Tech-tonic: Two new online tools to help real estate pros stay on the right side of the law

by Kerrie Kennedy

New guide takes some of the guesswork out of being a landlord in Texas

Property management software company Rentec Direct has released a new resource for landlords, property managers and other real estate professionals. Texas Rental Laws: A Landlord-Tenant Guide, provides a comprehensive overview of landlord-tenant law in the state of Texas.

“In addition to providing superior software solutions to the real estate industry, we believe that it is also our responsibility to serve as an educational resource,” said Nathan Miller, president of Rentec Direct in a press release. “Our hope is that this guide will provide the landlords and property managers of Texas with relevant information that may otherwise be confusing and difficult to find.”

The nine-section guide covers regulations and relevant laws specific to the state of Texas with regard to security deposits, applications, rent, leases, landlord responsibilities, property maintenance, repairs and legal disclosures. The Official State Statutes of Texas and municipal sources are cited in the guide.

In the state of Texas, there is no official government agency that has the power to intervene in a dispute between a landlord and tenant. Landlords and tenants who cannot resolve a dispute on their own must use the court system — either directly or through a lawyer — to enforce their own legal rights. Property managers and landlords can better educate themselves by developing an understanding of rental laws that may affect their business, according to the Rentec guide.

New app helps builders meet accessibility requirements of Fair Housing Act

The National Association of Home Builders has unveiled a free app designed to help builders, contractors and designers meet the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act.

The Pocket Guide to the Fair Housing Act enables professionals to determine if the Fair Housing Act applies to their projects and if so, provides a quick reference guide to the seven basic accessibility requirements for compliance with the law.

“HUD welcomes the efforts of this important housing industry partner in working to meet the needs of persons with disabilities,” said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson in a press release. “This new app represents an exciting new tool in our collective effort to help ensure that homebuilders meet their Fair Housing Act obligations.”

While not a safe harbor for Fair Housing compliance, the app will provide a guide to understanding and conforming with the design and construction requirements of the Fair Housing Act and will hopefully result in more housing options for persons with disabilities, said NAHB president Greg Ugalde.

“Through this free tool, NAHB strives to increase Fair Housing Act compliance within the housing industry and facilitate greater access to multifamily housing for persons with disabilities,” Ugalde said.

The app can be downloaded from the App Store and from Google Play. Find it by searching “FHA Guide” or “NAHB.”


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