The House Committee on Business & Industry met on April 3rd to take up bills on the notice here. In order, this report covers: HB 3503 (Turner), HB 1193 (Turner), HB 3485 (Bell, Keith), HB 3246 (Manuel), HB 328 (Cortez), HB 4084 (Frazier), HB 2444 (Thimesch), HB 2336 (Thimesch), HB 1497 (Guerra), HB 4277 (Longoria), and HB 2035 (Slawson). A video archive of the hearing can be found in two parts here: Part 1 & Part 2.

This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.


HB 3503 (Turner) Relating to property owners’ associations, including condominium owners’ associations.

  • Turner – Last session SB 1588 had unintended consequences
  • Bill allows HOAs to regulate fencing in the front of the house
  • Allows HOA to allow driveway gate to be set to an appropriate distance
  • Allows HOA board members or their spouse to serve on architectural review board
  • Bill expands the provision to condominium associations
  • Will bring back CS with minor tweaks to this legislation


Christy Gessler, Texas Realtors – For

  • 150K members want to thank rep for this bill
  • Bill is a continuation of SB 1588 in helping homeowners understand property associations
  • Bill is bringing good transparency measures to condominium associations
  • Bill allows for tweens to architectural review committee
  • Would like to see a few more small changes to make sure statute is clear and concise


Doug Plas, Texas Community Association Advocates – For

  • Bill represents agreed bill between all stakeholders regarding unintended consequences of SB 1588
  • Bill address safety need for driveway gates
  • Some security measures can be problematic or dangerous, i.e., electric fence, bill makes sure installations do not affect owners’ health or safety
  • Many HOAs do not have enough volunteers for architectural review board; bill address problem by allowing directors to serve on committee


John Krueger, Texas Legislative Action Committee – For

  • Thank Rep. Tuner for effort on this bill
  • Working with interested parties on langue they have issues with


Connie Heyer, Texas Community Association Advocates – For

  • Thank Rep. Turner for effort on this bill to address unintended consequences from SB 1588
  • Easements are important to include and thankful they are in the bill
  • Security concerns are important and apricate it being in the bill


HB 3503 is left pending


HB 1193 (Turner) Relating to prohibiting housing discrimination by a property owners’ association against a residential tenant based on the tenant’s method of payment.

  • CS laid out
  • Turner – Bill would protect residential tenants from housing discrimination by property owner associations based on the tenant’s method of payment
  • Bill would prohibit property owner association from enforcing any provisions denying a person from renting a dwelling based on their method of payment
  • CS removes line that says “or has the effect of prohibiting or restricting” from section 202.024b


J Canciglia, Coalition of Texans with Disabilities – For

  • Worked with Houston housing authority to give vouchers to those who were homeless and had disabilities
  • Many of the people who were given vouchers were denied because they were using a voucher as payment


Dewey Marshall, Texas Tenants’ Union – For

  • In June of 2022 landowners in Denton were given notice they were not allowed to house tenants using HCVs; landlords should be able to accept HCVs
  • Possibility of large income discrimination remains, HOAs could potentially segregate neighborhoods without knowing


Ben Martin, Texas Housers – For

  • 22% of Texas population is below the poverty line
  • HOAs that regulate if a landlord can accept tenants using HCVs violate fair housing act
  • HOAs, landlords, tenants will benefit from this bill


Christy Gessler, Texas Realtors – For

  • Bill is a commonsense property rights bill, that ensures homeowners can accept payments that benefit them and their tenants
  • Thank Rep. for hard work and consideration


Ann Lott, Inclusive Communities Project – For

  • Bill is important because housing is important
  • Research shows that if a low-income family is placed with other families, the poverty cycle can be broken
  • 96% of landlords refuse to take and kind of HCVs in the DFW area
  • Texas has legislation in place that makes it unlawful that any jurisdiction denies a person using a HCV
  • When HOAs start to regulate who gets to live next door, that is a step to far


John Krueger, Texas Legislative Action Committee – For

  • Thanks to Rep. for taking this issue on
  • When there’s an egregious policy that shows clear discrimination, we don’t stand for that, are in support of this bill


CS withdrawn, HB 1193 is left pending


HB 3485 (Bell, Keith) Relating to a contractor’s or subcontractor’s right to elect not to proceed with additional work under a contract.

