The 87th session of the Texas Legislature is underway at the Texas Capitol, and Texas REALTORS® is advocating for several bills that support anti-discrimination efforts.
Removing Discriminatory Covenants in Real Estate Deeds
Some communities in Texas have language in their real estate deeds from years ago that is discriminatory and unconstitutional. While this language is not enforceable, Texas REALTORS® respects the interests of property owners who wish to remove the covenants from their real estate deeds. However, the process to remove that language is burdensome and complicated under current law.
Texas REALTORS® supports Senate Bill 30, authored by Sen. Royce West, which would allow property owners to go through the county clerk’s office to remove discriminatory covenants from their real estate deeds. The Texas Legislature has been advancing this bill with great support. Last week, the Senate unanimously passed SB 30 after unanimous approval from the Senate State Affairs Committee. As of April 6, the bill has been moved on to the Texas House of Representatives.
In addition, Texas REALTORS® supports legislation that makes it easier to remove discriminatory covenants from HOA documents, such as House Bill 1202 by Rep. Jacey Jetton, which is scheduled to be heard in the House Committee on Business and Industry.
Expanding Protected Classes in Fair Housing Laws
Texas REALTORS® supports legislation that seeks to expand fair housing laws in Texas to include sexual orientation and gender identity among the protected classes. The current protected classes are race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, or national origin. In February 2021, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that sexual orientation and gender identity are included among the existing protected class of sex at the federal level. The passage of this legislation would put state fair housing laws in line with federal fair housing laws.