This session has seen an unprecedented amount of landlord tenant bills. Every session there are bills that could impact the state’s landlord tenant laws, but this year we have seen a significant uptick. We are tracking 49 landlord tenant bills alone.
There are a flurry of bills that would require landlords to provide tenant notices when the unit is in a floodplain - HB 970, HB 933, HB 3556, SB 640, and SB 1815. We are working on these bills with the legislators and other stakeholders.
There have been numerous bills filed related to termination of leases for victims of family violence – HB 919, HB 1209, HB 1629, HB 1912, HB 1663, and SB 234. Several of the House versions will be heard in committee tomorrow afternoon. SB 234 has already passed out of the Senate committee and is headed to the Senate floor where it appears it will pass.
HB 4307 looks to open up provisions of the Texas Fair Housing Act, which always catches our attention.
SB 1047 would require a tenant right of first refusal to purchase a rental unit before the owner could change the use.
There are also specific bills this session dealing with submetering and allocated billing that specifically include manufactured home communities. HB 4246 would limit the base charge for nonsubmetered utility service to $5. SB 2195 was filed to address utility service and submetering in a situation where a community has multiple types of rental units including apartments, manufactured homes and RVs
HB 4358 was filed right before the deadline that would mandate carbon monoxide alarms in all residential rental units.
I don’t want to give the impression all the landlord/tenant bills are bad. Several of the bills link above we support. Others that we are neutral on but monitoring closely to make sure they don’t turn bad.
And there are others we support like Rep. Kuempel’s HB 4238 that would limit a city from adopting a rental licensing fee for multiunit complexes to the lesser of $10 per dwelling unit or $1,500. The current definition of “multiunit complex” would include MH communities. Similarly, we support Rep. Leach’s HB 4015 to limit a landlord’s civil liability for collecting a late fee so long as the late fee is less than $150 or ten percent of the monthly rent.