Legislative sessions for states have come to an end and a plethora of new laws are now on the books, with many having taken effect on January 1, 2020. We have compiled a select list of laws by state to help you plan accordingly and to stay apprised of your legal rights and obligations as either a homeowner or owner of real estate. Our list is focused on those laws passed in 2019, of which, we believe are most important for homeowners, property owners and property managers.
Brief descriptions of these laws are given to provide you a quick take of the underlying topics and issues. However, we also provided links to additional information sources, if you need to research further. We strongly recommend consulting a qualified legal expert if you believe any of these new laws may have serious implications regarding plans for your home, relationships with tenants or HOAs, or property that you own or manage.
Act 2019-63, HB99: Canoe Landmark District in Escambia Country Prohibits Annexation of Property by Local Law
Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, relating to Escambia County, to define the Canoe Landmark District within the county and to prohibit the annexation by local law of any property within the district into any municipality, except under certain conditions.
Act 2019-72, HB110: State Licensing Board for General Contractors Continues until October 1, 2020
Continues the existence and functioning of the State Licensing Board for General Contractors until October 1, 2020.
Act 2019-80, HB53: Calhoun County Enacts Restrictions on Bingo Games within Residential Areas and Near Residences
Proposes an amendment to Amendment 508 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 1 of the Calhoun County Local Amendments of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, relating to the operation of bingo games for prizes or money in the county, to prohibit a bingo permittee or licensee from operating any bingo game within 1,000 yards of a residence or in a residential area within the unincorporated areas of the county.
Act 2019-99, SB62: Period to Cancel Roofing Contract Reduced from 10 Business Days to 5 Days After Receiving Notice of Coverage from Insurer
Amends Section 8-36-2, Code of Alabama 1975, to reduce from 10 business days to 5 business days the time during which a person may cancel a roofing contract after receiving written notice from the insurer that all or part of the claim or contract is not a covered claim and also would allow cancellation if the covered claim will not be sufficient to cover the amount of the contract.
Alabama Legislative Resource Links:
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Alabama Bills
- Summaries of General Laws Enacted By the Legislature of Alabama at the 2019 Regular Session
- The Alabama Legislature
- Alabama Legislative Services Agency
- Alabama HOA Laws and Resources
Alaska Legislative Resource Links:
- The Alaska State Legislature
- 31st Legislature (2019-2020)
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Alaska Bills
- Alaska HOA Laws and Resources
- Consumer Protection for Home Improvement
HB2317: Disability Plates; Permanent Placards
SB1300: Low-Income Housing; Tax Exemption
SB1271: Purchaser Dwelling Actions; Notice; Complaints
Protects a homeowner’s ability to be made whole by taking defects to court and being awarded appropriate damages and reasonable attorney fees for issues not warranted by the builder. Saves homeowners money on legal cost by continuing to allow attorney fees to be awarded to the winning party in a construction defect lawsuit.
HB2371: Real Estate; Licenses; Applications
Requires an original or renewal application for real estate salesperson or broker licensure to include the applicant’s first, middle, or nickname that the applicant regularly uses for advertising purposes. Realtors will be able to use the name they are commonly known by in their advertising.
Arizona Legislative Resource Links:
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Arizona Bills
- Arizona Association of Realtors 2019 House & Senate Bill Summaries
- Arizona HOA Laws and Resources
HB19-1011: Scope of Manufactured Home Sales Tax Exemption
Clarifies that the sales tax exemption applies to homes designed to be installed on either temporary or permanent foundations.
HB19-1098: Deeds to Convey Real Property
A title company is now authorized to prepare a deed directly. This legislation will lessen disputes arising from the current statutory deed process, reduce confusion related to transferring real property, and provide a clear public record of the real estate transaction.
HB1228: Expansion of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
Tax credits are tied to qualified projects that allow investors to raise capital to build affordable housing units. This bill doubles the existing cap of total allowed state tax credits for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC) from the current annual $5 million to $10 million, and raises private sector equity to further support the development and preservation of existing affordable housing.
HB1322: Expand the Supply of Affordable Housing
Establishes a new state fund in the Division of Housing in the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to provide sustainable funding for programs and projects that improve, preserve, or expand the supply of workforce housing in Colorado. The revenue sources could include the General Fund, the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund, Marijuana Cash Funds, as well as Gifts, Grants, and Donations. Utilizing funding sources like the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund, provides a new revenue stream to construct or maintain affordable housing for Colorado residents. DOLA is required to consult with community stakeholders to determine how to most effectively meet the needs of Colorado’s underserved populations and communities.
HB1319: Flexible Funding Opportunities and Incentives for Developers
Creates two policy changes to support private and nonprofit developers that want to build affordable housing projects. Affordable housing developers often have difficulty obtaining financing from lenders because the existing property tax rules created a regulatory obstacle for lenders. Requires the Legislative Council to publish an inventory of public lands suitable for affordable housing development and limits the claw back of the current property tax exemption rules to enable lenders to finance affordable housing more robustly in the future.
