There was an attempt to amend Texas’s plumbing code back in 2003, but it did not become law. The current version was already amended in 1998, but the attempt to amend it again failed. Proponents of the current revision wanted to add provisions to protect homeowners against unexpected damages due to plumbing leaks and other problems. Other people are against the amendment because it will limit the amount of liability that plumbers can collect from homeowners who call them out.
One provision that was added to the current statute on plumbing regulation is a cap on awards to plumbers. The amendment attempts to prevent certain individuals who are known to be more hazardous to the community from collecting compensation from businesses and homeowners that suffered damages as the result of their plumbing systems. The amendment also attempts to increase the amount of training a plumbing professional must obtain in order to legally defend any claim that he or she makes under the new statutory guidelines.
Proponents of the current revision believe that it is vital for the safety and protection of the community. They argue that many lawsuits have resulted from plumbers unaware of existing liabilities that could have been legally handled if they had only known about them. These individuals argue that if there is a possibility that a person may have been injured or harmed because of the actions or negligence of a professional plumber, then they should be allowed to collect on those damages through lawful means. Many homeowners agree with this sentiment. Many support the idea of putting limits on how much money a professional plumbing company can collect from homeowners who try to collect on their own claims through lawful means. Opponents argue that by making the changes they are proposing, the current statute will make it easier for plumbers to commit illegal acts.
There is some debate over whether or not these new changes would actually help to protect residents of the state. Proponents of the changes maintain that homeowners would still be able to seek damages from plumbing companies even if they are no longer bound to pay for damage that is caused during repair work. Many plumbing companies do offer this type of limited liability coverage, but it is typically only for property damage. It would not cover the actions of a handyman, repairman, or any other individual who might come into contact with your plumbing system. For this reason, many argue that the provision of limited liability is simply beneficial to contractors who work on a per-repair basis, rather than all homeowners in general.
Opponents of the bill maintain that the mere act of telling a homeowner that a contractor has already commenced work on a house does not immunize that contractor from liability. Under the current statutes, a plumber is not required to tell a homeowner that the work has begun. Opponents argue that a contractor who breaks the law should be held responsible for the rest of the expenses that arise due to his or her carelessness. Besides, homeowners can already deduct their costs of repairs from their taxes under existing laws. Proponents of the bill assert that this tax benefit already possesses an “unlike” condition: a tax paid for a repair must be repaid.
The Texas House of Representatives voted in June to approve H.R. 1712, which protects homeowners from “unreasonable repairs.” The bill’s language is fairly broad and basically protects any damage caused by a licensed professional licensed plumber. This includes repairs, alterations, or installations carried out by such a professional that was not previously done by a licensed professional. The Texas House of Representatives voted in favor of the measure almost unanimously. The final draft of the legislation contained several additions and amendments to strengthen the state’s ability to protect consumers from unprofessional plumbers.
One provision would require the certified repairs to be performed at an approved professional service facility at Brentwood Plumbing. Another would require that any changes be certified by a licensed professional before being made. A third would also require that an authorized representative of the state’s attorney service be present during the entire repair process if the contractor has not retained a lawyer to represent him. Additionally, the measure would increase penalties for those who do not make reasonable determinations about whether a professional system would be adequate for their needs.
Currently, no state law addresses the issue of contractors working without insurance. This means that many plumbers are operating illegally without protecting homeowners’ insurance in some areas of Texas. The Texas Department of Insurance has received numerous complaints about unlicensed contractors in Galveston, El Paso, and San Antonio. Most of these complaints have been about the work that was carried out improperly. The Texas Department of Insurance has created a website where homeowners can search for unlicensed contractors. If you’re unsure whether your plumbing company is properly insured, you should contact the Texas Department of Insurance before calling the plumber and finding out.