Saturday, July 23, 2016

Legislative Update, 2016 #22== Last bills signed by Governor. Next wave of lead paint law is happening. Now is the time to get your input and shape the new lead paint law.


Howdee everyone,

 
The last minor bill, HB1590, Apply Rooms & Meals Tax to Short Term Rental, is now signed by the governor.
 
Important Updates:
New committee potentially meeting to revise minimum housing standards.
!!Formation of new lead law!!
 
Minimum housing standards
From Department of Health and Human Services
Subject: Scheduling - Looking at the NH Minimum Housing Standards Meeting
“We all have a vested interested in these standards and this maybe a good time to make some changes to strengthen the standards.  This initial meeting will be brainstorming any ideas/suggestions everyone has for RSA 48-A:14.”
 
We need landlords to represent us at these meetings.
Please contact us if you would be willing to attend at least the initial and potentially other meetings.
 
This is a new committee practically nothing is known about it yet.
 
!!Formation of new lead law!!
We have an opportunity right now to shape the new lead law.
Do you remember SB135 in 2014?  Rather than immediately implement a new lead law based on Vermont’s Essential Maintenance Program, SB135 established a commission to be formed including landlord input to study the issue and provide guidance for adopting this new lead law.
 
I have been invited to be a guest at the meetings and have started attending.
 
The essential idea of the program is that it would require landlords to do an annual self inspection of the property, properly address all lead hazards and submit a report that it was done.
 
Right now we are talking about very important points that some of which we have needed addressed for years.
 
Previously, we wrote to you asking for input on the new lead law.  The commissions next meeting is early this week.
Please forward answers to these questions if you have not done so already.  Below this email is the consolidated input we have received already.
 
1. How should the state handle when a tenant has caused the lead hazard?
Presently the landlord is still forced into a full lead abatement for the entire property even though the tenant caused the lead hazard.
 
What would you like to see done instead?
 
2. The commission is also seriously looking into addressing what happens if lead is found in the water supply.  Note that this could be caused by the pipes in the ground which would become the responsibility of the property owner to dig up and replace.
 
3. The commission started to revise past conversations of a paint can fee (no numbers but perhaps 25 to 50 cents per gallon) with the monies tied to providing funds for lead remediation.
 
What do you think?
Seems like a small price to pay for generation a pool of money that could help all landlords.
 
4. The commission is talking “sticks and carrots”.  Meaning fees to the property owner for non-compliance and giving the property owner “something” for compliance.  Vermont offers the property owner who complies with the program an immunity from breach-of-warranty-of-habitability claims. The trial lawyers of NH have strongly opposed that notion so we would likely not get it.
 
What “carrot”, incentive, would you like to see offered to the landlord for compliance?
 
5. Mandatory vs. Voluntary.  Some insist the program should be mandatory others say it should be voluntary.
What are your thoughts?
 
If you are interested to be part of the idea generation, getting your voice heard, shaping the ultimate version of this new law, please contact me.
 
I plan to send out info on the generation of this new lead law on 2 lists.
The first email list will be for those that want to be very active in the process and receive frequent updates (perhaps once per month).
The second email list will be the normal legislative update to keep everyone informed and receive much less frequent updates (perhaps once per quarter in the off season and included with the normal legislative update during the legislative season)
 
Let me know if you want to be on the frequent update list for the new lead law.
 
 
 
Action items this week:
Respond to questions above the new wave of lead law above.
 
Besides that no action required.  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.
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SB135 Lead Commission Summarized questions to answer
1. How should the state handle when a tenant has caused the lead hazard?
Fix the created lead hazard but not abate entire property.  Favored by many landlords.
Landlord remedy the lead hazard but tenant pay for it.
  Tenant has No abatement defense to eviction if tenant caused hazard.
 
If the tenant caused the hazard, or would not disclose a known lead hazard, or would not allow landlord to remedy such hazard, the tenant should assume full responsibility.
be able to attach tenants wages/ income sources.
 
