Eligibility for Homestead Exemption in Harris County, TX (My specific situation)?

I have a question about my eligibility for Homestead Exemption in 2009.

I had lived in my property located in Houston (Harris County), TX for the past 2 ¼ years, so Homestead Exemption has been applicable to my tax filing. However, I am in Canada right now for a 9 month work assignment (been here for about 2 months so far) and have been looking to rent it out.

Now I found my tenants who will move in the property today (December 8, 2009). Even though the property had been empty, it was still my main residence, which I guess made the exemption applicable. However, once the tenants move in, I guess it does not work any more? Then what kind of situation is my tax filing at? Can the exemption be prorated based on the actual days I resided? Or even though I lived there most of the year, it’s not applicable any more?

Thanks for your reply in advance!!!

Update:

So sounds like I am eligible for 2009 filing but not for 2010. I think that's fair. Again I was wondering if the exemption would be applicable to 2009 not 2010.

Update 2:

So sounds like I am eligible for 2009 filing but not for 2010. I think that's fair. Again I was wondering if the exemption would be applicable to 2009 not 2010.

Update 3:

So sounds like I am eligible for 2009 filing but not for 2010. I think that's fair. Again I was wondering if the exemption would be applicable to 2009 not 2010.

2 Answers

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  • Best Answer

    Once you rent it out, it's no longer your homestead under TX law. You lose your exemption for any subsequent years until you move back in and re-qualify. The homestead exemption is a yes or no issue, it is not prorated. You'll keep the exemption for 2009 but will lose it for 2010. Be sure to notify the Harris County Appraisal District of the change of occupancy. If you don't, you may be facing back taxes and penalties for late payment once they figure out that you're no longer living there.

    In the past, some TX counties extended the homestead exemption for military personnel who had resided in a TX homestead and were then posted to a duty station outside of the state for up to 3 years. After the 3 years it was lost until they moved back in. I know that Comal, Guadalupe, and Bexar Counties did this but don't know if Harris County did or if any counties still do at all. (I lost mine effective in 1998 on a property that straddled Comal, Guadalupe, and Bexar Counties after moving out in 1994 and have not kept up on TX laws since then.)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you rent the property, you must file a new form with the appraisal district. I do not believe it is prorated.

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