Proposed HOA Reform Bills In Texas

Homeowners associations (HOAs) are formed to improve neighborhoods and increase property values, but sometimes their actions conflict with owners’ interests. New legislation seeks to limit their powers and protect owners and tenants. The proposals are articulated in Texas Senate Bill 1588 and House Bill 3367

Regulating Charges 

The bills require HOAs only to charge property owners resale certificate fees when it is necessary and make sure the fee is reasonable. The fee should not exceed $250 for creating the certificate and $30 for an update of the certificate. 

Access to Information 

The bills require HOAs to create a statewide database that provides information about their latest decisions, provisions, and amendments and avail it on a publicly accessible website. Every association is obligated to maintain a website and other internet platforms. The website should provide details about its name, mailing address, and the contacts of its managers or designated representative. 

Prior Notification 

The HOA Bill Reform requires associations to provide property owners with a written notice before suspending their rights to use common areas, filing suits, levying fines or reporting them to a credit reporting agency. Further, HOAs cannot report owners to credit reporting agencies for delinquent fees, fines, or assessments if the property owner has a pending dispute related to the charges. Before making a negative credit report, the HOA must send the property owner a detailed account of all the delinquent charges and give them an opportunity to enter into a payment plan. 

Alternative Dispute Resolution

In case of a dispute, the property owner is entitled to an appeal before the board and must get notification from the board prior to the hearing. The association must provide the owner with all the evidence prior to the hearing. During the hearing, the owner is entitled to challenge the evidence and raise pertinent issues relevant to the case. 

Tenant Protection 

Associations cannot make provisions that give them the power to approve rental applications or leases. Further, they cannot demand information related to an applicant or a tenant’s consumer or credit report. 

As a Texas resident, I am convinced that a well run HOA will sustain property values. HOA reform is an on-going issue and one that will continue to evaluation. The Texas Senate Bill 1588 and House Bill 3367 will be reviewed again in September 2021. Please contact me for questions about HOAs or click here for local deed restrictions


Home Staging Tips for Real Estate

Why is Home Staging so Important

There are so many preparations that go into putting your house on the market. The most important one is home staging. The effort you put into staging your home will have a big impact on the process from start to finish. Having a property in tip-top shape will tremendously affect negotiations, the sales price, and the closing timeline. The more organized you and your family are the better. So let’s go over some Home Staging tips.

  1. Curb Appeal – I am all about curb appeal. Home owners can do so many small changes to the exterior of a home. All the small tweaks can really add up to a big impact. Some examples are painting the front door with a color that pops, updating shutters, fresh paint on exterior trim, and/or power washing the driveway.
  2. Turn on every light. -Switch on all lights throughout the house. Change out bulbs. Before showings, turn on all accent lighting like lamps, cabinetry lighting, up lights, etc. Open the blinds not only to let in the light but to show off the view.
  3. Clear off Countertops. – You want a blank canvas so buyers picture themselves living in the space. Remove most everything from the countertops. Put away all the small appliances like your mixer, coffee maker, or crock pot. Tuck away the beauty supplies and tooth brush. Staging the kitchen with fresh hand towels or a flower arrangement will help with selling the home.
  4. Declutter & Organize – Clear out drawers and closets. When I work with a seller, I usually recommend packing up 2/3 of the house. Having the nooks and crannies organized gives a strong impression.
  5. Clean Windows – Scrub the windows inside and outside. Hiring a professional can help tackle this chore. The positive impression clean windows make is so worth it.
  6. Touch Up paint – Paint goes a long way. It makes every room shine. Address scuffed trim, peeling paint and high traffic walls.
  7. Yard Work- Yard clean up is another task you may want to hire out. Cut the grass, de-weed, and add a fresh layer of mulch to flower beds. Cut back branches so the house is visible from the street.

Selling a home is hard work but it is worth it in the end. In the comments, tell me some more suggestions you have for home staging.