Real Estate Law

The Family Violence Victim’s Right to Break a Lease

texas landlord tenant family violence residential leaseTexas Property Code section 92.016 allows a family violence victim to break a residential lease without incurring liability, under prescribed circumstances.

The victim may break the lease regardless of whether the offender occupies the leased premises with the victim.

The victim’s right to terminate the lease, vacate the dwelling, and avoid liability cannot be waived.

Look here for a short Q&A on the subject by The Texas Legal Services Center & Texas Partnership for Legal Access.

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

 

What is Strict Foreclosure?

texas foreclosureIn Texas, realty foreclosures can occur with or without using the court system, depending on the circumstances. The former is called a judicial foreclosure. The latter, unsurprisingly, is called a non-judicial foreclosure. In either event, there is a sale of the property as part of the foreclosure process at which qualified bidders, including the lender, can bid to purchase the property.

In a strict foreclosure, there is no sale. Instead, a court orders the debtor to pay the lender money owed, and title to the realty vests directly in the lender if the debtor fails to do so.

Texas law does not permit strict foreclosures of real estate.

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.

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.

Mortgage Loan Workouts

texas mortgage foreclosure alternativesLenders and borrowers often prefer to avoid foreclosures. Short sales and deeds in lieu of foreclosure are two methods that may be employed to accomplish this objective. Workouts are a third option.

A major premise of a workout is that institutional lenders would rather receive loan repayments than engage in foreclosure and/or litigation proceedings.

A workout is just that — the lender and the borrower work out an agreeable alternative to foreclosure. Upon request of the defaulting debtor, the lender may be willing to reasonably accommodate the debtor. This accommodation can take many forms including, but not limited to, temporarily suspending mortgage payments, waiving accrued costs, fees, or penalties, or extending the loan’s repayment period.

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.

TREC’s Basic Consumer Guide for Buyers/Sellers of Texas Real Estate

texas real estate commission guideThe Texas Real Estate Commission makes available a rudimentary guide for consumers interested in buying or selling real estate.

It includes information on dealing with qualified real estate professionals, a consumer checklist, material about choosing a broker or salesperson, dispute resolution information, and contains references to additional resources.

The guide can be found here.

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

Land Surveying in Three Sentences

The Board of Professional Land Surveying is charged with licensing, regulating, and disciplining land surveyors in the state of Texas.texas land surveyor land surveying

Professional surveying includes any work involving the application of “special knowledge of the principles of geodesy, mathematics, related applied and physical sciences, and relevant laws to the measurement or location of sites, points, lines, angles, elevations, natural features, and existing man-made works in the air, on the earth’s surface, within underground workings, and on the beds of bodies of water to determine areas and volumes for: (i) locating real property boundaries; (ii) platting and laying out land and subdivisions of land; or (iii) preparing and perpetuating maps, record plats, field note records, easements, and real property descriptions that represent those surveys.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, perhaps unsurprisingly, the industries that employ the most land surveyors are architectural and engineering, government, and construction.

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.

Mold Regulations for Texas Properties in Three Sentences

texas mold law regulationsTitle 25, Part 1, Chapter 295, Subchapter J of the Texas Administrative Code sets forth rules for assessing and remedying mold in Texas properties.

This subchapter delineates the qualifications for, and licensure of, mold-related professionals, provides a framework of mold assessment, remediation, and post-remediation standards and protocols, and contains penalties for non-compliance.

The recovery of damages for personal injury caused by mold is not addressed by these regulations, but is addressed by other law.

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.