New Laws Proposed that Affect Rental Properties

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New Laws Proposed that Affect Rental Properties

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Now that Spring has arrived, this year’s newly proposed rental housing laws are here! From Arizona to Washington, get an inside look into the rental housing laws that could affect rental properties, owners, property management companies, associations, and tenant screening services come Summer.

As you get a good look into the rental housing laws that could impact your properties and communities, it’s a good idea to get a look at the big picture. Trends change, and the priorities of legislators this year are surprisingly different from 2018.

Criminal or Eviction Record Restrictions

The number of states seeking to limit the accessibility to criminal or eviction records, or restrict what type of criminal records can be considered in a housing decision, is quite alarming. So far California, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon all have bills targeting criminal records, with Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts targeting eviction records.

What does this have to do with the multifamily housing industry? Simply, the harder it is to access criminal or eviction records, the less likely you’ll see that information on your rental applicant’s background screening report. Not all of these bills are bad – but the sheer number of these type of bills (across multiple states) shows that this is a serious trend the housing industry should be looking out for.

"Just Cause" Evictions and Rent Control

Overall, most states have bills seeking to re-write or impose new eviction regulations. However, the number of states that are looking to enforce “just cause” evictions are limited to 3: California, Massachusetts, and Washington. While a lot of these bills have varying degrees of severity (there’s even a bill imposing “just cause” for elderly tenants), quite a few of these bills are City ordinances.

Thankfully, rent control hasn’t strayed far since 2018. Overall, the States we were watching at the end of the year (California, Illinois, and Oregon) still have some form of rent control bill proposed. As we transition from Spring to Summer, stay especially diligent of this trend if you have rental properties in California and Illinois as the pressure to pass rent control is particularly high.

Honorable Mentions and Potential Rising Trends

As per usual, there are quite a few bills proposed that follow some of the trends we’ve seen over the past few years. “Ban the Box” employment legislation continues slowly and steadily spreading to more states, but we’re starting to see some “ban the box” policies being implemented into rental housing law.

The service and emotional support animal debate caused Indiana and South Dakota to pass their own restrictions late last year, and we can still see remnants of this trend. Plus, a handful of pet-specific bills!

As for potential future trends, my bet’s placed on Oregon’s SB970. If successfully passed, this bill (prohibits rental housing providers to deny an applicant based on a prior marijuana conviction) has the potential to spread in other states that have legalized recreational marijuana. 

Nationwide

Congressional Bills We're Watching

We have our eye on a few congressional bills, but it’s a little too soon to dive deep into the specifics of each multifamily bill. While the number of housing bills passed on a State level varies based on the needs and priorities of that state, the factors that determine what is able to pass the House and Senate are a lot trickier. The priorities of Congresspeople and Senators change quickly.

In our next legislative update, we’ll provide a more in-depth analysis of bills that have passed at least one chamber, but until then this is a quick list of a few of the bills we’re watching closely:

Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act of 2019

Out of all of the rental housing bills we’ve been watching, this one has made the biggest waves so far. H.R. 1122 has already cleared the House and is in the hands of the Senate.

This bill authorizes the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement a mobility demonstration program to enable public housing agencies (PHAs) to administer housing-choice rental-assistance vouchers in a manner designed to (1) encourage low-income families receiving such assistance to move to lower-poverty areas, and (2) expand access to opportunity areas.

HUD Cuts Advance Notice for Housing Inspections

Public housing authorities (PHAs) and private owners of HUD-subsidized apartment developments will receive reduced advance notice of inspections. The new standard provides 14 calendar days’ notice before an inspection (prior notice time could extend up to 4 months). This change is already in effect.

FY2020 HUD Budget Proposal

Be aware that on March 11, 2019, HUD released the outline of the Trump administration’s HUD budget proposal for FY 2020. Standing now, it will cut the agency’s budget by $8.6 billion.

HUD Charges Facebook with Fair Housing Act Violation

Remember the formal complaint against Facebook in August 2018? HUD formally announced on March 28, 2019 that it is charging the social media platform with violating the Fair Housing Act by “encouraging, enabling, and causing housing discrimination through the company’s advertising platform”.

Arizona

Arizona’s 2019 legislative session is projected to end on April 27, 2019.

PENDING: Rent Increases

This bill focuses on two very unlikely things: rent increases and water conservation devices.

For rent increases, if passed, SB 1544 would require landlords to provide a 30-day notice prior to a lease expiration if the rent increases by 10% or less. If the tenant’s lease has less than 30 days, the landlord shall provide notice of the increase (with its effective date at 30 days after the date of the notice). If the rent increase is more than 10%, the landlord will be required to provide at least 60-day notice. For water conservation devices, this bill simply states that an association cannot prohibit landlords from installing water saving devices.

PENDING: Local Landlord-Tenant Law

Under this bill, counties, cities, towns, or other political subdivisions of Arizona would be prohibited from creating further regulations on the rights, obligations and remedies of landlords and tenants, with the exception of any ordinance or code adopted before December 31, 2018.

PENDING: Partial Payments

If passed, landlords would not be required to accept a partial payment of rent or other charges, including assisted housing payments made by a government agency, public housing authority, or nonprofit. The acceptance of assisted housing payments also does not waive the landlord’s right to terminate the tenant’s lease if breached.

PENDING: Mobile Home Abandonment

This bill would provide more regulations regarding the abandonment of a mobile home property by the tenant. If the tenant abandons the mobile home unit on a mobile home space, the landlord can notify the owner of the record and lienholder of record or their liability for any costs incurred by the landlord, including rent and utilities.

PENDING: Mobile Home Relocation Fund

HB 2688 would create a mobile home relocation fund for eligible tenants who relocate due to a rent increase. This bill also has provisions similar to the above bill with regulations on tenant home abandonment.

California

California’s 2019 state legislative session has a projected end date of September 13, 2019. Keep in mind that this state has full-time legislators, allowing the legislature to meet throughout the year after adjourning their regularly scheduled sessions. Most of the state pending bills are still in Committee.

PENDING: "Just Cause" Eviction Bills

This year, there are two proposed “just cause” eviction bills.

While both propose to limit evictions to specific causes (like failure to pay rent or a breach of the lease) and include some “no fault” eviction causes (like demolishing the unit or withdrawing from the rental market), there are a few differences between the two bills. AB 1697 would only apply to tenants residing for a year or more, while AB 1481 would apply to all tenants. AB 1481 also bans the owner’s right to terminate the tenancy to move into the unit if the tenant is 60 years or older unless the tenant grants permission or if the lease provides notice of this tenancy termination option.

PENDING: Keep Californians Housed Act

Existing law requires a tenant within a month-to-month lease at the time the rental property is sold in foreclosure to be provided 90 days’ written notice. Tenants within a fixed-term lease (like a 12-month lease) would have right to possession until the end of the lease term, unless in specified circumstances. This existing law expires on December 31, 2019, however, if SB 18 passes, these provisions would stay in effect indefinitely. SB 18 also has provisions that cater to the administration of grants for rental housing and legal aid for those experiencing homelessness.

PENDING: Tenants Associations Withholding to Pay Rent

This bill would give tenants the right to form, join, and participate in activities of a tenant association, subject to any restrictions as may be imposed by law, or to refuse to join/participate with a tenant association. Tenant associations would also be able to vote to withhold the rent.

Landlords under this bill would be prohibited from terminating the lease or refusing to renew the lease of a unit occupied by a member of a tenant association. Tenant associations (after a majority vote) can choose to withhold rent payments for up to 30 days in response to grievances or complaints against the property owner. The landlord would then need to meet with the tenant association to try to resolve the issues and provide a written account of any changes planned. If the rental property owner does not comply with these requirements, they would have to waive the rent that has been withheld.

In addition to the eviction protections surrounding a nonpayment of rent during a rent strike, this bill would also create “just cause” eviction protections for members of the tenant association.

PENDING: Rent Control Bills

Surprise, surprise… rent control is back!

While AB 1482 does not provide specifics yet, this bill would cap annual rent increases by an unspecified percentage, plus the rate of inflation. It would also not override local, pre-existing rent control laws. Rental property owners would be prohibited from terminating a tenancy to avoid the rent increase cap.

Just like AB 1482, AB 36 is still missing quite a bit of information. As it stands now, this bill would allow local governments to cap rents on single-family rental properties (exempting landlords with one or two units) and on construction that’s at least 10 years old.

PENDING: Extended Notices for Rent Increases

For a month-to-month tenancy, existing law requires that if you increase the rent by 10% or less, the landlord has to provide at least 30 days’ notice. For rent increases of more than 10%, the landlord has to provide an additional 30 days, to a total of 60 days’ notice. AB 1110 would require 90 days’ notice for rent increases of more than 10% but no more than 15%. For increases of more than 15%, landlords would have to provide 120 days’ notice.

PENDING: Statewide Rental Registry

If passed, AB 724 would create a rental housing registry for all buildings within California. Information like the name of ownership, the number and size of each unit, and the move-in dates would be required information. Rental property owners who fail to comply would face a fine of $50 per unit.

PENDING: Criminal Records on Rental Applicants

Similar to “Ban the Box” employment laws, this bill would prohibit the property owner from inquiring about, or requiring the tenant to disclose, any criminal records during the rental application process. After the initial rental application phase, landlords can request a criminal background check.

If the owner considers denying an applicant based on their criminal record, they are required to provide the rental applicant a written statement as to the basis of their possible denial within 5 days of receiving the background report. The rental applicant will then have 14 days to provide evidence of record inaccuracy, evidence of rehabilitation, or other factors. The owner would then need to reconsider within a specified time, and if the decision to deny holds, the landlord would need to notify the rental applicant in writing.

If this bill passes, it will be the third “Ban the Box” housing law in place in the U.S., alongside Seattle, WA and Detroit, MI.

PENDING: Allowances for Tenants to Shelter those at Risk of Homelessness

This bill would permit a tenant to temporarily allow a person at risk of homelessness to live with them for up to 12 months, regardless of the lease, without negative repercussions from the property owner.

Landlords can adjust the rent payable under the lease as compensation during the time the extra person is staying with the tenants, which terms would need to be agreed upon in writing by both parties. This bill would also permit the landlord to request a background check, however at this time, the bill does not say how or if a property owner would be permitted to deny the additional occupant if the findings within the background check do not meet their written rental standards. Nor does it describe allowable eviction causes (i.e. if the occupying guest breaks the tenant’s pre-existing lease).

PENDING: Requirements for the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council

SB 333 would require the Homeless Coordinating Financing Council to develop and implement a strategic plan for addressing homelessness in California by July 1, 2021.

PENDING: CalWORKs Extentions

The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program provides cash assistance and other benefits to qualified low-income families, which includes homeless assistance benefits to homeless families that have used “all available liquid resources in excess of $100”. This bill would also make a family eligible for temporary homeless assistance if the family’s gross countable income is less than the minimum basic standard of adequate care. It would allow the county to approve of additional days of temporary shelter assistance if necessary to prevent homelessness while the household is transitioning to receive permanent homeless assistance.

PENDING: Mandatory Acceptance of Section 8

The Fair Employment and Housing Act currently prohibits housing discrimination based on source of income. While Section 8 housing vouchers do not legally fall into the “source of income” category, this bill would change that. By expanding the definition of “source of income” to include section 8 housing vouchers, it would make it illegal for any property owner to deny a tenancy based on the applicant’s Section 8 enrollment.

PENDING: Housing Development Near Public Transportation

This bill would require cities and counties to create an “equitable communities incentive” for developments who agree to build a residential development near job-rich or transit-rich areas. This would amend the Density Bonus Law.

PENDING: Long Beach's Tenant Relocation Ordinance

On April 3rd, the Long Beach City Council voted in favor of drafting an ordinance that would place relocation fee policies on rental properties

While the City has not indicated what the timeline is on drafting the ordinance – which would then need to be voted on by the Council for final approval – it’s expected that this ordinance will impact landlords with 4 units or more (except if that building is the owner’s primary residence).

Relocation fees would become applicable if there is a rent increase of 10% or more during a 12-month period. It is also expected that the notice requirement for a no-fault eviction would increase to a minimum of 90 days. Since the ordinance draft is yet to be seen, there are concerns that the City will also include “just cause” eviction policies and a base rent cap in their ordinance. If you have properties in Long Beach, we recommend you contact your city councilmember.

PASSED: Tenant Screening Fee for 2019

The total allowed applicant screening fee has increased by $1.81 since last year. Application processing fees cannot exceed $50.94. This adjustment is made based on the changes to the Consumer Price Index.

PASSED: Glendale's "Right to Lease" Ordinance

This ordinance was revised in February to include relocation fees.

Relocation fees apply to pre-1995 buildings with tenants choosing to vacate after a rent increase of over 7%. For buildings with 3-4 units, the fee is 3x the actual rent. For 5 and more units, the fee is 3x the amount of the rent after the rent increase. With tenants with an overall household income equal or less than the median income for Los Angeles County (plus 30% of the AMI), the relocation fee will be based on the length of occupancy. It follows: 3-4 years of occupancy equals 4x the amount of the rent increase, 4-5 years equals 5x the rent increase, and 5+ years equals 6x the rent increase.

