TAA will post information about legislation affecting the multi-family housing industry as it occurs. See below for recent information.
You can also like our Facebook page and get news, alerts and updates: www.facebook.com/tennesseeapartmentassociation

Download copy of the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (updated July 13, 2016)

Download copy of the TAA Comprehensive Bill Report April 28, 2016

On Wednesday, March 9, members of the Tennessee Apartment Association travelled to Washington, DC, to participate in the National Apartment Association’s Capitol Conference Lobby Day 2016. As we met with the eleven members of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation, we emphasized the importance of the industry by highlighting the economic impact of apartment homes and their 38 million residents. Country-wide, the industry contributes $1.3 trillion to the economy and supports more than 12.3 million jobs annually. Changing demographics and lifestyles have resulted in a growing demand for rental housing. Local, state, and federal level partnerships play a key role in ensuring there is housing to meet this demand. Only through collaboration between the government and the private sector can we reach the shared goal of providing a variety of quality housing options for all Americans.

In terms of legislation and policy, we discussed three topics: the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and reauthorization, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Housing Accessibility.

NFIP, a critical risk-management tool that provides many at-risk apartments with their required flood coverage, is set to expire in September 2017. Because the private flood insurance market is limited and often cost restrictive, the apartment industry supports the long-term reauthorization and reformation of NFIP in order for it to remain financially solvent and able to continue guaranteeing at-risk property owners flood coverage.

Housing providers have very specific responsibilities under both the ADA and the Fair Housing Act to ensure that their communities are accessible to people with disabilities. As the widely-dubbed “drive-by lawsuits” continue to increase, litigation solely for financial gain is growing with no intention on the part of litigants to improve accessibility needs. A bipartisan measure exists that would provide a business owner up to 120 days to cure an alleged violation or defect prior to the initiation of a lawsuit. The apartment industry supports this legislation as a means to reduce complaints motivated purely by financial gain.

The apartment industry also supports common sense reforms of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program in order to streamline property inspection requirements, ensure and continue the voluntary nature of the program, and predict funding from Congress and honor existing contracts. Legislation has passed the House that encourages such reform. Both Senators Alexander and Corker were asked to support the same measure in the Senate.

At the state level, TAA’s bills of interest continue to move through the committee process. TAA’s rent control restriction legislation continues to gain support from interest groups and passed out of the House committee with a unanimous vote in favor of the legislation. The wastewater treatment authority legislation is currently making its way through committee. Various amendments have been placed on the bill. Those are being monitored very closely to ensure that the end result addresses the problems that are occurring in Hamilton County. Finally, the domestic violence amendment that was drafted by TAA was supported by various interest groups including the group that initiated the legislation. The bill as amended passed out of the House committee with unanimous support. The legislature is still aiming to adjourn by the middle of April. A comprehensive summary and update will be provided to you upon the conclusion of the legislative session.

(posted 3/17/16)

Legislative Alert: TAA is monitoring the following bills before the 109th General Assembly (2015-2016)

