Tenant Protections by Another Name…. In the Legislature

Posted By: Ryan Makinster Advocacy News,

Although less onerous, but still very detrimental to our industry, several “tenant protection” bills have also been filed with some already having been heard and moved out of committee.

HB 1074 (Moved out of Housing Committee on a party line vote after amendment to statute of limitations)

  • Extends the timeline for a landlord to provide a statement and documentation for retaining any portion of a tenant deposit from 21 days to 30 days.
  • Requires a landlord to substantiate the cost of any damages withheld from a tenant deposit with repair estimates, invoices, or other documentation.
  • Prohibits a landlord from withholding any portion of a tenant deposit for certain items.
  • Establishes a three-year statute of limitations (original version was one year) for a landlord to take any action against a tenant to recover sums exceeding the amount of the damage deposit.

HB 1124 (Moved out of Housing Committee on a party line vote)

  • Rent increase greater than 5% require a notice between 180 and 220 days before increase takes effect
  • Tenant may terminate the tenancy at any point prior to the effective date of the increase by providing:
  • 20 days' notice for a month-to-month or periodic tenancy
  • 45 days' notice for a tenancy of a specified period
  • Tenant shall only owe pro rata rent through the date upon which the tenant surrenders the premises
  • Landlord found in violation could be responsible for:
  • Actual damages,
  • Treble damages, and
  • Attorneys’ fees

 SB 5060

  • Requires certain rental property owners to register all rental and vacant housing units and report monthly rental rates with the Department of Commerce every two years.
  • Requires the Department of Commerce to create and maintain a website that tracks and discloses statewide rental housing inventory and reported rental rate data.
  • Imposes a $70 registration fee for the first rental housing unit and a $15 fee for each additional unit.
  • Revenue raised will be used for programs that provide legal representation in eviction cases, distributions to local governments to assist in inspections of rental housing units, and administration.

SB 5197

  • Permits virtual testimony (PRO)
  • Requires a show cause hearing regardless of whether the tenant responds (CON)
    • This already required in many counties
    • Increases the cost of eviction actions where the tenant refuses to participate in the process to resolve their nonpayment of rent issue
  • Permits the tenant an extended period of time to reinstate the tenancy (CON)
    • Increases attorney fees
    • Creates uncertainty in the eviction process outside of the courtroom and very likely will lead to Writs being served inadvertently for lack of communication by local Sheriff’s departments
  • Removes requirements to limit additional provisions (CON)
    • Under current programs, costs the State more money because we cannot address nonpayment of rent when it happens but must wait 6 months to serve a notice
    • Rental assistance programs require us to provide a notice served on a tenant OR a Summons and Complaint in order to access funding
    • This is a reasonable restriction on rental assistance program overreach into the rental contract that addresses the issues before the court and makes all parties whole
  • Removes 3 strikes you’re out provision (CON)
    • Currently the law says that if a tenant receives 3 pay or vacates in a year they cannot continue to use this process to avoid eviction
    • Removal will allow those that continue to fail repayment plans to continue avoiding eviction through this process
    • This provision was part of initial compromise between all parties including our industry
  • Creates a TPP entitlement requiring State to pay rental assistance regardless of appropriation (PRO)
  • Strikes reference to the Eviction Resolution Pilot Program (PRO)

Follow What’s Happening with These and All Priority Bills