New Homestead Exemption Rules

House Bill 585 - Effective September 1, 2013:

The recent session of the Texas Legislature imposed new standards of mandatory disclosure for those property owners who apply for any one of several kinds of homestead exemptions starting September 1.

Applicants must provide the following:

  • Homestead exemption applicants must submit a copy of Texas Driver License (Texas ID for non licensed drivers)
  • Applicants must affirm no other Homestead is claimed in or outside of Texas.
  • Documents MUST be in the applicant's name and reflect the homestead property address for which the exemption is sought.

The Chief appraiser is prohibited from granting the exemption unless the address of the property matches the address on the driver's license and registration receipt or utility bill.

Certain applicants are exempt from the requirement:
If you are exempt from the requirement to provide a copy of your driver's license or state-issued personal identification certificate, attach supporting documentation for:

  • Resident of a facility that provides services related to health, infirmity, or aging.
  • Certified for participation in the address confidentiality program administered by the Office of the Texas Attorney General under subchapter C, Chapter 56, Code of Criminal Procedure.

 

Certain applicants may request the chief appraiser to waive the requirement:
You may request that the chief appraiser waive the requirement that the address of the property for which the exemption is claimed correspond to the address listed on your driver's license or state-issued personal identification certificate if:

  • You are an active duty member of the armed services of the United States or the spouse of an active duty member: you must attach copies of your military identification card or that of your spouse and a copy of a utility bill for the property subject to the claimed exemption in your name or your spouse's name.
  • You hold a driver's license issued under Section 521.1211, Transportation Code: you must attach a copy of the application for that license from the Texas Department of Transportation.

 

The new requirement that takes effect on September 1, 2013 is required for any one of the several ways property owners can qualify for a residential property homestead. These include the following:

  • General residential exemption
  • Over-65 exemption
  • Disability exemption
  • 100% disabled veterans exemption
  • Extension of exemption for a surviving spouse
  • Exemption for manufactured (mobile) home

Each of the exemptions cited above have additional requirements for qualification. However, the common standard is that all such applicants & spouse must provide the additional documentation as noted before regarding driver's license, Texas issued identification card, motor vehicle registration, and utility billing receipt. The exemption is not an annual application but you must re apply if the chief appraiser requests and all requirements must be met.

For those seeking the homestead exemption status on a manufactured home, the applicant must also provide documentation as noted below:

  • Statement of ownership and location issued by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
  • A copy of the purchase contract or payment receipt that shows the applicant is the purchaser of the manufactured home, OR, a sworn affidavit that:
    1. The applicant is the owner of the manufactured home
    2. The seller of the manufactured home did not provide the applicant with a purchase contract, and
    3. The applicant could not locate the seller after making a good faith effort

Note: If you do not have any information on the manufactured home and you would like to obtain a Statement of Ownership and Location, you may contact the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to obtain instructions on how to acquire new Texas Seals with a new Label Number. TDHCA - P.O. Box 12489, Austin, Texas 78711-2489. PH# (800) 500-7074, (512) 475-2200 FAX (9512) 475-1109. Website: www.tdhca.state.tx.us/mh/index.htm