By Jennifer Slewer
A slew of changes are now in effect for the state’s homeowners associations, the love-’em-or-hate-’em groups that everyone seems to have an opinion about. The changes grant homeowners more freedoms when it comes to outdoor decorating and installation of environmentally friendly systems. The changes also make it harder for HOAs to foreclose because of unpaid fees.
Now, HOAs won’t be able to keep you from displaying the U.S. or Texas flag, or flags of military branches. Free-standing flagpoles 20 feet tall or less will be allowed, too — legislation filed in response to an HOA that sued a Marine veteran for flying the Stars and Stripes on a flagpole.
HOAs also won’t be able to keep you from hanging a religious display on your front door, but they can require you to keep it at 25 square inches or less. That legislation was filed after a Jewish couple was threatened with a recurring fine for displaying a mezuzah, a parchment with Hebrew verses enclosed in a case affixed to the doorpost.