HB1118: Time Period to Cure Lease Violation
Changes existing law to require a landlord or property manager to provide tenants a 10-day notice to cure a violation for unpaid rent or lease agreement violation before the property manager terminates the lease and initiates an eviction proceeding. Under prior law, a landlord was required to provide a tenant only three days of notice to remedy a violation.
HB1170: Residential Tenants Health and Safety Act
Makes changes to the warranty of habitability statutes. Previous statute established the concept that every rental agreement between a landlord and a tenant carries an implicit guarantee that a residential property is fit for human habitation. Bill modifies the conditions that trigger a breach of the warranty of habitability and sets forth a process for the tenant and landlord to remedy any potential safety or defect conditions with the premises within a reasonable time frame.
SB107: Broadband Infrastructure Installation
Allows an electric utility or commercial broadband provider to install, maintain, or lease broadband infrastructure within the electric easement. Only after providing advanced notice to the landowner or interest holders can an electric cooperative now enter the premises and install broadband infrastructure. Allows property owners to seek remedy of damages or injury to property incurred as a result of negligence by a broadband supplier through the court process.
Colorado Legislative Resource Links:
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Colorado Bills
- Colorado Association of Realtors Legislative Review
- Colorado HOA Laws and Resources
HB07179: An Act Concerning Crumbling Concrete Foundations
Requires the Commissioner of Housing to establish a grant program to support the development of methods and technologies that reduce the average cost of repairing and replacing concrete foundations in this state that have deteriorated due to the presence of pyrrhotite. Establishes an innovation board to review applications for grants filed as part of such program. Appropriates the sum of $8M dollars to fund grants awarded as part of such program. Modifies the Healthy Homes Fund surcharge, and redefines the term “residential building” as such term applies to various statutes concerning crumbling concrete foundations.
HB07413: Property Tax Exemptions
Allows certain persons to file for property tax exemptions, notwithstanding certain statutory deadlines. Requires the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection to pay a grant-in-aid to the town of Wallingford for extension of municipal water services. Authorizes the town of Woodbridge to renew certain temporary notes, notwithstanding the statutory renewal period, and specifies that a personal property declaration filing extension request be made in writing.
HB07424: Includes the Following Taxes:
Sales tax on interior design services (other than when purchased by a business for its own use) are taxable.
Real Estate Conveyance Tax (“Mansion Tax”) which is a 2.25 percent conveyance tax on any amount over a $2.5 million sales price. However, those who continue to be residents in the state get the money back in the form of an income tax credit three years after the sale. The credit is a third of the tax for three years so residents would have to stay in the state for at least six years to get all the money back.
Connecticut Legislative Resource Links:
HB235: Elimination of Business Licenses for Realtors in Delaware
This Act will prohibit political subdivisions of Delaware from requiring real estate licensees to obtain an additional business license or pay taxes in order to list property for sellers or represent property buyers. This Act takes effect on July 1, 2020.
HB65: Amendment to Delaware Code Relating To Solar Photovoltaic Systems and Restrictive Covenants
Enables the use of roof or ground mounted solar systems on privately owned residential dwellings by making covenants or other restrictions that effectively prohibit or unreasonably restrict the installation of solar photovoltaic systems in Delaware void and unenforceable, regardless of the date recorded. Bill does not render void and unenforceable reasonable restrictions on roof or ground mounted solar systems.
SB91: Mandatory Carbon Monoxide Detection Devices (Passed in 2018)
Most apartment complexes, hotels, resorts and other lodging establishments built in Delaware will need to have a carbon monoxide detector installed. The new mandate applies only to lodging establishments with an attached garage or units equipped with an appliance that emits carbon dioxide, such as boilers, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves. Private residences are not impacted unless they have rooms there are being rented out.
Facilities that were under construction when the new law passed had until Dec. 31, 2019, to install the battery-operated devices, while lodging establishments already in existence must have the detectors starting on Dec. 31, 2020.
Delaware Legislative Resource Links:
- Delaware General Assembly
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Delaware Bills
- Delaware Association of Realtors
- Delaware HOA Laws and Resources
CS/SB82: Banning Local Governments from Restricting Vegetable Gardens
Prohibits local governments from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties except as otherwise provided by law. Specifies that such regulations are void and unenforceable. This does not apply to homeowners associations (HOAs).
CS/HB617: Homeowners’ Insurance Policy Disclosures (Flood Insurance)
Revises circumstances under which insurers issuing homeowners’ insurance policies must include a specified statement relating to flood insurance with policy documents at initial issuance & renewals. Requires insurers that do not provide flood insurance to provide a disclosure at initial issuance and each renewal regarding the importance of flood insurance.
HB301: Property Insurance Changes
Includes several insurance revisions. The bill removes the $100 cap for insurers who provide loss control/mitigation goods or services (e.g. a temperature/humidity sensor) to policyholders and makes it easier for owners who have dwellings valued at $700,000 or more to obtain surplus lines of coverage.
