Law:Title 11. Restrictive Covenants from Chapter 209. Texas Residential Property Owners Protection Act (Texas)

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Chapter 209. Texas Residential Property Owners Protection Act

Section  209.001.  Short Title.

This chapter may be cited as the Texas Residential Property Owners Protection Act.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 926, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.



Section  209.002.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Assessment" means a regular assessment, special assessment, or other amount a property owner is required to pay a property owners' association under the dedicatory instrument or by law.

(2)  "Board" means the governing body of a property owners' association.

(3)  "Declaration" means an instrument filed in the real property records of a county that includes restrictive covenants governing a residential subdivision.

(4)  "Dedicatory instrument" means each governing instrument covering the establishment, maintenance, and operation of a residential subdivision. The term includes restrictions or similar instruments subjecting property to restrictive covenants, bylaws, or similar instruments governing the administration or operation of a property owners' association, to properly adopted rules and regulations of the property owners' association, and to all lawful amendments to the covenants, bylaws, rules, or regulations.

(5)  "Lot" means any designated parcel of land located in a residential subdivision, including any improvements on the designated parcel.

(6)  "Owner" means a person who holds record title to property in a residential subdivision and includes the personal representative of a person who holds record title to property in a residential subdivision.

(7)  "Property owners' association" or "association" means an incorporated or unincorporated association that:

(A)  is designated as the representative of the owners of property in a residential subdivision;

(B)  has a membership primarily consisting of the owners of the property covered by the dedicatory instrument for the residential subdivision; and

(C)  manages or regulates the residential subdivision for the benefit of the owners of property in the residential subdivision.

(8)  "Regular assessment" means an assessment, a charge, a fee, or dues that each owner of property within a residential subdivision is required to pay to the property owners' association on a regular basis and that is designated for use by the property owners' association for the benefit of the residential subdivision as provided by the restrictions.

(9)  "Residential subdivision" or "subdivision" means a subdivision, planned unit development, townhouse regime, or similar planned development in which all land has been divided into two or more parts and is subject to restrictions that:

(A)  limit a majority of the land subject to the dedicatory instruments, excluding streets, common areas, and public areas, to residential use for single-family homes, townhomes, or duplexes only;

(B)  are recorded in the real property records of the county in which the residential subdivision is located; and

(C)  require membership in a property owners' association that has authority to impose regular or special assessments on the property in the subdivision.

(10)  "Restrictions" means one or more restrictive covenants contained or incorporated by reference in a properly recorded map, plat, replat, declaration, or other instrument filed in the real property records or map or plat records. The term includes any amendment or extension of the restrictions.

(11)  "Restrictive covenant" means any covenant, condition, or restriction contained in a dedicatory instrument, whether mandatory, prohibitive, permissive, or administrative.

(12)  "Special assessment" means an assessment, a charge, a fee, or dues, other than a regular assessment, that each owner of property located in a residential subdivision is required to pay to the property owners' association, according to procedures required by the dedicatory instruments, for:

(A)  defraying, in whole or in part, the cost, whether incurred before or after the assessment, of any construction or reconstruction, unexpected repair, or replacement of a capital improvement in common areas owned by the property owners' association, including the necessary fixtures and personal property related to the common areas;

(B)  maintenance and improvement of common areas owned by the property owners' association; or

(C)  other purposes of the property owners' association as stated in its articles of incorporation or the dedicatory instrument for the residential subdivision.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 926, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.



Section  209.003.  Applicability Of Chapter.

(a) This chapter applies only to a residential subdivision that is subject to restrictions or provisions in a declaration that authorize the property owners' association to collect regular or special assessments on all or a majority of the property in the subdivision.

(b)  Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, this chapter applies only to a property owners' association that requires mandatory membership in the association for all or a majority of the owners of residential property within the subdivision subject to the association's dedicatory instruments.

(c)  This chapter applies to a residential property owners' association regardless of whether the entity is designated as a "homeowners' association," "community association," or similar designation in the restrictions or dedicatory instrument.

(d)  This chapter does not apply to a condominium development governed by Chapter 82.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 926, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1367, Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  209.004.  Management Certificates.