This ordinance also requires rental property owners to offer a 1-year lease to rental applicants (which an applicant can reject and enter into a shorter period as agreed upon). Current tenants in good standing are required a 90-day renewal notice that also includes the 1-year lease term. This too can be reduced to a shorter period at the tenant’s request.

PASSED: Inglewood's Temporary Rent Caps and "Just Cause" Eviction Policy

In early March, the Inglewood City Council temporarily capped rent increases at 5% for pre-1995 apartments. It also imposed a “just cause” eviction measure. These temporary ordinances should last 45 days (expiring mid-April) but could be renewed by the council for up to a year.

FUTURE: Los Angeles Rent Controlled Housing Gets an Increase

The City of Los Angeles’ annual allowable rent increase for rent controlled housing (properties subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance) has increased to 4%. This goes into effect from July 1, 2019 until June 30, 2020.

Colorado

Colorado’s 2019 legislative session is projected to end on May 3, 2019. To date, most pending bills are still in Committee.

PENDING: Rent Control

This bill would repeal existing laws prohibiting counties and municipalities from enacting rent control. SB19-225 would give local governments the authority to enact rent control ordinances or resolutions.

PENDING: Rental Application Fees and Credit and Criminal Record Restrictions

This bill has provisions relating to rental application fees and the types of criminal convictions landlords can consider when vetting a rental applicant.

Under this bill, landlords would be prohibited from charging a rental applicant an application fee unless the landlord uses the entire amount to cover the costs of processing the rental application. Landlords would also be prohibited from charging a fee that’s a different amount than what was charged to another prospective tenant applying for the same unit or applying around the same time.

The bill also states that any landlord that considers rental history or credit history, cannot consider history beyond 7 years. If they factor in criminal history, the landlord cannot consider arrest records or any conviction that occurred more than 5 years before the date of the application. Exceptions to the 5-year rule would be conviction records involving methamphetamine, felony offenses requiring the tenant to register as a sex offender, or any offense classified as homicide. If a landlord denies a rental application, they’re required to provide the rental applicant with a written notice with reasons for the denial.

PENDING: Amendments to the Residential Tenants Health and Safety Act

A warranty of habitability is implied in every rental agreement for residential premises. This bill would expand upon the existing conditions for a breach of the warranty, like if the property is “uninhabitable or otherwise unfit for human habitation or in a condition that is materially dangerous or hazardous to the tenant’s life, health, or safety”. It also adds more conditions that would render a rental property unhabitable. HB19-1170 states that if the same condition that caused a breach recurs within 6 months after it was repaired or remedied, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement 14 days after providing written or electronic notice.

PENDING: Community Association Manager (CAM) Licensing

This bill would recreate and reenact the licensing program for community association managers (CAMs). CAMs oftentimes manage condominiums, planned communities or community associations. Changes would include: Allowing certain functions to be delegated to unlicensed persons while keeping the license requirement for functions like board meetings, handling money, and negotiating maintenance contracts. The bill would also scale back the amount of direct supervision required of an apprentice (while also specifying what a supervising manager is accountable for). Certain private credentials would no longer qualify for licensure under HB19-1212 as well. Amendments to the CAM licensing program would have an extended sunset date of September 1, 2024.

PENDING: Increased Tax Credit Allocation for Affordable Housing

Existing law allows the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority to allocate affordable housing tax credits in an aggregate amount of up to $5 million annually. This bill would increase the cap to $10 million from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2024.

Connecticut

Connecticut’s 2019 legislative session has a projected end date of June 5, 2019. To date, most of the bills pending are in Committee. If passed, most are scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2019.

PENDING: Criminal Convictions Regulations

This year, Connecticut has 3 very distinct bills that aim to regulate/deregulate the landlord’s ability to consider a rental applicant’s criminal conviction history.

HB 5713 would prohibit housing providers from considering a prospective tenant’s criminal conviction after certain time periods. Rental property owners and managers would only be able to consider criminal convictions that would adversely affect the health, safety, or welfare of other tenants, like crimes of physical violence and crimes involving the illegal manufacture, sale or distribution of a controlled substance. Under this bill, arrest records or a charge not followed by a conviction cannot be considered and a written notice giving the applicant the opportunity to present relevant information regarding the conviction is required.

Like HB 5713, SB 54 has very similar criminal conviction exceptions. However, unlike HB 5713, this bill states clearly that landlords under these regulations “shall be immune from any civil liability for any damage or injury arising from any subsequent criminal act of such tenant”. By January 1, 2020, if this bill passes, the Commissioner of Housing will create regulations establishing a time period in which a landlord may consider criminal records.

While the two above bills create additional regulations on how landlords can review criminal convictions, SB 754 bill does the complete opposite. SB 754 amends prior restrictions to allow landlords to consider a rental applicant’s criminal records.

PENDING: Probate Court Judge Gets the Authority to Evict Tenants

This bill would give a Probate Court judge the authority to evict a tenant who unlawfully occupies real estate that is an asset of an estate.

PENDING: Evicted Tenant's Possessions

HB 6560 and SB 280 would amend the general statutes to eliminate the municipal responsibility for the storage and public auction of the possessions of an evicted tenant. HB 5742 takes the other two bills a step further and requires evicted tenants to be held responsible for all the costs associated with the transport, storage and disposition of their possessions.

PENDING: Service Animal Cost Deductions

For tenants living with a service animal in assisted housing, the cost of food and veterinary care for the service animal shall be deducted from the gross family income when calculating the tenant’s rent.

PENDING: Advance Rental Payments

SB926 would allow landlords to receive and accept rental assistance payments for one or more month’s rent (not exceeding the total amount of rent payments due under the lease). Among other things, it also allows rent assistance programs to pay for the tenant’s security deposit. SB279 would allow all tenants to make advance rental payments.

PENDING: Allowed Security Deposit

Both of these bills would allow landlords to charge an amount greater than 2 months’ rent for a security deposit.

PENDING: Housing Protections for Tenant Victims

On the request of the tenant, the landlord can change the locks to the tenant’s unit when the tenant is deemed a “protected person” (has a protective or restraining order issued by the state or has a foreign order of protection registered by the state). After the tenant provides a copy of the protective order, the landlord will be required to change the locks in 2 business days. If the landlord fails to do so within the time frame, the tenant may change the locks within the landlord’s permission.

