Our time at the Capitol earlier this month focused on three main areas: social goods like transportation, and protection of property rights; taxes; and protections for our industry. (For more information, read Legislative Priorities Parts I and II). Today we look at issues impacting our livelihood, like title insurance, TREC and regulation of short term rentals.
Texas property owners benefit greatly from having a stable and reliable title insurance industry with competitive rates. Texas offers one of the most transparent and complete sets of coverage in the nation, with consistent rates applied evenly to all purchasers, residential and commercial alike. Title insurance rates in Texas have actually dropped 15% over the past 25 years. TAR supports the current title insurance consumer protections, which ensure competitive rates and comprehensive coverage.
HB 4239 (Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr., D-Palmview)
SB 372 (Sen. Bob Hall, R-Canton)
What the bills do
- Increase the price of title insurance for homeowners
- Result in riskier real estate transactions
- Decrease transparency
- Lead to more title insurance claims
Texas Real Estate Commission
TAR works with the Texas Real Estate Commission every session to identify inefficient and outdated real estate law. This year, TAR worked with the Texas Real Estate Commission on a bill that addresses real estate wholesalers and advertising rules for real estate license holders. TAR supports the Texas Real Estate Commission’s efforts to enhance ethics, consumer protection, and transparency in the real estate process.
HB 2534 (Chair John Kuempel, R-Seguin)
SB 2212 (Chair Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills)
HB 2534 and SB 2212 protect consumers from misleading real estate advertisements and require disclosure from real estate wholesalers.
Short Term Rental Regulation
Many Texas cities have adopted or are seeking to adopt ordinances regulating or even banning short-term rental properties (as in Airbnb-style agreements). However, cities already have code-enforcement divisions responsible for identifying, deterring, and remedying code violations, as well as public safety and nuisance laws that can be applied equally to short-term rental occupants. TAR supports clear statewide standards for short-term rental regulations.
HB 2551 (Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound)
SB 451 (Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills)
HB 2551 and SB 451 create a statewide framework of consistent regulations and ensure the health and safety of property owners, while protecting their private-property rights.