Tag Archives: SB1168

HOA BILLS TEXAS LEGISLATORS WORKING ON FOR 2015-16 DURING THE 84TH LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Texas Legislators Austin

Texas Legislators are working on bills that will affect homeowners living in home

Contact Us / Send Us an Email

owners’ and property owners’ associations. Following are the ones you may want to follow on www.legis.state.tx.us:

HB 1335AGAINST - The author is Rep. Roland Gutierrez (District 119). It is now with the Business & Industry Committee as of March 9, 2015. This bill relates to the collection of attorney fees in property owners’ association foreclosures. The chairman of the Business and Industry committee is Rep. Rene Oliveira. This bill conflicts with existing Property Code 209.0064 Third Party Collections. Attorneys that work for homeowner/property owner associations are “debt collectors” and fall under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. Section 1692a). HB 1335 is a subtle attempt to give the “debt collectors” another bite at the attorney fee apple. It would amend Property Code 209.008. If it passes, it will take effect September 1, 2015.

SB 1168AGAINSTSen. Royce West (District 23) – Relating to the operation of certain property owners’ associations. Affects Property Code Section 207.001(2). Does not apply to a condominium. Amends various sections of the Property Code. This bill tweaks existing law that became effective in the 2011 session. Most of the changes create ambiguity for example, the proposed change from written notice to the owner by certified mail to “verified” mail. According to Sen. West’s proposed bill, Section 209.002, “Verified mail’ means any method of mailing that provides evidence of mailing.” This would change Post Office Certification as we know it and open up Attorneys having the ability to show in Court a “Verification” they created for the HOA to show delivery of mail, which more than likely would be that they sent the document and not that it was actually received by the owner. Matters pertaining to your homestead should be by certified mail only, according to the United States Post Office Definition and Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 21, already in place, not by a legislator’s creative thinking. Additionally, it proposes a change to Section 19, Section 209.0092, that gives association another way to foreclose on our homesteads via Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 309 and 646a. It reminds me of a traffic turn signal, only in this case, the proposed amendment tells association boards various ways they can take our property. If passed, this Act would take effect September 1, 2015. The proposed bill has been referred to the Business and Commerce Committee on March 17, 2015. Sen. West worked closely with Sen. Carona when Carona was in office and all advocates and homeowners that follow HOA legislative action will recall Sen. Carona was not our friend.

HB 2797AGAINST - Rep. Jason Villalba (District 114) – Relating to the operation of certain property owners’ associations. Would amend Property Code 209.0057. This bill does not apply to a condominium. It is a companion bill to Sen. West’s SB 1168; therefore, the comments made for SB 1168, apply to this proposed bill as well. This bill has been referred to the Business and Industry Committee on March 16, 2015. If this becomes law, it will take effect September 1, 2015.
Our legislative year is when you can make a difference as to how you are treated by your homeowner/property owners association in your community. Now is the time to call not only your legislator to ask him or her not to support this proposed bill but also to call Rep. Rene Oliveira and Rep. Roland Gutierrez to register non support of it. It never hurts to read the bill for yourself and that can be done on the Texas Legislative Online Webpage. The link is above.

HB 971FOR - Rep. Dwayne Bohac (District 138). Relating to requirements governing officers and directors of condominium unit owners’ associations and property owners’ associations. Would amend Property Code 209.00595. This bill was referred to the Business & Industry Committee March 2, 2015. This proposed bill is a start for Condo owners to have laws similar to single-family homeowners. There is fiduciary responsibility language and removal of board members that are felons or involved in a crime of moral turpitude. There is a concern that Condo board members are expected to hold a five-year tenure as opposed to the normal three, two or one-year tenure of a single-family homeowner association board member. No board member should hold a position for five (5) years. Three years’ maximum is sufficient. In the alternative, the language in the proposed bill on page 3, line 14, Section (f) pertaining to “the fifth anniversary” may be problematic because it tends to lend to ambiguity, which no HOA law should do. Condo owners need the same type of laws that were enacted for single-family homeowners in 2011. This Act would take effect September 1, 2015 if passed.