SB 459 (Bell) HB 185 (Butt) Prohibits the infringement or restriction of private property rights.
SB 1446 (Yarbro) HB 1426 (Jernigan) Authorizes Davidson County to issue bonds for affordable housing.
SB 1488 (Green) HB 1467 (Johnson) Fees for sheriffs and constables.
SB 1636 (Haile) HB 1632 (Casada) Prohibits mandatory inclusionary zoning policies.
SB 1646 (Bailey) HB 1689 (Gravitt) Formula for calculating hearing costs in property tax appeals.
SB 1816 (Kelsey) HB 1930 (M. White) Publication of notice of intent to enforce tax lien.
SB 1884 (Tate) HB 2335 (Shaw) Complaints with the TN Human Rights Commission
SB 1885 (Stevens) HB 1673 (Marsh) Defines short-term rental units.
SB 1887 (Niceley) HB 1956 (Johnson) Exempts Montgomery County from the application of the URLTA.
SB 1897 (Dickerson) HB 1846 (Jernigan) Certain public housing authorities exempt from property tax liability.
SB 1904 (Johnson) HB 2555 (Durham) Employment verification requirements for certain employers.
SB 1907 (Dickerson) HB 2392 (Littleton) Protection order forms on web.
SB 1916 (Dickerson) HB 1798 (Clemmons) Makes clarifications to TN Condominium Act of 2008.
SB 2028 (Briggs) HB 1773 (Zachary) Agency seizing property responsible for paying reasonable expenses.
SB 2053 (Gardenhire) HB 2289 (Howell) Increase of litigation tax from $6 to $9.
SB 2173 (Tate) HB 2235 (Cooper) Time frame for abatement of blighted property.
SB 2277 (Kyle) HB 2089 (Hardaway) Creates a domestic violence offender registry.
SB 2284 (Kyle) HB 2104 (Hardaway) Creates a domestic violence offender registry.
SB 2300 (Kyle) HB 1932 (M. White) Expands the applicability of the Neighborhood Preservation Act.
SB 2314 (Kyle) HB 2515 (Coley) Termination of rental agreement by victim of sexual assault.
SB 2325 (Kyle) HB 2435 (Cooper) Termination of rental agreement by victim of sexual assault.
SB 2364 (Watson) HB 2381 (Carter) Sunset - Hamiltion County water wastewater treatment authority.
SB 2370 (Watson) HB 2119 (McCormick) Recovery of charges for providing water, wastewater, or sewer services.
SB 2496 (Roberts) HB 2554 (Durham) Increases penalties for businesses the employ illegal immigrants.
SB 2592 (Norris) HB 2116 (McCormick) Prohibits landlord from evicting victims of domestic abuse.
SB 2600 (Norris) HB 2036 (Faison) Classifying property as low-income housing property.
:
Look up each bill here.

(posted 2/2/16)


PRIOR YEARS:

Final Legislative Report May 7, 2015

Below is the final legislative report for the 2015 legislative session. Included in this report is a summary and status update for all bills identified as bills of interest or concern by TAA. The bills that are highlighted are those bills that have either been enacted as a public chapter or have been sent to the Governor for his signature. Once they receive the Governor’s signature, they will be given a public chapter number by the Secretary of State and will be effective upon the date stated in the legislation.
Looking forward, it’s important to note the bills that lacked movement this year. Because a General Assembly is two legislative session, bills introduced in 2015 are still active in 2016 so long as the bills did not fail in committee. I will continue to monitor these bills as well as the new bills to be introduced in January.
As always, for questions regarding these or other legislative matters, please contact Catie Lane Bailey at cbailey@millermartin.com.

SB67 / HB29 Eviction notice for certain actions.
Category: Property & Housing
Sponsors: Sen. John Stevens / Rep. Bill Sanderson
Description: Allows a landlord to provide three days' notice, as sufficient notice of termination of tenancy, for eviction of certain residential tenants if the tenants engage in certain violent activities.
Amendment: House Amendment 1, Senate Commerce & Labor Committee Amendment 1 (004031) specifies that the three days' notice of eviction is not sufficient notice to evict residential tenants who are mentally or physically disabled from a housing authority.
Senate Status: 04/02/2015 - Senate passed.
House Status: 03/30/2015 - House passed with amendment 1.
Executive Status: 04/22/2015 - Enacted as Public Chapter 0172 effective April 16, 2015.

SB197 / HB119 Posting and mailing of detainer summonses by constables.
Category: Public Employees
Sponsors: Sen. Rusty Crowe / Rep. Bud Hulsey
Description: Includes constables, along with sheriffs, as eligible persons who may act to satisfy the service of process requirements for actions involving forcible entry and detainer.
Senate Status: 03/30/2015 - Senate passed.
House Status: 03/19/2015 - House passed.
Executive Status: 04/22/2015 - Enacted as Public Chapter 0160 effective April 16, 2015.

SB371 / HB296 Prohibited discrimination - sexual orientation and gender identity.
Category: Judiciary
Sponsors: Sen. Sara Kyle / Rep. Sherry Jones
Description: Adds sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to the list of characteristics protected from discrimination or harassment in employment, public accommodations, housing, financing, insurance, education, in places where alcoholic beverages are consumed, real estate, public utilities, tax exemptions, the profession of healing arts, health facilities, and welfare in the state. Creates criminal violation of civil rights intimidation based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
Senate Status: 02/11/2015 - Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.
House Status: 03/25/2015 - Failed in House Consumer & Human Resources Subcommittee.

SB474 / HB787 Prohibits requirement for fire sprinkler in townhouses.
Category: Government Regulation
Sponsors: Sen. Mike Bell / Rep. Ryan Williams
Description: Exempts the requirement of fire sprinkler systems for townhouses. Defines "townhouses" and requires them to be considered a separate building with independent exterior walls separated by a two-hour fire resistance rated wall assembly. Requires townhouses to be built according to local and statewide adopted building codes.
Amendment: Senate amendment 1 (004568) specifies that a townhouse must be built according to local and statewide adopted building codes, but that a fire sprinkler system will not be required for a townhouse. Allows local governments to adopt mandatory sprinkler requirements for townhouses by local ordinance if passed by a two-thirds vote.
Senate Status: 03/26/2015 - Senate passed with amendment 1.
House Status: 04/13/2015 - House passed.
Executive Status: 04/30/2015 - Signed by governor.

SB548 / HB501 Secure Home Act.
Category: Property & Housing
Sponsors: Sen. Todd Gardenhire / Rep. JoAnne Favors
Description: Allows a domestic abuse victim, who is a tenant under a rental agreement, to submit a written request to the landlord to change the locks of the leased premises if a protective order has been issued. Requires the landlord, at the landlord's expense, to change the locks on the leased premises by the close of the next business day after receiving a written request. Allows the tenant to change the locks if the landlord fails to change the locks and deduct the cost from the next rent payment. Requires a landlord to change the locks on a leased premises upon receipt of a written request if a tenant, whose locks have been already been changed, subsequently obtains an additional protective order for the benefit of the tenant or a household member. Authorizes the landlord to charge a fee to the tenant not exceeding the reasonable cost of changing the locks. Grants immunity to the landlord from any cause of action by any tenant or household member that arises out of acts by a protective order respondent occurring between the submission of a proper written request and the expiration of the period.
Senate Status: 02/12/2015 - Referred to Senate Commerce & Labor Committee.
House Status: 02/18/2015 - Referred to House Business & Utilities Subcommittee.

SB565 / HB575 Crimes regarding structure declared unfit for human occupation or use.
Category: Criminal Law
Sponsors: Sen. Doug Overbey / Rep. Dale Carr
Description: Creates Class B misdemeanor for violating an order to vacate a structure declared unfit for human occupation or use, and for an owner, manager, or person responsible for a structured declared unfit for human consumption or use to permit or facilitate occupancy of the structure.
Amendment: House amendment 1 (003744) changes the word "permits" to "authorizes."
Senate Status: 04/14/2015 - Senate passed.
House Status: 03/19/2015 - House passed with amendment 1.
Executive Status: 04/30/2015 - Enacted as Public Chapter 0244 effective July 1, 2015.

SB584 / HB232 Person offering short term rental to transient pays hotel taxes.
Category: Taxes Business
Sponsors: Sen. Doug Overbey / Rep. Dale Carr
Description: Defines "short term rental" to mean a room, apartment, condominium, house, or any other dwelling unit or part of a dwelling unit furnished to transients for sleeping purposes in exchange for consideration. Requires any person who furnishes a short term rental to a transient shall pay all applicable taxes and obtain a local business license that must be displayed on rental premises and on any marketing materials or web site offering short term rental or rent.
Amendment: House Business & Utilities Committee Amendment 1, Senate Commerce & Labor Amendment 1 (005440) defines short-term rental. Requires any person who furnishes a short-term rental to pay occupancy tax, sales tax and any other applicable tax and obtain a local business license. Requires licenses to be displayed on the premises and any materials/website. Short-term rentals do not apply to the principal residence of a person who furnishes to transients less than 15 days per year. Short-term rentals are not subject to commercial property tax. Effective date of January 1, 2016.
Senate Status: 03/31/2015 - Failed in Senate Commerce & Labor Committee after adopting amendment 1 (005440).
House Status: 04/14/2015 - House Finance Subcommittee deferred to first calendar of 2016.