SB1400: Private Property Rights and Tree Trimming
Requires county appraisers to publish a list of constitutionally protected property rights on their websites. Also allows property owners to trim or remove trees on their property without consequence, as long as they have a letter from a certified arborist or landscape architect stating that the tree is a danger.
HB647: Community Association Fire and Life Safety Systems (Condos)
Extends the deadline for high-rise condominiums that must be retrofitted with fire sprinklers or another engineered life safety system from Dec. 31, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2023.
HB447: Construction (Remedies to Open and Expired Permits)
Allows local governments to close a permit six years after its issuance as long as no apparent safety hazards exist. Also prevents local governments from penalizing property owners for an open permit that was applied for by a previous owner. Addresses uncertainty caused by open and expired permits during the closing process of property sales.
HB409: Approval of Online Remote Notaries
Authorizes online notarizations and specifies requirements & standards for performance of such notarizations. Florida joins the ranks of many other states that allow the use of online remote notaries in real estate transactions to make closings easier, faster and more convenient for distant parties.
HB7065: Insurance Assignment Agreements
Purpose is to help stem property insurance claims abuse that is leading to higher rates for consumers. Addresses the number one issue that AOB (Property Insurance Assignment of Benefits) reform advocates say is fueling this abuse: Florida’s one-way attorney fee statute. Accordingly the bill limits contractors’ ability to receive payment for their attorney fees if the claim is settled or won in court. Previously contractors and attorneys could easily abuse the AOB process by overcharging for repairs and suing insurance carriers when they refused to pay, leading to higher premiums for everyone.
SB620: Military-Friendly Initiatives
Revises requirements for active duty members of the Armed Services of the United States residing or stationed in this state, their spouses, and their dependent children to be classified as in-state residents for tuition purposes. Provides preferential treatment to students in the controlled open enrollment process whose parent is transferred or is pending transfer to a military installation within a school district while on active military duty. Students shall be considered a resident of the school district for purposes of enrollment when the order is submitted to the school district.
Florida Legislative Resource Links:
- Florida House of Representatives
- Florida Senate
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Florida Colorado Bills
- Florida Realtors Trade Association
- Florida HOA Laws and Resources
HB346: Property: Prohibit Retaliation by a Landlord Against a Tenant for Taking Certain Actions
Aims to protect renters from eviction by landlords when landlords retaliate against tenants who complain about poor living conditions. Under the new law, landlords who retaliate to complaints with eviction have to pay tenants a month’s rent, legal costs, an additional $500 and forgive any outstanding debts.
HB183: Rights to Appeal Property Taxes
Relates to ad valorem taxation of property, so as to provide for a right to appeal for any taxpayer that fails to file a property tax return or whose property tax return was deemed returned. Provides additional provisions to help property owners with their right to appeal property taxes.
HB507: Revised Criteria by Tax Assessors to Determine Fair Market Value of Real Property
Relates to ad valorem taxation of property, so as to revise the criteria used by tax assessors to determine the fair market value of real property; to provide an effective date; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
SB216: Allow Local Governments to Accept Prepayments of Property Taxes
Relates to ad valorem taxation of property, so as to allow local governments to accept prepayments of ad valorem taxes; to provide for conditions, limitations, and procedures; to provide for an effective date; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
HB313: Property Tax Exemption for Certain Properties Held by Non-Profit Entities
Ad valorem tax; real property owned by certain purely public charities if such real property is held exclusively for the purpose of building or repairing single-family homes to be financed to individuals using no-interest loans; exempt. Provides a property tax exemption for certain properties held by nonprofit entities.
Georgia Legislative Resource Links:
- Georgia General Assembly
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Georgia Bills
- Georgia Association of Realtors
- Georgia HOA Laws and Resources
SB551: Related to Condominiums: Associations; Nonjudicial Foreclosure; Power of Sale
Requires associations to offer mediation with a notice of default and intention to foreclose. Clarifies that the explicit grant of power of sale to associations is not required for the purposes of enforcing association liens under the association alternate power of sale foreclosure process. Applies retroactively to pending matters that arose prior to the effective date.
SB767: Contractors: Handyman Exemption
Raises the threshold under the contractor licensing law’s handyman exemption from $1,000 to $1,500 and makes it applicable only to the cost of labor and materials. This does not apply to projects which require a building permit or electrical or plumbing work.
SB770: Relating to Real Estate Licenses
Requires a high school education or its equivalent as a condition for new applicants to obtain a license as a real estate broker or real estate salesperson.
HB820: Housing: Development; ALOHA Homes; HHFDC; Appropriation
Requires the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation to study and formulate a plan to implement an ALOHA homes program to provide low-cost, high-density leasehold homes for sale to Hawaii residents on state-owned lands within a one-half mile radius of a public transit station. Appropriates moneys.
