Real Estate Law

Contracts for Deed—Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid

texas contract for deed legal aidWhat is a contract for deed? Must you file it in the property records? Generally, what are a buyer’s rights under that instrument? When may the seller cancel the contract for deed?

These and other questions are answered by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc., and published by TexasLawHelp.org, here.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid is a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income residents in 68 southwest Texas counties. TRLA is the third largest legal services provider in the nation and the largest in the state of Texas. Donation information may 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.

How Long Does Adverse Possession Take in Texas?

Adverse possession always seems to be a popular topic. The idea that you may able to take something that you knowtexas adverse possession real estate isn’t yours and legally make it your own (without compensation) may be enticing. That same idea, however, may be off-putting if it’s your property that is taken by someone else.

How long does adverse possession take? As usual, the answer is not so simple.

The Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code lists several different statutes of limitation for bringing suit to recover real property purported to having been taken — or purporting to be in the process of being taken — by another.

There are three-year, five-year, ten-year, fifteen-year, and twenty-five year statutes of limitations.

Which limitations period applies depends on whether the person claiming to take the property (the “Claimant”) holds it under title or color of title, whether the Claimant pays taxes on the property, whether the Claimant claims the property under a registered and non-forged instrument, how the property is being held, the size of the property at issue, whether the property is enclosed, whether the person whose property is being taken is, has been, or was operating under a legal disability (minor, unsound mind, or in the U.S. armed forces during a time of war), and other circumstances.

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.

Damaged Fence Liens in Three Sentences

texas damaged fence lien lawA person who owns real estate enclosed by a fence may in some circumstances obtain a judgment for a lien against the motor vehicle of a person who damages the fence with the vehicle.

The purpose of the lien is to help (a) secure the fence repair costs, (b) recapture any animals that escaped as a direct result of the damage to the fence, and (c) have the vehicle towed from the property and stored.

The amount of the lien, the property to which it attaches, and the methods for perfecting and removing the lien are all dictated by statute.

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.

Basic Information About Residential Brokerage Services

texas residential broker realtor license I’m often asked questions about things that brokers/realtors did or did not do in connection with home sales.

What are the most elementary types of real estate licenses in residential transactions?

What minimum duties do these license holders owe by law?

Can a broker/sales agent represent just a seller? just a buyer? both? What duties does the license holder owe in each of these circumstances?

I could probably fill a small book with complete answers to these questions. However, the Texas Real Estate Commission answers them in a very basic manner in a one-page reference sheet right 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.

Will a New Texas Lease Law Help Mitigate Human Trafficking?

texas commercial lease termination prostitution human traffickingA landlord who reasonably believes that a tenant operating under a commercial lease is using the premises, or allowing the premises to be used, for prostitution, the promotion of prostitution, compelling prostitution, or for human trafficking may file suit to obtain possession of the premises and unpaid rent.

The landlord in such a situation does not have to give (1) notice of proposed eviction or notice of termination before giving the required notice to vacate; or (2) more than three days’ notice to vacate before filing suit.

Texas already allows termination of a commercial or residential lease based upon a public indecency conviction. But now in some situations a landlord may obtain possession of commercial premises based on belief and without a criminally adjudicated determination or finding.

This new law, codified in Texas Property Code section 93.013, applies to all commercial leases entered into or renewed after August 31, 2017.

It does not apply to residential leases.

Mineral Interest Liens in Three Sentences

texas oil gas water mineral interest lienA person who furnishes labor or materials in connection with digging, drilling, operating, maintaining, completing, or repairing an oil, gas, or water well, or an oil or gas pipeline, mine, or quarry, is granted a lien to secure payment.

The lien is asserted by timely filing a proper affidavit in the records of the appropriate county clerk’s office.

The claimant must foreclose the lien by filing suit, if the claim isn’t otherwise paid.

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.