Homeowners associations in Texas must abide by certain state laws. It is imperative to learn about these Texas HOA laws to avoid legal liability.
The Texas Property Code consists of several provisions regulating the creation, authority, operation, and management of residential homeowners associations in the state. The Code, though, often refers to HOAs as property owners associations.
Under the Texas Property Code, homeowners associations can receive guidance on the enforcement of restrictive covenants, assessment collection, records retention, and foreclosures. It also outlines the powers of homeowners associations as well as provisions relating to voting and member notices.
You can find the Texas Property Code under Title 11, Chapters 201 through 215 of the Texas Property Code.
There are two state statutes that govern condominium associations in Texas. The first is the Texas Condominium Act, which applies to condominiums established prior to January 1, 1994.
The second is the Texas Uniform Condominium Act. This Act regulates the creation, operation, management, and powers of condominium associations created after January 1, 1994. Older associations can also elect to be governed by this Act by recording a declaration with the county register of deeds under the provisions of this Act.
You can find the Texas Condominium Act under Title 7, Chapter 81 of the Texas Property Code. It consists of three subchapters, divided further into sections.
You can find the Texas Uniform Condominium Act under Title 7, Chapter 82 of the Texas Property Code. It contains four subchapters, each one broken down further into sections.
The Texas Cooperative Association Act governs the formation, administration, limitations, and termination of cooperative associations in Texas. These can include cooperatives established with the sole purpose of purchasing and maintaining real estate. In Texas, most cooperatives are established as non-profit corporations. But, they are also given the authority to operate for profit.
The Texas Nonprofit Corporation Act regulates the corporate structure, procedure, and management of non-profit corporations in the state. According to the Texas Business Code, homeowners associations in Texas must incorporate themselves as non-profit corporations. Therefore, the Texas Nonprofit Corporation Act also applies to them.
Condominium associations, on the other hand, can incorporate themselves as either non-profit or for-profit corporations under Section 82.101 of the Texas Property Code. If they choose the former, they must adhere to the provisions set forth within this Act.
You can find the Texas Nonprofit Corporation Act under Title 2, Chapter 22 of the Texas Property Code. It consists of the following subchapters:
In 2021, the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 1588, amending Chapter 209 of the Texas Property Code. The amendment requires that HOAs maintain certain information on a “management certificate.” Such information includes the name of the association, the mailing address of the association, the name of the person managing the association (and their contact details), and the website of the association.
Management certificates must be recorded with the county clerk where the association is located. Any amendments to the management certificates must also be recorded. In addition to this, HOAs must electronically file these certificates with the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). The website is available for public viewing.
The new law is important because it promotes a certain level of transparency among homeowners associations and residents. It also allows potential buyers to research an HOA prior to purchasing a home.
The Texas Property Code contains several provisions that apply specifically to homeowners associations and solar energy devices. Under the HOA laws of Texas (Sections 202.010, 202.011, and 202.019), homeowners associations may not prohibit members from installing solar energy devices such as solar panels and energy-efficient roofing materials. But, associations may still require homeowners to go through the architectural review process.
Under this Act, debt collectors may not engage in misleading, unfair, and abusive debt collection practices. The FDCPA considers homeowners as consumers and HOA dues as debts. But, the difference between the FDCPA and the Texas Debt Collection Act is that the former does not consider HOAs as debt collectors. The Texas Debt Collection Act, though, can also apply to homeowners associations collecting unpaid dues from homeowners.
Victims of unfair debt collection practices can submit a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Texas Attorney General. The FDCPA also allows victims to sue debt collectors in federal or state court within a year from when the violation took place.
Housing discrimination victims can lodge a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Texas Workforce Commission within a year from when the discriminatory act occurred. Alternatively, victims also have the option of suing the offender in the federal district court within 2 years of the violation.