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New TREC rules effective January 1, 2016

§535.32, Attorneys in Fact. Use of power of attorney to represent another in a
real estate transaction without being licensed was limited to 3 transactions per calendar
year.

§535.146, Maintaining Trust Money. A broker must provide an accounting to
each beneficiary of trust money at least monthly, if there has been any activity in
the account for that beneficiary.

Harsadbhai Patel and Dharmishtha Patel v. Harris County Appraisal District and Appraisal Review Board, No. 14-12-00892-CV (14th Court of Appeals—Houston)

The property owners protested the value of their property, and the Harris County Appraisal Review Board (ARB) lowered the value based on an unsworn statement of the owners’ agent indicating an opinion of value. The property owners timely appealed the ARB order. The appraisal district and ARB were granted a summary judgment that the owners had no standing to bring the suit and that judicial estoppel prevented the district court’s intervention. The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings. The court of appeals concluded that “the Tax Code allows the Patels to appeal the order of the Review Board on their protest to the district court for review by trial de novo. The Patels have standing to appeal this order to the district court, and they have exhausted their administrative remedies. Under this court’s precedent, any statement in the Hearing Affidavit cannot be a basis for application of the judicial-estoppel doctrine in the district court, and the trial court erred in granting the Appraisal District’s summary judgment motion.”

Shanklin v. Bassoe Offshore (USA) Inc., 415 S.W.3d 311 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2013, no pet.)

NO LICENCE= LIABILITY UP TO THREE TIMES THE MONEY RECIEVED

Under the Real Estate License Act, Occupations Code § 1101.754, there is a private cause of action for certain violations by a broker:” A person who receives a commission or other consideration as a result of acting as a broker or salesperson without holding a license or certificate of registration under this chapter is liable to an aggrieved person for a penalty of not less than the amount of money received or more than three times the amount of money received.” The statute does not define “aggrieved person.” Courts have held, as did this one, that an aggrieved person under this Statute must have paid all or part of the fee or profit to the unlicensed broker