2016 is definately proving to be a year of many changes and with the start of the New Year there are some new laws on the books that you should be aware about if you own rental property in the Houston area or elsewhere across Texas.
Senate Bill 1367, authored by State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) and co-sponsored in the House by Representatives Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) and Rene Oliveria (D-Brownsville), makes five key changes to “AN ACT relating to certain obligations of and limitations on landlords,” aka the state’s landlord-tenant law—in an effort to better protect tenants’ rights. Those changes include
The repair provision has been amended to expand the way notices can be delivered, thereby triggering a landlord’s duty to repair. Previously, tenants were required to send either one request for repair by certified mail or two requests by any other method. When the statute was first written, trackable delivery services such as UPS and FedEx didn’t exist as they do today. Now, any trackable form of delivery by the U.S. Postal Service or private delivery service qualifies for the single notification provision.
Advocates of SB 1367 argued that time is critical for tenants dealing with health and/or safety problems, and that the requirement to send two separate notices created an undue lapse of time for those with urgent repair needs.
Landlords must now refund and notify tenants of damages and charges within 30 days if they are going to make a claim against the tenant’s security deposit, even if there is not a refundable deposit. This provision is to protect tenants from landlords who make claims against a tenant, but the tenant never become aware of such claims until finding a claim on their credit report down the road.
Source – Buildium.com
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