Monday, April 11, 2011

Call to Action Requested - From the NHPOA

Dear Property Owner

Success! But the job is only half done.
In March, the Senate passed SB 70:

This bill shortens the time period during which a landlord is required to store a tenant's abandoned property. The bill also reduces the amount of damages available for violations of the requirement.

The amendment reads:
Amend RSA 540-A:3, VII to read as follows:
VII. Other than residential real estate under RSA 540-B, a landlord shall maintain and exercise reasonable care in the storage of the personal property of a tenant who has vacated the premises, either voluntarily or by eviction, for a period of 7 days after the date upon which such tenant has vacated. During this period, the tenant shall be allowed to recover personal property without payment of rent or storage fees. After the 7-day limit has expired, such personal property may be disposed of by the landlord without notice to the tenant.

Amend RSA 540-A:4, IX(b) to read as follows:
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (a), a landlord who violates RSA 540-A:3, VII shall be subject only to an award of actual damages, plus costs and reasonable attorneys fees.

(c) The provisions of subparagraph (a) shall not apply to petitions brought in good faith by a landlord or a tenant to determine whether a request for entry under RSA 540-A:3, V is reasonable and lawful.

3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2012.

The NHPOA wishes to thank Senator De Blois for sponsoring this bill on behalf of property owners. The Bill now moves to the House. The details for the public hearing are:

Room 208
LOB at 11:00am

Legislative Office Building
33 North State Street
Concord, NH

Please join us to get this bill passed into law. We wish to thank the dozens of landlords who have made the effort over the past few weeks to voice their opinions in Concord. Our voices are being heard. Just think of the difference this one bill makes to your bottom line.

If you are unable to attend, click below to find out who your representative is. Let them know how important this bill is to property owners.

NH House of Representatives Members

Status of SB 44
Fail! Despite our best efforts and almost 70 landlords at the hearing, SB 44 was re-referred to committee. This essentially postpones the bill until 2012. The NHPOA will work with all the parties concerned to come up with a workable solution. SB 44 required tenants to pay rent into court on a weekly basis during an eviction proceeding.

Status of HB 141Success!
Did you know that in 2009 the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that cable television was a protected utility service under state law that can't be shut off during landlord-tenant disputes. The landlord, Lauren Flieder, argued that the cable provider told her the tenant's apartment was receiving the service through an illegal connection, so she disconnected the wire. The Court found the law regards cable TV as a protected service and that Flieder's action amounted to a self-help eviction.

In response, the NH House passed HB 141 which specifies which utility services are protected. The bill reads:
RSA 540-A:3, I is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

1. Except for such temporary interruption as may be necessary while actual repairs are in process or during temporary emergencies, no landlord shall willfully cause the interruption or termination of any of the following utility services being supplied to the tenant by the landlord: water, sewage, electricity, gas, heat, air conditioning, telephone, elevator, or refrigeration.

2. Effective Date: This act shall take effect January 1, 2012.

If you agree with your Representatives, let your Senator know. Contact them to pass HB 141.

Click here to contact your NH Senate Members

Debbie Valente
New Hampshire Property Owners Association
(603) 881-3682

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