SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Express-News) – A number of new state regulations are now in effect that limit some of the powers of homeowner associations (HOAs).

Homeowners living in a neighborhood with an HOA now must be permitted to:

  • Display      the U.S. or Texas flag, or flags of military branches. Free-standing      flagpoles no more than 20 feet tall are also allowed.
  • Hang      a religious display on the front door. (HOAs can,      however, require the display be no larger than 25 square inches.)
  • Collect      rainwater in barrels and use solar      panels, within limits.

In addition, HOAs must go through a judge to foreclose on owners who fall behind on dues, and the HOA must give the owner a payment plan.

HOAs also have to hold open meetings, post a notice of those meetings and adopt record retention policies.