Saturday, May 21, 2016

Legislative Update, 2016 #19== Major bill decision. Legislative season slowing down. Updated status on several minor bills.

Howdee everyone,
 
Important Updates:
 
Update HB1204, Eviction Workout
This bill is doing very well.  The House “Concurred” with the Senate regarding the small amendment we worked out with tenant advocates and the NH Court system.  This means there will be no Committee of Conference.  The next step will be to send the bill on to the governor.  We’ll let you know if we need you.
 
HB1656, Real Estate Transfer Tax Exception
A conference committee has been scheduled to resolve differences between the House & Senate version of the bill.
 
 
Action items this week:
None.  Relax, enjoy.  Thanks to all that contacted legislators, showed up at hearings and donated financially.
 
The legislative process for us slows way down at this point.  Legislative updates may now be 2 weeks apart.

 
See more info in Summaries & Full Detail for each bill further below. (includes property owner position, contact info, talking points, and more).
(to jump right to bill detail, use Control-F, Find).
 
 
Hearings this week:
05/23/2016 at 02:00 PM    LOB 104
HB1656, Real Estate Transfer Tax Exception
Level of Response: Attend hearings, Email & Call Legislators
Property Owner Position: For
 
 
Hearings next week:
None scheduled so far
 
 
Further below is:
Bills Updated Status summary:
Full details on all bills above
(Which includes property owner position, contact info, talking points, and more)
 
Love & Light,
Nick Norman
Director of Legislative Affairs
==============================================
We only list the committee reports on the most important bills affecting the real estate business.  If you want to get the committee report on one of the other bills contact me & I will show you how to get them on line.  Its not terribly hard to get but not straight ahead either.
==============================================
Bills Updated Status summary:
We only list the committee reports on the most important bills affecting the real estate business.  If you want to get the committee report on one of the other bills contact me & I will show you how to get them on line.  It’s not terribly hard to get but not straight ahead either.
 
HB1656     
Title: relative to exceptions to the real estate transfer tax.
Property Owner Position: For
General Status: SENATE
House Status: CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
Senate Status: CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
 
HB1590     
Title: (New Title) relative of taxation of short-term rentals.
Property Owner Position: LimitedImpact
General Status: SENATE
House Status: CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
Senate Status: CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
 
SB342     
Title: (New Title) relative to the sale or exchange of an interest in a business organization under the business profits tax.
Property Owner Position: You Decide
General Status: HOUSE
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
Senate Status: CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
 
HB636     
Title: (Third New Title) relative to forfeiture of property; relative to the sale of premixed synthetic urine; establishing a grant program for high schools for heroin and opiate prevention education; and clarifying who may petition to adopt.
Property Owner Position: For
General Status: SENATE
House Status: NONCONCURRED
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
 
HB1204     
Title: relative to payment of rent pending the stay of an eviction proceeding.
Property Owner Position: For
General Status: PASSED
House Status: CONCURRED
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
 
HB1298     
Title: (New Title) relative to damage to private property and relative to the authority of federal border patrol agents to make arrests in Coos county.
Property Owner Position: Against unless amended
General Status: PASSED
House Status: CONCURRED
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
==============================================
Full details on all bills above:
HB1656, Real Estate Transfer Tax Exception
05/23/2016 at 02:00 PM    LOB 104
Title: Title: relative to exceptions to the real estate transfer tax.
 
Summary: This bill would allow people to transfer real estate, without being subjected to the real estate transfer tax, between entities with the same ownership, and assets and liabilities.  
 
Property Owner Position: For
 
 
Email to Committee: 
Subject: HB1656 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
This is important to us, as it would allow us to transfer assets into or out of LLC’s or trusts without the transfer taxes. Given some of the rules that the Federal Government has imposed in regard to refinancing, this bill is very helpful. Also, it is important for estate planning purposes and liability protection purposes.   Why should we be taxed just because we have decided to restructure our assets into LLC's or Trusts.
=====================
HB1590, Apply Rooms & Meals Tax to Short Term Rental
05/23/2016 at 01:00 PM    LOB 302
Title: Title: (New Title) relative of taxation of short-term rentals.
 
Summary: Legislative service’s analysis is: This bill requires short-term rental businesses to register as businesses with the secretary of state and meet certain posting and reporting requirements. The bill also expands the meals and rooms tax to apply to short-term rental businesses.
 