  • Keith Bell – Purpose of bill is to protect contractors and subcontractors
  • Bill seeks to amend public prompt pay act; to allow the contractor to elect not to proceed with any additional work directed by a contractor if the contractor has not received a fully executed change order for the additional work and the aggregate or anticipated value of the additional work, plus any additional work request exceeds 10% of the original contract value
  • Bill will also clarify that a contractor who elects not to proceeded with this additional work directed by owner or contractor that’s not executed, is not responsible for any damages or delays associated with the choice not to proceed
  • Lambert – Has COVID and the supply chains issues exacerbated the issues with contractors and subcontracts negotiation?
    • This issue has been going on for decades, with the inflation of labor and supply chain issues; that gives more rise to the consternation and the conflicts that exist in these change orders


Fred Wilshusen, Texas Construction Association – For

  • Over many decades unresolved change orders create the greatest money risk for contractors
  • This bill does not prevent contracts from being team players or working on change of work orders


Regan O’Steen-Tragon, Self – For

  • This comes up in every construction contract and it is impossible to negotiate them
  • This is not an agreement that anyone can price into their proposal, it is basically a directive from the owner to the contractor
  • Contractors don’t know when they’re going to get paid or if they’re going to get paid
  • Bill addresses this concern and puts a cap on it


Tom Oney, Lower Colorado River Authority – On

  • Concern that the bill as drafted would give construction contractors undo leverage to cause unnecessary and problematic disruptions and delays for construction projects
  • Have concerns about the language, working with Rep. Bell on this
  • Bill would allow contractors complete control over certain delay clocks
  • Bill conflates owner contractor relationship, and the contractor subcontractor relationship to the detriment to the owner


Rep. K Bell closes

  • Working with those concerned to clean up the language


HB 3485 is left pending


HB 3246 (Manuel | et al.) Relating to inquiries about and the consideration of criminal history record information regarding applicants for employment.

  • Manuel – Bill seeks to amend the labor code job in order to initiate criminal record checks for listed questions to be required on a job application
  • Bill will remove barriers that prevent ex-offenders facing bias due to the past and should not implicate their present or future
  • It will not prevent employers seeking information such as history of arrest, to make a hiring decision


Megan Mauro, Texas Association of Business – Opposed

  • Believe employers are in the best position to determine employment criteria
  • TAB supports second chances, 2022 TAB launched second chance coalition
  • Cannot support law that prevents business from making their own informed hiring polices


Robert Williams, Coalition of Organized Professionals – For

  • Bill simply removes a barrier that would allow an employer to hire a person they missed along the road
  • Asking for those who have served their time a second chance, and to lean into restorative justice


HB 3246 is left pending


HB 328 (Cortez) Relating to the regulation by a property owners’ association of the installation of solar roof tiles.

  • Neave Criado – Bill will update outdated statue by updating the classification of solar roof tiles as a solar energy device


Wille Walton, Self – For

  • Planned to have tesla solar roof installed, HOA responded with approval of conditions that tiles must match neighbor’s roof
  • HB 362 was passed before solar panels were released as a product
  • There are number of homeowners that have been denied by HOAs from installing solar panels


HB 328 is left pending


HB 4084 (Frazier | et al.) Relating to certain disclosures and other requirements relating to the sale of concert and other event tickets.

  • Frazier – Bill requires all ticket locations to post all ticket fees in an easily accessible location
  • Bill is a transparency issue


Zach Anderson, TicketCity – On

  • Once tweaks in langue on the bill are in, would be in full support
  • Good bill should be at federal level


Jas Sajjan, Live Nation Entertainment – For

  • Policy that we have been advocating for at the federal level
  • Believe price consumer sees is the price they should pay


HB 4084 is left pending


HB 2444 (Thimesch) Relating to prohibitions in connection with event ticket sales or resales on an Internet website.

  • CS laid out
  • Thimesch – CS for bill will create provision that will prohibit the use of bots for sale or resale of event tickets
  • CS will prohibit individuals from using any method, technology, device or software in the sale or resale of event tickets on a ticket issuers or resale tickets internet website
  • Prohibitions apply to bots that would function as a bypass in the ticketing process, disguise the identity of the ticket purchaser, allow a person to purchase more tickets than number allowed by the event owner or operator, circumvent security measures in the ticket purchasing process, or decode or reverse engineer a barcode or algorithm used in the sale of tickets
  • Bill provides definitions for event, event ticket, resale, resale ticket agent, and ticket issuer
  • Bill would create civil penalties to be enforced by AG