SB9: Hawaii Public Housing Authority: Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program; Property Damage; Appropriation
Appropriates funds to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to reimburse landlords who participate in the section 8 program for repair costs of tenant caused property damage, if the damage exceeds the tenant’s security deposit.
sB1361: Relating to Estate Taxes: Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
Increases estate taxes for Hawaii net taxable estates valued at over $10,000,000. The tax amount is $1,385,000, plus 20% of the amount by which the taxable estate exceeds $10 million.
SB1288: Condominiums; Voting; Electronic Voting Device; Associations; Meetings
Permits a condominium board to direct the use of an electronic voting device at any condominium association meeting regardless of whether a secret ballot is used or required. Requires a condominium board to take reasonable steps to ensure secrecy and integrity of the votes, and that an audit trail be available after the meeting.
Hawaii Legislative Resource Links:
- Hawaii State Legislature
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Hawaii Bills
- Hawaii Association of Realtors Legislative Report (PDF)
- Hawaii HOA Laws and Resources
SB1182: Residential Solar Energy System Disclosure Act
Adds to existing law to provide for the disclosure of certain information when a solar agreement is entered into for a solar energy system.
SB1138: Provisional License for Electricians
Creates a provisional electrician license for journeymen. New license will enable experienced individuals who move to Idaho from another state, want to work as a journeyman electrician, and have the skills and knowledge to do so. Previously they would need to take and pass Idaho’s journeyman exam before being able to work. The new provisional license allows them to work until they could take the exam.
Idaho Legislative Resource Links:
SB1872: Update to the Real Estate License Act of 2000
Amends the Regulatory Sunset Act. Extends the repeal date of the Real Estate License Act of 2000 from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2030. Makes conforming changes. Effective immediately. Addresses “inherently misleading terms” that real estate team names must not contain to ensure the public understands the difference between real estate teams and real estate brokerages. Misleading terms include: Company; Realty; Real Estate; Agency; Associates; Brokers; Properties; and Property. Reduces the minimum age for obtaining a real estate license from 21 to 18. Includes provision that allows for virtual offices.
HB2528: Amends the Assumed Business Name Act
Provides that a person conducting or transacting business under an assumed name at his or her residence is not required to include his or her home address while complying with the publication requirements of the Act if that person’s safety would be put at risk by publishing his or her home address. Provides that, instead, the person may provide a post office box address. Person may list the county clerk and its address as the default agent for service of process, to include either a court order or police report.
SB651: Amends the Public Utilities Act
Prevents alternative electric and gas suppliers from converting participants in both LIHEAP and PIPP from their current public utility provider to the alternative supplier, unless done so by an approved program.
SB1256: Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code
Prohibits a diesel truck from idling for more than a total 10 minutes within an hour if the vehicle is within 200 feet of a residential area.
HB2856: Electronic Title System
Requires the Secretary of State to implement an Electronic Title System by July 1, 2021 that will permit a lienholder to perfect, assign, and release a lien.
HB88/PA 101-0168: Consumer Fairness Act
Reduces the post-judgment interest rate on consumer debt under $25,000 from 9% to 5% and cuts the timeframe to collect on a judgment from 26 to 17 years, aimed at helping people better manage their debt and stopping predatory debt collection practices.
Illinois Legislative Resource Links:
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Illinois Bills
- Illinois General Assembly
- Highlights of New State Laws from the Senate Democratic Caucus
- Summary List of New State Laws by Category from the Senate Democratic Caucus
- Summary List of New State Laws by Category from the Senate Republicans
- Illinois HOA Laws and Resources
HB1056: Property Tax Appeals
Requires a county or township official who receives a written appeal notice from a taxpayer to forward the notice to the county auditor, if the taxpayer raises a claim regarding a matter that is in the discretion of the county auditor.
HB1279: Natural Resources Matters
Provides that a person may reconstruct an earthen berm or levee located in a floodway: (1) if the person obtains a permit from the department of natural resources (DNR); or (2) if the earthen berm or levee is located in a rural area, if it was constructed before January 1, 1973, or after December 31, 1972, pursuant to a construction permit issued by the DNR, and if the plans and specifications for the reconstruction demonstrate to the satisfaction of the DNR that the reconstruction will meet certain requirements.
SB460: Broadband Development
Establishes the rural broadband fund for the purpose of awarding grants. Provides that the procedures established by the office the office of community and rural affairs must establish specified priorities for the awarding of grants, based on the available Internet speeds in a particular area.
Indiana Legislative Resource Links:
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Indiana Bills
- Indiana Chamber Legislative Report (PDF)
- Indiana HOA Laws and Resources
SF505: Licensing of Landscape Architects
A bill for an act modifying provisions relating to the licensure of professional landscape architects. (Formerly SSB 1173).
SF93: Abandoned Structures and Abatement of Public Nuisances
A bill for an act relating to abandoned structures and abatement of public nuisances. This law makes changes regarding: the procedures as to when a governmental entity may declare a structure abandoned or a public nuisance; hearings on abatement actions; and the rights an owner has in response to governmental action against their property.
Iowa Legislative Resource Links:
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Iowa Bills
- Iowa Legislation Affecting Iowa Landlords
- Iowa HOA Laws and Resources
SB78: Residential Real Estate; Insurance; Assigning Rights or Benefits to Residential Contractors; Tenants; Domestic Violence; Housing Protections
Creates law regarding assignment of certain rights or benefits under an insurance policy on residential real estate and protections related to housing for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking.
Creates law regarding a post-loss assignment of rights or benefits to a residential contractor under a property and casualty insurance policy insuring residential real estate (assignment). Specifically, the bill states an assignment may authorize a residential contractor (as defined by the bill to include certain persons involved in repair or replacement of roof systems, other exterior work or cleanup, or interior or exterior repair and cleanup on residential real estate) to be named as a co-payee for the payment of benefits under a property and casualty insurance policy insuring residential real estate.
Creates law prohibiting certain actions being taken against a tenant, lessee, or applicant for a lease because such person is a “protected person,” defined by the bill to be a person who, during the preceding 12 months, has been, is, or is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking. Specifically, an applicant cannot be denied tenancy on the basis of or as a direct result of being a protected person, if the applicant otherwise qualifies for tenancy or occupancy. A tenant or lessee cannot be evicted from the premises or found to be in violation of a rental or lease agreement on the basis or as a direct result of being a protected person, if the tenant or lessee otherwise qualifies for tenancy or occupancy.
HB2038: Inheritance Rights Relating to Revocation Upon Divorce
Revokes spousal inheritance rights upon divorce. Creates law within the Kansas Probate Code providing for the automatic revocation of certain inheritance rights of a former spouse or former spouse’s relatives upon divorce.
SB60: Real Estate Licensing and Regulation
Increases the number of credit hours for pre-broker educational requirements in order to enhance the competency of the industry. Also increases the number of hours for a broker’s license from 24 to a minimum of 60. Also requires that a licensee be actively engaged in real estate during 2 out of the previous 3 years (instead of 2 out of 5). Increases from 24 to 30 hours for the real estate fundamentals course. New 30-hour real estate management course will be required on and after January 1, 2020.
Kansas Legislative Resource Links:
- Kansas Legislature Summary of Legislation
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Kansas Bills
- Kansas Association of Realtors Legislative Wrap-Up
- Kansas HOA Laws and Resources
HB49: Property Taxes
Amends KRS 132.017, relating to property taxes levied by local government entities, to extend the deadline to file a petition to 75 days.
HB436: Real Estate Licensing
Enacts the following: changes the licensing and renewal from annual to biennial; reduces liability on licensees by reducing the statute of limitations from 5 years to 1 year (from the date of discovery) for professional liability claims; and creates new consumer protection by requiring inactive licensees to undergo a criminal background check when re-activating their license.
SB114: Electronic Notaries
Makes the real estate closing process simpler and more efficient for consumers. Allows notaries to perform online notarization for real property transactions. This makes transactions faster and more convenient for the parties involved since it allows them to complete a transaction from different locations at the time of closing.
HB375: Call Location Information
Creates a new section of KRS Chapter 17 to require wireless telecommunications carriers to provide call location information from wireless devices to the Kentucky State Police under certain emergency conditions.
SB89: Community Development: Meth Labs
Allows a local government to provide for the abatement and decontamination of any property where a methamphetamine contamination notice has been posted. Additionally, specifies that a lien for the costs to a local government for the abatement and decontamination of a property where a methamphetamine contamination notice has been posted qualifies as a lien for which a sale may be ordered when the property is determined to be abandoned.
Kentucky Legislative Resource Links:
- Kentucky General Assembly
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Kentucky Bills
- Kentucky Association of Realtors 2019 Scorecard
- Kentucky Association of Realtors 2020 Priorities
- Kentucky Association of Realtors Legislative Information
- Kentucky HOA Laws and Resources
SB34: Shipment of Alcoholic Beverages
Removes bottle-size limitations on containers of wine shipped directly to consumers.
HB296: Law Enforcement Training
Provides relative to training for law enforcement officers and first responders with regard to Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related conditions
Louisiana Legislative Resource Links:
LD485: Regarding Actions of the Owner or Keeper of a Dog That Assaults a Person and Causes an Injury That Requires Medical Attention
Mainers who leave the scene after their dog hurts someone without securing medical attention for the victim and reporting the incident to law enforcement will be charged with a misdemeanor. They can only leave to secure the animal after getting help for the person, reporting the incident and giving their contact information to police or the victim.
LD1078: Regarding the Number of Agency Liquor Store Licenses Permitted in a Municipality
Bigger cities and towns are now allowed to have one or two more liquor stores. A new law changes how many liquor stores are allowed in a municipality.
Maine Legislative Resource Links:
HB671: Mover Registration
Moving companies in Maryland will now be required to register with and pay fees to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. As the department will be required to enforce the program and hire employees, expenditures are expected to increase by at least $230,000 starting this fiscal year. Movers were previously not required to register, according to Legislative Services.