Property Owner Position: LimitedImpact
 
 
Email to Committee: 
Subject: HB1590 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
Simply, the purpose of the bill is to tax, under the room and meals taxes, the revenue that people and the rental services generate, from renting out rooms or the entire home on a short term basis.  This bill also requires short-term rental businesses to register as businesses with the secretary of state and meet certain posting and reporting requirements. 
 
Note that the position of one of our core team is "For" the bill with the thinking that the bill would "level the playing field" for NH hotels which are loosing revenue to short term rental services.
=====================
SB342, Business Profits Tax Changes
05/23/2016 at 12:00 PM    LOB 102
Title: Title: (New Title) relative to the sale or exchange of an interest in a business organization under the business profits tax.
 
Summary: This bill makes certain changes to business profits tax provisions affecting a business organization when owners sell or exchange ownership interests in the business.
 
Property Owner Position: You Decide
 
 
Email to Committee: 
To: 0
Subject: SB342 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
This is another bill that should be review by someone with knowledge of the business profits tax. Not sure we have the knowledge to take a position on the bill.  If you learn more please let us know.
=====================
HB636, Forfeiture Of Property
04/07/2016 at 12:30 PM    SH Room 100
Title: Title: (Third New Title) relative to forfeiture of property; relative to the sale of premixed synthetic urine; establishing a grant program for high schools for heroin and opiate prevention education; and clarifying who may petition to adopt.
 
Summary: This bill would revise the New Hampshire forfeiture laws – the laws that allows the state to take property that is contraband, property obtained due to a commission of a crime, and instrumentalities a person used in the commission of the crime.
 
Property Owner Position: For
 
 
Email to Committee: 
Subject: HB636 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
The state will have the right to seize property that it believes was used in the commission of a crime.
 
Prosecutors only have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the property is related to the crime, therefore subject to forfeiture.
 
Law enforcement has a profit motive to pursue forfeitures.
 
Once property is taken, the burden lies on the innocent owner to defend against the forfeiture.
The bill gives an innocent owner a defense.  Therefore, we support the bill.
=====================
HB1204, Eviction Workout
04/26/2016 at 08:00 AM    SH Room 100
Title: Title: relative to payment of rent pending the stay of an eviction proceeding.
 
Summary: Provide statutory method for allowing eviction work out agreements which became disallowed in District Courts because of the NH Supreme Court Mountain View v. Robson decision in May of 2015.
 
Property Owner Position: For
 
Link to Committee Info: 
 
Email to Committee: 
To:
Subject: HB1204 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
First thing to say is disregard the bill as originally written.  We have been negotiating with NHLA on the language for this bill & have an agreed upon amendment which rewrites the bill. So do not spend much time reviewing the original bill.  We are calling the amendment the “1/24/16 HB1204 RPOA NHLA Amendment”.   Please urge legislators to pass the bill as amended by the “1/24/16 HB1204 RPOA NHLA Amendment.”. 
 
Based upon RSA 540:13c, Landlords and Tenants have entered into agreements in eviction actions based upon non-payment of rent allowing tenants to remain in possession of the leased premises so long as they make payments that are written in the agreement. In many instances, the Landlord and Tenant agree to a schedule where the tenant pays rental arrearages, but is also required to pay future rent as it becomes due.
 
          These agreements are advantageous to both the Landlord and the Tenant. The Tenant has the opportunity to remain in their home and not be evicted. The Tenant can pay the rental arrears over a period of time that they have negotiated with the Landlord, while the Tenant does not fall further behind in rent. This is particularly helpful to a tenant who fell behind in rent due to a sickness, injury or slowdown in work, who has subsequently overcome these problems.
 
          The Landlord gains the opportunity to be paid the arrears, and future rent, without the need to file a new eviction action should the tenant not abide by the agreement.
 
          However, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, in the case of Mountain View Park LLC v. Robson, decided August 11, 2015, ruled that agreements entered into between Landlords and Tenants in non-payment of rent cases, cannot contain provisions regarding the future payment of rent. Any agreement containing clauses requiring the Tenant to pay future rent submitted by the parties to an eviction action based upon non-payment of rent will have to be rejected by the Circuit Court. This decision takes away from both Landlords and Tenants an effective tool to resolve eviction cases to their mutual benefit. 
 
HB1204 as we have amended it revises the statute to specifically allow these type of agreements and spells out the procedures for the court to follow if the tenant fails to make payments as required by the agreement.
 
