While most people refer to them as "homeowners' associations" or "HOAs," the term that Texas law uses is "property owners' association." These organizations are defined in Section 202.001 of the Texas Property Code as:
"[A]n incorporated or unincorporated association owned by or whose members consist primarily of the owners of the property covered by the dedicatory instrument and through which the owners, or the board of directors or similar governing body, manage or regulate the residential subdivision, planned unit development, condominium or townhouse regime, or similar planned development."
Many property owners' associations in Texas are formed as nonprofit corporations. This means that they are business entities formally created under Texas law and registered with the Secretary of State. For this reason, when asked questions about the functions of an HOA, our librarians often refer people to the Texas law on nonprofit corporations.
Some property owners' associations are not formally incorporated. If your association has not been incorporated as a nonprofit corporation, many of the laws cited in this guide will not apply.
There are many documents that are important to the operation of a property owners' association. They all serve different functions and purposes. This list may help you understand what documents you should look at to find out specific kinds of information.
Many people ask us if there is a state agency that oversees property owners' associations. Unfortunately, there is not. If you are having problems with your HOA, you should first read the bylaws to see if they give you options for solving the problem, such as removing board members, changing the bylaws, or filing a complaint. If not, you may need to consult an attorney for assistance.
Section 209.017 of the Property Code (added in 2021 by Senate Bill 1588) allows a property owner in a subdivision association to sue the association in justice court if the association violates a provision of the Texas Residential Property Owners Protection Act, chapter 209 of the Property Code.
Another option is to contact the Community Association Institute of Greater Houston's HOA Hotline. While they are not attorneys, they do have experts in HOA best practices available to help you work through your problem.
Please note: Condominium owners' associations are distinct from property owners' associations in Texas law. This guide's main focus is on property owners' associations. Please see the link below for laws specific to condominium owners' associations.
We often hear from new homeowners who are not sure if their property is subject to a property owners' association. There are three ways that you can find out:
For general overviews of how property owners' associations function in Texas, please see the following links. The topics they discuss, such as assessments, meetings, voting, and foreclosures, are explained in more detail on the other pages of this guide.
Much of the information for this guide was assembled using Gregory S. Cagle's Texas Homeowners Association Law, 4th edition, as a source. In addition to being a wonderful cataloging of Texas law, it contains many sample documents such as meeting notices, requests to inspect books and records, notices of fines and liens, and more.
This item is available in print at the State Law Library. To see if it is available at a library near you, check WorldCat.org: