Legislative Update: February 2, 2022

Legislative Update: February 2, 2022

Eviction notification, lead paint fund, license reciprocity

By BOB QUINN
Chief Executive Officer

Here is a summary of a few of the bills NHAR is following as part of the 2022 legislative session in Concord:

Bill makes eviction notification requirements clear as mud

Senate Bill 217 would alter the eviction notice requirements that landlords of restricted properties must provide to tenants when either selling a property or undertaking repairs to the dwelling which require the property to be vacated. In either case, and regardless of if a tenant has a lease or is month-to-month, the legislation would require the landlord to provide at least a 60-days notice – but with exceptions.

The Senate Commerce Committee has recommended the bill should pass. NHAR testified against the bill.

The original version of the bill would have required 90 days notice if the reason for the eviction is due to the property being sold or repaired. 

However, the sponsor dropped that to 60 days if the property is to be sold or if needed for repairs, unless the repairs "are required for the health and safety of the tenant or other tenants who reside in the building; or are required to prevent the deterioration of the dwelling unit or other dwelling units in the building.”  In those situations, 30 days notice would be sufficient. 

NHAR stated in the hearing that in a lease situation, the tenant is aware of the end of that lease, and therefore additional notification should not be required. It does not appear that any New England state requires more than 30 days notice for any type of eviction. 

The amended language of SB 217 makes the statutory language in RSA 540:2, II confusing, although the amended version of the bill will likely only apply to certain, rare evictions in restricted properties.

The full Senate will vote on the bill next week.

Bill would give lead paint loan fund a boost

Senate Bill 371 would make an additional $3 million appropriation from the general fund to the lead paint hazard remediation fund. NHAR supports the bill.

The Lead Paint Hazard Remediation Fund was created in 2019 by the legislature in order to create a revolving loan program to assist owners of residential properties and child care facilities to address lead paint hazards. It is administered by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA).  

NHHFA testified that virtually all of the initial $3 million appropriated in 2019 has been expended through loans to residential properties – no child care facility has applied. Loans are deferred and below market interest rate, and they are payable upon sale to capitalize a revolving loan fund.

The Senate Finance Committee unanimously supported the bill, and the full Senate will vote on SB 371 next week.

Legislation creates new “recognition of licensure” process 

Earlier this week, the House Executive Departments and Administration Committee heard testimony on House Bill 1354, which would allow a person who holds an active real estate license in another state to apply for  a New Hampshire license by only taking the New Hampshire portion of the licensing examination, and not the national exam, provided that other requirements of the Real Estate Commission have been met. 

New Hampshire currently has reciprocity agreements with a few states. However, this bill would “recognize” licenses in any state and provide an expedited process for those out-of-state licensees to seek licensure in NH.

The bill applies to salesperson and broker applicants only when such applicants are applying for a New Hampshire license with equivalent status as currently licensed in the qualifying jurisdiction.

NHAR supports the bill, although some tweaking of the language is likely needed. 

For more information, contact New Hampshire Realtors CEO Bob Quinn: bob@nhar.com.

"Amidst the sea of change to which the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS has played witness in its 85 years, one thing that has remained constant is the Realtor 'R' and the value we bring to every real estate transaction in which we take part. We are part of a unique community where our familial cooperation transcends our business competition. These are not mere platitudes, but our living ideals, and they are, in fact, the foundation on which we conduct ourselves in our day-to-day affairs."

Adam Gaudet, 2022 President, New Hampshire REALTORS