(a) A property owners' association shall record in each county in which any portion of the residential subdivision is located a management certificate, signed and acknowledged by an officer or the managing agent of the association, stating:

(1)  the name of the subdivision;

(2)  the name of the association;

(3)  the recording data for the subdivision;

(4)  the recording data for the declaration;

(5)  the name and mailing address of the association;

(6)  the name and mailing address of the person managing the association or the association's designated representative; and

(7)  other information the association considers appropriate.

(b)  The property owners' association shall record an amended management certificate not later than the 30th day after the date the association has notice of a change in any information in the recorded certificate required by Subsection (a).

(c)  Except as provided under Subsections (d) and (e), the property owners' association and its officers, directors, employees, and agents are not subject to liability to any person for a delay in recording or failure to record a management certificate, unless the delay or failure is wilful or caused by gross negligence.

(d)  If a property owners' association fails to record a management certificate or an amended management certificate under this section, the purchaser, lender, or title insurance company or its agent in a transaction involving property in the property owners' association is not liable to the property owners' association for:

(1)  any amount due to the association on the date of a transfer to a bona fide purchaser; and

(2)  any debt to or claim of the association that accrued before the date of a transfer to a bona fide purchaser.

(e)  A lien of a property owners' association that fails to file a management certificate or an amended management certificate under this section to secure an amount due on the effective date of a transfer to a bona fide purchaser is enforceable only for an amount incurred after the effective date of sale.

(f)  For purposes of this section, "bona fide purchaser" means:

(1)  a person who pays valuable consideration without notice of outstanding rights of others and acts in good faith; or

(2)  a third-party lender who acquires a security interest in the property under a deed of trust.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 926, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 148, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  209.005.  Association Records.

(a) A property owners' association shall make the books and records of the association, including financial records, reasonably available to an owner in accordance with Section B, Article 2.23, Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act (Article 1396-2.23, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes).

(a-1)  A property owners' association described by Section 552.0036(2), Government Code, shall make the books and records of the association, including financial records, reasonably available to any person requesting access to the books or records in accordance with Chapter 552, Government Code.  Subsection (a) does not apply to a property owners' association to which this subsection applies.

(b)  An attorney's files and records relating to the association, excluding invoices requested by an owner under Section 209.008(d), are not:

(1)  records of the association;

(2)  subject to inspection by the owner; or

(3)  subject to production in a legal proceeding.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 926, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1367, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 209.0055.  Voting.

(a) This section applies only to a property owners' association that:

(1)  provides maintenance, preservation, and architectural control of residential and commercial property within a defined geographic area in a county with a population of 2.8 million or more or in a county adjacent to a county with a population of 2.8 million or more; and

(2)  is a corporation that:

(A)  is governed by a board of trustees who may employ a general manager to execute the association's bylaws and administer the business of the corporation;

(B)  does not require membership in the corporation by the owners of the property within the defined area; and

(C)  was incorporated before January 1, 2006.

(b)  A property owners' association described by Subsection (a) may not bar a property owner from voting in an association election solely based on the fact that:

(1)  there is a pending enforcement action against the property owner; or

(2)  the property owner owes the association any delinquent assessments, fees, or fines.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1367, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  209.006.  Notice Required Before Enforcement Action.

(a) Before a property owners' association may suspend an owner's right to use a common area, file a suit against an owner other than a suit to collect a regular or special assessment or foreclose under an association's lien, charge an owner for property damage, or levy a fine for a violation of the restrictions or bylaws or rules of the association, the association or its agent must give written notice to the owner by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(b)  The notice must:

(1)  describe the violation or property damage that is the basis for the suspension action, charge, or fine and state any amount due the association from the owner; and

(2)  inform the owner that the owner:

(A)  is entitled to a reasonable period to cure the violation and avoid the fine or suspension unless the owner was given notice and a reasonable opportunity to cure a similar violation within the preceding six months; and

(B)  may request a hearing under Section 209.007 on or before the 30th day after the date the owner receives the notice.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 926, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.



Section  209.007.  Hearing Before Board; Alternative Dispute Resolution.

(a) If the owner is entitled to an opportunity to cure the violation, the owner has the right to submit a written request for a hearing to discuss and verify facts and resolve the matter in issue before a committee appointed by the board of the property owners' association or before the board if the board does not appoint a committee.

(b)  If a hearing is to be held before a committee, the notice prescribed by Section 209.006 must state that the owner has the right to appeal the committee's decision to the board by written notice to the board.

