A well-managed property owner association (POA) may operate for years without major changes needed to its governing documents. But when was the last time your POA board discussed changes in Texas law? If it has been more than 2 years, call a meeting to discuss the impact of SB 1588, passed in 2021. The measure aimed to provide property owners with additional rights and requires POAs to amend critical governing documents.
SB 1588 changed the playing field
To fully comply with SB 1588, your POA board will need to check a number of documents to ensure compliance. Delaying this process will extend the period your POA could face exposure to Chapter 209 violation lawsuits.
Specifically, SB 1588 requires POAs to:
- Post governing documents to a website accessible by property owners
- Remove size-limit language to policies about religious displays on an owner’s property
- Hear covenant violation appeals by your entire POA board and not a committee
- Allow property owners 45 days (up from 30 days) to address delinquent POA charges (209 letters)
- Provide payment plan options for paying off delinquent charges
- Make all POA budget changes during open sessions in public meetings
Clearly, if your POA has not made the required changes yet, you’ll want to address them immediately.
How to update your POA documents
The Texas State Law Library has an excellent web page on POA law, with links that explain some of the most common questions that POA boards may have. If the board decides to involve an attorney, it’s best to talk to one with significant POA/HOA law experience, including representation of HOA boards (versus only representing property owners).
You can also discuss your situation with an attorney with board certification in POA law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Hiring an attorney with this credential means you’ve partnered with a lawyer who is one of only several dozen in the state with specialized knowledge in property association law.