In politics, like life, there is nothing new under the sun. We see policy ideas and proposals resurface in different iterations and combinations each legislative session. This session was no different and as a result, Senate Bill 1588 by Senator Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), which provides for a number of changes to the operation of HOAs, was passed and signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott.
Some of the measures incorporated into the final bill have been seen before or were standalone bills amended to SB 1588. This happens during the legislative process and can be likened to a Christmas tree, as each addition or amendment is like another ornament placed on the tree.
While this is a large bill with number of changes, the Texas Association of Builders and other development interests worked with the bill authors and stakeholders to craft the best possible bill. This includes maintaining most of the rights and protections that currently exist during the declarant control period.
There are many provisions contained in the new law. Below is a short summary of the highlights:
• SB 1588 will require that the board and architectural review authority be composed of different people. Additionally, a spouse of a board member, or a person residing in the same house as a board member, are disqualified from serving on the architectural review authority.
However, nothing has changed if the developer is in the development period, controls the architectural review authority or has retained the right to veto or modify decisions of the architectural review authority. The developer can still appoint the same individuals to serve on the board as are appointed to the architectural review authority.
• An HOA cannot prohibit an owner from building or installing any “security measures, including but not limited to a security camera, motion detector, or perimeter fence.”
Although security measures is not defined, if it has a reasonable security purpose, it cannot be prohibited. That said, this does not apply during the declarant period.
• SB 1588 will require significant changes to the content requirements, filing requirements, and deadlines for filing of management certificates. New requirements include listing all amendments to the declaration, the telephone number and email address of the community manager and the website address where the association’s dedicatory instruments are available. In addition to recording the management certificate in the public records of the county where the community is located, the management certificate must now also be filed with the Texas Real Estate Commission.
Make sure to file management certificates according to the requirements. Upon recordation of the declaration, prior to levying any assessments record the management certificate (preferably with the declaration) and file the same certificate with TREC within seven days of recordation. Upon learning of a change in the contents of the management certificate, within 30 days record the updated management certificate and file the same with TREC within seven days of recordation.
• SB 1588 caps the fee for delivery of subdivision information to $250 and a resale certificate fee at $30.
• SB 1588 requires 144 hours’ notice prior to a board meeting (current law requires 72 hours’ notice).