It’s hard to believe but another year is about to come to a close. 2019 saw excitement across the property association industry. From a spring full of legislative action, a fall of trade shows and much more in between, let’s take a look back at the momentous year that was 2019.
2019 began fast and furiously in Austin with the 86th Texas Legislative Session. For 140 days, legislators introduced bills, debated policy and procedure and passed laws down to the wire of the Sine Die deadline. Ultimately, 7,324 bills were filed between the House and Senate, 1,429 bills were sent to the Governor with 1,229 being signed.
While there were some close calls with chickens and flirting with rewriting Chapter 82 of the Texas Property Code, ultimately, the property association world saw five new laws come on the books this past September. These new laws addressed issues ranging from not allowing multiple board members in the same household in single-family/townhome associations, to regulation of the possession of firearms in the community, to display of political signs and of course lemonade. We provide an in-depth breakdown and analysis on how these new laws affect you and your community in our September Community Association Newsletter.
New Fix for Corporate Mistakes by HOAs
Last month, Frank Carroll detailed another piece of legislation that came out of the latest legislative session that provides a new tool for POAs to fix mistakes in corporate procedures. As Frank writes, the new ratification law, Texas Business Organizations Code § 22.501, et. seq., “provides that ‘a defective corporate act is not void or voidable solely as a result of a failure of authorization if the act is: (1) ratified in accordance with this subchapter; or (2) validated by the district court in a proceeding brought under Section 22.512.’ The law goes on to define ‘defective corporate acts’ as: (1) an election or appointment of directors that is void or voidable due to a failure of authorization; or (2) any act or transaction purportedly taken by or on behalf of the corporation that is, and at the time the act or transaction was purportedly taken would have been, within the power of a corporation to take under the corporate statute, but is void or voidable due to a failure of authorization.’” Along with the definition of defective corporate act, the new law provides the steps POAs need to take to notify the members of the mistake, verify and certify a mistake was made and correct the action to avoid what could be costly litigation.
Short-term rentals (STRs) continue to be a hot-button issue for legislatures and community associations across the country including in Texas. Community associations continue to be unsure of the most appropriate steps to take to enforce STRs in their communities. This year’s legislative session saw a bill, HB 4176, attempt to give legislative clarification on what community associations can do to enforce their restrictive covenants on STRs, but the bill did not pass by the Sine Die deadline. As Brady writes in his article “Mr. Ortego Goes to Washington,” regulation of STRs also have the attention of Congress. As 2019 comes to a close, Tarr v. Timberwood continues to be the case law driving Texas community associations’ enforcement efforts for STRs.
Continued Growth at RMWBH
2019 saw RMWBH continuing to grow across the state in all practice areas. Our roster of attorneys has expanded to 42 attorneys serving clients throughout Texas. In 2019, our Houston office welcomed Hope Everett, Teddy Holtz and Brittany Lok, our Fort Bend office welcomed Matthew Steinfeld, our Dallas office welcomed Brittan Johnson and Shannon Spizman and our Austin office welcomed Ben Lancaster to the team. Each of these attorneys has made a great impact on our firm throughout this year and we look forward to seeing their continuing contributions to our firm and clients for years to come.
This year also saw our attorneys take great leaps in furthering their education to provide enhanced service for their clients. In February, it was announced eight of our attorneys earned new board certifications from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS):
- Rick Butler – Property Owners Association Law
- Marc Markel – Property Owners Association Law
- Clayton Hearn – Residential Real Estate and Property Owners Association Law
- Brady Ortego – Property Owners Association Law
- Sipra Boyd – Residential Real Estate and Property Owners Association Law
- Clint Brown – Residential Real Estate and Property Owners Association Law
- Cliff Davis – Property Owners Association Law
- Jane Janecek – Residential Real Estate Law
The TBLS says obtaining certification is a “mark of excellence and a distinguishing accomplishment” for the attorneys. Each attorney obtained these certifications from a rigorous process built on the individual attorney’s experience, training via continuing legal education program, qualified references and a daylong specialty area examination. These certifications highlight the steps our attorneys take to be knowledgeable in all facets of the law they practice.
Along with our attorneys and staff, the success of RMWBH in 2019 would not be possible without the contributions of all of our friends across the POA community. We are looking forward to bringing you even more in in 2020. Until next year, from everyone at RMWBH have a safe and happy holiday season.