SB 1244FOR - Rep. Konni Burton (District 10). Relating to property owners’ association elections and votes. Changes two main things in the existing law—the percent of total votes cast by members to amend a declaration from 67% to 60% and an association shall give written notice of the election or vote not later than the 30th day or earlier than the 60th day instead of the 10th day. These are good changes. This was referred to the Business & Commerce Committee on March 17, 2015. This Act would take effect September 1, 2015 if passed.

HB 2489AGAINST - Rep. Jeff Leach (District 67) – Relating to the ability of a property owners’ association to enforce certain provisions on the lease or rental of real property. While it is a good idea that the association cannot impose dues, an assessment or another type of payment in connection with the rental or leasing of a property owner’s property, a law that “requires a tenant or rental applicant to be reviewed or approved by the property owners’ association” is intrusive on the property owners right to control who rents from him, her or them. One must also remember that the purpose of a property owners’ association is to collect assessment fees for “shared” property used by the owners. The people you rent or lease your property to is not a shared venture that should be opened up to a property owners’ association. Referred to the Business & Industry Committee on March 13, 2015. If passed, will take effect September 1, 2015.

HB 748FOR - Rep. Jason Isaac (District 45) - Relating to the regulation of liquid propane gas tanks on residential property. The association cannot prohibit or restrict a property owner from installing a liquid propane gas tank above ground. The association may require the owner to screen the tank from view with reasonable screening materials. On March 10, 2015, this proposed bill was left pending in the Business & Industry Committee after taking testimony. If this Act receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, it will take effect immediately. If not, it will take effect September 1, 2015.

HB 745AGAINST - Rep. Dwayne Bohac (District 138) - Relating to the installation of solar-powered stop signs by a property owners’ association. Scheduled for public hearing on March 26, 2015. Installing “a solar-powered light-emitting diode (LED) stop sign on a road, highway, or street in the association’s jurisdiction, based on homeowner assessment fees, the approval of which comes from the consent of the governing body of the political subdivision that maintains the road, highway, or street for the placement of the sign. Since we also pay city taxes, it appears that the city government is shifting its responsibility yet again to an association. Owners’ and Property Owners’ Associations can barely get a quorum to take care of business in general and it is not clear who “the governing body of the political subdivision” is. Additionally, stop signs are the responsibility of the Department of Transportation. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, it will take effect September 1, 2015.

SB 1538FOR - Rep. Konni Burton (District 10). This proposed bill was filed March 12, 2015 and to date, no further action on it has taken place. Relating to exclusivity agreements between telecommunications services providers and property owners. Amends Chapter 59, Title 4, Business & Commerce Code by adding Telecommunications Services Agreements, Section 59.001. This proposed bill also prohibits the association from prohibiting or penalizing the property owner for contracting with another telecommunications services provider for the provision of a different type of telecommunications service or a different type of telecommunications services technology for their property. If passed, it will take effect September 1, 2015.

SB 834FOR - Sen. Brandon Creighton (District 4). Relating to procedures required before a condominium association files a suit or initiates an arbitration proceeding for a defect or design claim. Proposed bill referred to the State Affairs Committee on March 3, 2015. If this proposed bill pass, it will take effect September 1, 2015.

HB 1455FOR - Rep. Phil King (District 61) - Relating to procedures required before a condominium association files a suit or initiates an arbitration proceeding for a defect or design claim. This proposed bill was referred to the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee on March 4, 2015. It is a companion bill to Sen. Creighton’s SB 834. If this proposed bill pass, it will take effect September 1, 2015.

HB 2147AGAINST - Rep. Jim Keffer (District 60) - Relating to secret ballots in a property owners’ association election or vote. The language in this bill conflicts with wanting to do right for the property owners and then on the other hand allows for the very thing the bill is designed to prevent. Allowing secret balloting is a poor remedy to stopping the casting of more votes than what is allowed per member. It was referred to the Business and Industry Committee on March 12, 2015. If this proposed bill is passed with a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, it will take effect immediately. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2015.

