If you belong to a Texas HOA, it is important to understand the recent changes to the HOA laws in Texas. Joining a homeowners association comes with many benefits, but only when you follow the rules.
Texas made some HOA changes in September 2021. What changes have been made to HOA laws in Texas?
HOAs oversee the maintenance of shared areas in a neighborhood. They also set community standards for residential properties. The Texas Legislature revised the laws regulating HOAs (SB 1588), which took effect on September 2021. All HOAs must adhere to them.
Here are some of the HOA changes made and how they affect Texan homeowners.
- Fee Caps
- Management Certificates
- HOA Website Requirements
- Public Filings
- Credit Reporting
- Conflict of Interest
- Lease Information Accessibility
- Bids For Large Contracts Required
- Dispute Resolution Processes
- Limits on Building Restrictions
- Meeting Notices
1) Fee Caps
When buying a home in an HOA, you’ll need a copy of HOA laws, which can be hundreds of pages. To get this copy from your HOA, you’ll pay a fee. The good news is that SB 1588 has capped it at $375. This law also made it so HOAs also can’t charge over $75 for resale certificates.
2) Management Certificates
According to SB 1588, all HOAs must file a “management certificate” to identify who manages their operations. HOAs can file the certificates through the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). This commission has a publicly-accessible database for HOAs.
3) HOA Website Requirements
Suppose an HOA in Texas has 60 and above properties. Because of this, the HOA has delegated managerial functions to a property management company. This HOA needs to maintain a website with management certificates and a calendar for meetings.
4) Public Filings
Buying a home guarantees you membership in an HOA, which is often included in the deed or attached documents. You must file these documents with the county clerk. The Texas law considers the documents to be “dedicatory instruments.”
5) Credit Reporting
HOA members must always pay monthly and annual assessments to take care of the common area maintenance. SB 1588 limits them from reporting unpaid assessments to a credit reporting agency. HOAs must provide reports to homeowners of their debts.
6) Conflict of Interest
HOAs architectural review boards (ARBs) can reject or approve homeowners’ planned property improvements. SB 1588 can revise the procedures used by ARBs to reduce conflicts of interest. This provision helps the ARBs make fair decisions.
7) Lease Information Accessibility
According to SB 1588, HOAs are no longer allowed to ask leasing homeowners to hand over their lease agreements. The only information they can ask for is the tenant’s contact information and the lease’s start and end dates.
8) Bids for Large Contracts Required
HOAs can ask members to pay for extra assessments for significant repairs and improvements. They can obtain several bids for improvement projects costing more than $50,000. As a homeowner, this can help you get the best deal for your project.
9) Dispute Resolution Processes
Since homeowners elect members to occupy leadership positions in HOAs, it can be tricky for homeowners to resolve a dispute with their HOA in court. Most courts will advise homeowners to elect better leaders. SB 1588 offers tips to get disputes heard.
10) Limits on Building Restrictions
HOAs can enforce covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). This limits what you can build or display on your property. Thankfully, SB 1588 prevents HOAs from you from adding safety features like fences, gates, and access control systems to your home.
11) Meeting Notices
Most HOAs hold annual meetings to allow members to address critical issues affecting them. Besides, they can hold several special meetings within a year. However, SB 1588 requires the associations to notify homeowners about a special meeting 72 hours early.
My Garage and Gates Can Help You Keep Up With The HOA Changes
HOA laws in Texas protect you against housing discrimination and exploitation by your homeowners’ association. As a homeowner, you must master the Texas HOA laws. The good news is that My Garage and Gates can help you comply with the HOA changes.
Contact us to learn more about homeowners’ associations and their benefits.