June 20, 2011 — Austin

With the 82nd Texas Legislature coming to a close, the Texas REALTORS® confirms the recent regular session was a legislative success for Texas homeowners.

“While the 82nd session had its fair share of challenges, behind the headlines lawmakers continued to take important steps toward protecting the interests of both long-time homeowners and Texans seeking to purchase their first home,” said Dwight Hale, chairman of the Texas REALTORS®.

During the recent session, Texas REALTORS® championed legislation that eliminated private transfer fees on real estate transactions and implemented disclosure and notification requirements about existing fees, protecting homeowners from hidden fees when buying and selling a home.

The Texas REALTORS® was also successful in urging lawmakers to enhance protection of private-property rights in cases of eminent-domain takings by government entities. The new law limits the purposes for which a property may be condemned and specifies the original landowners can buy back their property if not used for its intended purpose after 10 years.

In addition, Texas REALTORS® helped defeat proposals that would have weakened constitutional homeownership protections provided in home-equity statutes. The protections in place now have largely been credited for helping Texas avert the foreclosure crisis experienced in many other states.

Texas REALTORS® also supported successful legislation related to homeowners associations (HOAs). The new laws ensure HOAs operate in a transparent, consumer-friendly manner. The legislation also removes a homeowners association’s ability to foreclose on a property without going through court proceedings.

Finally, Texas REALTORS® endorsed two laws involving the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). The first made the TREC a self-directed, semi-independent state agency, enabling the commission to use real estate licensing fees to run itself, insulating it from future state budget cuts and increasing its ability to advocate for consumers. The second law added consumer protections to real estate regulations by amending the commission’s education policy and licensing guidelines.

Chairman Hale concluded, “As recent years have proven, the sound public policies protecting private-property rights put in place by our leaders in past sessions have largely contributed to Texas’ continued economic stability. The decisions made during this session further strengthen homeowners’ rights, keeping Texas as one of the nation’s most homeowner-friendly states in the country.”

To learn more about this topic or other ways in which Texas REALTORS® advocate for homeowners, please visit www.TexasRealEstate.com.