Please note that we did some research and found out that there presently is no statutory guidance or guidance in rules from Judge Kelly's office for the affidavit of non-compliance process.  This means courts could get to the process where the tenant does not make payment and have sympathy for tenant and not order the writ of possession or severely drag this out.  For instance, presently Derry court allows 10 days from landlord’s affidavit of non-compliance (tenant didn’t make payment) for tenant to respond and then it would schedule hearing.  Based on our research many courts would be like Derry which is why we need the extra detail of the later part of this bill.R[-1]C
=====================
HB1298, OHRV, Pollution Triple Damages
04/26/2016 at 08:20 AM    SH Room 100
Title: Title: (New Title) relative to damage to private property and relative to the authority of federal border patrol agents to make arrests in Coos county.
 
Summary: The bill creates a cause of action for a landowner whose land is damaged by pollution. This bill also creates a cause of action for a landowner whose land is damaged by OHRV, Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle, use.  There is also provision for triple damages and attorney's fees.
 
Property Owner Position: Against unless amended
 
Link to Committee Info: 
 
Email to Committee: 
To:
Subject: HB1298 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
This bill could be a two edge sword for anyone who owns land and has any material on the property that can be deemed hazardous if it leaked.  Heating oil might be included in this. It also gives a landowner the right to sue another for polluting that landowner’s property.  That right probably exists at this time but the right does not include the right to seek triple damages based upon the recklessness of conduct and attorney’s fees which the bill would allow. It also allows an owner to seek injunctive relief to stop continuing pollution and to force the cleanup of the damage.
The bill also has a section allowing for triple damages to land from off road vehicles.
The bill can impose greater liability upon us.  Triple damages are always dangerous and ripe for abuse.  What if a tenant dumps oil on your property and it seeps onto a neighbor.  Will the neighbor be able to sue you for triple damages?
However, the bill also gives us more protection from polluters.
We would support the bill if amended from triple damages to actual damages.
We also would like to see something defined that a landlord would not be held liable for a tenant's action if the landlord was unaware of the tenant's action.
=====================
==============================================


===========================================================

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Legislative Update, 2016 #18== Major bills decided. Only a little bit more to go. Updated status on several minor bills.


Howdee everyone,
 
Important Updates:
 
Update HB1204, Eviction Workout
This bill is doing very well.  The small amendment we worked out with tenant advocates and the NH Court system has passed the full Senate.  The next step will be for the House to concur with the change or form a committee of conference.  We do not foresee any difficulty here.
We’ll let you know if we need you.
 
See the attached bill as amended by the Senate.
 
HB1656, Real Estate Transfer Tax Exception
There was an amendment that was designed to clarify and insure the original intent of the bill.  This amendment passed the full Senate.  The next step will be for the House to concur with the change or form a committee of conference.  See the attached bill as amended by the Senate.
 
This has a fair amount of legalese but our basic understanding is that if you transfer an asset to or from your entity and the percentage ownership of the asset has not changed then it will not be considered a transfer for the purposes of transfer taxes.
 
Also “Transfers made solely to obtain financing or refinancing, as required by a lending institution, and that accomplish no other business purposes shall not be considered sufficient consideration to make a transfer a contractual transfer. The recitation of nominal consideration of $10 or other valuable consideration for purposes of satisfying the statute of frauds is not consideration for purposes of this chapter.”

See the attached bill as amended by the Senate.
 
Update HB1370, 7 Days Eviction Notice
The Senate Judiciary voted on Tuesday.  During this hearing one of the Democratic Senators proposed an amendment that would remove unauthorized guests and utilities and keep venue section 3.   In this version the venue would be initiated for the tenant where the property resides allowing an option for the landlord to request a change of venue.
 
This amendment didn’t go anywhere because there was no involvement with landlords.  The Senators debated the bill with the Democrats strongly for the tenant side and the Republicans strongly for the landlord side with no middle ground.  In the end, they concluded they could debate it forever but still end up with the same result in no agreement.  So they voted 3 to 1 to kill the bill (Inexpedient To Legislate).
 
Thursday HB1370 went to the full Senate which upheld the Judiciary committee recommendation to kill the bill.
 
This is primarily because the tenant advocates and landlords were so diametrically opposed on the unauthorized pets, utilities and venue provisions of the bill with no middle room for negotiation and because they had heard the unauthorized guests and utility provisions last year and killed it also at that time.  (Last year there was a provision for unauthorized pets as well).
 
