation of another form to solve one problem only opens the door form more problem and liability for both owner and Broker.

Shirley on 03/10/2017

I find it extremely un professional that that Real Estate Agents are so lazy now days.
I now I will see some law suits over this issue soon.

Charles Hance on 03/07/2017

Yea, the owner must consent, however owners will usually go along with what ever their realtors think is the best avenue, Convince an owner and see if you or your broker don’t end up buying a refrigerator etc. Owners are always agreeable until something goes wrong,  then it your fault even if you have the form they agreed to I’ve seen it to many times. NO Thanks my advice don’t do it.

Tanya Young on 03/07/2017

NOW, How many agents will read that the property owner must consent in writing?
This is not a blanket free for all.  Fun times ahead for those that have to deal with nonreaders.

diane benjamin on 03/07/2017

As a Realtor for almost 40 years and the owner of 4 rental properties, I find this new ‘accommodation’ a recipe for disaster.  I will NOT show a property wherein the landlord or listing agent would allow anyone to enter unaccompanied, and unvetted by a professional Realtor!  Many of the vacant houses are now available to anyone who decides to camp out - be a ‘squatter’ and the potential harm - not just to the physical well being of the property…what about a female…or male Realtor who might find an intruder - under the guise of being a potential customer…to wait for available prey!  Bad idea - bad rule, let the genius’ who came up with this, leave their own homes with their front doors wide open!  I have served on the DPD Chief of Police CWEB for North Central, helped write the handbook for crime watch groups and this new ruling is a welcome mat for criminals.

Bill K on 03/06/2017

If you think this is a good practice, I suggest you try it on perhaps your home, or your own rental properties. It appears to me the genius that wrote this does not have any rental properties and or the knowledge and experience to be creating rules and regulation for those of us that do own rentals and manage for investors.

TAR 2223.
B. As a result of the method employed by Broker, Owner is aware that unescorted access by a prospective tenant viewing the Property may occur and Owner consents to such unescorted access.

Karen on 03/05/2017

This should not be used to give out codes to potential renters.  It can be used to let your unlicensed staff in the home without you.  My unlicensed staff will be able to go in and take move in and move out pictures and do the walk throughs on vacant homes.  That is what my understanding is that it is for.  We never allow viewings by giving out lockbox codes.  We stopped putting combo boxes on homes because lazy agents would give them out rather than showing our listings.  But is does cover us by letting our owners know our unlicesed staff will be going in to make sure things are ready for the next tenant.  I do background checks on my employees and I am going to take full responsibility for them.

Jose Oscar Nable on 03/05/2017

Any listings I have will always require to be “accompanied”. Much like Charles Hance’s post, I use Supra for showings and a combo for vendors. At least it lets you know and track who came in and at what time.  Too many crazies out there to have your listing open to an unlicensed person who will be unaccountable.

David Durham on 03/04/2017

This is really a bad idea.

Charles Hance on 03/03/2017

I am Broker and a Management company, I use two boxes Supra for showings and a combo for vendors.  I do not think this was well thought out as it is difficult to get licensed Realtors to lock all the doors, turn out lights, not adjust AC/Heat etc. , much less a client.  Super bad idea all around.  I/we will not be using this system, If the agent doesn’t have Supra access there not getting in. We do not give codes to know one.  I think it should be Mandatory to use a supra for safety for the agents showing and for the property. Bad Idea just can’t say enough.

Thanks Charles.

Karen Brigham on 03/03/2017

If a client property gets robbed or damage who replaces the stolen items or do the repairs? Under the Exclusive right to lease Trec need to revise it and say they are responsible for damage or stolen items if that new form is use.  They need to bare some responsibility. Agent safety and the Clients property is at high risk. All it takes for something to happen that makes the NEWS and we all are done. Property Managers and license Agents. Think about it!

C on 03/03/2017

Is this some kind of sick joke?
It’s not dangerous enough out here and you want us to let our listings be left wide open for crime.
Is anyone representing us, the realtors anymore or is it all about the management companies which had the highest number of TREC complaints last year….

Michael Beck on 03/03/2017

I also am not a fan of this new policy, 15 years in PM. It potentially saves a great deal of time and money for the listing PM but that only opens the door to large corporate, limited service management companies that don’t actually provide on site service. I believe it unlikely many are performing with IABS and Tenant Selection Criteria requirements. In turn they then charge the applicants exorbitant fees to execute the lease documents that aren’t disclosed by TSC prior to application. If the PM doesn’t see the property regularly, the PM is not doing their job. Cheap maybe, good no. Way too much potential for stolen appliances and plumbing fixtures after the fact, and many of us have seen that happen. Granted this could be a big benefit for rural brokers with inexpensive properties, I do get that, and with proper safeguards this option is good for them. I do not plan to use this in my suburban environment until cheap competition forces me to do so.

