SB 478

84(R) - 2015
Senate Business & Commerce
Senate Business & Commerce
Business, Industry, & Commerce

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive


Judith Zaffirini

Bill Caption

Relating to promulgation of certain forms for use in landlord-tenant matters.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. 

Bill Analysis

SB 478 requires the state Supreme Court to create standardized forms that are easily accessible and understandable for individuals choosing to represent themselves in landlord-tenant matters. Individuals who are involved in a dispute with their landlord may not have funds to hire a lawyer, so they may need to represent themselves. The purpose of this bill is to enable tenants to more adequately represent themselves in civil court by creating appropriate court-approved forms that don't require the assistance of an attorney to understand and execute.

Vote Recommendation Notes

By making the process of working through civil disputes with landlords easier for tenants, SB 478 promotes individual liberty and personal responsibility. Legal matters can be confusing and expensive. For most people the prospect of hiring an attorney to handle a dispute with a landlord is daunting and expensive (and likely unaffordable) leaving many tenants with little alternative but to represent themselves in civil court. In a limited government laws are few, necessary, and just. Unfortunately the laws and regulations dealing with landlord-tenant relationships are complicated and not always easily understood by ordinary people with no legal training. This bill would, at least to some extent, help to address that problem.

Because this bill would promote individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government without adding new regulations or mandates on those who make housing available to renters we support SB 478.

Organizations Supporting

Austin Tenants Council
Inclusive Communities Project
Texas Access to Justice Commission
Texas Apartment Association
Texas Family Council
Texas Low Income Housing Information Service