There was some talk a while back about whether to keep the bill with the venue amendment.  It should be noted that the bill would not have survived either way because of the extreme controversy of the unauthorized pets and utility sections.

I would also like to go on record saying that the hired lobbyist has been very helpful to us in getting section 3 defeated.
 
  
Action items this week:
None.  Relax, enjoy.  Thanks to all that contacted legislators, showed up at hearings and donated financially.
 
 
See more info in Summaries & Full Detail for each bill further below. (includes property owner position, contact info, talking points, and more).
(to jump right to bill detail, use Control-F, Find).
 
 
Hearings this week:
None scheduled so far
 
 
Hearings next week:
None scheduled so far
 
 
Further below is:
Bills Updated Status summary:
Full details on all bills above
(Which includes property owner position, contact info, talking points, and more)
 
Love & Light,
Nick Norman
Director of Legislative Affairs
==============================================
We only list the committee reports on the most important bills affecting the real estate business.  If you want to get the committee report on one of the other bills contact me & I will show you how to get them on line.  Its not terribly hard to get but not straight ahead either.
==============================================
Bills Updated Status summary:
We only list the committee reports on the most important bills affecting the real estate business.  If you want to get the committee report on one of the other bills contact me & I will show you how to get them on line.  It’s not terribly hard to get but not straight ahead either.
 
HB1656     
Title: relative to exceptions to the real estate transfer tax.
Property Owner Position: For
General Status: SENATE
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
 
SB446     
Title: relative to requirements of the state building code.
Property Owner Position: For, Limited Impact
General Status: VETOED BY GOVERNOR
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
 
HB1219     
Title: relative to the repurchase of tax-deeded property by the former owner and the costs therefor.
Property Owner Position: You Decide
General Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
 
HB1590     
Title: relative to the regulation and taxation of short-term rental businesses.
Property Owner Position: LimitedImpact
General Status: SENATE
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
Senate Status: 
 
SB342     
Title: making certain changes to business profits tax provisions affecting a business organization when owners sell or exchange ownership interests in the business.
Property Owner Position: You Decide
General Status: HOUSE
House Status: 
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
 
HB636     
Title: relative to forfeiture of property.
Property Owner Position: For
General Status: SENATE
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
Senate Status: 
 
HB1204     
Title: relative to payment of rent pending the stay of an eviction proceeding.
Property Owner Position: For
General Status: SENATE
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
 
HB1298     
Title: (New Title) relative to damage to private property and relative to the authority of federal border patrol agents to make arrests in Coos county.
Property Owner Position: Against unless amended
General Status: SENATE
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
 
HB1370     
Title: relative to termination of tenancy.
Property Owner Position: For, If Section 3 relating to venue is removed.
General Status: SENATE
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
Senate Status: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE
 
HB1153     
Title: prohibiting a political subdivision from adopting residency restrictions on sex offenders.
Property Owner Position: You Decide
General Status: SENATE
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
Senate Status: LAID ON TABLE
==============================================
Full details on all bills above:
HB1656, Real Estate Transfer Tax Exception
03/22/2016 at 10:00 AM    SH Room 103
Title: Title: relative to exceptions to the real estate transfer tax.
 
Summary: This bill would allow people to transfer real estate, without being subjected to the real estate transfer tax, between entities with the same ownership, and assets and liabilities.  
 
Property Owner Position: For
 
 
Email to Committee: 
Subject: HB1656 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
This is important to us, as it would allow us to transfer assets into or out of LLC’s or trusts without the transfer taxes. Given some of the rules that the Federal Government has imposed in regard to refinancing, this bill is very helpful. Also, it is important for estate planning purposes and liability protection purposes.   Why should we be taxed just because we have decided to restructure our assets into LLC's or Trusts.
=====================
SB446, Building Code Requirements
03/24/2016 at 11:00 AM    LOB Room 306
Title: relative to requirements of the state building code.
 
Summary: This bill provides that any rule adopted by the state building code review board related to applications for permits under the International Residential Code shall require only such data as is reasonably required for the building inspector to act on the application.
 
Property Owner Position: For, Limited Impact
 
Link to Committee Info: 
 
Email to Committee: 
To:
Subject: SB446 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
We're basically just letting you know this bill is here incase you think it may impact you. Without any analysis it sounds like a good idead.  If you learn more please let us know.
=====================
HB1219, Extend Time To Repurchase Tax Deeded Property
03/29/2016 at 10:00 AM    SH Room 103
Title: Title: relative to the repurchase of tax-deeded property by the former owner and the costs therefor.
 