SB 864AGAINST - Sen. Brian Birdwell (District 22) - Relating to secret ballots in a property owners’ association election or vote. This is a companion bill to Rep. Keffer’s HB 2147. Refer to HB 2147 for the comments that also apply to this proposed bill. It was referred to the Business & Commerce Committee on March 4, 2015.

HB 1178FOR - Rep. Jason Isaac (District 45) - Relating to the enforceability of certain restrictive covenants governing the use of fuel on and supply of fuel to property in certain subdivisions or other planned developments. Affects Property Code 202.008. This proposed new section of the Property Code will prevent a property owners’ association or a declarant from enforcing or imposing a restrictive covenant that would require a property owner to exclusively use a particular fuel on the owner’s property or exclusively use fuel provided by a particular supplier on the owner’s property or impose a fee payable to any person for an owner to opt out of a requirement. If this proposed bill is passed with a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, it will take effect immediately. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2015.

SB 1535FOR - Sen. Konni Burton (District 10) - Relating to procedures to amend a declaration by a property owners association. Will amend Property Code 209.0041(h). This proposed bill would amend the Property Code to allow for a vote of 60 percent instead of 67 percent of the total votes cast by members of the property owners’ associations. There is, however, a conflicting effective date in the proposed bill that states “the change in law made by this Act applies only to a vote held on or after November 1, 2015.” While the effective date for this Act would take “effect September 1, 2015”. This bill was filed March 12, 2015. It is unclear from the Texas Legislature Online website which committee has the proposed bill.

HB 3460FOR - Rep. Andrew Murr (District 53) - Relating to provisions in the dedicatory instruments of property owners’ associations regarding display of flags. Affects Section 1, Chapter 202, Property Code and Sec. 202.012. This bill was referred to the Business & Industry Committee on March 18, 2015. It is amending an existing law which would be Property Code 202.011. The bill was filed close to the deadline and was not written correctly; however, after talking to Rep. Murr’s office, the bill will be rewritten to reflect its purpose clearly. Two new flags are being added to the list of flags: “any variation of a Blue Star Mothers Service Flag or a POW/MIA Flag; or any flag representing the six national flags of the State of Texas or any historical flag of the State of Texas

HB 2148AGAINST - Rep. Jim Keffer (District 60) - Relating to voting methods in a property owners’ association election or vote. Affects Property Code 209.00592. This proposed bill allows the property owners’ association to not provide “more than one voting method”. Current law does. Refer to Property Code 209.00592. If passed, takes effect September 1, 2015. Proposed Bill referred to the Business & Industry Committee on March 12, 2015.

SB 862AGAINST - Rep. Brian Birdwell (District 22) - Relating to voting methods in a property owners’ association election or vote. Affects Property Code 209.00592. If passed, takes effect September 1, 2015. Companion bill to Rep. Keffer’s HB 2148. Refer to HB 2148 for comments on this bill. Proposed bill referred to the Business & Commerce Committee on March 4, 2015.

HB 1072FOR - Rep. Senfronia Thompson (District 141) - Relating to the eligibility of certain persons to serve on the board of a property owners’ association. Amends Property Code 209.00591(b). Referred to the Business & Industry Committee on March 2, 2015. This amends existing law pertaining to felons serving on the board by including how far back to go to calculate felon time. The proposed bill states “if a board is presented with written, documented evidence from a database or other record maintained by a governmental law enforcement authority that a board member ‘was’ convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude ‘not more than 20 years before the date the board is presented with the evidence,’ the board member is immediately ineligible to serve on the board of the property owners’ association, automatically considered removed from the board, and prohibited from future service on the board.” If passed, this Act would become effective September 1, 2015.

