These New Housing Bills Could Impact How You Work

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These New Housing Bills Could Impact How You Work

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We all know that times, they are a’changing. Despite the ever-present gridlock in our legal system, somehow when it comes to the rental housing industry and renter protection laws, things move fast. What’s allowed in one place is banned two doors down and congress can create new bills relatively fast that makes your once perfectly legal routine suddenly illegal in a blink of an eye. So, let’s get started and see what rental housing laws and regulations have changed recently. What’s up on the docket and what do you need to know about your work as a landlord? Are you accidentally committing a crime your applicants can sue you for, or are you practicing safe property management?

Eviction Moratorium Extensions

On June 18th, President Biden spoke to the press about extending the nation’s eviction moratorium for another thirty days to protect renters who are still struggling due to the pandemic. While it was scheduled to end on June 30th, now the nationwide eviction mortarium guidelines are still in effect until July 31st.

We all know that times, they are a’changing. Despite the ever-present gridlock in our legal system, somehow when it comes to the rental housing industry and renter protection laws, things move fast. What’s allowed in one place is banned two doors down and congress can create new bills relatively fast that makes your once perfectly legal routine suddenly illegal in a blink of an eye. So, let’s get started and see what rental housing laws and regulations have changed recently. What’s up on the docket and what do you need to know about your work as a landlord? Are you accidentally committing a crime your applicants can sue you for, or are you practicing safe property management?

Eviction Moratorium Extensions

On June 18th, President Biden spoke to the press about extending the nation’s eviction moratorium for another thirty days to protect renters who are still struggling due to the pandemic. While it was scheduled to end on June 30th, now the nationwide eviction mortarium guidelines are still in effect until July 31st.

The President isn’t the only one extending moratoriums. In Seattle, the city’s moratorium has been extended to September 30th. And in California, Governor Newsom proposed extended eviction moratoriums and increased rental relief as California works towards normalization. AB 832 “increases the value of reimbursement” as it now would completely cover past and future rents to help both renters and property managers, owners, and landlords. Both renters and landlords can apply for this reimbursement to help cover previous and or oncoming debts due to the ongoing pandemic. Any renter is eligible if they have unpaid rent, utilities, or if they will need the help with future payments. Landlords are eligible if their renters are behind in payments and need help regarding their “income loss” as longs as the source of the income is eligible, all income assistance will be used to cover unpaid rent since April 1st, 2020, and renters will verify their eligibility and sign the application.  California’s eviction moratorium is also now extended to September 30, 2021.

The President isn’t the only one extending moratoriums. In Seattle, the city’s moratorium has been extended to September 30th. And in California, Governor Newsom proposed extended eviction moratoriums and increased rental relief as California works towards normalization. AB 832 “increases the value of reimbursement” as it now would completely cover past and future rents to help both renters and property managers, owners, and landlords. Both renters and landlords can apply for this reimbursement to help cover previous and or oncoming debts due to the ongoing pandemic. Any renter is eligible if they have unpaid rent, utilities, or if they will need the help with future payments. Landlords are eligible if their renters are behind in payments and need help regarding their “income loss” as longs as the source of the income is eligible, all income assistance will be used to cover unpaid rent since April 1st, 2020, and renters will verify their eligibility and sign the application.  California’s eviction moratorium is also now extended to September 30, 2021.

In Oregon, a rental pause has been initiated for the next sixty days. Although Oregonians have until February of next year to catch up on overdue rents, SB 278 will give renters until July to start paying their monthly dues. The pause gives them “a sixty day pause on being evicted as long as they can prove they are one of more than 10,000 Oregonians waiting on rental assistance.” Additionally, the Landlord Compensation Fund will retroactively and proactively reimburse landlord applicant for unpaid rent.

Ban the Box on Rental Applications

New Jersey has a new renter protection that was approved last month, also known as A1919. The new Ban the Box law will prohibit landlords and property managers from asking about previous criminal offenses. According to The New York Times, “convictions for certain serious crimes, including murder and many sex offenses, can still be grounds for denying an application.” In addition, amendments were added to give landlords more flexibility with crimes such as “arson and methamphetamine production,” as apartment associations pointed out their duties to provide safe housing.

This bill is targeted towards multifamily apartment buildings with five or more units. Because of the specificity of the law, it may be hard to gage what you can and cannot use.  Check with your legal counsel or local apartment association on how to handle the bill if it affects you or your property. If you are using our Regulatory Matrix, you can rest assured that you’re not seeing any legally problematic information for your state, city, or county.

In Oregon, a rental pause has been initiated for the next sixty days. Although Oregonians have until February of next year to catch up on overdue rents, SB 278 will give renters until July to start paying their monthly dues. The pause gives them “a sixty day pause on being evicted as long as they can prove they are one of more than 10,000 Oregonians waiting on rental assistance.” Additionally, the Landlord Compensation Fund will retroactively and proactively reimburse landlord applicant for unpaid rent.

Ban the Box on Rental Applications

New Jersey has a new renter protection that was approved last month, also known as A1919. The new Ban the Box law will prohibit landlords and property managers from asking about previous criminal offenses. According to The New York Times, “convictions for certain serious crimes, including murder and many sex offenses, can still be grounds for denying an application.” In addition, amendments were added to give landlords more flexibility with crimes such as “arson and methamphetamine production,” as apartment associations pointed out their duties to provide safe housing.

This bill is targeted towards multifamily apartment buildings with five or more units. Because of the specificity of the law, it may be hard to gage what you can and cannot use.  Check with your legal counsel or local apartment association on how to handle the bill if it affects you or your property. If you are using our Regulatory Matrix, you can rest assured that you’re not seeing any legally problematic information for your state, city, or county.

Renters’ Access Act

New Jersey isn’t the only place wanting to chop up screening capabilities. Philadelphia wants to put eviction records up on the block next.  The Renters’ Access Act will ban landlords from rejecting applications on the basis of credit score, COVID-19 related debts like rent or utility bills, or eviction records more than two years old. Like in the bill’s name, it will also make landlords have their criteria written out and ‘accessible’ to their potential applicants in the hopes of preventing hidden biases.

Renters’ Access Act

New Jersey isn’t the only place wanting to chop up screening capabilities. Philadelphia wants to put eviction records up on the block next.  The Renters’ Access Act will ban landlords from rejecting applications on the basis of credit score, COVID-19 related debts like rent or utility bills, or eviction records more than two years old. Like in the bill’s name, it will also make landlords have their criteria written out and ‘accessible’ to their potential applicants in the hopes of preventing hidden biases.

It’s hard to know what information you’re allowed to use. Much less, once you’ve seen such information, you’re already asking for trouble once you deny that applicant. Generally using seven years of eviction records are okay, but that can change depending on where you are, Illinois or Philadelphia are just examples.

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©2018 ApplyConnect. All rights reserved

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.