PENDING: Rent Increases on Financially Assisted Multifamily Properties

Those who have a contract with the state on or after October 1, 2019 for state financial assistance in the form of a grant-in-aid, loan, deferred loan, loan guarantee or interest subsidy for the construction, rehabilitation or renovation of a multifamily property will be prohibited from raising the rent by more than the rate of inflation for the previous calendar year (determined by the consumer price index). Even after the contract has expired, the rent cannot increase by more than 10% per year for the same tenant occupancy.

PENDING: Streamlined Public Housing Application Process

This would require public housing authorities to maintain and add rental applicants to an open waiting list. The waiting list would be in order based on the date and time that the applications are received.

Florida

Florida’s 2019 legislative session is projected to end on May 3, 2019. The majority of the bills below are, to date, in Committee. If passed, the majority of these bills would take effect on July 1, 2019.

PENDING: Rental Agreement, Inspections, Credit Report Records and More

These bills dive into requirements for rental agreements, notice requirements, inspections, eviction records on credit reports, and more.

Immediately after entering into, extending, or renewing a rental agreement, rental property owners must provide the tenant a copy of the agreement. At the tenant’s request, the document must be translated into the preferred language of the tenant. All rental agreements entered into, extended or renewed on or after July 1, 2019 must include specific provisions.

In addition to rental agreement requirements and revisions, this bill revises notice requirements to the tenants, requires the inspection of the unit to ensure code compliance, provides requirements for terminating the rental agreement, and more. Be advised that this is quite a large bill with multiple different components, and it might be worthwhile to review if it progresses out of Committee.

With regards to credit reports, should the court find in favor of the tenant and the eviction be dismissed, the record of eviction should also be removed in its entirety from the credit report.

PENDING: Association Regulation Changes

This long bill affects condominium, cooperative, homeowners’ associations and other property associations, and revises the requirements relating contracts, record storage, assessments, fines, liens, improvements, and more. The most notable changes are on pages 37-48 of the introduced bill, which deals with dispute mediation.

PENDING: The Tenant Protection Act

Landlords will be required to provide the tenant with a physical copy of any restrictive covenants governing the use and occupancy of the rental property at the time of the rental agreement. Any changes to the covenants or the enforcement of the covenants will need to be provided via a written notice by certified mail within 10 business days.

PENDING: Public Nuisance Notices

With these bills, public nuisance notices will give the defendant (in our case, your tenant) 10 days to abate the nuisance (rather than 3 days). The content of the notices will also change, notifying the tenant that an application for temporary injunction may be filed if the nuisance is not abated. The second notice will provide the tenant 15 days after the end of the initial 10-day period to abate.  If the nuisance presents immediate danger then some of the notice requirements are waived and only 1 notice is required requesting abatement within 24 to 72 hours.

PENDING: Smoking Policy Notices

These identical bills would require landlords to provide written notice of the property’s tobacco smoking policy before entering into a rental agreement.

PENDING: Sinkhole Notices

This bill would require rental property owners to disclose any suspected, known or reported sinkhole or sinkhole activity affecting the premises.

PENDING: Rental Agreements with Servicemembers

Landlords are prohibited from requiring servicemember tenants to pay a security deposit or advance rent that exceeds 2 months’ worth of rent (excluding prorated rent). SB 620 also provides an additional circumstance in which a servicemember may terminate a rental agreement.

PENDING: Tenant Evictions with Victims

Under this bill, rental property owners would be prohibited from terminating a rental agreement or evicting a tenant for an incident involving actual or threatened domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking if the tenant or the tenant’s minor is the victim of such. This bill also specifies certain provisions the rental agreement must not have.

PENDING: Banning Requirement of Online Accounts

This bill would not only affect landlords, but employers and educational institutions within the state as well. If passed, SB 1468 would make it illegal to require rental applicants to provide the information (usernames and passwords) to their personal online accounts, including social media.

Georgia

Georgia’s 2019 legislative session is in recess, with the majority of these bills either passed their chambers or on the governor’s desk.

PENDING: Tenant Protections Against Retaliation

This bill establishes how a tenant might establish a prima-facie case of retaliation. Essentially, it prohibits landlords from retaliating against a tenant who files a case or reaches out to a government agency relating life, health, safety, or habitability concerns.

PENDING: Writ of Possession Applications

If passed, applications to execute a writ of possession (to recover the land or property a tenant is residing in, oftentimes following an eviction) shall be made within 30 days the writ of possession was issued (unless accompanied by an affidavit showing a good cause for the delay). If a property owner fails to execute the writ of possession within the timeline, they’ll have to apply for a new writ. This bill is on the governor’s desk.

Illinois

Illinois’ 2019 legislative session is projected to end on December 31, 2019. Keep in mind that this state has full-time legislators, allowing the legislature to meet throughout the year after adjourning their regularly scheduled sessions. To date, most of these bills are in Committee.

PENDING: Repeals the Rent Control Preemption Act

This bill straight-forward – it would repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act. This would allow the local governments and the state to enact rent control.

PENDING: The Rent Control Act

This bill has provisions relating to rental application fees and the types of criminal convictions landlords can consider when vetting a rental applicant.

HB 3207 goes a step further than HB 255 (above). It not only repeals the Rent Control Preemption Act, but it replaces it with the Rent Control Act. This would establish County Rent Control Boards in every county in Illinois, with members of a Board nominated and elected. Each board would then be required to establish regulations concerning rent for different income levels, including: instating rent control amounts, placing restrictions on increased rent notices, and other regulations. This bill would also add an income tax credit which would be equal to the difference between a rent-controlled amount and the average rent (as established by a County Rent Control Board) and a tax credit for an amount equal to capital improvements to the rental property.

HB 2192 would also repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act and replace it with the Rent Control Act. Unlike the above version of the Rent Control Act, this Rent Control Act version would establish 6 regional rent control boards in the state (versus one per county, as HB 3207 proposes). 7 members would be elected per board, with each establishing regulations concerning rent stabilization rates. The board would also impose rent control registration fees to fund a Small Rental Property Owner Repairs and Improvements Fund. Like HB 3207, this bill proposes creating rent-controlled and rental property capital improvement tax credits. Unlike HB 3207, HB 2192 goes a step further by providing procedures for terminating a tenancy and relocation assistance.

PENDING: The Immigrant Tenant Protection Act

With exceptions, landlords will be prohibited from threatening to disclose or to actually disclose information regarding/relating to the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant to any person, entity, or any immigration or law enforcement agency with the intent of harassing the tenant, retaliating against a tenant, or influencing the tenant to surrender possession..