2. The commission is also seriously looking into addressing what happens if lead is found in the water supply.
 
should not penalize landlord as not active negligence like allowing chipped paint to be removed;
 
Many questions here:
How often would water be tested?  Less often than 1/year.
   Flush out water first if testing inside unit.
How corrosive is water?
Is city responsible for corrosive water?
What is EPA speck that towns have to follow on corrosiveness of water ?
How much money to spend by city?
Test at street as well. Next available fire hydrant, noflushing first.  Agency requiring test pays for hydrant.
Test hydrants for lead when normal test is done anyway.
Dover thinks they may have some lead service lines.
If Lead is found in the water supply it will be on the city to remedy the problem.
There would be blood in the streets if every property owner were forced to dig up pipes to their property line.
 
3. The commission started to revise past conversations of a paint can fee (no numbers but perhaps 25 to 50 cents per gallon) with the monies tied to providing funds for lead remediation.
 
Generally favored by landlords but with very cautious concerns.
There was a bill in recent time about this.  The committee didn’t know how to keep corruption out of it.
 
Make lead less expensive to remediate.
Make system simple to admin and all money to remediation.
 
Find good program that is working now and model that.
 
Big concern on government corruption and admin costs with little effort going to remediation.
 
With everyone paying in, would the funds for remediation be available to all - individually owned property, landlords, llc’s, commercially owned, single family, multi-family, housing, restaurant… 
It would need to be clearly spelled out who was eligible and hopefully have a fairly simple application/approval process so the money was going to the remediation and not getting spent on administering the process.
 
4. The commission is talking “sticks and carrots”.  Meaning fees to the property owner for non-compliance and giving the property owner “something” for compliance.
 
Note: Insurance people not interested in offering reduction
 
Immunity from civil suit.
Reduce lead liability, perhaps cap is at a certain number.  Maybe $50,000.
Note: Trial lawyers will fight liability limitations.
 
Discount in property tax is favored all around
    Take the discount from the school budget
    Maybe credit $250? per unit.
    Compliance = exemption from education component of property tax;
 
State reimburse for lead inspection that is only kept by landlord and of course made available to the tenants but not submitted to the state.  This would encourage testing and give both landlords and tenants the ability to minimize lead risk and prioritize renovation to reduce future lead risk.
 
5. Mandatory vs. Voluntary.  Some insist the program should be mandatory others say it should be voluntary.
 
All landlords we have spoken to want the program to be voluntary.
 
Additional notes:
Allow Landlords to refuse occupancy to tenants children under 6 years of age if there is lead in the building.  This is favored by many landlords.
If lead paint order is not recorded, Order should not be enforceable against a subsequent purchaser;
Should Placement Agencies ( International Institute) – be obligated to place tenants  in lead safe apartments
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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.
 
HB1590     
Title: (2nd New Title) relative to taxation of short-term rentals.
Property Owner Position: LimitedImpact
General Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
House Status: CONFERENCE REPORT ADOPTED
Senate Status: CONFERENCE REPORT ADOPTED
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Full details on all bills above:
 
 
Title:
 
Summary:
 
Property Owner Position: 
 
Link to Committee Info: 
 
Email to Committee: 
To:
Subject:  
 
Link to Bill Text: 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
 
Talking Points:
 
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HB1590, Apply Rooms & Meals Tax to Short Term Rental
05/23/2016 at 01:00 PM    LOB 302
Title: Title: (2nd New Title) relative to 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
 
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.
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Sunday, May 29, 2016

==Legislative Update, 2016 #20== Major bill decision. Updated status on several minor bills


