Sunday, January 16, 2011

Call to Action for NH Landlords

New Hampshire Property
Owners Association
Call to Action

The 2011 legislative session has begun. The NHPOA encourages your attendance at the public hearing scheduled for the following bill in Concord.

When: January 18, 2011 at 11am

Where: Legislative Office Building LOB 208

This bill was introduced in an effort to locate former tenants and collect on court awarded damages. Too often landlords have thrown good money after bad in an effort to trace delinquent debtors. We need the courts to understand the difficulties we face as landlords. If one steals a candy bar from a store, you could go to jail: but it seems you can deprive a landlord of thousands of dollars in rent without any consequences. We need to address this imbalance.

HB 128 - AN ACT requiring tenants to execute a financial affidavit as part of the eviction process.
This bill provides that, if the court awards damages to a landlord in a landlord-tenant action, the court shall require the tenant to provide his or her current address and to file a financial affidavit with the court.

Amend RSA 540:14 by inserting after paragraph IV the following new paragraph:

V. If the court issues a money judgment in favor of the landlord, the court shall require the tenant to execute a financial affidavit, indicating the tenant's address, source of income, assets, and liabilities within 7 days. The tenant shall indicate on the financial affidavit whether he or she intends to pay the judgment in a lump sum or to enter into a periodic payment plan under the terms and conditions established by the court. Any tenant against whom a money judgment has been awarded shall notify the court of a current address for service within 7 days of notice of the judgment from the court. If the tenant fails to provide the court with a current address and any subsequent change of address, the tenant shall be subject to a fine of $300. In addition, any service failure as a result of the tenant's failure to notify the court of a current address shall provide grounds for the issuance of a bench warrant upon petition to the court. Any proof of failed service upon the tenant shall constitute prima facie proof of the tenant's failure to comply with this section.

If you are unable to attend the public hearing, please contact your State Representative and let them know that you support this bill.

If you want things to change in Concord, now is the time to make it happen. Make your voice heard.

Debbie Valente
New Hampshire Property Owners Association

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