The rental property owner would also be prohibited from bringing an action to recover possession of the unit based solely or in part on the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant. This bill would amend the Eviction Article of the Code of Civil Procedure and the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act, making it illegal to place an eviction order against a tenant as a reprisal for or on the basis of the tenant’s immigration or citizenship status and makes it an affirmative defense to an eviction that a landlord engaged in conduct on the basis of immigration status.

PENDING: The Assistance and Service Animal Integrity Act

Landlords who receive a request to make an exception to the landlord’s no-pet policy on the basis of the need for an assistance or service animal will be able to require the applicant/tenant to provide reliable documentation of the disability and disability-related need for the animal. This bill would also make it so that the landlord is not liable for injuries caused by a person’s assistance or service animal. While a landlord would be able to charge a tenant for any costs for repairs related to the animal (reasonable wear and tear excepted), landlords would not be able to require tenants pay a pet-related deposit.

PENDING: Immediate Eviction File Impounding

HB 2299 deals with the impounding of eviction court files. Under this bill these types of court files will be impounded: files that did not result in an eviction order in the plaintiff’s favor, files in a foreclosure-related eviction action, in a not-for-cause eviction action, and files where the parties to the eviction action agree it should be impounded. This bill would also automatically seal all eviction actions after 5 years.

PENDING: Eviction Records

Unsealed eviction records will remain unsealed for 7 years under this bill. After 7 years, access to court records may only be obtained by specified parties. This will go into effect 90 days after becoming law.

Quick Tip!

Whether or not this bill passes, CIC recommends you only factor eviction and criminal records on your tenant screening reports that are up to 7 years old. This is an industry standard!

PENDING: The Tenants Radon Protection Act

SB1559 would require the landlord to provide to each tenant any records or reports pertaining to radon concentrations within the unit that indicate a radon hazard before the lease is signed. If the tenant performs a radon test, the tenant will have to provide the test results to the landlord within 10 days of receiving the results. Landlords will also be required to provide radon hazard disclosure forms before a lease is signed. If passed, this would go into effect January 1, 2020.

PENDING: Flooding Disclosures

This bill would amend the Landlord and Tenant Act by requiring landlords to disclose to tenants the unit’s risk of flooding. This would only apply to units located on or below the second story and to rental agreements entered into on or after July 1, 2019.

PENDING: The Homelessness Prevention Act Amendments

This bill would change the certain types of assistance grantees could offer households to prevent homelessness. These include the payment of a rent or mortgage arrearage (no greater than 3 months), the payment of a security deposit and the payment of rent or mortgage. Assistance will be no greater than 6 months of rent or mortgage payments.

Iowa

Iowa’s 2019 legislative session is projected to end on May 3, 2019. To date, most are pending Committee revisions.

PENDING: Late Fee Requirements

Currently, rental agreements that have rent amounts that do not exceed $700 per month cannot have a late fee that exceeds $12 per day (with a total amount of $60 per month). This bill would amend the current law to include these provisions: For agreements with rent greater than $700 but less than $1,400 per month, the late fee cannot exceed $20 per day (with a total amount of $100 per month). For agreements with a rent amount of at least $1,400 per month, the late fee cannot exceed $30 per day (with a total amount of $150 per month).

PENDING: Requirements for Rental Properties with Well Water

Under this bill, landlords with dwelling units served by well water are required to test the well water prior to entering into a rental agreement with a tenant, or every 2 years. If the well fails to have safe drinking water (meeting the standards set within this bill), the landlord will be required to take corrective action and is liable for all costs associated with the action. If a current tenant resides within the unit, the landlord will also be liable for the costs associated with the temporary procurement of safe drinking water.

PENDING: Utility Service Cost Disclosure

SF549 would require landlords to disclose to a prospective tenant a utility service cost disclosure statement in writing, with at least one adult tenant signing in acknowledgement upon completing the application or signing the lease. Gas or electric public utilities and utilities furnishing water or sewer are required to disclose (upon request of the landlord) the annual utility costs for the property.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts has full-time legislators, allowing the legislature to meet throughout the year after adjourning their regularly scheduled sessions. At the moment, the majority of these bills have just been introduced.

PENDING: Rent Stabilization

If this bill passes, any city or town may impose a limit on annual rent increases for rental units in its jurisdiction. Said limit will not exceed the annual change in the Consumer Price Index or 5% (whichever is less). Owner-occupied buildings with 3 units or less are excluded.

PENDING: Fees and Rent

Realtors, landlords, residential management companies, or individuals acting on behalf of a property owner can only charge for (under this bill): the first month’s rent, the last month’s rent, the security deposit (equal to the 1st month’s rent), the cost of a key and lock, and a brokerage fee (not exceeding one month’s rent). Supplemental fees (also known as administrative fees) will be prohibited. Requiring the signing of a lease more than 2 months before the current lease expires is also prohibited.

PENDING: Credit-Building Program

The office of housing and economic development will create a rent reporting program for eligible organizations (including local housing authorities, affordable housing property management companies, and community development corporations). By using regular monthly reporting of tenant rent payments to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), this program will help tenants build their credit.

PENDING: Sealing Eviction Records

If passed, eviction court records would be sealed upon filing. If the final judgement rules in the landlord’s favor, the sealed court record will be available to the public for 30 days and remain available for 3 years. This act would apply to all court records after the effective date and create additional requirements for your consumer reporting agency (tenant screening company).

PENDING: Window Guards

At the request of a tenant with a child under the age of 10, landlords will have to install and maintain window guards on the tenant’s unit. The landlord will also be required to provide notice of the tenant’s right to have window guards installed.

PENDING: Rent and Security Deposit Advancements

This bill requires rental property owners to provide a tenant a receipt if given the last month’s rent in advance. Similar restrictions are extended to security deposits as well.

Prior to the beginning of the tenancy, any landlord or agent who receives the last month’s rent in advance shall give the tenant a receipt indicating the amount, the date it was received, it’s intended purpose, the name of the person receiving it, and more. Interest accrued from the bank where the advance rent is being held shall be paid over to the tenant.

Similar restrictions would apply to security deposits. Additionally, there are strict regulations regarding security deposits that (if not complied to) could forfeit the landlord’s right to retain any portion of the deposit. These include: failing to deposit funds into a bank account as required, failing to provide the tenant within 30 days after the lease termination an itemized list of damages, and more.

the basis of immigration status.

PENDING: Housing Security

Landlords will be able to bring an emergency action to recover possessions upon showing that the tenant inflicted significant damage and will worsen if the tenant continues to live there. Hearings upon the action will be held within 14 days after the action is initiated. Tenants will not be entitled to relief (with exceptions).

