Keep up with what’s happening in the Texas rental housing industry

2019 legislative session update: TAA following nearly 500 bills

Synopsis

The Texas Apartment Association is following nearly 500 bills filed during the current legislative session. Learn more about this and TAA’s legislative priorities.


Key takeaways

  • Legislators have filed nearly 7,300 bills as of the March 8 filing deadline for the current session.
  • TAA’s government affairs team is tracking almost 500 bills, in addition to working on advancing the association’s top priority bills.
  • The TAA website includes a handy reference of these tracked bills for members

As of the general bill filing deadline on March 8, legislators have filed nearly 7,300 bills and joint resolutions to be considered in the 2019 legislative session.

All told, the Texas Apartment Association is following nearly 500 bills, including more than a dozen landlord/tenant bills, as well as bills focused on affordable housing, development, towing and property taxes.

At the top of TAA’s legislative agenda is passage of legislation aimed at clarifying the late fee statute—HB 1519 by Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) and SB 1414 by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills).

Likewise, TAA is seeking passage of HB 984 by Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound)/SB 849 by Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper), which will bring greater transparency regarding proposed city fee increases.

TAA is also supporting major property tax reform through SB 2 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) and HB 2 by Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock).

Among other major bills of interest to the rental housing industry:

  • Casualty loss: HB 3564 by Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston)/SB 518 by Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) would make major changes to the way lease terminations are done or how tenants may be able to receive a temporary reduction in rent if the rental unit is partially habitable.
  • Flood disclosure: Several bills filed would require flood disclosure by rental property owners, including HB 970 by Rep. Armando Walle (D-Houston)/SB 640 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), HB 993 by Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), and HB 3556 by Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston)/SB 1815 by Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston). While the bills all have different provisions, they take the general approach that a property owner has a duty to disclose to a prospective tenant if the property is located in a flood plain or has previously flooded. TAA opposes these bills as filed; we are working with the bill authors to see if a compromise that provides an alternative approach can be developed.
  • Source of Income: TAA is also opposing two bills—HB 1257 by Rep. Jon Rosenthal (D-Houston) and HB 2187 by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin)—which would repeal legislation successfully sought by TAA in 2015 to prohibit cities from having Source of Income protections for Housing Choice Voucher (aka Section 8) recipients. In essence these bills would require rental property owners to accept vouchers if prospective renters meet other criteria.
  • Family violence lease terminations: A number of introduced bills would expand the type of information that can be provided as proof in support of a lease termination due to family violence. TAA has worked closely with domestic violence victim advocates to craft the legislation and is supporting these bills. [SB 234 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Lewisville), HB 1629 by Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), HB 1663 by Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Corpus Christi), HB 1209 by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), HB 1912 by Rep. Terry Meza (D-Grand Prairie) and HB 919 by Rep. Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont).]

A list of bills being tracked by TAA’s government relations team can be found in the members only section of the TAA website. The list will be updated weekly throughout the session.

Keep up with TAA’s legislative agenda and the current status of TAA-supported legislation by visiting the Legislative Issues page of www.taa.org.

The regular legislative session ends on May 27.

More from March 2019 Member Newsletter

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