New legislation includes changes to HOA laws, eminent domain, property tax transparency, and other measures related to real estate.

How you did it:
HOA reform victory

The passage of monumental HOA reform legislation wouldn’t have happened without you.

When the bill was advancing through the legislative process, the association took the opportunity to demonstrate to legislators how needed the reforms are for Texans.

The association launched a call for action via email to all Texas REALTORS® in May, providing a convenient way for REALTORS® to urge their representatives to support Senate Bill 1588.

The call for action on HOA reform resulted in more than 12,500 supportive messages—a record-high response!

In addition, the website has been an incredible tool for collecting real-world stories from homeowners and REALTORS® about the challenges they’ve faced with HOAs.

These grassroots stories helped illustrate to legislators the scope of the issues the legislation improves.

The regular session of the 87th Texas Legislature ended May 31 with several REALTOR® victories on behalf of Texas real estate consumers and private property rights.

Thanks to your grassroots advocacy efforts during virtual REALTOR® Day at the Texas Capitol meetings with lawmakers and your timely response to a call for action, the following REALTOR®-supported bills passed both chambers and were signed into law by the governor.

HOA reform
Senate Bill 1588
Author: Sen. Bryan Hughes
Sponsor: Rep. Chris Turner

This legislation enhances property rights and ensures Texans have a clear understanding of their communities’ management structures and standard practices. Pro-homeowner reforms include a cap on resale certificate fees, increased transparency in HOA management, and additional provisions to protect homeowners involved in disputes with HOAs.

Removing discriminatory covenants from deeds
Senate Bill 30
Author: Sen. Royce West
Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Leach

In some Texas communities, real estate deeds were drafted with language that prohibits ownership of the property based on race, color, religion, or national origin. While these were deemed unconstitutional and unenforceable decades ago, the process to remove that language has been burdensome and complicated.

The new law—also known as The Senator Royce West Act—provides a simple option for property owners to remove unconstitutional covenants from their real estate deeds through their county clerk’s office.

Eminent domain reform
House Bill 2730
Author: Rep. Joe Deshotel
Sponsor: Sen. Lois Kolkhorst

This legislation makes several changes that make the eminent domain process fairer and make property owners more aware of their rights when an entity with eminent domain authority seeks to acquire their property.

Condemning entities are already required to provide certain information to property owners. This legislation increases transparency by requiring an initial offer to include more information, including the landowner’s bill of rights, a property appraisal that includes the remainder of the property not being condemned, and a list of negotiable terms.

Increasing broadband access
House Bill 5
Author: Rep. Trent Ashby
Sponsor: Sen. Robert Nichols

This legislation establishes a new Broadband Development Office that will provide grants for expanding access to broadband in eligible areas, among other services, to increase reliable and affordable broadband internet access for all Texans.

REALTORS® have advocated for dependable and affordable internet access statewide for years. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced this need for access in all markets for increased housing options and educational and economic success.

Expand appraisal options
House Bill 2533
Author: Rep. Drew Darby
Sponsor: Sen. Robert Nichols

This legislation allows appraisers to perform evaluations without complying with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice when the lending guidelines do not require a full appraisal for a financial transaction.

This legislation will improve the loan process and overcome the shortage of timely appraisals by providing buyers more options.

Flood disclosure for tenants
House Bill 531
Author: Rep. Armando Walle
Sponsor: Sen. Joan Huffman

This legislation helps Texans be more informed about flood risks before signing leases by requiring landlords to provide a flood disclosure notice that details whether the property is in a 100-year floodplain, if the landlord is aware of recent flooding, and information about FEMA flood maps and tenant insurance policies.

Texas REALTORS® opposes bad legislation, too

In the 87th legislative session, your association worked hard to educate lawmakers on the negative outcomes these ideas would have for Texas property owners:

  • Opposed bills that sought to prohibit the use of remote online notary and electronic filing options for deed documents
  • Opposed legislation to expand the sales tax base to include more taxable services, such as real estate brokerage.

Thanks to REALTOR® advocacy, none of these harmful bills advanced.

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Condo association transparency
Senate Bill 318
Author: Sen. Joan Huffman
Sponsor: Rep. Chris Turner

This legislation increases transparency for property owners by requiring condo associations to make the association’s books and records open and available for owners or their representatives.

Civil liability reform
Senate Bill 6
Author: Sen. Kelly Hancock
Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Leach

This legislation—also known as the Pandemic Liability Protection Act—seeks to ensure small business owners, like REALTORS®, can continue to provide their essential services during times of crisis with protections from certain claims.

Property tax transparency
House Bill 2723
Author: Rep. Morgan Meyer
Sponsor: Sen. Paul Bettencourt

A 2019 law required every central appraisal district to have a database where taxpayers can access information about the local tax rates that determine their property tax bills and the elected officials who set the tax rates.

This legislation, which received unanimous support from both chambers, creates a simple way for taxpayers to access these databases on one website that will be operational in 2022: