Recently I spent a day with TAA (Texas Apartment Association) at the Texas State Capitol lobbying for some changes in our current regulation. As we all know Austin is a very pet friendly town, which can present it's own unique problems for apartment management companies and their owners. Over the last few years it has become easier for tenants to falsify documents to get their pets into their apartments. There are many reasons this is happening. A few that come to mind: tenants trying to bring a pet that is otherwise not allowed or the tenant is trying to avoid paying fees and possibly pet rent.
Regardless of the reason this topic has been pushed right up to the doorsteps of the capital.
The National Apartment Association reports:
"Currently state law in Texas prohibits misrepresentation of a service animal in public accommodations as a misdemeanor. The Texas Apartment Association (TAA) is looking at amending the Human Resources Code, Ch. 121, to expand this prohibition to also cover assistance animals in rental housing. This misdemeanor penalty would levy a fine of up to $300 or require up to 30 hours of community service to be served. Additionally, TAA's proposal seeks to add the definition of 'assistant animal' and clarify the definition of 'service animal' as stated in current Texas law. This language would fall in line with applicable federal law. TAA continues to work with bill sponsors as the proposal moves through the bill drafting process."
If you are a apartment manager (or a tenant falsifying documents) then you may want to keep an eye out on the progress of this bill as it navigates through the capital.
To find more info on this matter: