The 87th session of the Texas Legislature is now underway. On January 12, 2021, the Texas House and Senate officially convened. New members were sworn in, and as per tradition, the House began the session by electing a new speaker – Dade Phelan (R) from Beaumont. Almost as quickly as proceedings began, they ended with both chambers adjourning for two weeks until January 26th in an effort to minimize activity at the Capitol due to the ongoing pandemic.
With both chambers being adjourned for the majority of January, there is little to report on the movement of the POA-related bills we are currently following. Each of the bills listed below remain in the initial stages of the legislative process. However, three new bills have recently been filed that, if passed, will have an effect on POAs:
- SB 318 – Relating to the Records of Certain Condominium Unit Owners’ Associations.
- If passed, this bill would essentially mirror the language under Section 209.005 of the Texas Property Code making the open records procedures applicable to condominium associations. The bill requires a condominium association to make the books and records of the association, including financial records, open to and reasonably available for examination by a unit owner, and sets forth the procedure to request either the inspection or production of certain association records. This bill would also require a condominium association to adopt a records production and copying policy, as well as a document retention policy.
- HB 1202 – Relating to the Amendment of a Dedicatory Instrument to Remove a Discriminatory Provision.
- Provides a procedure for the governing body of a POA to amend a dedicatory instrument to remove a discriminatory provision by majority vote of the governing body: 1) on its own motion; or 2) on the motion of a member of the POA. Also provides procedures for owners within an association to amend a dedicatory instrument to remove a discriminatory provision through a petition process or amendment committee formation process.
- HB 875 – Relating to the Prohibition of Housing Discrimination on the Basis of Age or Certain Housing Needs and to the Enforcement of that Prohibition.
- If passed, this bill would essentially add the terms “Age” and “Housing Needs” to the protected classes under Chapter 301 of the Texas Property Code (Texas Fair Housing Act)
Previously Mentioned Bills
- HB 67 – Relating to Unenforceable Restrictive Covenants Related to Swimming Pool Enclosures
- If passed, this bill would prohibit a POA from adopting or enforcing a provision in a dedicatory instrument that prohibits or restricts a property owner from installing on the property owner’s property a swimming pool enclosure that conforms to applicable state or local safety requirements
- HB 191 – Relating to the Prohibition of Housing Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression and to the Enforcement of that Prohibition
- If passed, this bill would essentially add the terms “Gender Identity or Expression” and “Sexual Orientation” to the protected classes under Chapter 301 of the Texas Property Code (Texas Fair Housing Act)
- HB 485 – Relating to the Removal of Certain Unconstitutional Provisions from Real Property Records
- Permits an owner of real property to file suit to remove from a recorded instrument affecting or conveying an interest in the property a provision that: (1) violates the United States Constitution; (2) is unenforceable under law; and (3) is unambiguously discriminatory
- SB 222 – Relating to the Removal of Certain Discriminatory Restrictions and Provisions from Certain Real Property Records
- Permits an owner of real property to request on a form provided and created by the Attorney General, that the County Clerk remove a discriminatory provision or restriction (as defined by Sec. 5.026 of the Texas Property Code) from a recorded instrument
- SB 206 – Relating to the Operation of Certain Low-Powered Vehicles
- Amends Sec. 551.304 of the Transportation Code to permit the operation of golf carts in a master planned community without a golf cart license plate
- HB 801 – Relating to a Certification Program for Assistance Animals; Authorizing Fees; Imposing a Civil Penalty
- Establishes a certification program for assistance animals in Texas, including but not limited to obedience training, evaluation by a licensed veterinarian and evaluation of the primary owner by a mental health professional. Establishes a statewide assistance animal registry. Also prohibits assistance animals in common recreational areas of master planned communities subject to restrictive covenants limiting residency to persons 55 years of age or older unless the assistance animal is certified and meets the additional requirements under the bill.
As February approaches, legislative business will likely pick up as committees meet, witnesses are called to testify on bills and congressional movement begins. Continue to check RMWBH’s blog, website and LinkedIn as we provide further updates on the bills potentially affecting POAs.