H.B. No. 1399
relating to notice of a landlord's motor vehicle towing or parking
rules and policies and to liability arising from certain actions of
a towing service; providing a civil penalty.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 92.013(a), Property Code, is amended to
read as follows:
(a) A landlord shall give prior written notice to a tenant
regarding a landlord rule or policy change that is not included in
the lease agreement and that will affect any personal property
owned by the tenant that is located outside the tenant's dwelling.
A landlord shall provide to the tenant in a multiunit complex, as
that term is defined by Section 92.151, a copy of any applicable[
including any change in] vehicle towing or parking rules or
policies of the landlord and any changes to those rules or policies
as provided by Section 92.0131.
SECTION 2. Subchapter A, Chapter 92, Property Code, is
amended by adding Section 92.0131 to read as follows:
Sec. 92.0131. NOTICE REGARDING VEHICLE TOWING OR PARKING
RULES OR POLICIES. (a) This section applies only to a tenant in a
multiunit complex, as that term is defined by Section 92.151.
(b) If at the time a lease agreement is executed a landlord
has vehicle towing or parking rules or policies that apply to the
tenant, the landlord shall provide to the tenant a copy of the rules
or policies before the lease agreement is executed. The copy of the
rules or policies must be:
(1) signed by the tenant;
(2) included in a lease agreement signed by the
(3) included in an attachment to the lease agreement
that is signed by the tenant, but only if the attachment is
expressly referred to in the lease agreement.
(c) If the rules or policies are contained in the lease
agreement or an attachment to the lease agreement, the title to the
paragraph containing the rules or policies must read "Parking" or
"Parking Rules" and be capitalized, underlined, or printed in bold
(d) If a landlord changes the vehicle towing or parking
rules or policies during the term of the lease agreement, the
landlord shall provide written notice of the change to the tenant
before the tenant is required to comply with the rule or policy
change. The landlord has the burden of proving that the tenant
received a copy of the rule or policy change. The landlord may
satisfy that burden of proof by providing evidence that the
(1) delivered the notice by certified mail, return
receipt requested, addressed to the tenant at the tenant's
(2) made a notation in the landlord's files of the
time, place, and method of providing the notice and the name of the
person who delivered the notice by:
(A) hand delivery to the tenant or any occupant
of the tenant's dwelling over the age of 16 years at the tenant's
(B) facsimile to a facsimile number the tenant
provided to the landlord for the purpose of receiving notices; or
(C) taping the notice to the inside of the main
entry door of the tenant's dwelling.
(e) If a rule or policy change is made during the term of the
lease agreement, the change:
(A) apply to all of the landlord's tenants in the
same multiunit complex and be based on necessity, safety or
security of tenants, reasonable requirements for construction on
the premises, or respect for other tenants' parking rights; or
(B) be adopted based on the tenant's written
(2) may not be effective before the 14th day after the
date notice of the change is delivered to the tenant, unless the
change is the result of a construction or utility emergency.
(f) A landlord who violates Subsection (b), (c), (d), or (e)
is liable for a civil penalty in the amount of $100 plus any towing
or storage costs that the tenant incurs as a result of the towing of
the tenant's vehicle. The nonprevailing party in a suit under this
section is liable to the prevailing party for reasonable attorney's
fees and court costs.
(g) A landlord is liable for any damage to a tenant's
vehicle resulting from the negligence of a towing service that
contracts with the landlord or the landlord's agent to remove
vehicles that are parked in violation of the landlord's rules and
policies if the towing company that caused the damage does not carry
insurance that covers the damage.
SECTION 3. (a) The change in law made by Section
92.0131(b), Property Code, as added by this Act, applies only to a
lease agreement entered into or renewed on or after January 1, 2006.
A lease agreement entered into or renewed before January 1, 2006, is
governed by the law in effect when the lease was entered into or
renewed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
(b) The change in law made by Section 92.0131(g), Property
Code, as added by this Act, applies only to a negligent act that
occurs on or after January 1, 2006. A negligent act that occurs
before January 1, 2006, is governed by the law in effect when the
negligent act occurred, and the former law is continued in effect
for that purpose.
SECTION 4. This Act takes effect January 1, 2006.
President of the Senate Speaker of the House
I certify that H.B. No. 1399 was passed by the House on May
13, 2005, by a non-record vote; and that the House concurred in
Senate amendments to H.B. No. 1399 on May 27, 2005, by a non-record
Chief Clerk of the House
I certify that H.B. No. 1399 was passed by the Senate, with
amendments, on May 25, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays
Secretary of the Senate