Sean Auyash, StubHub – Neutral

  • Stub Hub supports polices that provides consumers a competitive marketplace
  • Would appreciate clarification on section a 328.0024b, language could be problematic; believe including “for the purpose of committing fraud” at the end of the paragraph would clean up language


Zach Anderson, TicketCity – Neutral

  • In favor of the intent of the bill; not in favor of bots
  • Want to make sure that this bill is a rifle shot approach to bots and not a shotgun approach
  • Working with Rep. on the langue of the bill


Jas Sajjan, Live Nation Entertainment – For

  • This is a commonsense consumer protection bill
  • Bill would take major step forwarded in protecting consumers
  • Industry needs engagement and regulators to help solve this problem


HB 2444 is left pending


HB 2336 (Thimesch) Relating to prohibitions in connection with the online sale of goods.

  • Thimesch – Bill that is separated between ticket sales and goods; addresses “Grinch Bots”
  • Bill prohibits individuals from using bots to bypass the purchasing process disguising the identity of the purchaser, or circumvents certain measures in the purchasing process
  • Working on CS to provide clarification on the definition of goods
  • If an individual violates this law in Texas, the AG may investigate the claim and bring action against them


Sean Auyash, StubHub – Neutral

  • Thanks Rep. for working with them on the language of this bill


HB 2336 is left pending


HB 1497 (Guerra | et al.) Relating to requiring the disclosure of taxes and fees charged for the sale of concert and other event tickets.

  • Guerra – Simple transparency bill, transparency for prices and associated fees
  • Bill ensures that any individual who sells or resales tickets for a concert or other events, disclose all taxes and fees that the seller will charge the consumer in connection with the ticket sale for the event
  • Real cost of the ticket sale must be posted in location easily accessible by ticket purchases or potential ticket purchasers
  • CS requires the disclosure of who get what’s fee
  • Bill attempts to limit some of the junk fees a ticket seller or resell can charge the consumer to no more than 10% of the raw ticket price
  • CS exempt venue fees from the 10% cap
  • Bill does not limit how much an industry can charge
  • Lambert – Are there junk fees that are associated with bank loans?
    • The public doesn’t know where to go when they see junk fees; if you ask any banker what certain fees are, they will explain it to you, there are some distinct and important aspects of this bill that wouldn’t necessarily apply to the banking industry


Jim Ritts, Austin Theatre Alliance – Opposed

  • Do support the portion of the bill that leads to greater transparency
  • Fee cap is problematic and would hurt ability to operate in the state of Texas
  • Any fees added to the ticket go to the venue, bill would reduce the funds received when hosting a show
  • If the state changes the balance in which venues have operated, we cannot ensure the artist will change their behavior and assist the venues


HB 1497 is left pending


HB 4277 (Longoria) Relating to the right of a purchaser to terminate a contract of purchase and sale of real property for failure to provide notice that the property is located in a public improvement district.

  • Bill cleans up legislation from HB 1543; HB 1543 includes unrestricted termination of a contract if a sale is entered into without the seller providing required notice
  • Bill seeks to cure the issue by establishes that the termination period is only available if the municipality or county which established the PID has filed a copy of the service plan with the county clerk
  • Bill seeks to limit the allow termination period for properly filed service plans to 7 days after the purchaser receives notice
  • The provisions of the bill only apply to contracts entered into on or after the effective date of this bill


Julia Parenteau, Texas Realtors – For

  • Bill brings PID disclosure requirements in line with other special district disclosure requirements that are already in the property code
  • Bill provides protection for a seller who was unable to provide the required disclosure because the local government didn’t file the paid notice timely


HB 4227 is left pending


HB 2035 (Slawson | et al.) Relating to the authority of a local government to regulate evictions.