(c)  The association shall hold a hearing under this section not later than the 30th day after the date the board receives the owner's request for a hearing and shall notify the owner of the date, time, and place of the hearing not later than the 10th day before the date of the hearing. The board or the owner may request a postponement, and, if requested, a postponement shall be granted for a period of not more than 10 days. Additional postponements may be granted by agreement of the parties. The owner or the association may make an audio recording of the meeting.

(d)  The notice and hearing provisions of Section 209.006 and this section do not apply if the association files a suit seeking a temporary restraining order or temporary injunctive relief or files a suit that includes foreclosure as a cause of action. If a suit is filed relating to a matter to which those sections apply, a party to the suit may file a motion to compel mediation. The notice and hearing provisions of Section 209.006 and this section do not apply to a temporary suspension of a person's right to use common areas if the temporary suspension is the result of a violation that occurred in a common area and involved a significant and immediate risk of harm to others in the subdivision. The temporary suspension is effective until the board makes a final determination on the suspension action after following the procedures prescribed by this section.

(e)  An owner or property owners' association may use alternative dispute resolution services.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 926, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.



Section  209.008.  Attorney's Fees.

(a) A property owners' association may collect reimbursement of reasonable attorney's fees and other reasonable costs incurred by the association relating to collecting amounts, including damages, due the association for enforcing restrictions or the bylaws or rules of the association only if the owner is provided a written notice that attorney's fees and costs will be charged to the owner if the delinquency or violation continues after a date certain.

(b)  An owner is not liable for attorney's fees incurred by the association relating to a matter described by the notice under Section 209.006 if the attorney's fees are incurred before the conclusion of the hearing under Section 209.007 or, if the owner does not request a hearing under that section, before the date by which the owner must request a hearing. The owner's presence is not required to hold a hearing under Section 209.007.

(c)  All attorney's fees, costs, and other amounts collected from an owner shall be deposited into an account maintained at a financial institution in the name of the association or its managing agent. Only members of the association's board or its managing agent or employees of its managing agent may be signatories on the account.

(d)  On written request from the owner, the association shall provide copies of invoices for attorney's fees and other costs relating only to the matter for which the association seeks reimbursement of fees and costs.

(e)  The notice provisions of Subsection (a) do not apply to a counterclaim of an association in a lawsuit brought against the association by a property owner.

(f)  If the dedicatory instrument or restrictions of an association allow for nonjudicial foreclosure, the amount of attorney's fees that a property owners' association may include in a nonjudicial foreclosure sale for an indebtedness covered by a property owners' association's assessment lien is limited to the greater of:

(1)  one-third of the amount of all actual costs and assessments, excluding attorney's fees, plus interest and court costs, if those amounts are permitted to be included by law or by the restrictive covenants governing the property; or

(2)  $2,500.

(g)  Subsection (f) does not prevent a property owners' association from recovering or collecting attorney's fees in excess of the amounts prescribed by Subsection (f) by other means provided by law.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 926, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.



Section  209.009.  Foreclosure Sale Prohibited In Certain Circumstances.

A property owners' association may not foreclose a property owners' association's assessment lien if the debt securing the lien consists solely of:

(1)  fines assessed by the association; or

(2)  attorney's fees incurred by the association solely associated with fines assessed by the association.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 926, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.



Section  209.010.  Notice After Foreclosure Sale. (a)

A property owners' association that conducts a foreclosure sale of an owner's lot must send to the lot owner and to each lienholder of record, not later than the 30th day after the date of the foreclosure sale, a written notice stating the date and time the sale occurred and informing the lot owner and each lienholder of record of the right of the lot owner and lienholder to redeem the property under Section 209.011.

(b)  The notice must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to:

(1)  the lot owner's last known mailing address, as reflected in the records of the property owners' association;

(2)  the address of each holder of a lien on the property subject to foreclosure evidenced by the most recent deed of trust filed of record in the real property records of the county in which the property is located; and

(3)  the address of each transferee or assignee of a deed of trust described by Subdivision (2) who has provided notice to a property owners' association of such assignment or transfer.  Notice provided by a transferee or assignee to a property owners' association shall be in writing, shall contain the mailing address of the transferee or assignee, and shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, or United States mail with signature confirmation to the property owners' association according to the mailing address of the property owners' association pursuant to the most recent management certificate filed of record pursuant to Section 209.004.