Summary: This bill extends the time for a former owner to pay the costs of repurchasing a tax deeded property from the town and deletes a 15% penalty charge added to such costs.
 
Property Owner Position: You Decide
 
Link to Committee Info: 
 
Email to Committee: 
To:
Subject: HB1219 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
The bill would be helpful to home owners in hardship cases but would only affect a small number of property owners which is why we listed it as “You Decide”.
 
One of the core team that analyzes bills is a town selectman and we have included his thoughts as a selectmen.  
 
Selectman thoughts:
A municipality needs to plan on money just like a business. When taxes are not paid it hurts the 99% who do pay. We compensate for that with high interest rates and, eventually, taking the property. It is a long process but once all these years are up it is time to get things resolved. As it stands now, besides the 3 years to pay before the property is taken, there is also a 3 year option to buy the property back. This makes 6 years! That’s enough. If it is ultimately redeemed it is generally because there is a buyer in the wings meaning it has finally become profitable for the delinquent taxpayer to broker a deal. The 15% is a fair cut for the taxpayers who have held the bag for 6 years.
=====================
HB1590, Apply Rooms & Meals Tax to Short Term Rental
04/05/2016 at 10:00 AM    SH Room 103
Title: Title: relative to the regulation and taxation of short-term rental businesses.
 
Summary: Legislative service’s analysis is: This bill requires short-term rental businesses to register as businesses with the secretary of state and meet certain posting and reporting requirements. The bill also expands the meals and rooms tax to apply to short-term rental businesses.
 
Property Owner Position: LimitedImpact
 
 
Email to Committee: 
Subject: HB1590 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
Simply, the purpose of the bill is to tax, under the room and meals taxes, the revenue that people and the rental services generate, from renting out rooms or the entire home on a short term basis.  This bill also requires short-term rental businesses to register as businesses with the secretary of state and meet certain posting and reporting requirements. 
 
Note that the position of one of our core team is "For" the bill with the thinking that the bill would "level the playing field" for NH hotels which are loosing revenue to short term rental services.
=====================
SB342, Business Profits Tax Changes
04/05/2016 at 01:00 PM    LOB Room 202
Title: Title: making certain changes to business profits tax provisions affecting a business organization when owners sell or exchange ownership interests in the business.
 
Summary: This bill makes certain changes to business profits tax provisions affecting a business organization when owners sell or exchange ownership interests in the business.
 
Property Owner Position: You Decide
 
 
Email to Committee: 
To: 0
Subject: SB342 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
This is another bill that should be review by someone with knowledge of the business profits tax. Not sure we have the knowledge to take a position on the bill.  If you learn more please let us know.
=====================
HB636, Forfeiture Of Property
04/07/2016 at 12:30 PM    SH Room 100
Title: Title: relative to forfeiture of property.
 
Summary: This bill would revise the New Hampshire forfeiture laws – the laws that allows the state to take property that is contraband, property obtained due to a commission of a crime, and instrumentalities a person used in the commission of the crime.
 
Property Owner Position: For
 
 
Email to Committee: 
Subject: HB636 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
The state will have the right to seize property that it believes was used in the commission of a crime.
 
Prosecutors only have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the property is related to the crime, therefore subject to forfeiture.
 
Law enforcement has a profit motive to pursue forfeitures.
 
Once property is taken, the burden lies on the innocent owner to defend against the forfeiture.
The bill gives an innocent owner a defense.  Therefore, we support the bill.
=====================
HB1204, Eviction Workout
04/26/2016 at 08:00 AM    SH Room 100
Title: Title: relative to payment of rent pending the stay of an eviction proceeding.
 
Summary: Provide statutory method for allowing eviction work out agreements which became disallowed in District Courts because of the NH Supreme Court Mountain View v. Robson decision in May of 2015.
 
Property Owner Position: For
 
 
Email to Committee: 
Subject: HB1204 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
First thing to say is disregard the bill as originally written.  We have been negotiating with NHLA on the language for this bill & have an agreed upon amendment which rewrites the bill. So do not spend much time reviewing the original bill.  We are calling the amendment the “1/24/16 HB1204 RPOA NHLA Amendment”.   Please urge legislators to pass the bill as amended by the “1/24/16 HB1204 RPOA NHLA Amendment.”. 
 