  • Slawson – Bill provides that cities and counties may not take actions that prohibits, restricts, or delay the eviction process
  • Bill reasserts the legislatures expressed will in chapter 24
  • Hinojosa – one of the concerns I’ve heard is that Texas is one of only 6 states that doesn’t provide the right to cure. Is the intent of your bill not to allow on the right to cure on the local level?
    • The proper venue is to have it here at the state and not have a patchwork across the state
  • Cole – Do you know how the right to cure is playing out across the US? Is the process unusual for any state?
    • I can’t speak to what any other state is doing
  • Hinojosa – Do you have any concerns this bill could negatively impact landlords and property managers that agree to delay eviction filings?
    • I’m don’t think that would create an issue
  • Hinojosa – If a local ordinance says that you have the right to cure, and those funds kick in to help the renter would that cause an issue?
    • This would preempt if it’s created by a local ordinance
  • Gonzalez – Evictions increase the cost of homelessness, have you measured the cost of services to taxpayers if this bill passes?
    • It does create additional expense for the owner of the housing when they don’t have revenue coming in to meet their mortgage; ultimately that will force smaller property owners out from providing housing at all
  • Gonzalez – In regard to the fiscal note, that would go to taxing for rehousing people what would that be?
    • I don’t believe there is a fiscal note
  • Gonzalez – Have you looked into what the cost would be?
    • We have looked at the cost to property owners
  • Gonzalez – But not with regard to taxpayers?
    • We have requested fiscal note, as with every other bill and there is not one


Adam Bazaldua, City of Dallas – Opposed

  • Bill would prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing orders with local ordinance
  • Bill removes the cities capacity to provide critical renters protection
  • Enacting this bill would prevent crucial measures that protect Texas families
  • Ordinances and local measures give families a little more time to pay rent and communicate with their landlords
  • Gonzalez – What efforts has the city of Dallas made to combat homelessness?
    • It’s been a collaboration with neighboring suburbs, we’ve devoted $72M over the past 2 years and over the past 18 months we have housed over 1900 unsheltered individuals
  • Gonzalez – If a bill like this passed you would not have been able to house how many people?
    • Over 1900


David Mintz, Texas Apartment Association – For

  • The supreme court is the right jurisdiction to provide the procedures for JPs and evictions
  • Many owners don’t want to do evictions, when you add an opportunity to cure many times the ordinances have not limit on how many times it can be used
  • It’s important to have predictability and consistency of the process
  • Hinojosa – Wouldn’t you agree that our rental market varies from locality to locality across the state?
    • It does but the judicial process should be consistent
  • Hinojosa – The challenge I have is that our localities are punished because of their homelessness, our local governments are painted in a corner to deal with a problem that varies region by region across this large state and that’s my struggle with this legislation.
    • The question is who bears the cost for dealing with that, with local ordinances it shifts that cost to the property owner
  • Hinojosa – Why do the vast majority of states have the right to cure if it’s such a problem?
    • I’m not an expert on laws in other states but I know that the eviction process and time varies from state to state; but the ordinances in Texas can range from 7 days to 90 days, none of the ordinances as far as I’m aware put a limit on the number of times someone can avail themselves


Renee Zahn, Texas Apartment Association – For

  • Property owners often work with residence to help get property relief
  • Have never received pass due rent following an eviction
  • There are better solutions for cities to help address evictions


Ben Martin, Texas Housers – Opposed

  • Bill would lead to more eviction, more housing instability, and more homelessness, causing a greater tax burden
  • At least 270K evictions filed in 2022, evictions come at great cost to individuals and families
  • Bill would lead to more evictions and homelessness
  • Opportunity to cure window gives tenants a short amount of time to make things right with their landlord
  • Longest Permanente opportunity to cure law in Texas is 7 days
  • Cole – Do you have any numbers on the eviction’s trends in some of our smaller counties?
    • Most of the larger trends are in the state’s large metropolitan areas; the office of court administration has some record
  • Neave Criado – What do you mean by landlords deal with the patchwork across the state?
    • There are other existing areas where this occurs at the local level, fair housing protection is one example
  • Vasut – I think the question is should they, rather than if they do. Shouldn’t the landlord have some predictability?
    • I believe that local governments across our state are in the best position to weight the needs of landlords with the needs of tenants in their jurisdiction
  • Vasut – Is it your position that tenants should have different rights depending on which zip code they live in?
    • We would a statewide uniform to cure period
  • Vasut – Why would you if you purpose local control?
    • We haven’t had a hearing for a statewide opportunity to cure
  • Vasut – Why is it that a local entity, is better situated to determine whether or not a right to cure law, it sounds like you believe a city council is best situated to determine what right to cure law is best as opposed to the Texas legislature?
    • My position, is that tenants deserve this right to cure; the few local governments who have passed local ordinances are giving tenants the best shot of avoiding unnecessary evictions
  • Vasut – Even if this bill passes nothing prohibits the state from adopting a right to cure law?
    • That’s correct
  • Vasut – If this bill passes nothing prohibits the state from adopting any number of eviction protections that can apply to all Texans regardless of their zip code?
    • That’s correct
  • Cole – Are you aware of any members proposing statewide opportunity to cure?
    • Yes, Rep. Collier


