It’s Time for the Last Legislative Update of 2020

It’s been a wild year for rental housing legislation. Last year everyone was worried about emotional support animal laws, rent price ceilings, and even criminal history limitations. It seems like so long ago that New York banned criminal background checks. The new year hit with a bang and instead of all those things that plagued our minds in 2019 like ban-the-box, 2020 has a different way to make you feel the burn.

In August we discussed the four different levels of heat when it came to rental housing legislation. It’s time for the yearly round-up: what laws made you sweat in 2020, and what’s changed over the last few months?

Mild chili pepper

Starting Off Mild

It’s been a wild year for rental housing legislation. Last year everyone was worried about emotional support animal laws, rent price ceilings, and even criminal history limitations. It seems like so long ago that New York banned criminal background checks. The new year hit with a bang and instead of all those things that plagued our minds in 2019 like ban-the-box, 2020 has a different way to make you feel the burn.

In August we discussed the four different levels of heat when it came to rental housing legislation. It’s time for the yearly round-up: what laws made you sweat in 2020, and what’s changed over the last few months?

Sealed eviction records don’t exactly make a property owner or manager’s job easy. Unfortunately, one trend that continued from 2019 was that of rental protections, including sealing records. With B23-0941/B23-0940, Washington D.C. is sealing off more records. Should eviction judgements rule in the tenant’s favor, the record will be sealed. If it is ruled in the property owner’s favor, the record will still be sealed, just in three years. It’s not exactly a win-win scenario if you forget this law exists and deny an applicant based off of an older eviction on their background report.

See what CIC is doing to protect you from these liabilities

Mild chili pepper

Starting Off Mild

Sealed eviction records don’t exactly make a property owner or manager’s job easy. Unfortunately, one trend that continued from 2019 was that of rental protections, including sealing records. With B23-0941/B23-0940, Washington D.C. is sealing off more records. Should eviction judgements rule in the tenant’s favor, the record will be sealed. If it is ruled in the property owner’s favor, the record will still be sealed, just in three years. It’s not exactly a win-win scenario if you forget this law exists and deny an applicant based off of an older eviction on their background report.

See what CIC is doing to protect you from these liabilities

Medium Spice

Medium Well-Done

Halt and let me see your papers! That’s right, even landlords with just a handful of properties might need to have everything registered. Property owner and managers’ names, addresses and other contact information could have to be readily available thanks to Virginia’s HB 1516. Any property with three or more units fits these requirements and could be required to have a property manager completely around the clock. We’ll have to wait and see as this slow-burn of a bill is slated to be reviewed further in 2021.

hot chili peppers

Hot and Spicy

Medium Spice

Medium Well-Done

Halt and let me see your papers! That’s right, even landlords with just a handful of properties might need to have everything registered. Property owner and managers’ names, addresses and other contact information could have to be readily available thanks to Virginia’s HB 1516. Any property with three or more units fits these requirements and could be required to have a property manager completely around the clock. We’ll have to wait and see as this slow-burn of a bill is slated to be reviewed further in 2021.

hot chili peppers

Hot and Spicy

Does anything sound quite as scary as a ‘rent cancellation act?’ New York has always been a good hub of fear and this just goes to show. Still pending, the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020, or S 8802, would let all renters forget about the rent due between March 7th of 2020 until 90 days after the state of emergency ends. Not paying fees of any kind during this period couldn’t be held against them and that includes not being able to evict them. On the bright side, mortgages would also be put on pause. Maybe just keep an eye out in New York, and we’ll keep you updated on how this comes along.

Does anything sound quite as scary as a ‘rent cancellation act?’ New York has always been a good hub of fear and this just goes to show. Still pending, the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020, or S 8802, would let all renters forget about the rent due between March 7th of 2020 until 90 days after the state of emergency ends. Not paying fees of any kind during this period couldn’t be held against them and that includes not being able to evict them. On the bright side, mortgages would also be put on pause. Maybe just keep an eye out in New York, and we’ll keep you updated on how this comes along.

A Cool Glass of Milk

Anyone who’s dared try a hot pepper challenge knows water is the worst thing to try and calm your tongue. What you really need is milk. Ice cream, sorbet, really any nice, thick and cold form of dairy is the best way to stop the swarm of needles in your mouth. And so, we bring you this good news! California bill AB-1436 failed. This would have been a form of tenant protection for COVID-19, prohibiting property managers from both using security deposits to aid in rental debt and collecting said debt for fifteen months after the state of emergency was over. Not to mention that tenants wouldn’t need any proof that they were even affected by the pandemic. This bill has failed so you can take a breather, but keep an eye out because it’s likely a similar bill with show up in 2021 and you’ll want to be ready to make your voice be heard.

Of course, that’s all the tip of the iceberg. 2020 has been a year like no other and legislation has been struggling to keep up with everything that has happened. If that bit of milk has helped ease the way, then it’s time to check out our full break down of recent legislation. Read our full legislative update for free and be sure to subscribe so you can see all future changes.

A Cool Glass of Milk

Anyone who’s dared try a hot pepper challenge knows water is the worst thing to try and calm your tongue. What you really need is milk. Ice cream, sorbet, really any nice, thick and cold form of dairy is the best way to stop the swarm of needles in your mouth. And so, we bring you this good news! California bill AB-1436 failed. This would have been a form of tenant protection for COVID-19, prohibiting property managers from both using security deposits to aid in rental debt and collecting said debt for fifteen months after the state of emergency was over. Not to mention that tenants wouldn’t need any proof that they were even affected by the pandemic. This bill has failed so you can take a breather, but keep an eye out because it’s likely a similar bill with show up in 2021 and you’ll want to be ready to make your voice be heard.

Of course, that’s all the tip of the iceberg. 2020 has been a year like no other and legislation has been struggling to keep up with everything that has happened. If that bit of milk has helped ease the way, then it’s time to check out our full break down of recent legislation. Read our full legislative update for free and be sure to subscribe so you can see all future changes.

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Nicole Seidner

Cole Seidner is a copywriter here at the CIC Blog. She holds a degree in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design with a focus in creative nonfiction. Her free time is spent taking pictures of her dogs or reading deep dive analysis on movies that she hasn’t seen.

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