Look out for these new laws that will impact REALTORS®
What happens at the Capitol and in local government directly impacts real estate. HAR works hard to provide a voice for our REALTORS® at the Capitol and protect your businesses. HAR and TAR Governmental Affairs Departments actively monitored legislation that pertains to REALTORS® during the 85th legislative session. More than 6,000 bills were filed in the 85th Texas Legislative Session and a total of 1,139 bills actually passed. Our top priorities for the Regular and Special Sessions included property taxes, school finance, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), and other bills that impact the real estate industry and consumers.
New advertising rules for brokerages
Senate Bill 2212 made changes to the regulations governing advertising for real estate brokers and sales agents. (authored by Sen. Kelly Hancock and sponsored by Rep. Tan Parker)
This law is helpful because it removes the current requirement that the advertiser be identified in each advertisement as a broker or agent, and clarifies that an advertisement is misleading if it fails to include the name of the broker, or if it implies that a sales agent is responsible for the operation of a brokerage.
HAR worked in concert with TAR and elected officials to ensure this bill passed, including attending the Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee hearing and writing a letter to the Houston elected officials who serve on the committee. SB 2212 goes into effect September 1, 2017.
Updates to TREC’s Seller’s Disclosure
House Bill 890, effective September 1, 2017, puts a mechanism in place to provide individuals purchasing real estate with additional disclosures about the area surrounding the property they are purchasing. (authored by Rep. Charlie Geren and sponsored by Sen. Craig Estes)
This law is important because it requires disclosures to be made to the buyer regarding the impact of potential aircraft noise and other activities from nearby military installations. The following language will be added to TREC’s Seller’s Disclosure.
This property may be located near a military installation and may be affected by high noise or air installation compatible use zones or other operations. Information relating to high noise and compatible use zones is available in the most recent Air Installation Compatible Use Zone Study or Joint Land Use Study prepared for a military installation and may be accessed on the Internet website of the military installation and of the county and any municipality in which the military installation is located.
For more information on the new TREC laws, visit www.trec.texas.gov, and if you would like to read a bill so you can understand how the State of Texas creates and enacts laws visit http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Home.aspx.
Ending voter confusion
Senate Bill 957 relates to the content and numbering of propositions on the ballot. This bill passed unanimously in both the Senate and House and became effective on June 1, 2017, when it was signed by the Governor. (authored by Sen. Don Campbell and Sen. Juan Hinojosa and sponsored by Reps. Jodie Laubenberg, Larry Gonzales, Gina Hinojosa, Charlie Geren and Toni Rose)
This law is important in clearing up voter confusion over state and local propositions when they appear on the ballot. This will impact the November 7, 2017 election ballot which will include the constitutional amendment to update home-equity lending provisions in the Texas Constitution, Proposition 2. The following language will identify propositions on the ballot:
- State propositions must be labeled with a number (Proposition 1, Proposition 2, etc.)
- Local propositions must be labeled with a letter (Proposition A, Proposition B, etc.)
- Propositions must be labeled with the entity ordering the election (State of Texas Proposition 1, City of Lakeway Proposition A, etc.)
- State propositions must be listed above local propositions.
The last day to register to vote in the Tuesday, November 7, 2017 election will be Tuesday, October 10.
The HAR Government Affairs Department in coordination with volunteers serving on the Montgomery County Political Affairs Advisory Leadership and the Fort Bend County Political Affairs Advisory Leadership will be participating in several local races, including The Woodlands Township and Missouri City Council Races. Election Day is Tuesday, November 7.
It may seem a long way off, but the Tuesday, March 6, 2018 Primary election will be here before we know it! The HAR Governmental Affairs Department is gearing up for next year’s Primary election as well as the November 6 General election. Your Governmental Affairs Department will work closely with members to ensure that REALTORS®’ interests are at the forefront of the candidates’ platforms and actions.
Your opportunity for grassroots involvement
If you would like to become a Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar in Harris County and have the authority to register voters, the HAR Governmental Affairs Department along with the Harris County Tax Office will be hosting a training at the HAR Central office on Thursday, September 14, at 10 a.m. This training is free and open to our members.
Please contact the HAR Government Affairs Department for more information at (713) 629-1900 ext. 270.