John Woodley, Advocates for Disability Access – Opposed

  • If bill passes would cause many people with disabilities to be discriminate against
  • Don’t think the state should prohibit municipalities from passing ordinances that would protect their residents


Stephanie Mace, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas – Opposed

  • It took on average 106 days to process an eviction assistance application
  • When Gov. Abbott passed an emergency declaration, the city of Dallas adopted a temporary eviction notification ordinance
  • Just because the emergency protection has ended it doesn’t mean the housing crisis has been solved
  • Pandemic allowed the city of Dallas to support neighbors experience housing instability
  • Neave Criado – What organizations did y’all partner with?
    • There was 12, It ranges from organizations like Catholic Charities, and smaller organization like harmony CDC
  • Neave Criado – Where in the eviction process did United Way get involved?
    • As soon as the emergency funds were received
  • Neave Criado – The number of evictions have increased since the pandemic is that correct?
    • Eviction data has gone up to back to where it was since the pre COVID era
  • Neave Criado – Did you see the difference when the ordinance was in place vs when it wasn’t?
    • I am not the right person to answer that


Robert Holley, Texas Organizing Project – Opposed

  • Harris Count evictions are at higher levels post pandemic
  • City ordinances help renters, landlords, and property owners to find alternatives to alleviate evictions
  • City ordinances would allow opportunities and conversation between the landlord and the tenant


Jennifer Owen, Texas Apartment Association – For

  • Local government code 214.903 allows cities to pass fair housing ordinances and this bill would not address that
  • The cost for unpaid fees is rarely recovered; it is not sustainable
  • The question is how long renters should be allowed to live rent fee, ask that the Texas legislature not local governments be the ones to balance these competing interests
  • Cole – Does your organization support a statewide right to cure?
    • The focus of this bill is to decide what the appropriate venue for deciding that is
  • Neave Criado – Does fair housing have anything to do with notice to vacate or eviction?
    • No, the fair housing ordinances do not address evictions


Dewey Marshall, Texas Tenants Union – Opposed

  • There’s a question on whether or not it should be decided on the state or local level; there’s no reason it couldn’t be both
  • There is a misunderstanding that it will be settled on the state level, Texas is a big state
  • The only cost analysis heard is the cost of property owners, not the cost to the tenants or taxpayer


Tanya Lavelle, Disability Rights Texas – Opposed

  • Municipalities are trying to do right by their constituents and keep them housed by passing ordinances
  • Continue to hear from clients faced with evictions for a number of reasons including nonpayment of rent or simply having a disability
  • Once a person has an eviction on their record it is harder for them to find housing in the future
  • Opportunities to cure do not prevent a local landlord from evicting a tenant
  • Bill will result in more evictions in Texas


Nelson Mock, Self – Opposed

  • This is a law the protects the landlords and not the tenants
  • The eviction process in Texas is one of the fastest and easiest in the United States
  • The right to cure laws don’t change the judicial eviction process
  • This bill does affect fair housing ordinances, it does affect code violations, it affects anything that has to do with evictions, the broad nature of this law is a problem
  • Neave Criado – Can you explain how it affects fair hosing?
    • This law would allow the landlord to make the argument that their eviction it is related to an eviction suit under chapter 24, and that fair housing is unenforceable
  • Neave Criado – Who does that fair housing act protect?
    • It protects certain classes of people, race, nationality etc. the local government code allows municipalities to expand upon it
  • Isaac – Do you believe that some unintended consequence might be higher rent because landlords will have to raise rent to cover their losses?
    • I think that’s a fair question, but in the context of what this bill is trying to achieve, I don’t believe cities have passed unfair laws, the 7-day notice to cure has an important role for the landlords who are refusing to work with tenants
  • Isaac – But not all cities are doing that?
    • Correct, different cities have different issues
  • Cole – How do you feel about a stateside opportunity to cure?
    • I would prefer that, where there is more consistency; but many of the people that are for this law would not be for a statewide opportunity to cure
  • Frazier – What other states have the opportunity to cure?
    • I don’t have the exact numbers, but I believe its 45 or 46