SB764 / HB666 Three year statute of limitations for personal injury actions.
Category: Judiciary
Sponsors: Sen. Todd Gardenhire / Rep. Andrew Farmer
Description: Extends statute of limitations for personal injury causes of action to three years, instead of one year, after the cause of action accrued.
Senate Status: 02/18/2015 - Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.
House Status: 02/19/2015 - Referred to House Civil Justice Subcommittee.

SB987 / HB914 Accept payments in lieu of taxes from certain lessees.
Category: Government Regulation
Sponsors: Sen. Mark S. Norris / Rep. Pat Marsh
Description: Authorizes industrial development corporations and health, educational, and housing facility corporations created by counties or cities to accept payments in lieu of taxes from lessees of low-income housing projects, provided that they meet certain conditions.
Amendment HOUSE AMENDMENT 1 (003786) specifies that the authority for a corporation to negotiate and receive from a lessee of the corporation payments in lieu of taxes with respect to a tax-credit housing project when that authority has been delegated to a corporation by a municipality is not limited. HOUSE AMENDMENT 2 (005079) changes effective date to July 1, 2015.
Senate Status: 04/22/2015 - Senate passed.
House Status: 04/14/2015 - House passed with amendments 1 and 2.
Executive Status: 04/22/2015 - Sent to the speakers for signatures.

SB1036 / HB917 Use of smoke alarms in rental units.
Category: Property & Housing
Sponsors: Sen. Bill Ketron / Rep. Dale Carr
Description: Establishes changes to the use of smoke alarms in one-family and two-family rental units, one-family and two-family dwellings, apartment buildings, and hotels. Establishes smoke detectors to be installed in accordance with applicable building construction safety standards and in accordance with the manufacturer's directions, as opposed to the 2003 International Residential Code.
Amendment: House amendment 1, Senate amendment 1 (003797) removes language in the original bill that permitted smoke alarms to be hardwired directly to a building's power supply. Retains language permitting smoke alarms to be wired directly to a building's power supply.
Senate Status: 03/30/2015 - Senate concurred in House amendment 1.
House Status: 03/23/2015 - House passed with amendment 1.
Executive Status: 04/14/2015 - Enacted as Public Chapter 0120 effective January 1, 2016.

SB1062 / HB128 Removal of conviction-related questions on job applications.
Category: Public Employees
Sponsors: Sen. Lee Harris / Rep. Brenda Gilmore
Description: Prohibits certain state agencies or political subdivisions from asking an applicant to disclose conviction history until it is determined that the applicant meet the minimum employment qualifications for the position.
Senate Status: 02/19/2015 - Referred to Senate State & Local Government Committee.
House Status: 02/11/2015 - Referred to House State Government Subcommittee.

SB1118 / HB732 Davidson County - powers of public housing authority.
Category: Property & Housing
Sponsors: Sen. Jeff Yarbro / Rep. Harold Love Jr.
Description: Removes exclusion for Davidson County to allow Davidson County, like other cities and counties under present law, to delegate its public housing authority the power to negotiate and accept payments in lieu of taxes from lessees that operate publicly owned low-income tax credit property.
Senate Status: 03/19/2015 - Senate passed.
House Status: 04/06/2015 - House passed.
Executive Status: 04/30/2015 - Enacted as Public Chapter 0222 effective July 1, 2015.

