The 2011 Homeowner Association Laws all Board Members Should be Aware of
Numerous laws were enacted by the 2011 Texaslegislature with the intent to provide good-governing parameters for HOA homeowners and their boards. These include HB 2761, SB 472, HB 1228, and HB 362. Descriptions of these newly enacted bills can be found on the State of Texas Legislatureweb site at: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/SOTWDocs/PR/htm/PR.209.htm.
Some of the new Texas HOA legislation affecting most HOA’s are the following items, (but not limited to these items):
- Mandates open records.
- Mandates standards for records retention.
- Mandates that key governance documents must be (1) filed with the County and (2) posted on the HOA web site.
- Allows all owners to (1) vote in HOA elections and (2) run for the HOA board (unless convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude).
- Provides for an independent election recount mechanism.
- Establishes a priority of payments (i.e. assessments = first; fines/legal fees = last)
- Allows solar devices on private property, given certain parameters.
- Mandates various voting techniques, including proxy voting.
- Mandates that HOAs must allow rain harvesting devices, flag poles, and religious displays on front doors – all under certain conditions.
Due to these new laws, Texas HOA boards should be sure to do the following items:
- Revise the elections policy
- Create a records copying policy
- Create a records retention policy
- Create a collection policy
- Revise the Design Guidelines to allow the solar devices as prescribed in HB 362,
- Ensure that all appropriate governance documents (including the latest version of each) are posted on the Web Portal and filed with theCountyClerk.
- Post board meeting minutes on the communities website.
- Announce meetings on the community website.
It is important to follow the new 2011 Texas HOA laws as well as file all the Associations policies with theCountyClerk, in order for them to be enforceable. Many of these items may seem daunting. However, they can all be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time and with little effort. It is recommended that all HOA Boards work with their attorney to ensure that the policies required are all filed appropriately. Please note that all Board members should read the actual laws that are found at the link and not only implement the items listed in this article.