Shoshana Krieger, Self – Opposed

  • The broadness of the langue of this bill not only permits cure ordinances, but it also has the ability to preempt other eviction prevention efforts
  • Seems like all of the worries heard today, have to do with right to cure ordinances
  • Section 2 of the bill could preempt cure ordinances and getting rid of section 1 would mitigate against unintended consequences
  • There are generous late fees for landlords in Texas, if a tenant is consistently late on rent it will ameliorate against the financial harm
  • Cole – How does this bill preempt the Texas fair housing act?
    • Local governments can create additional protected classes
  • Cole – Would you support a statewide cure ordinance?
    • Yes, and you could potentially do it in this bill


Jessica Galleshaw, City of Dallas – Opposed

  • Dallas has had the highest number of evictions in the nation
  • Dallas administered an excess of $100M in rental assistance since late 2020; these funds coupled with eviction ordinances prevent residents and families from losing their homes or homelessness
  • Evictions are costly for landlords whose bottom lines are affected
  • By preventing municipalities from implementing ordinances, we lose the ability to work alongside stakeholders
  • Neave Criado – Is there an ordinance in place right now
    • Yes, it’s the temporary ordinance that was adopted in 2022
  • Neave Criado – Can you tell us what the impact was before and after the ordinance was put in place?
    • We noticed when comparing the eviction rates against other cities, other cities rates of evictions per 1,000 were much higher
  • Neave Criado – Did y’all see an increase in homelessness with the increase in evictions?
    • Yes, we believe were it not for the ordinances we would see more homeless individuals than we currently have


Lee Parsley, Texans for Lawsuit Reform – For

  • Its our opinion that a statewide law that has been on the books for decades should be respected
  • The question is what legislature would like to do, if we know the game and play by the same rules it’s a fair system
  • Worked with many tenants during COVID, no landowner wants to evict a tenant
  • Cole – Want to commend you on lowering your rents in this market
    • Thank you, we never evicted a single person for late payment of rent during the pandemic
  • Cole – Would TLR support a statewide opportunity to cure?
    • We don’t have a position on it yet, if it’s a statewide rule that would be fair, just, and right
  • Isaac – Do you believe that if we don’t have statewide rules and unpredictability that eventually landlords will have to raise rent because they cant collect rent from others?
    • Yes, that true, it’s the economics of it
  • Isaac – It would make it harder for homeless people to find a place to rent eventually, right?
    • Yes, you have to make up that loss somewhere


Daniel Elkin, Come Dream Come Build – Opposed

  • Concern that this bill creates a one size fits all policy on every community in Texas
  • Texas has a lot of communities in it, Rio Grande valley is as unique a region as there is in this county and faces unique challenges
  • Local JP courts are swamped with evictions
  • Vasut – What if the city of Brownsville adopted a 365-day cure period?
    • That would be a radical proposal and we would be against it
  • Vasut – Under your opposition of this bill they could currently do that?
    • Yes, I don’t believe the city of Brownsville would do that and don’t think a hypothetical is productive
  • Vasut – If this bill were to pass and later on there was a statewide system to govern this issue would you support that?
    • There’re layers to that, if this bill were to pass the only avenue, we would have would be to get a statewide cure period at the state level


Eric Samuels, Texas Homeless Network – Opposed

  • Homelessness can cost up to $35,000 per person per year in community cost
  • Based off our data we found that nearly 93K unduplicated people fell into homelessness
  • We need more ways to prevent homelessness not fewer way, if this bill passes that’s one less tool, we can use to prevent homelessness
  • Neave Criado – What does that map that you gave us indicate?
    • It represents a rate in homelessness per 10K people
  • Neave Criado – My area is very different from every other region, and I think that’s the point