Howdee everyone,
Important Updates:
Update HB1204, Eviction Workout
Still waiting for bill to be sent on to the governor.  (This part of the process can take a while). We’ll let you know if we need you.
HB1656, Real Estate Transfer Tax Exception
The conference committee met to resolve differences between the House & Senate version of the bill and submitted the following report.
“relative to exceptions to the real estate transfer tax. The House version of the bill amended RSA 78-B:2, which are the exceptions to the Real Estate Transfer Tax, by adding the paragraph XXI, which relates to the transfer of title, where no consideration is exchanged, is coincidental to a change in the transferor’s form of organization to that of the transferee. The Senate amended the bill by adding an additional amendment creating paragraph XXII which relates to a transfer of title from the owners of an entity, or from the entity to the owners of the entity. The Senate also amended RSA 78-B:1a, IV related to the definition of the phrase “price or consideration.” This was done so that courts do not misinterpret standard language commonly 
utilized in transfers, which are the subject of the new paragraph XXII. The House conferees concurred with 
the Senate position after clarifying the purpose statement from “implement New Hampshire court decisions” 
to “clarify existing law.”
Next step is to prepare bill for governor and send to the governor’s office. We’ll let you know if we need you.
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: CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
Senate Status: CONFERENCE REPORT FILED
SB446     
Title: BY GOVERNOR
Property Owner Position: For, Limited Impact
General Status: VETOED BY GOVERNOR
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
HB1175     
Title: relative to post-judgment real estate liens.
Property Owner Position: You Decide
General Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
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 REPORT FILED
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: CONFERENCE REPORT FILED
Senate Status: CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
HB1579     
Title: relative to regulation of the practice of out-of-state brokers by the real estate commission.
Property Owner Position: You Decide
General Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
HB1292     
Title: relative to the use of abandoned agricultural property.
Property Owner Position: You Decide
General Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
House Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
Senate Status: PASSED/ADOPTED
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
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Full details on all bills above:
HB1656, Real Estate Transfer Tax Exception
05/23/2016 at 03:00 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
Link to Committee Info: 
Email to Committee: 
To:
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.
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SB446, Building Code Requirements
03/24/2016 at 11:00 AM    LOB Room 306
Title: VETOED BY GOVERNOR
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.
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HB1175, Post-Judgment Real Estate Liens
03/31/2016 at 02:00 PM    SH Room 100
Title: Title: relative to post-judgment real estate liens.
Summary: Clarification and detailing for RSA 524 liens on real property.
Property Owner Position: You Decide
Link to Committee Info: 
Email to Committee: 
To:
Subject: HB1175 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
Notes:
This bill amends RSA 503, the statute on small claims, and RSA 524, the statute on court issued judgments. Current law allows a successful party in a small claims action to place a lien on the party’s real estate by recording a certified copy of the judgment in the registry of deeds where the property is located during the duration of the judgment.
The bill has the same requirements as current law, and it clarifies the procedures to be used to discharge the lien.  It also makes it clear that the lien is effective for 20 years after the cause of action accrued.  In addition, it addresses the procedure that has to be followed once the judgment is satisfied. The bill also give the courts authority to discharge liens when a plaintiff fails to do so, and makes it a class B misdemeanor to induce a court to execute a discharge on the basis of information and statements known to the person to be false.
The bill, if it became law, does not make any substantial substantive changes in the law. It does not add any additional procedures that we can use to collect on judgments from former tenants.
Talking Points:
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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
Link to Committee Info: 
Email to Committee: 
To:
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.
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SB342, Business Profits Tax Changes
05/25/2016 at 12:15 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:
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.
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HB1579, Regulation Of Out Of State Real Estate Brokers
04/12/2016 at 02:15 PM    SH Room 100
Title: Title: relative to regulation of the practice of out-of-state brokers by the real estate commission.
Summary: A bill regarding the regulation of out of state real estate brokers
Property Owner Position: You Decide
Link to Committee Info: 
Email to Committee: 
To:
Subject: HB1579 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
Notes:
This bill would regulate or amend the regulation of out of state real estate brokers and salespersons in the sale of commercial real estate (all real estate except residences of four units or less).  The out of state person would have to have a specified working relationship with an in state broker.
Talking Points:
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HB1292, Abandonment of Agricultural Property
04/13/2016 at 09:00 AM    LOB Room 101
Title: Title: relative to the use of abandoned agricultural property.
Summary: The bill simple amends the existing statute by deleting the word “disuse” to “abandonment “ to allow for special exceptions to the reestablishment of use of land for agricultural purposes.  
Property Owner Position: You Decide
Link to Committee Info: 
Email to Committee: 
To:
Subject: HB1292 
Analysis Stated in Bill: 
Talking Points:
We're basically just letting you know this bill is here incase you think it may impact you.  Not sure we have the knowledge to take a position on the bill.  If you learn more please let us know.
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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
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