SB317: Spousal Inheritance
After fewer than five years of marriage, if a person with no living offspring but living parents dies without a will, the surviving spouse will inherit the first $40,000 of the estate. The rest is split between the spouse and the parents. After five years of marriage, that spouse would inherit all of the estate.
Maryland Legislative Resource Links:
Under Massachusetts General Law’s chapter 44B section 8, real property conveyance documents recorded at the Registry of Deeds are subject to a Community Preservation Act surcharge. This law was amended by chapter 41 sections 29 and 30 of the Acts of 2019. Effective December 31, 2019, the $20 surcharge will increase to $50 for documents, and the recording fee for a municipal lien certificate will be raised from $10 to $25. The surcharges are forwarded to the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund which is used for historic preservation, open space and recreational land acquisition, and affordable housing by cities and towns that have accepted the statute. Participating municipalities receive distributions from the fund on a sliding scale basis.
Massachusetts Legislative Resource Links:
HB4226: Fee Assessed by Foreclosure Sale Purchasers
Puts a $250 cap on fees charged for the work to calculate the exact amount individuals must pay to redeem a property at foreclosure.
HB4069: Assessment of Property Taxes after Installation of Solar Energy Systems
Provides clear guidelines in the assessment of property taxes after solar energy systems are installed on a residence or business, ensuring that solar panels are not included in the property value assessment for taxation.
Michigan Legislative Resource Links:
SF983 & SF2859: Elder Care Protections
Pertains to a number of elder care protections, includes provision that will allow people to put a hidden camera in their loved ones room if they suspect abuse.
SF2225: Disaster Recovery
Establishment and implementation of a disaster recovery loan program to help farmers.
Minnesota Legislative Resource Links:
SB2901: Property Owner Liability or Landowners Protection Act
Stipulates that anyone who owns, leases, operates or maintains a commercial property in the state will not be held liable for any injury on the property caused by another person, unless the person in charge of the property did something that “impelled” the harmful action.
SB2229: Vehicle Sales Tax
No sales tax is charged when a vehicle is sold from one sibling to another.
Mississippi Legislative Resource Links:
SB36: Modifies Provisions Related to Real Estate
HB243: Lease Agreements and Victims of Crimes
Allows victims of certain crimes to be released from certain lease agreements if documentation is provided to the landlord.
Missouri Legislative Resource Links:
HB613: Relating to Residential Senior Facilities
Creates an exception to liquor quota system for residential senior facilities.
HB15: Relating to Mobile Homes
Revises laws related to nonmotorized vehicles and mobile home disposal
HB527: Relating Affordable Housing
Revises law relating to affordable housing tax exemptions.
Montana Legislative Resource Links:
LB682: Relating to Leases and Military Service Members
Allows active duty military service members to terminate leases without penalty if they are ordered to move into government housing.
LB701: Relating to “Telehealth” Services
Allows doctors to prescribe drugs and meet new patients through “telehealth” services that allow them to connect remotely through the internet or by phone.
Nebraska Legislative Resource Links:
SB448: Relating to Affordable Housing
A four-year pilot program providing $10 million in tax credits for each fiscal year for the development, acquisition, construction, improvement, expansion, reconstruction or rehabilitation of low-income housing to qualified project sponsors.
Nevada Legislative Resource Links:
SB193: Relating to Furniture and Carpeting
Prohibits the sale of certain furniture and carpeting with flame retardant chemicals.
HB464: Relating to Solar Energy Systems
Relative to the definitions of solar energy systems and wind-powered energy systems for assessed value of real estate exemptions and enabling municipalities to adopt a property tax exemption for electric energy storage systems.
SB258: Relating to “Telehealth” Services
Recognizes the application of telehealth for covered services provided within the scope of practice of a physician or other health care provider as a method of delivery of medical care by which an individual at an originating site shall receive medical services which are clinically appropriate for delivery through telehealth from a health care provider at a distant site without in-person contact with the provider.
New Hampshire Legislative Resource Links:
A2004: Non-Residential Property Taxes
Requires municipality to pay certain nonresidential property tax appeal refunds in equal installments over period of three years
S2447: Qualifying Incomes for Military Service Members and Veterans
Requires landlords to count federal military service member and veteran housing allowances as income for purposes of qualifying for rental housing; designated as Securing Electronic Records for Veterans Ease Act.
S1331: Property Tax Deductions and Veterans
Extends eligibility for veterans’ property tax deduction to exemption to residents of continuing care retirement communities.
A1048: Property Taxes
Requires property tax bills to contain eligibility information on State tax relief programs.
A5096: Victims of Superstorm Sandy
Extends foreclosure protection and mortgage relief programs for certain Superstorm Sandy-impacted homeowners.
A5001: Residential Mortgage Foreclosures
Revises statute of limitations for residential mortgage foreclosures.
New Jersey Legislative Resource Links:
HB379: Relating to Acequias
Whenever any person, after due notice, has failed to do work or has failed to pay any amount assessed against the person on any acequia or ditch, the mayordomo or superintendent of the acequia or ditch may bring a civil action for collection of the amount assessed.
