Property Management- New Texas Rules Effective September
In Texas new or modified laws and Rules take
affect the first day of September of each year.
September 7th -11th
2013, I attended the Texas Association REALTORS® Conference
in Dallas Texas, attended several seminars and took many
educational classes on Property Managements during the
five-day seminar. There were a lot of new laws, rules, and
issues affecting Property Management effective September
1st, 2013. I have summarized and highlighted some
(not necessarily all) of them here for your information:
Just some clarifications: Property
Codes are the LAWs, where RULEs are rules and are less
important than then
the Laws. In the case of conflicts between a law and a rule,
the law prevails, of course.
Rule 510: Specifics to Eviction.
Rules are governed by Rule 510 of the Texas Rules of Civil
Procedures for Justice Courts.
• All new
rules take effect on August 31, 2013.
• Any case
filed before August 31 will be governed by the new rules
after August 31
• Unless in
the opinion of the court it would serve as an injustice to
Rule 500.4 (a) & (b) – Representation in Justice Court
- An individual may represent himself/herself;
by an authorized
agent in an eviction
represented by an attorney
A Corporation or other Entity may be:
- represented by an
employee, owner, officer, or partner of the entity who is
not an attorney;
– be represented by a
property manager or other authorized agent in an eviction
represented by an attorney.
Rule 500.5: Computation of
Exclude the day of the event that triggers the period (next
day (tomorrow) is the first day)
Rule 510.3 A Petition:
A petition in
an eviction case
You need to describe completely your reason to evict.
You need to describe when and how the notice to
vacate was DELIVERED
(NOT necessarily RECEIVED).
You need to put the Total Amount of the Rent due and
unpaid at the time of filing, if any, and put the amount is
recurring daily until the judgment day.
A statement that
attorney fees are being sought, if applicable
New Rule: Eviction Notice must
not be less than 10 days (<10) or Greater than twenty one
(>21) days after the petition is filed.
Rule 510.8 (d):
WRIT of possession
judgment or verdict is in favor of the plaintiff, the judge
award a writ
of possession upon demand of the plaintiff and payment of
any required fees.
(1) Except as
provided by Rule 510.5, no writ of possession may issue
before the 6th day after the date a judgment for possession
is signed, or the day following the deadline for the
defendant to appeal the judgment, whichever is later.
– A writ of
more than 60 days after
a judgment for
possession is signed.
– For good
to 90 days
after a judgment for possession is signed.
possession may not be
the 90th day after a judgment
(3) A writ of
possession must not issue if an appeal is perfected and, if
applicable, rent is paid into the registry, as required by
Rule 510.9 Appeal
Time: Appeal Time must be within 5 days after Judgment
is signed. Any Judgment is valid for 10 years.
Tenant Selection Criteria:
Landlords must specify what criteria they are using to
select Tenants. It is only fair to Tenants to know their
chance before spending money for credit check, etc.
Good News for Landlords: TAR has a new form for this case.
Adverse Action: If you turn down
a Tenant because of credit issue, you must send an Adverse
Action Notice to Tenants within 7
Fire Extinguish: You don’t have
to have Fire Extinguish in the property. However, if you do
have, you must inspect it at least once every year.
Passing Cost of Major Repairs to
Tenants: You, as the Landlord, cannot pass on the cost
(or part of the cost) of the repairs/replacements/fixing of
Major Appliances such as: Air Conditions, Water heater and
Plumbing issues to the Tenants. That is illegal. (I
believe if the breakdown is not intentional)
Maximum Number of Persons in a
Bedroom: In Texas there is a maximum 3 persons per
bedroom per state law, however, be aware of any other
rules/restrictions imposed by HOA (if any)