Loren Archer on 03/03/2017

Angela C. Gonzales,
With regard to your comment [Seek the truth]

First off a blog is an opinion page.

Logic and facts are not always the same. Yes, it is a fact that it is easier for you to show a home without accompanying the client but it is not logical to assume that this is in the best interest of anyone. Feelings and thoughts are emotional, Facts and Logic are not.

Fact is that allowing someone into a clients home unaccompanied is easy however I don’t think it is logical since we really can’t factually verify a particular persons intent or identity in seconds. If we could that would mean we wouldn’t need to do credit reports and background checks for applications that take hours.

I am a huge user of technology, BTW, and believe in it. I have owned PCs since 1984 and have been an IT engineer since 1985 until I decided to move into the Real Estate Profession. I have a whitelist network that does not allow asymmetric routes through the internet. I use MAC filtering for my whitelist and have extremely strong passwords. I think you should read some more and not take the leap that other don’t.

One thing you’re right about is that the truth is out there…. maybe you need to read some of it.

Dave Turnquist on 03/03/2017

I put a Supra on every property to avoid this very scenario. Too many agents will give out the combinations to clients/customers and not escort them to the viewing. That is not only dangerous but unethical. What happens when items come up missing from the home even when it is vacant (stove, microwave, etc)? How do you know the client/customer locked all of the doors? I’ve had other agents get mad when they found out the property was on a Supra, because then they could not just give out the combo. Ridiculous and unprofessional to allow this in my opinion. It’s one thing to allow contractors, inspectors and appraisers into the home with a combo, but not unescorted clients/customers.

Steve Crossland on 03/03/2017

I’m on the fence on this one. While I share some of the concerns of those against, and have thus not implemented this myself, I personally know many property managers nationwide who utilize self-showing for vacant rental homes with ZERO trouble, and who have done so for many years. Especially in rural areas, and areas choked with traffic congestion.

Frankly, allowing other Realtors to show our rentals creates more hassle and liability than a controlled lockbox showing system. A door is more likely to be left unlocked, or a key lost, or the prospect misinformed and given wrong information, by another Realtor than with an automated system. It happens all the time to me, on a regular basis.

Anyone who disagrees with that simply hasn’t listed many lease homes for rent through your MLS, and hasn’t suffered through what a lot of us PMs encounter daily - which is gross incompetence.

This is true in sales as well, but to a lesser degree.  But that lesser degree was still named as the #1 threat to Realtors and our reputations. Read the D.A.N.G.E.R. Report from a couple of years ago which lists the #1 threat “Masses of Marginal Agents Destroy Reputation”.

For example, confronted with the reality and repeat evidence that a member of the public is better able to follow written application instructions and deliver a good, complete application than is a Realtor, I finally moved the entire application process online. I no longer intake rental applications directly from other Realtors because 90% of them canot deliver a good and ready to process application. The now applicants go straight online to a link, read the instructions, and do it themselves.

Pretending that our business (Property Management and Leasing) is not littered with idiot agents who cause a great deal of trouble for Property Managers is sticking your head in the sand. And bemoaning one of the solutions is equally ignorant.

Self-showings are here. This is not going away. Sales listings are next. It’s coming. Get real with it and accept it. Just like the internet came and changed everything, so shall this. We live in an “on demand” society now. Are you a forward looking technologist, or a relic of the past getting left behind with your old mindset and fear of change?

People who can order up a car on their smart phone don’t want to play phone and text tag with old grey-hairs. They just want to see the inside of a vacant rent home. And they are willing to give up their personal information including cell number, email, a photo of driver license, credit card authorization, and/or a selfie in exchange for the convenience. Get real with that reality instead of making up wild fear-mongering that has not played out in markets where self-showings are the norm. The Realtor showing our listings most likely hasn’t verified a single thing about the people they are showing. I know that for a fact. Which is riskier?

Finally, it’s not YOUR listing that will be shown unaccompanied, as many of the comments below erroneously assume. This is for Property Managers to use on client properties that are vacant and listed for lease. Not to send someone to show your listing with an agent. It benefits the client by making the home more available to be seen, and benefits the public by opening up a wider availability timeline to see it.

All that said, I’m still not doing this - yet.

Loren Archer on 03/03/2017

Who’s going to be responsible for an agent being raped or murdered when some sociopath or psychopath waits after gaining entry. I think it’s time to break out my C.H.L. Better yet maybe I’ll open carry. Then I’ll probably have to defend why I shot and killed some sociopath or psychopath.

What lobby got this done. TREC is failing here.

Shanna Baldree on 03/02/2017

This is already what Opendoor Real estate company does with for sale properties. It always makes me liery to go in a vacant home listed by them as I do not know who or what is still in there.