(b-1)  If a recorded instrument does not include an address for the lienholder, the association does not have a duty to notify the lienholder as provided by this section.

(b-2)  For purposes of this section, the lot owner is deemed to have given approval for the association to notify the lienholder.

(c)  Not later than the 30th day after the date the association sends the notice required by Subsection (a), the association must record an affidavit in the real property records of the county in which the lot is located, stating the date on which the notice was sent and containing a legal description of the lot. Any person is entitled to rely conclusively on the information contained in the recorded affidavit.

(d)  The notice requirements of this section also apply to the sale of an owner's lot by a sheriff or constable conducted as provided by a judgment obtained by the property owners' association.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 926, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1176, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  209.011.  Right Of Redemption After Foreclosure.

(a) A property owners' association or other person who purchases occupied property at a sale foreclosing a property owners' association's assessment lien must commence and prosecute a forcible entry and detainer action under Chapter 24 to recover possession of the property.

(b)  The owner of property in a residential subdivision or a lienholder of record may redeem the property from any purchaser at a sale foreclosing a property owners' association's assessment lien not later than the 180th day after the date the association mails written notice of the sale to the owner and the lienholder under Section 209.010.  A lienholder of record may not redeem the property as provided herein before 90 days after the date the association mails written notice of the sale to the lot owner and the lienholder under Section 209.010, and only if the lot owner has not previously redeemed.

(c)  A person who purchases property at a sale foreclosing a property owners' association's assessment lien may not transfer ownership of the property to a person other than a redeeming lot owner during the redemption period.

(d)  To redeem property purchased by the property owners' association at the foreclosure sale, the lot owner or lienholder must pay to the association:

(1)  all amounts due the association at the time of the foreclosure sale;

(2)  interest from the date of the foreclosure sale to the date of redemption on all amounts owed the association at the rate stated in the dedicatory instruments for delinquent assessments or, if no rate is stated, at an annual interest rate of 10 percent;

(3)  costs incurred by the association in foreclosing the lien and conveying the property to the lot owner, including reasonable attorney's fees;

(4)  any assessment levied against the property by the association after the date of the foreclosure sale;

(5)  any reasonable cost incurred by the association, including mortgage payments and costs of repair, maintenance, and leasing of the property; and

(6)  the purchase price paid by the association at the foreclosure sale less any amounts due the association under Subdivision (1) that were satisfied out of foreclosure sale proceeds.

(e)  To redeem property purchased at the foreclosure sale by a person other than the property owners' association, the lot owner or lienholder:

(1)  must pay to the association:

(A)  all amounts due the association at the time of the foreclosure sale less the foreclosure sales price received by the association from the purchaser;

(B)  interest from the date of the foreclosure sale through the date of redemption on all amounts owed the association at the rate stated in the dedicatory instruments for delinquent assessments or, if no rate is stated, at an annual interest rate of 10 percent;

(C)  costs incurred by the association in foreclosing the lien and conveying the property to the redeeming lot owner, including reasonable attorney's fees;

(D)  any unpaid assessments levied against the property by the association after the date of the foreclosure sale; and

(E)  taxable costs incurred in a proceeding brought under Subsection (a); and

(2)  must pay to the person who purchased the property at the foreclosure sale:

(A)  any assessments levied against the property by the association after the date of the foreclosure sale and paid by the purchaser;

(B)  the purchase price paid by the purchaser at the foreclosure sale;

(C)  the amount of the deed recording fee;

(D)  the amount paid by the purchaser as ad valorem taxes, penalties, and interest on the property after the date of the foreclosure sale; and

(E)  taxable costs incurred in a proceeding brought under Subsection (a).

(f)  If a lot owner or lienholder redeems the property under this section, the purchaser of the property at foreclosure shall immediately execute and deliver to the redeeming party a deed transferring the property to the lot owner.  If a purchaser fails to comply with this section, the lot owner or lienholder may file an action against the purchaser and may recover reasonable attorney's fees from the purchaser if the lot owner or the lienholder is the prevailing party in the action.

(g)  If, before the expiration of the redemption period, the redeeming lot owner or lienholder fails to record the deed from the foreclosing purchaser or fails to record an affidavit stating that the lot owner or lienholder has redeemed the property, the lot owner's or lienholder's right of redemption as against a bona fide purchaser or lender for value expires after the redemption period.

