Capitol Insider - February 1, 2013



February 1, 2013


Legislative Update

On the 19th day of the 51st, 1st Regular Legislative Session, 921 bills and 48 memorials/resolutions have been introduced. Out of those, one bill has been signed by the Governor. February 4 marks the last day the Senate may introduce a bill and the following week, February 11, marks the last day the House may introduce a bill. Consequently, the number of introduced bills will significantly increase in the coming week.


HB 2337: Condominium; Planned Communities; Rental Properties

In recent years, it has become an all too familiar practice for homeowners' associations (HOAs) to interfere in the private property rights of a homeowner. Most recently, HOAs have begun to pass rules that limit or completely restrict an individual homeowner's ability to rent their property. In the event that an HOA does permit a homeowner to rent their property, several HOAs have interfered in the private lease contract by not only requiring a copy of the lease agreement, but additionally asking for sensitive personal information of the prospective tenant, such as social security number and credit history.


The most egregious of practices, however, is the HOAs ability to charge a fee for obtaining this personal information. In many cases, these fees have reached into the hundreds of dollars each time a property is rented, ultimately resulting in an exorbitant expense to the homeowner.


This year House Bill 2337 (condominium, planned communities; rental properties) sponsored by Representative Warren Petersen has been introduced to address these practices. The bill would allow a homeowner in an association to rent their property and designate a third-party to act on their behalf. Upon rental of the property, the name, age and telephone number of the tenants as well as the license plate number and vehicle description would have to be provided to the HOA. In an age-restricted community, a government issued identification card must be presented to the association for verification that the tenants meet the age restrictions.


The bill also prohibits an association from requiring or requesting the rental application, a credit report, lease agreement or rental contract and prohibits an association from requiring the tenant to sign a waiver or other documents limiting the tenant's civil rights of due process. Lastly, the bill limits the amount an association may charge as an administrative fee to no more than $25 for each new tenancy, a change from the current unregulated and unlimited amount.


This legislation is a step in further protecting private property rights for homeowners by establishing protections to guard against continued abuses by HOAs to over-regulate, interfered in contractual relationships, require sensitive personal information and unjustly assess costly fees on a property owner.


This bill has been assigned to the House Government Committee. Stay tuned to future Capitol Insiders as this bill progresses through the legislative process.


— NICOLE LASLAVIC, AAR Vice President of Government Affairs


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