Top 5 Legal Resources for Self-Managed Texas Homeowners Associations.
The Foundation for Community Association Research estimates that there are at least 18,600 “Homeowners Associations” (or “HOAs” for short) [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”] in the State of Texas, and that of such number, it is further estimated that 30 – 40% are self-managed, meaning that such HOAs do not employ a professional manager or management company for day-to-day services and are administered solely by volunteer homeowners. If those numbers are accurate, it would mean that there are between 5,520 and 7,360 self-managed HOAs in Texas alone.
As the Texas legislature continues to impose increasing amounts of statutory regulations on the operation of Texas HOAs, it has become increasingly more difficult for volunteer homeowners to self-manage their HOAs in compliance with such laws. This is because most volunteer homeowners serving on the Board of Directors of a self-managed HOA are not legal professionals or property managers and do not keep abreast of changes in the laws applicable to Texas HOAs. Moreover, there are very few resources available to assist such volunteer homeowners in learning the laws applicable to Texas HOAs or staying up to date as such laws change.
So, in order to assist such volunteer homeowners, the following is our top five list of legal resources for self-managed Texas HOAs and the volunteer homeowners that manage them:
1. Texas Legislature Online Website – www.capitol.state.tx.us
The Texas Legislature’s website is a comprehensive website that allows users to search for and read past and current bills that the Texas Legislature previously enacted or that is currently being considered. The website is completely free and is a great resource if you want to read the bills that were enacted or that may be enacted in the near future.
2. Texas Online Statutes – www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us
The State of Texas maintains an online website that allows users to search and view all Texas statutory laws, including those applicable to Texas HOAs. The website is also completely free and is a great resource if you want to view the statutory laws applicable to your HOA.
3. Community Associations Institute – www.caionline.org
The Community Associations Institute (or “CAI” for short) is an international membership organization that provides education and resources to HOAs, homeowner leaders, professional managers, management companies and other businesses and professionals who provide products and services to HOAs. CAI also has local chapters in each state, including four chapters in Texas: Austin (www.caiaustin.org), Dallas/Fort Worth (www.dfwcai.org), Houston (www.caihouston.org), and San Antonio (www.caisa.org). The local chapters generally conduct monthly educational luncheons.
4. Texas Homeowners Association Law, second edition © 2013 * – www.TexasHOALaw.com
Texas Homeowners Association Law is a comprehensive legal reference book that covers all Texas and federal laws applicable to Texas HOAs, which is organized on a topic-by-topic basis and written in “plain English” as opposed to the legalese of statutes. The book includes more than 800 pages and 21 sample forms for use in the management and operation of Texas HOAs, and is a great resource for volunteer homeowners serving on a self-managed HOA’s Board of Directors.
5. Texas HOA Manager legal compliance software * – www.TexasHOAManager.com
Texas HOA Manager is an online legal compliance software solution developed specifically for Texas HOAs that provides users with the tools to operate a Texas HOA in compliance with the regulatory laws applicable to such HOA without having to know such laws, similar to the way TurboTax allows users to complete complicated tax forms without having to know the tax laws. The best part of Texas HOA Manager is that it remains up to date as the laws applicable to Texas HOAs change.
* Full disclosure – the author of Texas Homeowners Association Law is a Texas attorney that has been representing Texas HOAs and homeowners for more than 15 years and is also the developer of Texas HOA Manager legal compliance software, who is the sponsor of the Manager’s Corner blog.
 The Foundation for Community Association Research uses the term “community association” as opposed to homeowners association, but the terms have synonymous meanings and include all types of property owners associations, including those that govern subdivision, condominium and townhome communities. Since the term “homeowners association” or “HOA” is more commonly used than “community association”, all residential property owners associations will be referred to as either “Homeowners Associations” or “HOAs.”
The Manager’s Corner is brought to you by Texas HOA Manager, the first and only legal compliance software for Texas HOAs. The posts within the Manager’s Corner provide a brief summary of legal compliance issues applicable to Texas HOAs. Such brief summaries should be used for general information purposes only and may not be construed as a legal opinion or legal advice. For more information about Texas HOA Manager, please go to www.TexasHOAManager.com.