TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:
Pursuant to Article IV, Section 14, of the Texas Constitution, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, do hereby disapprove of and veto House Bill No. 1429 as passed by the Eighty-Second Texas Legislature, Regular Session, because of the following objections:
House Bill 1429 would create a new cause of action allowing residential tenants to file suit against landlords who fail to provide tenants with a copy of their lease in certain circumstances. This legislation would expose landlords to private legal claims, including damages, attorney fees and costs, for failure to turn over the lease as required. Although House Bill 1429 requires a tenant to provide notice to a landlord before filing suit, the notice requirement does not give the landlord time to address the violation before a lawsuit is filed, thus having no effect on preventing litigation. Furthermore, House Bill 1429 provides that a tenant may be awarded attorney's fees in a lawsuit filed under the bill's provisions, creating an incentive for attorneys to seek out and file such suits. The litigation expenses incurred by landlords as a result of this bill could be significant, and would likely be passed on to other tenants through higher rents and fees. Thus, although the bill seeks to protect tenants in rare cases where they are not provided with a copy of their lease when it is signed, I believe it would do more harm than good.
Since the Eighty-Second Texas Legislature, Regular Session, by its adjournment has prevented the return of this bill, I am filing these objections in the office of the Secretary of State and giving notice thereof by this public proclamation according to the aforementioned constitutional provision.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have signed my name officially and caused the Seal of the State to be affixed hereto at Austin, this 17th day of June, 2011.
Governor of Texas
ESPERANZA "HOPE" ANDRADE
Secretary of State