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March 2017 Update

A report from CAI's legislative partner, Texas Community Association Advocates (TCAA)

The Texas legislative session is now in full swing, with dozens of committee meetings and lively floor debate each week. TCAA remains busy reviewing and monitoring legislation related to community associations and property owner issues.

At the end of this month is TCAA Capitol Rally Day, scheduled for March 28, 2017. For more details on this and other events, please visit the TCAA website: www.txcommunityassociationadvocates.org

 Bills of Note

HB 1964 by Rep. Jim Murphy relates to overcharges related to submetering of utilities. This bill does not affect community associations directly but requires condominium managers to reimburse a tenant for overcharges for utility services. An overcharge occurs when the manager assesses extra charges over and above the actual cost for the utility plus any applicable taxes and surcharges, or a late fee in excess of five percent of the bill. If the condominium manager fails to repay an overcharge in accordance with a utility commission's order, the manager is subject to three times the amount of the overcharge, $100 in civil penalties, attorneys' fees, and court costs. Though the intent of the bill appears to be to limit litigation related to utility overcharges, TCAA will be working with the author to ensure that condominium management is not subjected to unreasonable new punitive measures.

At its regular meeting on Monday, March 6th, the House Business & Industry Committee is scheduled to consider two bills that TCAA is closely monitoring. HB 522 reduces the ability of a property owners' association to regulate religious displays on a person's property. HB 923 requires property owners' associations to assess only reasonable fines, and to cap at a reasonable amount any accumulated fines related to ongoing violations. TCAA will be working with the authors of these bills as they move through the legislative process.

HB 1053 aims at to reduce the number of years (from 10 to 5) an association has to identify and file a claim for warranty protection on construction-related deficiencies in their condominium or homeowners association. Click here to access CAI's recent released survey results regarding the impact of construction deficiencies on community associations.  

Watch Committee Meetings Online

 
All House committee meetings can be viewed live at this link:
http://www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio/
 
Archived House committee meetings can be viewed here: http://www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio/committee-broadcasts/
 
All Senate committee meetings can be viewed live at this link:
http://www.senate.texas.gov/av-live.php

Archived Senate committee hearings can be viewed here:
http://www.senate.texas.gov/av-archive.php

Important Legislative Dates

 
Here are some important dates and deadlines to remember as we get deeper into the legislative session: 

  • March 10, 2017 - Deadline for filing most bills
    • expect a large volume of bills to be filed in days before
  • May 11, 2017 - Last day for House to consider most House bills
    • expect House to meet until midnight
  • May 24, 2017 - Last day for Senate to consider all bills
    • expect lots of dead bills to be added as amendments to moving bills
  • May 29, 2017 - Last day of session
    • technical corrections and congratulatory items only
  • June 18, 2017 - Last day of Governor's veto period
    • Governor has 20 days after session ends to consider bills received during the final 10 days of session
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