HJR 125 …. AGAINST - Rep. Matt Krause (District 93) et al - Proposing a constitutional amendment relating to a person’s free exercise of religion. This proposed bill was filed March 11, 2015. It is unclear from the Texas Legislature Online website which committee has the proposed bill. This bill is proposing amendment exceptions to the Constitution by a homeowners’ association and the state or a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state, including a department, agency, or instrumentality of the state or of a political subdivision of the state in regard to a person’s free exercise of religion. A homeowner association is operated by a voluntary, untrained group of homeowners in your neighborhood that should never have anything at all to do with one’s religious choices. Additionally nor should any of the agencies mentioned in this proposed bill. Additionally, this State is comprised of people from around the world many of whom native tongue is not English and unless, this proposed amendment to the Constitution is going to be written in those languages so as not to confuse anyone, this bill is not a good idea. The proposed bill proposes to submit this to the voters at an election to be held November 3, 2015. The ballot language is “The constitutional amendment relating to a person’s free exercise of religion.” Since this State already has Constitutional coverage of this subject matter, it should be more specific to the voter that this proposed bill is about “exceptions” to religious Constitutional rights we already have.

HJR 55AGAINST - Rep. Jason Villalba (District 114) - Proposing a constitutional amendment relating to a person’s free exercise of religion. This is a companion bill to Rep. Krause et al’ HJR 125. It was referred to the State Affairs Committee on March 3, 2015.

HB 2999FOR - Rep. Brooks Landgraf (District 81) - Relating to restrictive covenants regarding the possession, transportation, or storage of firearms or firearms ammunition and the otherwise lawful discharge of a firearm. Property Code 202.019 added. Filed March 11, 2015—not sure which committee as not indicated on the Texas Legislature Online website at the time of the publishing of this article. Texas have strong pro gun carrying lobbyists and laws; therefore, this bill merely extends the right to possess, transport, store and lawfully discharge to the owners and prevent property owners’ associations from prohibiting or restricting any person who is otherwise legally authorized. If passed, this Act takes effect September 1, 2015.

HB 3611FOR - Rep. Matt Krause (District 93) - Relating to the notice of default required under a deed of trust or other contract lien on real property. Amends Property Code 51.0021. Referred to the Business & Industry Committee. This proposed bill will add an important recipient of the written notice of sale by certified mail—“owner of record of the property other than the debtor, according to the records of the mortgage servicer of the debt,” and change of address notification information to the mortgage servicer. This proposed bill will take effect September 1, 2015.

Members of the House Committee on Business and Industry are Rep. Rene Oliveira (Chairman); Rep. Ron Simmons (Vice Chairman); Rep. Nicole Collier; Rep. Allen Fletcher; Rep. Matt Rinaldi; Rep. Ramon Romero and Rep. Jason Villalba. The clerk for the Committee is Angelina Lopez, 512-463-0766.

Members of the State Affairs Committee are Rep. Byron Cook (Chairman); Rep. Helen Giddings (Vice Chairman); Rep. Tom Craddick; Rep. Marsha Farney; Rep. Jessica Farrar; Rep. Charlie Geren; Rep. Patricia Harless; Rep. Dan Huberty; Rep. John Kuempel; Rep. Rene Oliveira; Rep. John T. Smithee and Rep. Sylvester Turner. The clerk for the Committee is Toni Barcellona, 512-463-0814.

Members of the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee are Rep. John T. Smithee (Chairman); Rep. Jessica Farrar (Vice Chairman); Rep. Travis Clardy; Rep. Ana Hernandez; Rep. Jodie Laubenberg; Rep. Richard Pena Raymond; Rep. Mike Schofield; Rep. Kenneth Sheets and Rep. Senfronia Thompson. The clerk for the Committee is Beth Klunder, 512-463-0790.

The laws will not change favorable to homeowners if legislators do not hear from us as to whether or not we want the bills they propose. Also, on the other side of the coin, if we don’t register non-support of the bad bills, those are the ones that we will have to live with. Session will soon be over so it is important to make your legislative calls of support or non-support. At the time of the publish date of this article, the above subject bills were all the ones filed specifically pertaining to property owners associations.

It is your duty for yourself and your family to protect your property rights. We here in Texas are now in our 84th Legislative Session and as of the date of this article (March 21, 2015), the above bills have been introduced. It would be wise if you are in support or not of any of the bills, that you let your legislator know as well as the members of the committee the bill was referred to, how you want them to vote.
The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC
All Rights Reserved. © 2015.