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Winter Storm Resources

Information to handle the aftermath

Winter Storm Uri response and
important information for property owners

 

We know the last week was incredibly challenging and difficult for many Texas Apartment Association members and the communities they serve. As you cope with the aftermath, cleanup and restoration of services following Winter Storm Uri, we wanted to remind you of some TAA resources that may be helpful.

We have also posted these on a new resource page on our website.

Price Gouging Prohibited
Texas law prohibits charging excessive or exorbitant fees for certain life necessities, including housing, following a disaster. The Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection line accepts price-gouging complaints.

March 1 Rent Payments
Rental property owners should keep their property’s current situation in mind when dealing with March 1 rental due dates. Under the TAA Lease, there is no obligation to abate rent or accept late rent, but nothing precludes TAA members from voluntarily abating all or part of the rent as a gesture of goodwill and compassion. Considerations may include the extent of damage on your property, the availability of your staff to accept rental payments, your plans to repair damage, as well as other factors. Ultimately, this is a business decision.

Lease Termination Due to Natural Disaster or Catastrophe
If you believe that catastrophic damage is substantial, or that performance of needed repairs poses a danger to residents, Paragraph 26.5 of the TAA Lease allows the owner to terminate the lease by giving residents at least 7 days’ written notice. The TAA REDBOOK Online and TAA Click & Lease have sample notices for this purpose for conventional and tax credit properties. More information on our resource page.

Also see “Rental Housing Owners’ Rights and Legal Responsibilities after a Natural Disaster or Other Catastrophe.”

You may also wish to view this video, “Terminating Leases After a Natural Disaster or Catastrophe, with Howard Bookstaff.”

Lease Addendum Allowing Temporary Increased Occupancy Because of Fire, Natural Disaster or Catastrophe
If you wish to authorize a temporary increase of occupancy in a unit to accommodate displaced friends or family members of your residents, this addendum allows you to modify the terms of your lease to make that accommodation. This form is also available in the TAA REDBOOK Online and through TAA Click & Lease. Learn more.

SBA Disaster Assistance Available For Texas Businesses and Residents Affected by Severe Winter Storms
Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Texas businesses and residents as a result of President Biden’s major disaster declaration. Learn more.

Insurance Claims
Filing insurance claims promptly when able is important. TAA members should contact their insurance companies directly to file claims, and work with your adjuster to identify all damages and coverages.

While damage assessments and documentation are key to both relief efforts and the claims process, protecting life and property should be your primary concern when conditions are still dangerous.

A 2017 law designed to limit lawsuit abuses in weather-related cases impacts lawsuits filed when there is a dispute between the insured and the insurer. It requires notice before a lawsuit is filed, and made some other changes to these kinds of lawsuits, including the penalty interest rate. This legislation affects homeowners’ insurance claims, which does not cover flood or wind damage claims.

Top 5 Consumer Tips for Storm Claims, from Texas Watch

Self-Reporting Damage Survey
Texas Division of Emergency Management is encouraging Texans to complete the Self Reporting Damage Survey to help the state identify damages across Texas and help emergency management officials gain an understanding of damages that occurred during the recent winter weather. This data is also needed to provide information to FEMA and highlight the need for federal disaster assistance for individuals.

Damage Survey

 

President Declares Disaster in Texas Due to Winter Storm: Resources Available for LIHTC Properties
On February 19, 2021, President Biden declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Texas and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms that began on February 11, 2021. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has important information about this waiver, and other information for tax credit properties. Learn more. 

Updated Questions and Answers on TexasRentRelief.com and Extended Priority Period
TDHCA has also updated Questions and Answers related to the new Texas Rent Relief program, scheduled additional webinars on the program, and extended the initial 14-day priority period to 21 days. Learn more.

TAA Free Member Webinar:
Navigating the State’s New Rental Assistance Program
March 2, 1-2 p.m. Central

Join this FREE Texas Apartment Association webinar to learn more about how the state’s program will work, how to qualify for this assistance and more, including:

•    How property owners and renters can apply for this assistance
•    What eligibility standards must be met to qualify
•    How many months of rental assistance may be available for applicants
•    What other limitations or restrictions may apply to those participating

 

TAA WINTER STORM URI RESOURCE PAGE