HB163: Relating to Taxation
Allows a deduction from net income for income set aside for future distribution from an estate or trust to a non-resident individual.
SB354: Relating to Health Insurance and Telemedicine
A group health plan shall not impose any unique condition for coverage of services provided via telemedicine.
New Mexico Legislative Resource Links:
SB5160: Mortgage Foreclosures
Provides that the defense, in a mortgage foreclosure action, of the plaintiff’s lack of standing is not waived because of the defendant’s failure to raise such defense in his or her responsive pleading.
SB3360: Home Heating Conversions
Home heating conversions require written notice regarding such conversions. Home improvement contractors must include a separate estimate detailing the costs related to the closure, abandonment and/or removal of a home heating oil storage tank.
S03360: Gas and Electric Utilities
Requires gas and electric utilities to make available to landlords or lessors, upon request of prospective tenants or lessees, information concerning gas and electric charges incurred for residential premises.
SB3839: Additional Continuing Education for Real Estate Licensees
Requires the inclusion of instruction in ethical business practices and recent legal matters in the continuing education requirements for real estate licensees.
New York Legislative Resource Links:
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed New York Bills
- New York State Assembly
- New York State Senate
- New York State Association of Realtors Legislative Priorities
- New York HOA Laws and Resources
SB316: Relating to Affordable Housing
Rezoning for density, facilitating the rehabilitation or expansion of infrastructure that will encourage the construction of moderate income housing.
H531: Tenant Protection
Protection of Tenants, restoration of the Federal Foreclosure Act.
North Carolina Legislative Resource Links:
HB1123: Relating to Property and Casualty Insurance
Creates and enacts new rules for Property and Casualty Insurance Risk ratings
HB1439: Relating to Property Tax Exemptions
Property tax exemptions for pipelines used for secure geologic storage
North Dakota Legislative Resource Links:
Ohio Legislative Resource Links:
SB998: Relating to Water, Water Rights and Water Waster
An Act relating to water and water rights; amending 82 O.S. 2011, Section 1020.15, which relates to waste prohibitions; clarifying language; declaring the taking and use of marginal water as a beneficial use; specifying application of act to taking and use of marginal water; requiring Oklahoma Water Resources Board to promulgate certain rules; construing provision; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.
HB1262: Relating to Sales Tax Exemptions and Home Medical Equipment
Exempts home medical equipment transactions from sales tax, which ranges from 9.3% to 10.5%.
Oklahoma Legislative Resource Links:
HB2006: Relating to Affordable Housing
Appropriates moneys to Housing and Community Services Departments for grants to support services and programs for families seeking or needing housing that have very low incomes.
HB3450: Relating to Mixed-Use Housing
Allows city with populations greater than 75,000 not within metropolitan service district to adopt changes to comprehensive plan and land use regulations authorizing mixed-use housing within up to 40 acres of land zoned for employment uses.
HB2001: Relating to Zoning for Duplexes
Requires cities with populations greater than 10,000 or within Metro to allow duplexes in lands zoned for single-family dwellings within urban growth boundary.
Oregon Legislative Resource Links:
HB1896: Relating to Land Use Restrictions
Use restrictions on land in Township of East Vincent, Chester County.
SB130: Relating to Release of Use Restrictions
Release portions of the use restrictions and reversionary interest affecting certain real property in Township of Mahoning and Burough of Danville and County of Montour.
Pennsylvania Legislative Resource Links:
SO201: Relating to Town of Coventry and Land Owners
Enables the town of Coventry to charge owners of lands using the sewage works interest charges in excess of charges paid by the town
H5466/S1023: Relating to Electrical Work Across State
Requires that all electrical work performed in the state be done in accordance with the latest edition of the National Electrical Code.
Rhode Island Legislative Resource Links:
H3145: Relating to Electric Power Cooperatives
Audit of the electric cooperatives that supply power to more than 1.5 million South Carolina residents.
H3630: Relating to Property Tax Penalty
Delay the property tax penalty schedule by three months on real property owned by certain individuals affected by the shutdown of the Federal Government.
South Carolina Legislative Resource Links:
HB1080/HB1081: Relating to Property Tax Exemptions and Disabled Veterans
An act to increase the property tax exemption allowed for certain veterans with a disability and the surviving spouses of certain veterans with a disability. Includes paraplegic or amputee veterans.
HB1079: Relating to Plumbing Work
An act to allow a person to perform plumbing work on the person’s own property without a license and establish a fee.
South Dakota Legislative Resource Links:
SB0433: Home Businesses Operated by a Minor
Prohibits a county or municipality from requiring a license, fee permit or any other kind of regulation for a business that is solely operated by a person under 18, is located on private property with the owner’s consent and grosses $3,000 or less in a year.
HB0051: Proof of Property Tax Payments
Decreases the frequency that banks that collect property taxes must provide evidence of such payments to the trustee, from daily to at least every three business days.
