From the 85th: Bills Filed – We are off to the Races

H.B. 2019 – relating to manufactured housing is a general clean-up. TMHA is advocating for H.B. 2019 to pass and be signed into law. The bill would, among other things, change the name of manufactured home titles from Statement of Ownership and Location, and with it the unfortunate acronym of “SOL” by eliminating the word “location.” The bill would also codify the department’s responsibility to maintain online records and title information. There are numerous other clarifying changes this bill would achieve.

As filed there are several areas for the bill that need further revisions, which we anticipate will occur once the bill starts moving through the legislative process. The next stop for this bill is a committee hearing.

H.B. 1852 – relating to municipal regulation of manufactured home communities is a bill that would preserve the grandfathering of existing communities inside cities. The bill as filed would also preserve the setback distances inside communities so that cities could not arbitrarily increase the setback distances as a pre-textual reason to reduce the size of a community so that it ceases to be economically viable and closes.

TMHA has been working on this legislation, and we know it is controversial and will be met with opposition by city authority advocates.

H.B. 1821 and the identical Senate version S.B. 921 – relating to a late fee for failing to pay rent under a residential lease. These identical bills apply in home rental situations under Chapter 92, Property Code. They would establish in statute the acceptable amount of a late fee. The bills would set an initial late fee that does not exceed 8 percent of one month’s rent and subsequent daily fees for every additional day rent is late that do not exceed 2 percent.

These bills were filled as a result of increased litigation disputing various different late fees arguing they were unreasonable. Such litigation was sometimes used as a further delay tactic for eviction proceedings.

The Texas Apartment Association is also advocating in favor of these bills.

H.B. 1964 and the identical Senate version S.B. 873 - relating to the authority and liability of owners and managers of apartment houses, manufactured home rental communities, condominiums, and multiple use facilities in charging tenants. These identical bills address disputes over water sub metering billing. They are also the result of litigation, including class action suits, from tenants disputing their water bills.

The bills further clarify in statute that a landlord may charge and bill for unrelated utility costs, such as rent, if there is a dispute over the water billing. The bills would also require a dispute over water billing to first go to the Public Utility Commission before litigation could be filed in court.

The Texas Apartment Association is also advocating in favor of these bills.

Total Bill Count: 3,065
TMHA Tracking Bills: 86