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Removing Discriminatory Provisions from Deeds

Discriminatory Deed Provisions

Under Texas law, provisions in a property deed that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, or nationality are void, and can be removed.

In this article, you will learn basic information about removing discriminatory provisions from deeds and other official real property transfer documents.

How do I know if my deed contains a discriminatory provision?

Study your deed. A provision of this nature will include language that supposedly prohibits use by or transfers the property to people because of their race, color, religion, or nationality. Expect the discriminatory language to be blatant.

If you do not have a copy of your deed, you can get one. Contact the tax appraisal office and county clerk’s office in the county where the property is located. The conveyance instrument that contains the discriminatory provision should be on file in the county clerk's office.

Who can apply for removal of a discriminatory provision from a recorded conveyance instrument?

Two types of people can file a petition to remove the discriminatory provision:

(1) the person who owns the real property, or

(2) another person (ideally a lawyer) with the permission of the owner.

This applies when the "chain of title"—the history of who has owned the property—includes a document with a discriminatory provision in it.

What is the legal effect of an order removing a restrictive provision?

Racially discriminatory deed restrictions are illegal in Texas, and cannot be enforced. See Texas Property Code 5.026. The restrictions may nonetheless still be there on paper. The court can order such provisions removed.

The order removing a discriminatory deed provision is a “finding of fact and conclusion of law” that goes on file in the county clerk’s office along with the other documents affecting that piece of land.

This means that a judge has determined that the discriminatory language was there; is void and not enforceable, and is considered to be removed from the conveyance instrument (usually the deed).

Where do I file a petition to remove a discriminatory deed provision?

File a petition to remove a discriminatory provision in the district or county clerk's office in the county where the land is.

How much does it cost to file a petition to remove a discriminatory deed provision?

Nothing. A court clerk may not collect a filing fee for filing a petition to remove a discriminatory restriction in a deed. 

If you need a new, certified copy of your deed from the county clerk's office, ask your county about their fees.

Are there forms for removing discriminatory deed provisions?

Yes, there are forms for removing discriminatory deed provisions. TexasLawHelp offers them as part of this guide: I want to remove a discriminatory provision from my deed. 

You can also draft them yourself, because the law includes the information that needs to go into the form. See Texas Property Code 5.0621.

Or, you can hire a lawyer to draft them for you. For help finding a lawyer, use TexasLawHelp's Legal Help Directory.

Related Guides

  • I want to remove a discriminatory provision from a deed.

    Discriminatory Deed Provisions

    Use this guide to remove a discriminatory provision from your property deed.
  • Related Articles

    Related Forms

  • Petition to Remove Discriminatory Deed Provision

    CRP-DDP-100-Petition to Remove Discriminatory Deed Provision

    File this form to ask the court to remove a provision in a deed that discriminates on the basis of race, color, nationality, or religion.
  • Order to Remove Discriminatory Provision

    CRP-DDP-101-Order to Remove Discriminatory Provision

    The judge signs this form and the clerk files it with the property records to remove a discriminatory deed provision.