PENDING: Rent Escrow

Massachusetts has 3 proposed bills regarding rent escrow.

Under H 1463, any bank can create an account payable only account (for payments like rent) between the landlord and tenant. Upon demand, the bank will provide a statement of the deposits on the account and the names of the 2-party authorized payers. In addition to other bank-related policies, this bill has provisions relating to allegations concerning the condition of the premises and the tenant’s entitlement of relief.

H 1347 deals with rent escrow court cases, enabling the court to order the tenant to deposit the amount due (with motions available if the tenant does not). H 1357 has a very similar wording, but requires that amounts held in escrow will first go to repairs.

PENDING: State Income Tax Credit for Renting Unsubsidized Properties at Below Market

Owners of an unsubsidized, 2 to 4-unit rental property with a rent that does not exceed the High HOME Rent (defined by HUD) and includes utilities is eligible for a tax credit of up to $1,500 for each qualified unit (no more than 6 units). If passed, this would take effect for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2020.

PENDING: Rental Property Foreclosures

Within 30 days of a foreclosure, the purchaser shall post in a prominent location in the building a written notice stating the names, phone numbers, and contact information of the purchaser, building manager, or other representative.

The statement should include the address to which rent shall be sent to. There are other provisions concerning late rental payments and violation penalties for purchasers. These companion bills also prohibit the foreclosure sale purchaser from evicting a tenant without cause. There are 6 “just causes”, including if a tenant materially violated an obligation in the tenancy and failed to cure the violation within 30 days after receiving written notice from the foreclosing owner.

PENDING: "Just Cause" Evictions for the Elderly

Rental property owners with 6 units or more will be required to uphold “just cause” evictions for tenants that are 75 years old or older. Some of these “just causes” include failing to pay the rent or violating the lease. Violators will be punished with a fine of no less than $5,000.

PENDING: City of Boston's "Just Cause" Evictions

This would revise the Melinda Stewart Stabilization Act, creating new rental housing regulations within the City of Boston. Some of these regulations involve “City Rights” notices (concerning foreclosing), “City Termination” notices (concerning lease termination), and “Just Cause” evictions.

Michigan

Michigan has full-time legislators, allowing the legislature to meet throughout the year after adjourning their regularly scheduled sessions.

PENDING: Unlawful Evictions

In addition to recovering their possessions, under this bill, tenants would receive 3x the amount of their actual damages or $200 (whichever is greater) if forcibly and unlawfully evicted.

PASSED: Evictions and Writ of Restitution

SB3

This law changes the process of evictions. The court (entering a judgement for possession) will issue a writ commanding a court officer (a sheriff, deputy sheriff, etc.) to facilitate the peaceful possession of the rental property. This law also has provisions detailing when a writ of restitution can be assigned.

PASSED: Detroit's Fair Chance Housing Ordinance

The City of Detroit passed an ordinance that requires rental property owners to do a 2-step process for their tenant screening. First, landlords will be able to do a credit and reference check. Applicants who are conditionally approved based on the prior check can then have a criminal background check. If an applicant has a criminal record, be aware that this ordinance allows only certain criminal convictions to be permissible for a denial. This “ban the box” bill is unique from other ordinances in that it requires a 2-step process, rather than a 1-step, conditional approval.

Nevada

Nevada’s 2019 legislative session is projected to end on June 3, 2019. The majority of these bills are hot off the printers and have just been introduced.

PENDING: Changes to Protected Classes, Security Deposits, and Late Fees

This bill would make it illegal to discriminate based on “income derived from governmental benefits”. It would also prohibit refusing to rent a low-income housing unit to an applicant that has a prior history of an inability to pay rent.

5 days after providing notice to terminate the lease, the tenant may request an initial inspection of the unit so that they may have an opportunity to remedy anything that would deduct from the security deposit. If requested, the landlord will inspect the property within 2 weeks of the lease termination and provide an itemized statement to the tenant. For late fees, this bill would stop landlords from charging a late fee until 3 days after the rent is due. Late fees cannot exceed 5% of the rent. It also cannot be increased based on a prior late fee.

On top of changes to protected classes, security deposits, and late fees, SB 256 provides provisions relating to eviction cases, including when to allow a tenant to retrieve their personal property.

PENDING: Unlawful Detainer Changes

Both SB 151 and SB 74 would make changes to unlawful detainer requirements.

SB 151 provides a few minor changes to unlawful detainer cases that are won by the landlord. The first is that the sheriff is able to remove the tenant no earlier than 48 hours after the receipt of the order (changed from within 24 hours). The second change has to do with the delivery of the receipt of the order. This now needs to comply with the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure or the Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure (whichever applicable).

SB 74 clarifies that either party may appeal an order entered by the court for summary eviction of a tenant for a defaulted rent payment. This appeal must be filed within 5 judicial days of the order date. Verified complaints for the expedited relief (a tenant would file this if the landlord unlawfully removes the tenant from the premises) can be consolidated with an action for eviction that is already pending between the landlord and tenant.

PENDING: Eviction Court Files

If a court issues an order to deny or dismiss an action for summary eviction, under this bill, the order may be unconditional or conditional (upon filing of an amended complaint or new eviction action). Eviction court case files will also automatically be sealed if they’re unconditionally denied or if the eviction action is dismissed. In this case (not in the case of an unsealed eviction case), the notice to surrender will not be made available to the public, including the sheriff’s office.

PENDING: Criminal Record Screening for Tenants

Current law allows employers to do a name-based search of criminal record history of employees or volunteers. This bill would enable landlords to perform a criminal search (with consent) on rental applicants and tenants!

PENDING: Tenant Protections during a Government Shutdown

Tenants who are Federal or State workers impacted by a government shutdown may request (in writing) to be allowed to continue possession during the shutdown period (beginning with the shutdown date to 30 days after the shutdown ends) and proof that they are a federal or state worker or are a household member of such worker.

PENDING: Pets in Low-Income Housing

Under this bill, tenants with an Account for Low-Income Housing must be allowed to keep one or more pets within the residence. Tenants with pets will have to be compliant with property policies regarding pets (like noise and sanitation standards). This does not apply to service animals or service animals in training.

New Mexico

New Mexico’s 2019 legislative session has adjourned, ending on March 16, 2019. All of the bills below have passed and been chaptered.

PASSED: The Criminal Record Expungement Act

A person convicted of a violation of a municipal ordinance, misdemeanor or felony, after their sentence and the payment of any fines or fees, may petition the court to expunge arrest records and public records related to that conviction. After hearing a petition, the court can issue an order (within 30 days of the hearing) requiring that all arrest records and public records related to the conviction be expunged.