Mark Melton, Dallas Eviction Advocacy Center – Opposed

  • Since COVID began have helped more than 12K families
  • Bill was written by Texas Apartment Association, not because of a patchwork of laws, it’s because they don’t want any impediment to evict anyone; their entire business is build around a patchwork of laws, like fire codes, building codes
  • A few things I have learned in my observation in the last 3 years is JP courts are supposed to be fair, efficient, and predictable; they are efficient and predictable, but they are not fair; for every 100 evictions issued in Dallas County the tenant should have won 85 of them; the deck is stacked against the tenants
  • Neave Criado – A lot of the folks that do not have council, what is the data with respect to them getting evicted, as opposed to when they do have council?
    • If a tenant shows up with a lawyer, they get evicted 10% of the time, if they show up without one they get evicted 80% of the time
  • Neave Criado – The JPs are supposed to follow what’s in the property code, but you’re finding that because landlords aren’t complying the law is being disregarded? If a person wanted to appeal what’s the process and how much are they out of pocket?
    • If you take the results for the represented group and applied, it to the unrepresented group there would have been almost 14K fewer evictions over an 18-month period in Sept. 2022; we are violating the constitutional rights of every tenant in the state every single date; unless a tenant has the money to hire the lawyer you will win 90% of the time
  • Isaac – You spoke about patch work of ordinances, do you believe predictability is good for business?
    • I don’t believe this has to do with predictability, an apartment complex is not going to jump up and walk from one city to another and be subject to more than one set of rules, if its in the city of Dallas its going to be subject to the city of Dallas’s rules, that’s completely predictable
  • Isaac – If you have a business and you don’t know if you can evict someone it’s unpredictable and you’re going to have to make concessions for not being able to collect, when you have predictability, it makes it easier to do business which makes it cheaper.
    • How much are we willing to give up and lower rents to satisfy our craving to violate the constitutional rights of tenants what is the price on that
  • Isaac – If we continue like this, rents will continue to go up.
    • They already went up not because of this, they’ve gone up 22% in Dallas county in the last 2 and half years, and if you look at the lower deeper affordability bans it went up 40-50%, not because of a local ordinance, its completely unrelated
  • Isaac – If people have to pay more in rent that’s the problem
    • This rule has been their for two years in Dallas, this is not the cause of the rent increase; the local ordinances did not cause the rents to go up, they already went up
  • Vasut – Is it your position that cities currently have the authority to enact ordinances relating to the eviction process?
    • Certain ways yes, home rule cities in Texas are constitutionally permitted to make any law they want that the legislature has not specifically told them that they can’t; what this law is doing is trying to have the legislature say cities you can’t do this; the city of Dallas ordinance played off of section 24.005e of the Texas Property Code
  • Vasut – So the issue they addressed, is the opportunity to cure?
    • Not the initial ordinance, the initial ordinance is played in with the Property Code, the Property Code does not address a right to cure, it doesn’t permit it and it doesn’t prohibit it
  • Vasut – Because it didn’t permit or prohibit it, they were able to do it because the legislature did not say no?
    • That’s correct
  • Vasut – Does the current law allow Dallas, Dallas County, flexibility to do other regulations concerning the eviction process?
    • Some things yes, there’s no such thing as field preemption in Texas, if you have a rule of civil procedure for example a city could not pass a rule that was directly contradictory to what the legislature had passed, no one has done that though
  • Vasut – Am I correct in saying that you thought there were many issues with the eviction process utilized in Dallas County, Is that correct?
    • Well, the problem is the process utilized across the entire state of Texas
  • Vasut – Your concerned that the process that is in place in the state has issues, or is it that these are unique issue to Dallas County that you don’t see in other areas?
    • We certainly have unique issues, we got higher poverty rates than rural areas and a lot of people we have to figure out how to support
  • Vasut – Do you think Dallas County can do more than its currently doing?
    • Sure
  • Vasut – Do you think it should?
    • Absolutely
  • Vasut – Do you think the legislature can do more than it’s currently doing?
    • I sure wish it would
  • Vasut – Do you think that it should
    • Absolutely
  • Vasut – Is there anything about this bill that prohibits the legislature from doing more?
    • No
  • Vasut – The question I have is, if the counites have all this authority to do all these things, why is it so bad? If it’s so bad because of the state procedure, shouldn’t we have better state procedure? Doesn’t that go to the argument that we ought to make it better for everybody, and the body that’s able to do that is the state legislature not localities?
    • Vice chair Vasut let not pretend the state legislature is going to, that’s the point
  • Vasut – I’m here if you want to make it better, bring the bills and let’s hear them. I don’t see the issue with a bill that simply says were going to have a predictable model that the state legislature can step in. If these rules were not there, and the cities had not done any of these, those arguments wouldn’t exist. The state of Texas through the legislature has the power to provide a fair process for tenants, sovereignty rests with the state, and the state ought to deliver a fair system for all tenants so it doesn’t matter what zip code you live in.
    • I would support that sir


Rep. Slawson closes

  • Bill is requiring all JPs in 254 counties to follow the same process in one uniform property code
  • Sovereignty rest with the state
  • Cole – Have you talked with Rep. Collier about her bill on a statewide right to cure?
    • I have not, but I’m happy to talk to her about it; I do think its something that it should be deliberated in this body


HB 2035 is left pending