Property Owner Association

Denied Access to Personal Property in Your Residence/Former Residence?

texas denied access residence retrieve personal propertyThis issue often arises in the common property, landlord-tenant, family law, and foreclosure arenas.


A person who has been denied access to his or her residence or former residence may apply to a Texas Justice Court for an order authorizing access to retrieve personal property under Chapter 24A of the Texas Property Code.

The applicant must:

  1. certify that the occupant of the residence has denied the applicant access to the residence;
  2. certify that the applicant is not prohibited by law (including a protective order) from entering the residence;
  3. allege that the applicant, or the applicant’s dependent, requires one or more of the following personal items contained in the residence: (a) medical records; (b) medicine and medical supplies; (c) clothing; (d) child-care items; (e) legal or financial documents; (f) checks or bank or credit cards in the name of the applicant; (g) employment records; or (h) personal identification documents;
  4. allege that the applicant or the applicant’s dependent will suffer personal harm if the items listed in the application are not retrieved promptly;
  5. include documentation that shows the applicant is currently, or was formerly, authorized to occupy the residence; and
  6. execute a bond payable to the occupant in an amount set by the judge.

The Justice Court may issue an order authorizing the applicant to enter the residence accompanied by a peace officer to retrieve the property listed in the application (a) on sufficient evidence of urgency and potential harm to the health and safety of any person; and (b) after sufficient notice to the current occupant and an opportunity for both parties to be heard by the Court.

What happens if the order is granted but the applicant takes personal property that isn’t expressly permitted by the  order or that isn’t owned by the applicant?

Stay tuned!

In our Law 101 posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more complex discussions.

In the News: You Can’t Hang that Flag in this Neighborhood

A Fort Worth homeowners’ association is reported here and here as disallowing its residents from flying an American flag. State law prohibits HOAs from disallowing homeowners from flying the Texas flag, the flag of any branch of the United States armed forces, and the United States flag, subject to certain restrictions.

The hangup? The flags at issue aren’t red, white, and blue. The banned flags are black, white, and blue: a representative tribute to law enforcement, especially those injured and killed in the line of duty. s-l300

Homeowners are reportedly being issued citations.

How is this issue to be resolved? At the end of the day, the homeowners govern themselves. Therefore, they ultimately should have the ability to change the rules through their voting power, should they so choose. For now, however, the HOA is reported to be controlled by its developer. This isn’t unusual during the early stages of a neighborhood’s development.

What protocols are in place to motivate the developer to adhere to the will of the homeowners during the developer’s control period? Has the developer received complaints from other homeowners about these “non-conforming” flags? If the developer allows these non-conforming United States flags, does it open the door to having to allow other, non-conforming flags and symbols?

In our In the News series, we use an article or topic that has been featured recently in the news as a potential learning opportunity.


Property Owners’ Associations in Three Sentences

property owner association condominium homeowner association subdivisionA property owners’ association is an organization of people who own real estate that is the subject of a dedicatory instrument through which the owners manage or regulate the property. POAs include residential subdivisions, planned unit developments, condominium and townhouse regimes, and similar planned developments. Like other aspects of American law, POAs have English roots.

In our “Law 101″ posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more complex discussions.