PASSED: “Ban the Box” for Employment

Like most states with “ban the box” laws, New Mexico employers are prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history on the employment application. After reviewing the applicant’s application and extending a conditional offer, the employer may perform employment screening.

PASSED: Housing Authority Board Commissioners

The board of commissioners of regional housing authority for 3 regions will be appointed by the Governor, consisting of at least 7 members. Every regional housing authority shall have the power to create nonprofit corporations. Members appointed prior to March 31, 2009 shall continue to serve until their terms expire or their successors are appointed.

Oregon

Oregon’s 2019 legislative session is projected to end on June 30, 2019. To date, many of these bills are still in Committee.

PENDING: Marijuana Criminal Records

Among other provisions, this bill would make it illegal to consider criminal convictions based solely on the use or possession of marijuana. When evaluating an applicant, landlords cannot consider the possession of a medical marijuana card or status as a medical marijuana patient. SB 970 also has many provisions relating to subleasing.

PENDING: Eviction Requirements for Sherriff Force

HB 2478 would require an eviction judgement and a writ of restitution to authorize a sheriff’s use of force to remove the evicted tenant.

PENDING: Terminating Unlawful Tenancies

This would allow a landlord to terminate the tenancy with 30 days’ written notice upon receipt of a government notice that the occupancy is unlawful. This bill would also expand upon the rights of landlords and tenants to terminate unlawful (but not unsafe) tenancies.

PENDING: No More Pet Rent and Fees

If passed, rental property owners would be prohibited from increasing the rent or charging the tenant a one-time, monthly, or other periodic amount based on the tenant’s possession of a pet. This would only apply to rental agreements that are entered into, renewed or modified on or after this bill’s effective date.

PENDING: Applicant Screening Charges

SB484 would limit landlords to a single applicant screening charge per applicant, regardless if they’re applying to rent multiple units owned or managed by the property owner. It would also require landlords to refund applicant screening charges if an applicant qualifies but is not offered the unit to rent (for example, in the case if the landlord fills the vacant unit before screening the applicant.

PENDING: The Tenant’s Political Canvasing Rights

This law would prevent a prevision within the rental agreement or policy/rule on the rental property from restricting or prohibiting a person’s right to rent spaces on the property to discuss any matter, including matters on behalf of a political office holder or candidate for political office. It would also enable any person to canvas (go door-to-door or distribute oral/written request) without the landlord’s permission.

PENDING: Prorated Rent Requirements

This amendment requires residential tenancies to prorate the rent, calculated based on full days of the tenant’s occupancy.

PENDING: Rent Control for Manufactured and Floating Homes

This bill would enable cities or counties to impose rent controls on applicable manufactured dwellings or floating homes. It also enables cities or counties from imposing temporary rent controls if a natural or man-made disaster eliminates a large portion of the rental housing supply.

PENDING: Affordable Housing Requirements for New Housing Developments

This bill would allow a city or county to require, as a condition for approving a permit, that a new multifamily housing development to rent as affordable housing. This would not be more than 20% of the housing units within the multifamily development. The city or county would also be required to provide developers an in-lieu fee in exchange for providing the number of units rented at below-market rates and at least one incentive (like fee waivers).

PASSED: Terminating Month-to-Month Tenancies, Limited Rent Increases and More

With exceptions, this law prohibits landlords from terminating month-to-month tenancies without cause after 12 months of occupancy.

Under some conditions, this law allows the landlord to terminate a tenancy with 90 days’ written notice and one month’s rent (with those managing 4 or fewer units exempt from providing the one month’s rent). Landlords are now able to not renew a fixed term tenancy if the tenant has 3 lease violation warnings within 12 months (plus providing 90 days’ notice). Rent increases are limited to one per year, with the maximum annual rent increase to 7% above a change in the consumer price index (which the Oregon Department of Administrative Services will publish). This went into effect immediately on February 28, 2019.

Texas

Texas’ 2019 legislative session is projected to end on May 27, 2019. To date, some bills are out of Committee, while others are still being reviewed by their applicable Committees.

PENDING: Firearms and Ammunition on Rental Properties

Both of these bills would make it illegal for landlords to prohibit a tenant or a tenant’s guest from lawfully possessing, carrying, transporting, or storing a firearm within the tenant’s rental unit and within their (or their guest’s) car on the property’s designated parking area. 

This bill would also make it legal for tenants to legally transport firearms or ammunition from the tenant’s (or their guest’s) vehicle to their unit. SB 19 and HB 302 are nearly identical, with the exception of the language of applying this law to “manufactured homes” in SB 19 and to “condominiums” in HB 302.

PENDING: Late Rent Fee Changes

This bill is currently pending in committee, but, if passed, it would prohibit landlords from collecting late rent fees unless the notice of the fee is included within the lease, the fee is “reasonable considering damages resulting from the late payment of rent”, or if any portion of the rent remains unpaid one full day after the date the rent was originally due. Late fees at rental properties with 5+ units cannot exceed $150 or 10% of the rent.

PENDING: Carbon Monoxide Requirements

While smoke alarms are already required, HB 4358 would amend current law to also require landlords to install carbon monoxide alarms as well. Just like with smoke alarms, it would be the landlord’s duty to inspect and repair carbon monoxide alarms. Carbon monoxide alarms installed before January 1, 2020 are permitted to be battery powered, in which replacing those batteries will be the tenant’s responsibility.

PENDING: Metering and Billing for Rental Properties

SB 2195 creates electricity metering requirements for rental properties (including apartments, condominiums, and manufactured housing communities).

Under this bill, the construction or occupancy of a new rental property (including condominium conversions) is required to provide a plan of electricity measurement either through separate metering by the utility company or by submetering. This bill also dives deeper into rent reimbursements (in cases where the rent increases due to the cost of utilities with the new meter or submeter).

PENDING: Motor Vehicle Towing

In addition to other towing regulations, this bill would allow semitrailers, trailers, or truck-tractors not permitted under the lease to be unattended within the rental property’s parking facility to be towed.

PENDING: Tax Credits for Low-Income Housing Developments

Under this bill, qualified housing developments could apply for an allocation certificate which would award a number of tax credits for addressing an affordable housing need.

PENDING: Affordable Housing Developments for School District Personnel

This would allow the sale or donation of property held for public school purposes to the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation or another nonprofit organization for the development of affordable housing. The nonprofit would develop multifamily and single-family affordable housing units for school personnel like teachers, school nurses, school counselors and other administrative staff.

