If you are a homeowner in Texas, you may have felt restricted by your HOA when it comes to putting up a fence around your house. Well, there’s good news for you! Senate Bill 1588 went into effect September 1st, 2021. While your Homeowner’s Association still has some say in the fence that you put up, they are no longer legally able to restrict you from doing so for security purposes. There’s also a bevy of updates that you should be informed of when making plans for your home.
What Your HOA Can Say About Your Perimeter Fence
LIt is now a part of Texas State law that your HOA cannot keep you from making your home more secure by installing a perimeter fence. However, if that’s something you’d like to do, your HOA has the legal right to determine which types of material you’re allowed to use for the fence. As a homeowner, you may build a fence that runs along the front, back and sides of your property as long as the HOA has approved the fence material. If you already have an established fence, you do not need approval of the material before you replace it. These laws also apply to safety fences along the perimeter of a pool as well, in fact, it’s actually Texas State law that you must have a fence around the perimeter of your pool.
What Your HOA Can Say About Security Cameras
An HOA cannot restrict you from putting up security cameras and motion sensors as long as they are on your property. However, HOAs do have the right to establish covenants that prevent you from putting up cameras outside of your property. It’s a good idea to be clear on exactly where your property lines run when doing any kind of projects that the HOA might want to have a say in.
What Your HOA Can Say About Flags And Religious Displays
A homeowner cannot be restricted by an HOA from displaying religious items on their property, however, an HOA can establish covenants that restrict items that violate the law, contain graphic language, pose a threat to public health and safety, or are offensive to the public apart from any religious content of the display. This may be up to interpretation by the HOA and you may have to be in good communication with your own Homeowner’s Association to gain clarity on the matter should you have the desire to put up a display visible to the public.
Other Highlights From SB1588
Resale Certificates will cost no more than $375 and updated Resale Certificates will cost no more than $75.
HOAs have 5 days to deliver a Resale Certificate and homeowners may seek a
judgment of up to $5000 if the HOA fails to deliver the certificate within the given deadline.
All HOA budget amendments must now be done in an open public meeting.
An HOA must obtain bids before awarding a contract greater than $50,000.
If you are late in paying your HOA dues, your HOA can still report you to a credit reporting agency but cannot charge you the fee for doing so.
You now have 45 days instead of 30 days to cure a delinquency.
Your HOA must now send a homeowner requisite enforcement action “209” notice prior to reporting you to a credit agency.
The bill prohibits a person from serving on an architectural review committee (“ACC”) if the person is:
1) a current board member;
2) a current board member’s spouse; or
3) a person residing in a current board member’s household.
All of the above is taken from Senate Bill 1588 and goes into effect September 1st, 2022 so plan effectively and know your rights as a homeowner in Texas!