Based upon RSA 540:13c, Landlords and Tenants have entered into agreements in eviction actions based upon non-payment of rent allowing tenants to remain in possession of the leased premises so long as they make payments that are written in the agreement. In many instances, the Landlord and Tenant agree to a schedule where the tenant pays rental arrearages, but is also required to pay future rent as it becomes due.
 
          These agreements are advantageous to both the Landlord and the Tenant. The Tenant has the opportunity to remain in their home and not be evicted. The Tenant can pay the rental arrears over a period of time that they have negotiated with the Landlord, while the Tenant does not fall further behind in rent. This is particularly helpful to a tenant who fell behind in rent due to a sickness, injury or slowdown in work, who has subsequently overcome these problems.
 
          The Landlord gains the opportunity to be paid the arrears, and future rent, without the need to file a new eviction action should the tenant not abide by the agreement.
 
          However, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, in the case of Mountain View Park LLC v. Robson, decided August 11, 2015, ruled that agreements entered into between Landlords and Tenants in non-payment of rent cases, cannot contain provisions regarding the future payment of rent. Any agreement containing clauses requiring the Tenant to pay future rent submitted by the parties to an eviction action based upon non-payment of rent will have to be rejected by the Circuit Court. This decision takes away from both Landlords and Tenants an effective tool to resolve eviction cases to their mutual benefit. 
 
HB1204 as we have amended it revises the statute to specifically allow these type of agreements and spells out the procedures for the court to follow if the tenant fails to make payments as required by the agreement.
 
Please note that we did some research and found out that there presently is no statutory guidance or guidance in rules from Judge Kelly's office for the affidavit of non-compliance process.  This means courts could get to the process where the tenant does not make payment and have sympathy for tenant and not order the writ of possession or severely drag this out.  For instance, presently Derry court allows 10 days from landlord’s affidavit of non-compliance (tenant didn’t make payment) for tenant to respond and then it would schedule hearing.  Based on our research many courts would be like Derry which is why we need the extra detail of the later part of this bill.R[-1]C
=====================
HB1298, OHRV, Pollution Triple Damages
04/26/2016 at 08:20 AM    SH Room 100
Title: Title: (New Title) relative to damage to private property and relative to the authority of federal border patrol agents to make arrests in Coos county.
 
Summary: The bill creates a cause of action for a landowner whose land is damaged by pollution. This bill also creates a cause of action for a landowner whose land is damaged by OHRV, Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle, use.  There is also provision for triple damages and attorney's fees.
 
Property Owner Position: Against unless amended
 
 
Email to Committee: 
Subject: HB1298 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
This bill could be a two edge sword for anyone who owns land and has any material on the property that can be deemed hazardous if it leaked.  Heating oil might be included in this. It also gives a landowner the right to sue another for polluting that landowner’s property.  That right probably exists at this time but the right does not include the right to seek triple damages based upon the recklessness of conduct and attorney’s fees which the bill would allow. It also allows an owner to seek injunctive relief to stop continuing pollution and to force the cleanup of the damage.
The bill also has a section allowing for triple damages to land from off road vehicles.
The bill can impose greater liability upon us.  Triple damages are always dangerous and ripe for abuse.  What if a tenant dumps oil on your property and it seeps onto a neighbor.  Will the neighbor be able to sue you for triple damages?
However, the bill also gives us more protection from polluters.
We would support the bill if amended from triple damages to actual damages.
We also would like to see something defined that a landlord would not be held liable for a tenant's action if the landlord was unaware of the tenant's action.
=====================
HB1370, 7 Days Eviction Notice
04/26/2016 at 08:40 AM    SH Room 100
Title: Title: relative to termination of tenancy.
 
Summary: This bill reduces the eviction notice from 30 days to 7 days in the following instances:
Failure of tenant to put utilities in their name when required to do so.
Someone staying in the unit who is not on the lease for more than 14 days consecutive or 30 days in a calendar year. There was also a very troublesome amendment added during the House session that requires all evictions to be filed in the venue where the property resides.
 
Property Owner Position: For, If Section 3 relating to venue is removed.
 
 
Email to Committee: 
Subject: HB1370 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
There is a terrible “venue” amendment that was proposed at the Judiciary Committee initial public hearing now called "Section 3 relating to venue".
 
First we will address this "Section 3 relating to venue" which takes away a landlord’s option to hold eviction hearings in the court where the property owner resides.
 
