Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill that modernizes the state’s 30-year-old self-storage lien law on Friday. The Texas Self Storage Association (TSSA) played an active role in this year’s legislative session to support changes to the Chapter 59 foreclosure process affecting self-storage operators in the state.
The new law, which becomes effective Jan. 1, will:
- Allow the use of verified mail or e-mail instead of the currently required Certified Mail to send the required foreclosure seizure/claim notice.
- Require specific notice to military customers asking them to identify themselves as active duty, thereby providing additional safeguards for service members.
- Incorporate special foreclosure processes for vehicles and boats into Chapter 59 instead of the current separate section of the property code subject to changes intended for mechanics liens.
Senator John Carona (R-Dallas), chairman of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, filed Senate Bill 690. State Representative Sid Gill (R-Stephenville) also filed an identical companion bill in the House, House Bill 1259. Both worked with TSSA to ensure passage of the bill, with some amendments along the way.
This is the first time in more than 15 years that TSSA has actively stepped into the legislative fray to lobby for a specific bill. The association’s legislative role has mainly been as a watchdog and to actively lobby against harmful legislation. Connie Heyer of Niemann & Heyer LLP routinely monitors all bills that may have a potential impact on self-storage operators, working at the Capitol with bill authors when amendments are needed. When necessary, the association rallies members to contact their representatives and help prevent onerous bills from becoming law.
The process of this bill was relatively smooth, the TSSA reported in a press release. One stumbling block appeared early on when the newspaper lobby came out in opposition to a portion of the bill that would have eliminated required newspaper advertising. This section was eventually eliminated from the bill.
“There is definitely success to be claimed, and joy in doing something that helps members run their businesses more efficiently,” said TSSA Executive Director Ginny Sutton. Board President Robert Loeb praised everyone involved in the process and hailed the signing of the bill as “a good day for TSSA, our customers and our industry.”
The TSSA was established in 1986 as non-profit trade association dedicated to enhancing the quality of the self-storage industry in Texas. It provides opportunities for members to increase their knowledge through education, research, discussion and information exchange.