A Texas appeals court has ruled that a state law requiring property owners to obtain a license before they can sell their homes to non-residents is unconstitutional.
The ruling came after a lawsuit by Austin-based attorney Peter Bresnahan and a group of homeowners who say they were denied fair-market value for their homes because of the law.
AUSTIN TEXAS: AUSTINTEXAS.COM/DOT-WOMAN: DETAILS: https://www.abcnews.com/news/local/texas-court-upholds-law-restricts-property-owners-from-selling-their-property/article67090864.html#ixzz2lM3cjK4d The law, known as Section 11-12.04, was signed by Republican Gov.
Greg Abbott in 2014 and requires property owners in the state to obtain at least two licenses before they sell their property.
Under the law, property owners must first get a license from a county recorder, or assessor, before they may sell their home to nonresident buyers.
The law also requires that property owners pay a licensing fee for each buyer they sign a contract with.
The Austin Chronicle reports that in one lawsuit, Bresnan’s attorney claimed that his clients were able to sell their Austin house for $3.4 million.
He said the value of the house was “far higher” than the $2.5 million sale price the house had been appraised at at the time of the purchase.
Bresnahns lawyer, Mark Daley, argued in court papers that the law’s requirements, including requiring licenses and paying fees, “are unreasonable, and they amount to an infringement on the fundamental right to contract.”
He said he would appeal the decision.
“The law is not only unconstitutional but unjust, and it will be a burden on property owners,” Daley said in a statement to the Chronicle.
“We are appealing to the United States Supreme Court to ensure that Texas is not subjected to a similar law as this one.”
Brent Johnson covers property for ABC News.
You can follow him on Twitter: Follow @brettjohnsonABH