It is our position that this amendment is far more troublesome to almost all landlords than the benefit of the reduced eviction notice times in the original bill.
 
Therefore, we are strongly opposed to this Section 3 and recommending that Section 3 relating to venue be taken off the bill.
 
Here are some thoughts relating to the amendment taking away a landlord’s option to hold eviction hearings in the court where the property owner resides.
a. Landlords have way way more eviction hearings than a single tenant so the jurisdiction really should be in the court where the property owner resides.  Also, for one eviction the landlord needs to go to court to:
Get the LT-Writ
Deliver the served LT-Writ
Respond to a change of venue if requested by the tenant
Attend the hearing (where the tenant often does not show up)
Get the Writ of Possession.
4-5 times for the landlord.  Way too much trouble for the landlord who is already inconvenienced by the tenant not paying rent.
Tenant only needs to go twice (file for hearing and possibly request change of venue which could be done by mail or at the venue where the tenant resides) or at the venue where the tenant resides), attend hearing (which the tenant often doesn’t do).
0 to 2 times for the tenant.
b. Tenants can request jurisdiction be moved to their location which the court can grant if it sees the need.
c. Tenants very often don't even show up anyway. Requesting a hearing was simply a delaying tactic to achieve more “free rent”.
d. requesting a change of venue and not showing up to court is yet another delaying tactic to achieve more “free rent”.
e. If the tenant paid the rent it would not be an issue.  The landlord is already inconvenienced by the tenant not paying the rent, providing free housing during the eviction process.  Why make the eviction more difficult for the small businessman (landlord)?
 
Additionally,
This Section 3 relating to venue is not needed because present law already states that in cases other than non-payment the court “shall” transfer the venue.   In cases of non-payment the court “may” transfer venue.  The RSA is quoted immediately below.
 
“RSA 502-A:16-a. Change of Venue in Possessory Actions Regarding Residential Property
 
Venue in possessory actions concerning residential property brought pursuant to RSA 540 which are initiated in a judicial district other than that in which the defendant resides may be transferred as follows:
I. In cases based on grounds other than nonpayment of rent, venue shall be transferred to the judicial district in which the defendant resides at the request of the defendant.
II. In cases based on nonpayment of rent, venue may be transferred to the judicial district in which defendant resides when the court, in its discretion, determines that justice so requires.”
 
A plain language explanation of the above provision is already included on page two of the LT-Writ underneath the caption in bold titled “Information for tenant”.
 
 
Now on to the actual bill.
 
Last session, 2015, we attempted putting this bill through with the addition of unauthorized pets.
There was a large push back about the 7 day notice for unauthorized pets.  This session we are submitting the bill without the inclusion of unauthorized pets. 
 
This is one of the major bills this session and we still expect good sized push back and definitely need every one to show up at hearings and communicate to the committees and legislators to support this very important bill.
 
New Hampshire law allows a landlord in most residential tenancies to evict tenants by serving the tenants either a 7 days Eviction Notice or a 30 days eviction notice. Presently the 7 days eviction notice can only be used in certain limited circumstances.  Those circumstances are: (a) non-payment of rent  (b) substantial damages caused by the tenant, members of his family or guests (c) behavior by the tenant, members of  his family or guest that adversely affects the health, safety of the landlord or other tenants or failure to accept temporary alternative housing during lead paint abatement.  All other evictions require a 30 days Eviction Notice.
 
This bill has major advantages for landlords in dealing with the tenants who are purposely breaking the terms of a lease in the two circumstances outlined above, or do not have the financial means to abide by the terms of the lease.
 
HB1370, if enacted, would add two additional circumstances where a landlord could use a 7 days Eviction Notice.  These two are:
(1) Failure to establish utilities in the tenant’s name or terminating utility service when the tenant is required to pay such under the terms of the lease.  Please note, that each of the above categories has to be a breach of the lease.  For those landlords who do not use leases, or do not prohibit these categories in their leases, they would not be able to use the provisions of this bill, if it became law.
(2) a person staying in the leased premises who is not a party to the lease, and does not have the consent of the landlord, for more than 14 consecutive days or more than 30 days in a calendar year 
 
Remember we are talking about only the initial piece of a lengthy eviction process. The eviction notice of 30 or 7 days is only the first step after that is serving the LT-Writ, then the court hearing, then the notice of decision, then getting the Writ of Possession then executing the Writ of Possession often called the lock out.
 