Virginia

Virginia’s 2019 legislative session ended on February 24, 2019. All of the bills below have passed.

PASSED: Eviction Dismissals

This law extends the amount of time that a tenant has to get an unlawful detainer (eviction) dismissed. A tenant will be permitted to stay in their unit so long as they pay the due rent at least 2 days before his scheduled eviction date.

PASSED: Order of Possessions and Writ of Eviction Changes

Under these two identical bills, an order of possession will remain effective for 180 days after being granted by the court. It also clarifies that any writ of eviction (former terminology was “writ of possession”) not executed within 30 days shall be vacated as a matter of law with no further action taken by the clerk.

PASSED: Summons for Evictions and Eviction Evidence Requirements

If an initial hearing for an eviction (summons for an unlawful detainer) cannot be held within 21 days from the filing date, it should be held as soon as practicable, but no later than 30 days after the filing date. An order of possession for the premises in an eviction action shall not be entered unless a copy of a proper termination notice has been admitted to the court as evidence. This law also allows the plaintiff (the landlord) to amend the monetary amount alleged to be due to include additional amounts that become due prior to the final disposition.

PASSED: Written Rental Agreements

This law requires rental property owners to offer the tenant a written rental agreement. If a written rental agreement is not offered, the rental terms shall be deemed to exist by operation of law, which includes a 1-year lease term with 12 equal monthly payments due on the first of the month and a 5-day grace period for late rent payments.

PASSED: Rental Insurance Notice

If the rental agreement does not require the tenants to obtain renters insurance, landlords are not required to provide a written notice to the tenant (prior to the execution of the rental agreement) stating that the landlord is not responsible for the tenant’s personal property, that the landlord’s insurance does not cover the tenant’s personal property, and if the tenant wishes to cover their personal property that they can do so by obtaining renters insurance. The notice must also include information as to flood damage and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

PASSED: Obtaining Rental Insurance on the Tenant’s Behalf

If a landlord obtains renter’s insurance coverage on behalf of their tenants, the landlord is required to include (as part of the summary of the insurance policy or coverage certificate evidence) a statement regarding whether the insurance policy includes a waiver of subrogation provision.

PASSED: Waiver of Fees for Affordable Housing

Local governments may now waive (through an ordinance) building permit fees and other local construction, renovation, or rehabilitation fees for affordable housing developments.

Washington

Washington’s 2019 legislative session is projected to end on April 28, 2019. The majority of these bills have passed their chamber and are awaiting a second reading in the other chamber.

PENDING: Residential Tenant Protections

This bill and its companion bill would amend several sections of tenant protections, including a new 14-day notice to pay rent or vacate (the current pay or quit notice is 3 days).

If passed, the attorney general’s office will produce multiple translated versions of this new notice. In addition to a longer notice time, this bill would provide new regulations regarding possession of the premises (can only be conditioned on a tenant’s rent payments), total awarded late fees by trial (no more than $75 in total), attorneys’ fees, and more. Execution upon an unlawful detainer judgement will only take place after 5 court days.

The bulk of this bill dives into the tenant’s payment of rent, including partial payments, after the court rules in favor of the landlord and it is a recommended read. SB5600 has already passed the Senate and HB1453 has already passed the House, with both (at the time of writing) slated for a second reading.

PENDING: Citizenship or Immigration Status Protections

This bill revises the state Civil Rights Act with regard to discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status.

PENDING: "Just Cause" Evictions

HB 1656 would amend landlord-tenant laws to include “just cause” eviction requirements.

Be aware that while most “just cause” eviction laws in other states or cities simply cites causes in which a landlord would be allowed to evict, this law has specific time frames involving certain eviction scenarios. For example, one cause that would allow a landlord to evict, refuse to renew, or terminate a tenancy is if the tenant (or subtenant) defaults on the rent and does not pay or quit 14 days after the notice. Aside from “just cause” eviction requirements, there are a few provision revisions relating to unlawful detainer cases and fees.

PENDING: All Payments in Installments

Upon a tenant’s written request, landlords under this bill will have to permit the tenant to pay any deposits, nonrefundable fees, and last month’s rent in installments. If the total amount of the deposits and fees do not exceed 25% of the first and last month’s rent, then landlords are not required to allow installments. For leases that are 3 months or longer, the tenant can pay their deposit, fees and last month’s rent in 3 consecutive and equal monthly installments (beginning at the inception of their tenancy). In all other cases, it would default to 2 monthly installments. Landlords are prohibited from imposing any fees or interest for providing this service. This bill is still in Committee in the House.

PENDING: Longer Notice Times for Rent Increases

Under this bill, a written 60-day notice would be required to increase the rent. For tenancies where the rental amount is based off the tenant’s income or circumstances around subsidized housing, landlords would need to provide a minimum of 30 days to increase the rent. This bill has passed the House and is waiting for the second reading within the Senate.

PENDING: Tenancy Termination of Armed Forces

Current law allows a servicemember tenant (and the tenant’s spouse) to promptly terminate a lease if the tenant receives a permanent change of station or deployment orders that does not allow a 20-day written notice. This bill now requires that the tenant’s quick termination must be written and include a copy of the official orders or a signed letter from the servicemember’s commanding officer. This has passed the legislature and is heading to the Governor’s desk.

PENDING: Demolishing, Rehabilitating, or Changing Premises Use Changes

This bill would create new regulations regarding rental properties who wish to demolish, significantly rehabilitate, or change the use of the premises. This includes a written notice of at least 120 days before the termination of the tenancy. This bill has passed the House and is still in the Senate.

PENDING: Property Tax Exemption for New/Rehabilitated Properties

SB 5363 would extend the property tax exemption for new and rehabilitated rental properties (with multiple units) in urban areas. To qualify for the 12-year exemption, properties must rent at least 20% of their multifamily units to affordable housing candidates (low to moderate-income households). However, local governments can create more stringent requirements to be eligible for this exemption.

PENDING: Accessory Dwelling Unit Zoning

This bill would change zoning requirements for accessory dwellings. If passed, cities and counties would be required to implement these changes by June 1, 2021.

PENDING: Tiny Homes

There’s no doubt that tiny homes are trending. This bill recognizes that and would enable cities and counties to allow tiny houses to lease land (similar to a mobile home park). SB 5383 has already passed the Senate and the House.

PENDING: Relocation Assistance for Tenants in Manufactured Homes

This bill would create a fund that would provide relocation assistance to low-income households living in manufactured homes whose park in which they reside is closed or converted.

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ApplyConnect marks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of applyconnect.com. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.