(h)  The purchaser of the property at the foreclosure sale or a person to whom the person who purchased the property at the foreclosure sale transferred the property may presume conclusively that the lot owner or a lienholder did not redeem the property unless the lot owner or a lienholder files in the real property records of the county in which the property is located:

(1)  a deed from the purchaser of the property at the foreclosure sale; or

(2)  an affidavit that:

(A)  states that the property has been redeemed;

(B)  contains a legal description of the property; and

(C)  includes the name and mailing address of the person who redeemed the property.

(i)  If the property owners' association purchases the property at foreclosure, all rent and other income collected by the association from the date of the foreclosure sale to the date of redemption shall be credited toward the amount owed the association under Subsection (d), and if there are excess proceeds, they shall be refunded to the lot owner. If a person other than the association purchases the property at foreclosure, all rent and other income collected by the purchaser from the date of the foreclosure sale to the date of redemption shall be credited toward the amount owed the purchaser under Subsection (e), and if there are excess proceeds, those proceeds shall be refunded to the lot owner.

(j)  If a person other than the property owners' association is the purchaser at the foreclosure sale, before executing a deed transferring the property to the lot owner, the purchaser shall obtain an affidavit from the association or its authorized agent stating that all amounts owed the association under Subsection (e) have been paid.  The association shall provide the purchaser with the affidavit not later than the 10th day after the date the association receives all amounts owed to the association under Subsection (e).  Failure of a purchaser to comply with this subsection does not affect the validity of a redemption.

(k)  Property that is redeemed remains subject to all liens and encumbrances on the property before foreclosure.  Any lease entered into by the purchaser of property at a sale foreclosing an assessment lien of a property owners' association is subject to the right of redemption provided by this section and the lot owner's right to reoccupy the property immediately after redemption.

(l)  If a lot owner makes partial payment of amounts due the association at any time before the redemption period expires but fails to pay all amounts necessary to redeem the property before the redemption period expires, the association shall refund any partial payments to the lot owner by mailing payment to the owner's last known address as shown in the association's records not later than the 30th day after the expiration date of the redemption period.

(m)  If a lot owner or lienholder sends by certified mail, return receipt requested, a written request to redeem the property on or before the last day of the redemption period, the lot owner's or lienholder's right of redemption is extended until the 10th day after the date the association and any third party foreclosure purchaser provides written notice to the redeeming party of the amounts that must be paid to redeem the property.

(n)  After the redemption period and any extended redemption period provided by Subsection (m) expires without a redemption of the property, the association or third party foreclosure purchaser shall record an affidavit in the real property records of the county in which the property is located stating that the lot owner or a lienholder did not redeem the property during the redemption period or any extended redemption period.

(o)  The association or the person who purchased the property at the foreclosure sale may file an affidavit in the real property records of the county in which the property is located that states the date the citation was served in a suit under Subsection (a) and contains a legal description of the property. Any person may rely conclusively on the information contained in the affidavit.

(p)  The rights of a lot owner and a lienholder under this section also apply if the sale of the lot owner's property is conducted by a constable or sheriff as provided by a judgment obtained by the property owners' association.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 926, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1176, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 209.012.  Restrictive Covenants Granting Easements To Certain Property Owners' Associations.

(a) A property owners' association may not amend a dedicatory instrument to grant the property owners' association an easement through or over an owner's lot without the consent of the owner.

(b)  This section does not prohibit a property owners' association from adopting or enforcing a restriction in a dedicatory instrument that allows the property owners' association to access an owner's lot to remedy a violation of the dedicatory instrument.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 887, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 209.013.  Authority Of Association To Amend Dedicatory Instrument.

(a) A dedicatory instrument created by a developer of a residential subdivision or by a property owners' association in which the developer has a majority of the voting rights or that the developer otherwise controls under the terms of the dedicatory instrument may not be amended during the period between the time the developer loses the majority of the voting rights or other form of control of the property owners' association and the time a new board of directors of the association assumes office following the loss of the majority of the voting rights or other form of control.

(b)  A provision in a dedicatory instrument that violates this section is void and unenforceable.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 887, Sec. 2(a), eff. September 1, 2007.


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