SB1129 / HB1144 Increases water authorities' power to collect delinquent debts.
Category: Utilities
Sponsors: Sen. Todd Gardenhire / Rep. Susan Lynn
Description: Specifies that water companies shall not be prevented from providing water and wastewater treatment authorities with information about water customers that could be reasonably be used to locate such persons or to collect delinquent debts. Expands authority of municipalities to collect delinquent or past due sewer charges. Also expands ability of water and wastewater authorities to discontinue water service to sewer users who fail to pay sewer service charges, penalties or other fees, who fail or refuse to comply with sewer authority regulations, or who fail to properly comply with the sewer authority's requirements for a financial deposit. Exempts board members of a water and wastewater treatment authority from the 12 hours of training and continuing education required for the board of commissioners of utility districts. Specifies that board members of water and wastewater treatment authority shall receive compensation of not more than $1,000 per month.
Senate Status: 02/19/2015 - Referred to Senate Energy, Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee.
House Status: 03/24/2015 - Taken off notice in House Business & Utilities Subcommittee.

SB1141 / HB1258 Disclosure of mold in residential units.
Category: Property & Housing
Sponsors: Sen. Reginald Tate / Rep. Johnnie Turner
Description: Requires any residential landlord to certify in writing to any prospective tenant, prior to entering into a rental agreement, that the residential landlord does not know or have reasonable cause to know that mold exists in the dwelling unit and building. Requires the landlord to disclose information and measures taken to remove mold if the landlord knows that mold has been present. Requires landlord is disclose to any current tenant the presence of mold if the landlord knows or has reasonable cause to know that mold is present. Does not require landlords to perform or conduct air or surface tests unless a current tenant notifies the landlord of potential mold.
Senate Status: 02/19/2015 - Referred to Senate Commerce & Labor Committee.
House Status: 02/24/2015 - Referred to House Business & Utilities Subcommittee.

SB1216 / HB1254 Combining or subdividing properties for tax sale purposes.

Category: Taxes Property
Sponsors: Sen. Jack Johnson / Rep. Charles M. Sargent
Description: Requires any person who claims to be the owner of an interest or lien in a parcel and every guardian, conservator, attorney in fact, or other person having a fiduciary relationship with a minor, an incompetent, or other person claiming to be the owner of an interest in a parcel must register the document effecting ownership, interest, or lien with the office of the register of deeds in the county which the parcel is located. Specifies that a judgment of personal liability for unpaid personal property taxes may be enforced as any other judgment and may be recorded in one or more offices of registers of deeds and made a lien against the judgment debtor's other property .Specifies that property taxes shall become and remain a personal debt of the property owner or property owners and, when delinquent, may be collected by suit as any other personal debt. Allows the claim for the debt and the claim for enforcement of the lien to be joined in the same complaint. Specifies that the chancery court shall have broad discretion in determining whether a parcel shall be sold separately, combined, or subdivided and sold. Establishes process and notices requirements. Specifies that an order confirming the sale of a parcel shall confer the right to possession of the parcel to the purchaser effective upon entry of the order and the risk of loss shall transfer from the original owner to the purchaser. Specifies that any person successfully challenging the validity of a tax sale of the person's interest in a parcel shall also be responsible to the person purchasing the property at the tax sale and the purchaser's successors in interest, for any increase in the value of the parcel, including any improvements. Allows an order confirming the sale of a parcel to be voidable by the court. Clarifies procedure for dealing with excess tax sale proceeds. Revises other provisions concerning tax sales.
Amendment SENATE AMENDMENT 2 (006401) deletes and rewrites the bill in its entirety. Authorizes enforcement of judgment through judgment liens, including durability, priority, and renewal, and makes such judgments no longer subject to the statute of limitation established by this chapter for unpaid property taxes. Authorizes local governments to retain all previous forms of enforcing debt payments for tax liens. Declares that property taxes remain a personal debt of the property owner or property owners as of January 1, and, when delinquent, may be collected by suit as any other personal debt. Declares that involved parties in tax proceedings have constructive notice of the property seizure. Requires 12 percent interest per year for redemption of property. Authorizes the court to determine when a redemption has been fully made. Declares that upon entry of an order of the court declaring that the redemption is complete, title to the parcel be restored. Authorizes lienholder who redeems the parcel to thereafter proceed to foreclose upon the parcel or otherwise enforce such lien. Generally limits challenges to delinquent tax sales. Deletes language that requires owners of a property interest to register the document related to the interest with the county register of deeds and binds persons failing to do so to judgments, findings, orders, and precedents rendered or established in the proceedings. Exempts property tax proceedings, property tax liens, or the enforcement of property tax liens from the taxpayer remedies for disputed taxes enumerated in the Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 67, Chapter 1, Part 18.
Senate Status: 04/16/2015 - Senate passed with amendment 2.
House Status: 04/20/2015 - House passed.
Executive Status: 04/27/2015 - Sent to governor.

