I was reading the Texas Realtor magazine and came across information about a bill that affects all of us that live in the state of Texas. It has to do with fire safety requirements and affects owners, sellers, and landlords of residential property; I would say that is just about everyone. The new law takes effect on September 1 and is enacted as Texas House Bill 2118.
As a seller the new law requires that seller's disclose information regarding the presence of fire detection and safety devices. You must disclose smoke detectors, hearing impaired smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and emergency escape ladders. Seller's may mark yes, no or unknown. The Texas Association of Realtors has already changed their seller's disclosure (TAR 1406). Any homes that are not under contract before September 1st will be required to use the new form. TAR is recommending that the forms start being used immediately to avoid having to update the notice.
There are also new fire safety requirements for sellers of one and two family dwellings. Under the new law a purchaser may require the seller to install hearing impaired smoke detectors. There are certain requirements that must be met and the law authorizes the seller and buyer to agree as to which party will pay for them to be installed.
The new law also requires all owners of one and two family dwellings to have working smoke detectors installed in accordance with the requirements of the building code in effect in the area where the dwelling is located.
Along with the fire detection and safety devices that have been changed in the seller's disclosure there is also an additional page that has been added with additional notices to buyers. The notices include such things as the website where the buyer can check for sex offenders, the open beaches act, square footage measurements and each buyer is encouraged to have their own home inspection. One of the items that I like is a section for the seller to write out who currently provide service to the property such as electric, water, sewer, trash, cable, natural gas, local phone and propane. I like this information being provided up front especially since we have so many different water districts in our area.
This makes for a very comprehensive seller's disclosure. It adds another page to the disclosure but I personally like the changes.