Do you own rental property? Then you may want to take a look at US Rep. Barry Loudermilk's House Resolution (HR) 802, The Respect State Housing Laws Act, which proposes an important change to how eviction rules are enforced. This blog post will provide some invaluable insight into this proposed legislation, including what it would mean for you as a rental property owner if it were enacted. So read on to learn more about HR 802 and the impact it could have on your bottom line.
Overview of HR 802, the Respect State Housing Laws Act
Representative Barry Loudermilk of Georgia recently introduced the Respect State Housing Laws Act (HR 802) to restore state authority over housing issues. This legislation seeks to limit the federal government’s power and give individual states control over issues related to eviction proceedings. Proponents of this bill believe that state governments should be in charge of decisions that affect their citizens. While opponents feel that existing protections for renters would be diluted, the intent behind HR 802 is to secure more autonomy for each state regarding housing regulations.
One of the main arguments HR 802 makes is that the current policies surrounding evictions create an undue burden on rental property owners and often conflict with state housing policies. Further, the eviction moratorium essentially strips landlords of the right to effectively manage their properties.
The CARES Act
Passed in 2020 in response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act provided a number of important housing provisions for those struggling financially due to the pandemic. The CARES Act put a temporary moratorium on evictions to keep people in their homes and prevent them from becoming homeless. Now, with the pandemic largely considered to be over, congressional leaders like Loudermilk argue that policies created for it should also be ended.
North Carolina Landlord/Tenant Law
In North Carolina, when a tenant fails to pay rent or otherwise breaks their lease, the landlord can serve an eviction notice. Depending on whether the landlord is suing for possession of the property or back-owed rent, the notice must give information about how the tenant may repay what is owed and vacate the premises within ten days before being taken to court. This is a much shorter timeframe than is currently required for notices by the federal government.
If a tenant is properly notified of eviction proceedings and they’ve taken no action to remedy the situation, then a summary ejectment hearing will occur. This is where a judge will decide if the tenant should be given more time to pay up or be ejected from the rental property. In North Carolina, certain legal steps must be followed before beginning any proceedings for eviction. Landlords should ensure that all paperwork is properly filled out and delivered as state law instructs. Fortunately, one of the biggest perks of working with a professional property management company is that they’re intimately familiar with state landlord/tenant law and can guide landlords through the eviction process, shouldering much of the burden on the owner’s behalf.
Impact of HR 802 on Rental Property Owners
HR 802 proposes to return eviction laws to the states, potentially impacting property owners across the country in various ways. With the CARES ACT still in place, landlords must give tenants 30 days' notice before starting eviction proceedings. However, in most states, the waiting period for filing an eviction is much shorter. While eviction is always a last resort, the month-long wait time can cause significant financial harm to rental property owners. Supporters of this bill (including the National Apartment Association, the Institute of Real Estate Management, and the National Association of Rental Property Managers) suggest that its passage will reduce federal bureaucracy regarding matters such as private tenancy.
Further, HR 802 argues that federal policies regarding eviction proceedings create confusion for landlords, tenants, and the states themselves.
Impact on Renters if HR 802 is Passed
If Rep. Barry Loudermilk's HR 802 is passed, it could have far-reaching implications for renters across the United States. Proponents of HR 802 argue that its passage could lead to lower costs and faster resolutions when it comes to disputes, while opponents worry that revoking the CARES Act provisions would create chaos in the housing industry. Of course, until HR 802 is actually put into motion, we won't truly know how it will affect landlords and tenants nationwide, but regardless, it's worth paying attention to moving forward.
It's clear that if the Respect State Housing Laws Act is passed, it could have profound implications for state housing laws, renters, and property owners alike. While many advocates cite the potential cost savings this bill could bring to rents across different states, there are those who argue it will reduce the quality of rental and ownership standards and lead to an increase in the incidence of eviction. Regardless, one thing is certain: HR 802 has ignited a passionate debate about how regulations should best manage state housing laws. Though opinions may vary on this issue, it is ultimately up to our elected leaders to decide what course of action is most beneficial for their constituents.
At Sweyer Property Management, our main goal is to protect our clients’ investments. Part of this is ensuring that they get the highest return on investment possible. Therefore, we are in strong support of the passage of HR 802. We encourage all rental property owners to read over HR 802’s provisions and contact their congressmen to show support for the resolution.
As a leading property management firm in the Cape Fear region, Sweyer Property Management recommends that property owners strongly consider working with a trusted and experienced property management company. Whether it pertains to the eviction process or another area of handling your investment properties, we want to make sure property owners and investors understand the relationship they are entering into when choosing to work with a property management firm.
If you have investment properties and do not use a professional management company, we hope you consider doing so. The experts at Sweyer Property Management will be happy to provide you with a free rental analysis or, if you prefer, give us a call at 910-239-1338.
Sweyer Property Management is a full-service professional property management company specializing in all aspects of rental management. If you're an investor or property owner looking to learn more about our services and what a professional property manager can do for you, reach out to us today at 910.256.3031 or via our website. Sweyer Property Management has exhibited continuous growth throughout the Wilmington, Leland, and Hampstead areas while maintaining an excellent Google+ rating for customer service.