The Texas 87th Legislative Session of 2021 has been an active one for Texas Planned Communities (POA/HOA) with a substantial amount of filed bills on the administration of Texas Planned Communities. 

SB 1588: Effective September 1, 2021 – was the most important bill passed since multiple amendments were added to this bill including items from other failed bills. Attached are the most important changes passed in this bill:

  1. Architectural Review Committees & Appeals. Directors/Board Members, their spouses or other household members may not serve on architectural review committees. If an architectural modification request is denied, the denial must: 
  • Be provided in writing, including email
  • Description for the basis of denial
  • Must outline the owner’s right to appeal to the board
  • Owners have 30 days to appeal, and the board has 30 days to hold a hearing.  POAs must provide notice of the hearing (date, time and location) at least 10 days before the hearing date.  Both sides have the right to continuance for not more than 10 days. 
  • Both parties permit audio recording, and the board may affirm or reverse the ACC/ARC decision

Exemption:  POAs/HOAs still declarant control or with 40 or Fewer lots are exempt. 

2. Violation Hearing Procedures.

  • All covenant violation appeals are now made to the board only. The option to have a committee hear the appeal has been eliminated.
  • Packets must be sent to the owner at least 10 days before the hearing with the evidence the association intends to introduce. Evidence can include documents, photos, communications, etc. Failure to provide this packet allows the owner the right to a 15-day postponement.
  • At the hearing, the board will present its case first and the owner will have the chance to give information in response.

3. Collection Process Modifications-Effective Date: September 1, 2021

Collection notice letters (“209” notices) must now also provide an owner with 45 days to cure the delinquency rather than 30 days. Attorney fees incurred must be “reasonable”.

Before reporting delinquencies to credit reporting services, POAs/HOAs:

  • Must provide notice to the owner, including a detailed report of delinquent charges owed
  • Provide an opportunity for a payment plan
  • Send a notice to the owner at least 30 days before reporting
  • Cannot report disputed charges
  • Cannot charge fees for the reporting

4. Board Meeting Notice Deadlines & Budget Restrictions-Effective Date: September 1, 2021 

  • Notice of any board must be provided at least 144 hours (6 days) in advance. Special meetings must have 72 hours (3 Days) of notice provided. Notices must be posted or emailed. 
  • The ability to amend an annual budget by less than ten percent outside of an open meeting has been eliminated. All budget changes must now be voted upon in open sessions during properly noticed meetings.

5. Bids required for 50K+ Service Contracts-Effective Date: September 1, 2021

Any service contracts for more the $50,000. Now require solicitation of bids under an established bidding process determined by the associations. 

6. Justice Court Jurisdiction-Effective Date: September 1, 2021

An owner may now sue a POA/HOA for a violation of Chapter 209 in Justice Court. Note that justice courts in Texas have jurisdiction over civil matters in which the amount in controversy is not more than $20,000. Since bringing a civil suit in justice court can be on matters of less than $20k, more owners may choose to litigate with the association for Chapter 209 violations.

7. Religious Displays- Effective Date: September 1, 2021

Religious items may be displayed anywhere on the owner’s property without size restrictions. Previously, an owner could only display religious items on the entry of the dwelling and size restrictions applied.

However, an association may also adopt/enforce a policy that limits the activity if the display:

  • Threatens public health or safety
  • Violates a law other than a law prohibiting the display of religious speech
  • Contains language, graphics, or any display that is patently offensive for reasons other than its religious content
  • Is installed on property owned or maintained by the property owners’ association or on common property
  • Violates a setback restriction or is attached to a traffic control device or fire hydrant

8. Swimming Pool Enclosures-Effective Date: September 1, 2021

A property owner’s association (POA) may not prevent an owner from installing a swimming pool enclosure on the owner’s property that conforms to applicable state or local safety requirements. A POA may enforce rules that govern the appearance of the enclosure; however, a POA cannot prohibit an enclosure that consists of black metal frames with transparent mesh panels.

A property owner’s association (POA) may not prevent an owner from installing a swimming pool enclosure on the owner’s property that conforms to applicable state or local safety requirements. A POA may enforce rules that govern the appearance of the enclosure; however, a POA cannot prohibit an enclosure that consists of black metal frames with transparent mesh panels.

 9. Security Devices and Fences-Effective Dallas: September 1. 2021

Associations may not prevent owners from installing security measures like cameras, motion detectors, or perimeter fences on the owner’s property. However, associations may prohibit installing these measures in places other than the owner’s property and can regulate the type of fencing.

Exemption: Condominiums and mixed-use POAs are exempt.

10. Resale Certificate Fees – Effective Date: September 1, 2021

POAs may not charge more than $375 for a resale certificate and $75 for an updated resale certificate. In addition, certificates must now be provided within five business days (previously 7) after a second request is sent by certified mail. Failure to deliver the certificate within this time frame will subject the POA to liability for up to $5000 in damages in addition to court costs and attorney fees.

11. Governing Documents Must be Posted on the Website!  Effective Date: September 1, 2021

POAs with 60+ lots or any POA under contract with a management company must post the current versions of the dedicatory instruments on their website and make them available to all its members.

To view the complete text of Senate Bill 1588 please click on this link.     

Nacol Law Firm P.C. 
Walnut Glen Tower
8044 Walnut Glen Lane #1190
Dallas, Texas 75231
NacolLawFirm.com
Call (972) 690-3333

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