SB1372 / HB1270 Additional victims receive victims' rights.
Category: Criminal Law
Sponsors: Sen. Sara Kyle / Rep. G.A. Hardaway
Description: Adds victims of domestic assault, violation of an order of protection or restraining order, stalking, and vandalism or false imprisonment of a domestic violence victim to those that are entitled to receive victims' rights. Broadly captioned.
Amendment House Civil Justice Committee amendment 1 (004756) makes the bill. Broadens the Victims' Bill of Rights in Title 40, Chapter 38, Part 1 to include victims of domestic assault, violations of orders of protection or restraining orders, stalking, and domestic victims of vandalism and false imprisonment entitling them to notification of all proceedings and of the release, transfer, or escape of the accused or convicted person.
Senate Status: 04/08/2015 - Senate Judiciary Committee deferred to 2016.
House Status: 04/21/2015 - House Finance Subcommittee deferred to 2016.

TENNESSEE GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS 2014

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, Tennessee voters made their decisions on several important issues, including four Constitutional amendments. The political landscape of the state legislature ultimately remains the same, but that of the United States Congress changed
dramatically with Republicans now controlling both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. The GOP will have at least 52 seats in the U.S. Senate. In the U.S. House of Representatives, the Republicans are expected to increase their 234 majority by 13-15 seats which will be the largest Republican majority since the Presidency of Harry Truman. The Tennessee delegation, comprised of 7 Republicans and 2 Democrats, all won their re-election bids.

Despite a closer than anticipated primary battle, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander captured 62% of the vote defeating East Tennessee Democrat Gordon Ball. With Republicans taking control of the U.S. Senate, it is anticipated that Senator Alexander will be appointed chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. This is a very important committee to the business community as it deals with many employment, labor, NLRB appointments, healthcare and educational proposals. The biggest immediate question is whether Congress will pass an omnibus spending bill for FY15 in the lame duck session. Beyond securing adequate funding for key housing programs, an omnibus spending bill would offer the opportunity to achieve two key non-spending housing policy priorities: expanding access to the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and authorizing an energy efficiency Pay for Success (PFS) pilot program. However, it is more likely that Congress will instead pass another short term Continuing Resolution (CR) and possibly end up with a year-long FY15 CR. FY16 was shaping up to be a very difficult appropriations year regardless of politics, due to factors such as decreasing Federal Housing Agency (FHA) receipts leaving less funding for HUD programs, a potential funding shortfall for the Project Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) account, and tightening overall budget caps. These factors are unchanged by the election, though the approaching debt ceiling and other fiscal deadlines, as well as the possibility of a long term CR, offer the possibility that the new Republican majority will seek further cuts to government spending.