In current law the entire eviction process that starts with a 7 day notice still take about 6-8 weeks from start to lock out.  A 30 notice results in about 9-11 weeks.
 
So bear in mind that we are talking not so much about 30 day to 7 day but rather 9-11 weeks down to 6-8 weeks.
 
If a tenant does not put utilities into his or her name, or terminates utilities or has utilities shut off on them, one of two things could happen.  The first is creating a risk of the building freezing during the winter. The longer the utilities are off, the greater the risk of damage to the building. The second is that the utilities are often transferred into the landlord’s name, and the landlord has to pay for services that the tenant agreed to pay for when the tenant signed the lease. Since a landlord may not terminate utilities on a tenant the landlord then remains stuck paying for a tenant’s utilities which the tenant should be paying per the lease agreement. Reducing the time that tenant had to use someone else’s services, would reduce the loss to the landlord. This is no different than a non-payment of rent, especially since rents are reduced when utilities, principally heat, is not included.
 
The bill would also allow the tenant to cure these lease violations and stop the eviction by having the utilities billed to the tenant and paying the landlord any costs the landlord incurred in the seven days.  The tenant can only cure this violation three times in the last 12 months, however.
 
There are several ways that tenant’s utilities end up in the landlord’s name:
1. The tenant does not put utilities into his or her name
2. The tenant terminates utilities
3. The tenant has utilities shut off on them because they didn’t pay the bill and the utilities are transferred into the landlord’s name,
4. The time from application to move in extremely short, even only one day, which is not enough time for the landlord to shut off utilities.
5.  The landlord automatically has utilities put in the landlord’s name in between tenancies.  This is both to make routine business easier and just to be kind since on quick application to move in time frames the tenant will have utilities on to start with and it is in many cases less expensive for the tenant to transfer utilities to their name rather then initiate a new account after a shut off.
6. Multiple tenants are at the apartment but only one tenant has the utilities in their name who later moves out resulting in a shut off or automatic transfer to the landlord.
7. The Landlord puts the utilities in the landlord’s name to prevent the property from freezing.
 
Extra people who move into our apartments, especially if the landlord pays for heat and hot water, use these utilities solely at the expense of the landlord.  The additional people not only increase utility usage but also wear and tear of the apartment, again at the landlord’s expense. These people also are not parties to lease, many times do not know or care about the terms of the lease or the rules and regulations of the landlord, and have nothing to lose if they violate the terms of the lease. Since they are invited into the apartment by the tenant, the police are reluctant to issue a no trespass order. Basically, these extra people are living for free at the landlord’s expense. Some may even consider these people stealing our services.  And what about those cases where an invitee of a tenant takes over the apartment saying they are the tenant but have never signed or agreed to any terms of the lease.  People who are “crashing” at someone's apartment, can be a danger to the landlord and other tenants unless properly screened and approved.
 
The tenant can also cure the lease violation of an extra person living in the apartment by having the extra person permanently move from the apartment within the seven days. The tenant can only cure this lease violation once.
 
Landlords often get complaints from other tenants at the property about these issues.  This bill would help landlords to more quickly address the concerns of other tenants in the building & enforce the terms of the lease more efficiently.
 
This is our bill and we need to fully support its passage.  The “venue” amendment now "Section 3 relating to venue" was a surprise, is against us and we need to have it removed before passing the original bill as written.
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HB1153, Sex Offender Residency Restrictions
04/26/2016 at 09:45 AM    SH Room 100
Title: Title: prohibiting a political subdivision from adopting residency restrictions on sex offenders.
 
Summary: This bill prohibits a political subdivision, town, city, etc from adopting residency restrictions on sex offenders. 
 
Property Owner Position: You Decide
 
 
Email to Committee: 
Subject: HB1153 
 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
In the past, we have spoken to people that work closely with this issue and have learned that when sex offenders have been excessively restricted on their residency and they are not able to find any place to live they simply go “underground” where they become impossible to track. The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee voted 15-1 Ought To Pass. That committee's report mentions "When released, sex offenders tend to want to live in the community they came from to get back on their feet with the assistance of family. Local residency restrictions could defeat the purpose of the registration process, producing conditions that hamper efforts to monitor and supervise offenders...This bill is supported by NH law enforcement as well as the New Hampshire coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence."  For all of the above reasons we are taking no position on the bill and leaving it "You Decide".  We are including it to make sure you are aware it is here.
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