Charles on 03/02/2017

This is nuts.  Who ever thought of, agree to and participates in this must be smoking low grade crack.  I think if you can’t get off your butt and show the property. You should not have the listing or get paid.  I will not have anything to do with this.

James D. Owens on 03/02/2017

This change in policy is ill thought out! I heard that this was being considered but never thought it would become a reality. Every fear mentioned by those offering objections to this WILL become a reality. Violence to the public and our fellow industry professionals are certain to happen. So much is preached about Realtor safety but now the “Bad guy’s” can just be waiting inside for the unsuspecting Realtor or client/prospect to enter. I suspect the decision makers of this change don’t venture out of their comfort zones. What a shame!

I lacerra on 03/02/2017

Bad idea. Too much liability & risk for owners, agents and companies.  Agents have made good points.  And who is responsible if there is damage or loss.  Agents would need to check property after each showing.

Anthony J. Campagna on 03/02/2017

Why are we allowing companies who try and sell us products that put us as real estate agents out of business? These remote access key boxes are just another step in eliminating real estate agents from the equation.

If you are too lazy to get out and show property, then why should you earn a fee?

I remember when you actually had to show the property, meet the client, sit down and sign a lease and then perform a move in.

Are we trying to make it so easy that property owners don’t need us?

Diana Poon on 03/02/2017

I have encounter realtors not knowing how to turn on certain combo locks! I do not want anyone to be able to access the property or do damage since they can access the property any time.
Not paying the realtor if she/ he does not do his work.

Zac M on 03/02/2017

Great news! this is the type of innovation the industry needs. Tons of my clients request this sort of thing. Great step in the right direction!!!

Bill Kellas on 03/02/2017

As a broker, an investment property owner, and a property manager you can darn sure bet we will not be participating in this. Last month we went to one of our property to put a new tenant in and wow- there was a car in the garage and someone had had a party there the night before. This encourages this behavior.  If you are too lazy to do your job and show the property, then I will not pay you! You expect prospective tenants to lock doors and windows and turn out lights and turn off hvac’s after viewing, most REALTORS don’t. ~NOT INTERESTED~ If you try to push this agenda we will terminate our association with the board and TAR. I will not put my properties nor my clients properties in jeopardy.

Bernie on 03/02/2017

Folks, don’t you understand?  Your’ll pick up friends, prospects and centers of influence by showing the property.  It works just like sales——-prequalify.  Much safer to show the property.  Have them meet you at the office. Never meet them at the property.

Gary Leffler on 03/02/2017

This will lead to agents becoming more relaxed and careless.  I myself have let a few individuals into properties but never would I do this as a norm.  Might as well leave the house unlocked.

Brenda Shea on 03/02/2017

Yet another technology to write our services out of the equation. Not all technology is good technology. So now we are afraid to show property? Our office will continue to do showings in person and require it of other agents.

Karyn Stephan on 03/02/2017

Absolutely horrible idea! I can see squatters, more rental scams, damage to owner’s property plus a myriad of other negative results of this law. Thank you TREC for now forcing me to use SUPRA boxes on my rental listings. This will cost me more money and time since I will no longer be able to allow my seasoned and trusted vendors access through a combo lockbox to do make ready. We will have to show up each time something needs to be done to open the propety. Great going.

ANN SARTAIN on 03/02/2017

This is not a good policy, Realtors have to be fingerprinted
and checked for a criminal background…  the general public
does not have to do this , or even tell the truth, to view a
property. What secure safeguards and protections does this
provide to the client?

Jay Rapp on 03/02/2017

Just another example of TREC letting us down.  Lazy and unethical realtors already give out lockbox codes to buyers and I have even seen some give buyers their supra keys to use. Instead of relaxing TREC laws, TREC needs to be tightening the laws and monitoring the “fly by night” agents. Right now the market is great and every one wants to be in real estate and there are so many uneducated and unethical people in our business that it is truly sad. Having been in the business for over thirty years, I think this is just another black eye for the professional and ethical agents. This is just another way for the unethical agents to make us all look bad.

Donna Wright on 03/02/2017

This is not safe.  How do I know when I go to a home to prepare the house for a showing that someone isn’t hiding in a closet waiting to attack.  I showed a self show yesterday in an unfamilliar area and I was literally terrified walking thru by mysef turning on lights and opening doors to prepare the house before my clients got there.
Very scary….please change this law.