A tax extenders package is considered must-pass legislation; the housing and community development industries are working hard to ensure that any extenders package includes minimum rates for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and an extension of the New Markets
Tax Credit. The biggest unknowns are whether a tax extenders package will be finalized in the lame duck session or pushed into the new Congress, whether any extenders in the package will be made permanent, and if the package will extend tax provisions for one year or two. LIHTC legislation is also expected to appear before the Tennessee state legislature. The new Congress is likely to continue the housing finance reform debate, but is unlikely to enact legislation. The next chairman of the Senate Banking Committee will likely be Senator
Richard Shelby (R-AL) who voted against the bipartisan Jonson-Crapo housing finance reform legislation in May and has been an outspoken critic of the bill’s general approach to reform the government sponsored entities. If Senator Shelby becomes chairman, the Senate debate may 12669578v1 27389-0001 move considerably to the right, with an emphasis on a much smaller role for the federal
government in the mortgage market. In perhaps the most surprising news of the elections, all four constitutional amendments on Tennessee’s election ballot were overwhelmingly approved. This comes as a surprise to many who predicted that complex language and ballot confusion would present challenges to approval of the proposed amendments to Tennessee’s constitution. The approved amendments focused on (1) constitutional neutrality on abortion restrictions, (2) authorizing retention elections for appellate and supreme court justices, (3) banning a state income tax, and (4) authorizing charitable non-profit veteran’s organizations to hold lottery fundraiser events. In the Tennessee House of Representatives, Republicans gained three seats and now hold a 73-26 majority over Democrats. Republicans picked up the three seats in defeating Representative Gloria Johnson (Knoxville), Representative John Tidwell (New Johnsonville), and retiring Independent Representative Kent Williams (Elizabethton) was replayed by Republican John Holsclaw. Howe Democrats were able to hold onto three crucial seats as Representative Bo Mitchell (Nashville) and Representative David Shepherd (Dickson) defeated challengers, and District 43 (White, Grundy and part of Warren Counties) recently held by Republican Paul Bailey (who was successful in his bid for the State Senate) was won narrowly by Kevin Dunlap. The House will see a total of sixteen new members in the lower chamber. At the moment, it is expected that most House Republican leadership positions are safe. However, there have already been some challenges to some from other Republican Caucus members. In the State Senate, Republicans now hold a 28-5 majority picking up two seats previously held by Democrats. Overall the State Senate will see a total of seven new members in the body. Democrats failed to win any open seats, and lost two previously held seats to Republicans – Kerry Roberts (Springfield) and Ed Jackson (Jackson). There are no expected leadership changes in the Tennessee State Senate. The Tennessee Apartment Association has flourished at the state level in recent years under a Republican majority. As pro-business legislators continue to be elected, it is likely that TAA initiatives will continue to achieve success for the most part. Without a significant change in the political landscape of the Tennessee General Assembly, TAA members can expect to see maintained momentum and support for the multifamily housing industry.

2013 Legislative Overview

The Tennessee Apartment Association had a very successful year on Capitol Hill. As the 2013 Legislative Session comes to an end, TAA is very pleased with the outcome of the bills it monitored. The 108th General Assembly has proved to be focused on initiatives that promote a business friendly environment in Tennessee.

Bills Passed

TAA supported a piece of Landlord friendly legislation that would allow a Landlord to terminate a rental agreement if the premises are damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty to an extent that restoring the premises to its undamaged condition requires the unit to be vacant. This legislation was sponsored by Representative William Lamberth and Senator Bill Ketron, and passed unanimously on both the House and Senate Floors after moving through the committee process. Upon being signed by the Governor, this bill will become effective July 1, 2013, and will apply to new rental agreements entered into as well as those renewed on or after this date.

TAA also supported a bill that removes provision in the Uniform Landlord and Tenant Act prohibiting public housing projects in Hamilton and Rutherford counties from charging more than $5.00 per month for the late payment of rent or charging a late fee unless more than 15 days have elapsed since rent was due. This bill successfully made its way through the committee process, and passed in both the House and the Senate chambers.

Bills Defeated

TAA was able to defeat legislation that would require 24-hour notice of approximate time of removal pursuant to writ of possession. This bill would hold the plaintiff liable for damages to the defendant’s removed personal property if these notice requirements are not followed.

TAA was also able to defeat legislation that would allow a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking to terminate a least or rental agreement if notice and documentation that the tenant is a victim are presented to the landlord.

Bills Monitored

Additionally, TAA monitored eight bills without taking an official stance. This was done because the captions of the bills (a brief statement that describes what the bill proposes to do) opened a section of the Tennessee Code Annotated that could potentially affect the multi-family housing industry. Each bill was watched closely to ensure that it was not amended to accomplish an objective other than its original purpose. None were amended, and TAA remained neutral on each of the eight bills.

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Frequently Used Documents:

Non-Smoker Protection Act

Tennesse General Assembly Information

Tennessee Real Estate Commission opinion on licensing for our industry

Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act
Updated April 28, 2014


   

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