SB1393 /HB1190: Service Animals and Rental Agreements
Establishes process for landlords to verify need of tenants and prospective tenants to have pet policies waived to accommodate the need for a service or support animal; creates penalties for misrepresentation.
Tennessee Legislative Resource Links:
HB24: Property Tax Appeals and Exemptions
Gives state residents a broader right to appeal property taxes and expand the armed forces property tax exemption.
SB246: Urban Farm Minimum Acreage
Lowers the minimum acreage of an urban farm from two acres to one acre.
Utah Legislative Resource Links:
H536 (Act 46): Education Finance
The average homestead education property tax rate, as well as the nonresidential rate (rental and commercial properties, second homes) will increase by approximately one penny.
H.205 (Act 35): Neonicotinoid Pesticides
An act of regulation of neonicotinoid pesticides, by placing restrictions on this class of pesticides.
Act 148: Mandatory Composting
All residents must keep food scraps out of trash cans and instead put into the compost bin. Mandate takes effect beginning July 1, 2020.
Vermont Legislative Resource Links:
SB1737: Temporary Protection against Eviction and Foreclosure Due to Federal Closure or Furloughs
Provides a 30-day stay of eviction and foreclosure proceedings for tenants, homeowners, and owners not currently receiving wages due to government furlough or partial closure of federal government.
HB2252: Firearms Ordinances and Landowners
Allows a landowner whose property, including multiple contiguous parcels, spans two or more localities to elect to have a firearms ordinances of the locality in which the largest portion of the land lies to apply to anyone hunting on any portion of the property, and shall notify the Department of Games and Inland Fisheries of such election.
SB1270: Property Tax Exemption Surviving Spouses of Disabled Veterans
Real property tax exemption for disabled veterans surviving spouses, ability to move to different residence.
Virginia Legislative Resource Links:
SB5998: Real Estate Excise Tax Changes
Real estate excise tax changes from a flat 1.28% of the sales price to a sliding scale.
SB5284: Smoke Detector Requirement for Sellers of Residential Property
Home buyers must have at least one smoke detector installed in the home provided by the seller.
HB1011: Working Forest Disclosure Requirement for Sellers of Residential Property
Buyers of a home near a working forest must be notified by the seller with an explanation to the buyer that normal forest practices are protected against lawsuits under the Right to Farm Act.
Washington Legislative Resource Links:
SB485: Property Insurance
Defining reduction in coverage and clarifying termination for property insurance.
HB3093: Building Code Standards and Manufactured Housing
The purpose of this bill is to require the same building code standards to be applied to manufactured housing as are applied to other housing.
West Virginia Legislative Resource Links:
SB170: Lemonade Stands
Allows minors under the age of 18 to operate temporary stands on private property, without a permit or license. Sets an annual earnings cap of $2,000 and prohibits selling foods that are defined as “potentially hazardous”, like eggs or raw meat.
Wisconsin Legislative Resource Links:
HB0055: Transport of Mobile Homes
An act relating to title and registration; authorizing the use of a copy of a title for the transport of a mobile home; and providing for an effective date.
HB0290: Sale of Foreclosure Properties
An act relating to the code of civil procedure; modifying provisions relating to the sale and redemption of realty sold under mortgage foreclosure or execution; authorizing a certificate of sale as specified; creating a purchaser’s right of entry as specified; and providing for an effective date.
HB0253: Exemption of Water Wells from Regulation
An act relating to public utilities; exempting water wells from regulation by the public service commission as specified; and providing for an effective date.
HB0214: Real Estate Brokers and Record Keeping
An act relating to real estate brokers; decreasing the length of time licensed real estate brokers must keep and maintain records of real estate transactions; and providing for an effective date.
HB0196: Real Estate Subdivisions
An act relating to real estate subdivisions; amending exemptions for subdivisions; limiting the power of county commissioners regarding subdivision exemptions; and providing for an effective date.
Wyoming Legislative Resource Links:
B23-0352: Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Emergency Act Of 2019
Increases transfer and recordation taxes from the current 2.9% to 5% on sales of commercial and mixed-use property valued over $2 million. The increase in transfer and recordation taxes will sunset in 2023, unless extended by the D.C. Council.
Washington, D.C. Legislative Resource Links:
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed Washington DC Bills
- Legislative Information Management System (LIMS)
US Congress (Federal)
SB1749: Protecting Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act of 2019
This bill revises loan seasoning requirements related to a refinanced Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) housing loan. Under current law, the VA is prohibited from guaranteeing a refinanced home loan until the date that is the later of (1) the date on which the sixth monthly payment is made, or (2) the date that is 210 days after the first payment is made. This bill modifies this date to (1) when the borrower has made six consecutive monthly payments, or (2) 210 days after the first payment is due.
Federal Resource Links:
- Legiscan Searchable Database of Passed US Federal Bills
- Federal Laws Governing Homeowners’ Associations
- New California Laws that Affect Homeowners in 2020
- New Texas Laws that Affect Homeowners in 2020
- Tax Deductions For Homeowners Filing in 2020
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