Angela C. Gonzales on 03/02/2017

Great work TAR Legal, TAR Property Management Committee and Abby Lee! Unescorted showings are not the hallmark of a “lazy” property manager and unescorted showings do not increase an Owner’s liability on a vacant property. The cutting edge technology increases efficiency, maximizes showings at a property, streamlines the leasing process and protects unescorted Agents who have historically met strangers at properties with little more than a name and an ID. I have yet to hear of an emerging scam unique to properties with these types of lockboxes - phishing is a part of our industry with or without these types of lockboxes. Vandalism is part of our industry with or without these types of lockboxes. Reputable, professional, NARPM educated property managers have been using these lockboxes successfully for years. Educate yourself on the emerging technology before furiously typing out click bait worthy statements. A stolen refrigerator or broken window can be fixed; my physical safety is not worth the risk of showing a property.  My clients love these lockboxes and I’m no longer relegated to waiting at properties for clients who are always late, lost, on their way or no longer interested. Onward and upward.

Brenda Shea on 03/02/2017

Really, TREC MUST be kidding! I am with Glenda and Jackie on this. NO WAY will agents give access to an unescorted customer to enter our listings. This rule just makes me want to control the showing situation even more than I already try and do. You DO want us to list our rentals in the MLS, do you not? This rule discourages that!

Our company just HAD a squatter in one of our properties and we are still uncertain how she gained entry. Thankfully, the police got her out without too much trouble but we all know it is not always that easy.

What prevents a situation where these unescorted people come back later and strip the property of it’s nice new appliances and lighting or whatever? What if they decide to just stay? Do we have to evict? Even if not, we are all far too busy to even be having to think of the implications or actual consequences of this rule.

Come on agents, show the property! We all make far too much money in real estate to now not even be present during a showing. I will NOT pay an agent that is not present to show one of our listings. Who does this rule serve?

This is genuinely frightening for our company and our owners. Stop this now.

Monica on 03/02/2017

Warren Ivey, please explain to us how this new change is beneficial to property managers? And how is it safe for owners and prospective tenants to be unescorted. I’m very confused;  this appears to help the property managers who want to take the easy way out and not earn their fees.  And yes, I have managed numerous properties and would never allow someone view my rentals and or owners properties without an representative from my company.  Please educate us why this is so great.

Winnie Stearns on 03/02/2017

This is a terrible, terrible thing.  I have managed properties since 1978.  I cannot believe anyone would agree to have the public look at their property unaccompanied.  This will make it so easy for scammers.  I have had my properties leased and sold by scammers.  You are going to give access to non-professionals.  What a disaster.

Jodell Cook on 03/02/2017

This is a bad law. An unaccompanied person viewing a potential home for lease despite written agreement is plainly taking the need for a licensed realtor out of the equation. 
Builders do this every day of the week hiring nice looking and nice smelling sales people to purchase homes without any real estate training to help the builder avoid paying realtor fees .
Trec is supposed to be representing the realtors but the instead help chip away at the realtors role in doing buisness . Not a good law . Needs to be changed .

Glenda Smith on 03/02/2017

In my opinion, this is the worst possible situation for a seller!!!  We hear everyday about individuals getting into vacant properties, squatting, & the owners can’t get those people out of their house.  This is insane!!!!  I can see so many legal situations regarding this ruling.  Can’t believe TREC has entertained this rule, much less created the rule for such to happen.  No way, could anyone in my office, treat our sellers with such disrespect.  We have a fiduciary agreement to protect our sellers.  This, in no way, protects, but, allows anyone to take control of the sellers property.

GW Cornelius on 03/02/2017

I can see this being a life time employment act for attorneys. Silly rule just opens up a can of worms to be re-canned in court.

Jackie Schafer on 03/02/2017

Just read the above and it is my understanding that as a property manager/listing agent, my properties out on the mls or other sites can be seen without the agent being present to show it.  Personally if an agent wants to get a 50% leasing fee they had better be with the client while the client is looking at the property that I have listed. If my combo code is given out without my permission there are going to have to be answers to my questions as to why they thought they could give it out. I will be talking to my broker asking him about this and will probably be posting in the listing that:  If any property shown without the presents of a licensed agent and that person turns in an application and accepted, the agent will not receive a leasing fee of 50% of the first months rent…In fact they won’t receive anything.  Now if I have misunderstood this whole new law please let me know asap . Otherwise I will consider it mean what I have said above…..thanks

Larry watson on 03/02/2017

It’s the owner of the property that’s taking the risk. How does the leasing company know that some one that looks at a property, might leave a side or bank door or a window unlocked, allowing someone to gain access without being registered with the leasing company?

Michael Clapp on 03/02/2017

So, now, if a residential property is listed for lease by a property manager, potential tenants can call the 1-800 number for access without being given the opportunity for representation or presentation of the IABS?  I think this should be restricted to commercial properties only.  We’ve seen so much abuse of tenants by large real estate investment groups who have hired the least expensive property management firm to handle the leasing of the property and the tenant/client will lose in the end.

Warren Ivey on 03/01/2017

Great big THANK YOU to the TAR Legal Team and the TAR Property Management Committee’s very own Abby Lee.  TAR saw a need for the Property Managers and has filled that need without hesitancy.

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

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