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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 114742
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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The POA By Law state this Article VIII - Dues Dues shall be

Customer Question

The POA By Law state this
Article VIII - Dues Dues shall be $25.00 annually. Special assessment may be voted by the membership to meet special needs.
Article VIII - Votes The payment allows one vote per family. If a proxy vote is used it must be authorized in writing from the property owner as shown on the county tax records.
Is this legal, as the deed restrictions assess a $20 per month per lot fee, but this is saying I am not a member of the POA nor can vote unless I pay a $25.00 membership fee? I have 8 lots and I want 8 votes for that. I believe owning the lots makes me a member of the POA and this is like a poll tax and illegal. They are using this, which I believe illegal to tell me I pay 8 fees but get only one vote? Is this correct.
In 2012 the Texas POA laws were amended and it says this " Sec.(###) ###-#### RIGHT TO VOTE. (a) A provision in a dedicatory instrument that would disqualify a property owner from voting in a property owners' association election of board members or on any matter concerning the rights or responsibilities of the owner is void." I see a conflict between this by-law and this section of law, which overrules the bylaws?. What is correct?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
According to Texas law, which would override your bylaws according to the terms of the law, they can pursue you for delinquent dues to make you pay, but they cannot impair any right to vote on board members or on anything that would impose a right or responsibility on you as an owner. Also, they can have a provision allowing one vote per owner, no matter how many lots an owner owns and this is designed to prevent developers taking over and controlling the association and that is not refusing to allow you to vote as long as they give you one vote. If you had adult children or relatives who were legal owners of each lot, they would have to be considered a separate family of owner and could get one vote as owner as well for each lot.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I understand that about giving you one vote, however the ones I have seen are very specific and say if you own multiple lot, this does not. I still don't see how they can make you pay to be a member and to vote, seems as being a property owner gives you the right to vote? The way this is wrote, you have no right to vote unless you pay $25.00 to join the POA? I thought when you bought the land and paid the fees by the deed restrictions, that made you a member and a right to vote? That seems like a poll tax to say you have to pay $25 to vote? This is legal?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your reply
If you are not a member of a POA, then you cannot be made to pay any dues or any assessment or follow any of their rules. So, if you do not have to pay dues, assessments or follow rules because you are not a member you have nothing to vote on because nothing they could do would impact you. If you ARE a member you have to follow the bylaws and that means paying dues and following the bylaws and if you do not pay dues, they legally cannot prevent you from voting as an actual MEMBER for board members or assessments, but can also sue you for your back dues.