Welcome to an in-depth exploration of the significant legal amendments stemming from the 2023 Texas legislature special session that are set to reshape the landscape of Homeowners Associations (HOAs) and Condominium Owner Associations (COAs), commonly known as Property Owners Associations (POAs). If you’re a conscientious board member, an involved resident, or an inquisitive Texan, you’re in the right place. KRJ Management, your trusted partner in association management, is here to provide a thorough analysis of each novel statute and guide your community through the implications.
Why Staying Abreast of these Laws Matters
We recognize that legislative shifts can appear daunting, but fret not – the new laws are more navigable than you might think. Unlike the extensive to-do list that followed the 2021 Texas legislative session, this year’s amendments generally call for a review of policies and governing documents to ensure alignment with the new regulations. This focus on alignment and compliance presents an opportunity to foster consistency, fairness, and a sense of community for every resident.
The Supreme Authority: Texas State Laws Over Governing Docs
Amid the intricate tapestry of regulations and stipulations, one guiding principle remains unwavering: Texas law holds supremacy over any POA governing documents. This unshakable hierarchy underscores the significance of understanding and integrating these legislative changes. Your board’s capacity to uphold the Texas Property Code – encompassing chapters 81, 82, 209, and 202 – ensures a harmonious community.
Decoding the Laws: A Triumvirate of Impactful Changes
1. HB 886: Revolutionizing Assessment Lien Filing
Commencing from September 1, 2023, HB 886, coined the Assessment Lien Filing, introduces a groundbreaking transformation. The law outlines an “assessment lien” as a legal instrument that reflects the nonpayment of assessments or charges owed to a POA, significantly influencing property titles. The law stipulates that three distinct monthly delinquency notices must be dispatched before an assessment lien is filed.
Implication for Your Association: If your POA possesses a provision for liens on encumbered properties due to assessment nonpayment, this statute reaffirms your prerogative. It establishes that before filing a lien notice, you must issue two written notices. Both of these notices must detail the amount owed and homeowner’s rights. Collaboration with your legal counsel is paramount in adapting your Collection Policy to seamlessly incorporate these new proceedings.
2. HB 1193: Fostering Equality with Anti-Discrimination Measures
Effective September 1, 2023, HB 1193 instates a paradigm shift by mandating that Texas associations abandon any restrictions predicated on a tenant’s payment method. This landmark change liberates property owners from limitations grounded in payment mode.
Implication for Your Association:
The law ensures inclusivity by compelling Texas POAs to accept all forms of payment, including Section 8 housing vouchers. This holistic approach to rental payment fortifies equal housing access. Collaborate with your legal counsel to assess your dedicatory instruments and neutralize any restrictions against specific payment methods.
3. HB 614: Illuminating Fines and Enforcement Policy
From January 1, 2024, HB 614, the Fines and Enforcement Policy, obligates Texas HOAs to establish a meticulous enforcement policy encompassing violation categories, fine schedules, and hearing particulars.
Implication for Your Association: This legislative evolution aims to enhance clarity and uniformity within HOA policies. Engage your legal counsel to refine your enforcement policy, ensuring it encompasses the requisite categories and schedules, and that it reflects the tenets of the law.
A Glimpse at Other Pertinent Changes
While these three statutes mark the pinnacle of this legislative session’s impact, several other changes demand your attention:
- HB 2024: Reduces the Statute of Repose from 10 to 6 years for builders offering written warranties.
- HB 998: Incorporates POA insurance in the Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan.
- HB 2022: Restricts contractors’ liability, fostering proactive approaches to repairs.
- SB 1668 (Vetoed): This bill, though vetoed, emphasizes the importance of preparedness for potential future legislative shifts.
Ensuring Compliance: A Collaborative Effort
Before embarking on policy revisions, we urge you to consult your dedicated legal counsel. Precise compliance with these legal amendments necessitates expertise and attention to detail. As your association management partner, KRJ Management is here to facilitate a smooth transition.
Empowering Communities Through Knowledge
KRJ Management stands as your beacon of support, facilitating the comprehension and integration of these transformative laws. As the legislative ripples gradually settle, remember that you are not alone. We’re committed to simplifying property management, ensuring your association thrives within the boundaries of the evolving legal landscape.
To embark on this journey of compliance and empowerment, reach out to our seasoned team today. Together, let’s shape a community that stands resilient and united in the face of change. The future of your HOA is brighter with KRJ Management.