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Updates from Bills discussed in Week 3

House Bill No. 659, Representative Kenny Havard, Limitations on Non-Consensual Towing

This bill would have put additional requirements on property owners who have vehicles towed off their lots for parking violations. Louisiana REALTORS® raised several concerns and the bill’s author was agreeable to preserving current law and property rights by amending the bill to address those concerns. However, the bill was defeated after much opposition from the towing industry.

House Bill No. 617, Representative Stephanie Hilferty, Residential Property Disclosure

Louisiana REALTORS® had this legislation filed to clarify existing law following the Valobra v. Nelson case and subsequent changes to the residential property form.

The bill passed the House with unanimously and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

Senate Bill No. 462, Senator Danny Martiny – Inclusionary Zoning

Currently, Louisiana allows municipalities and parishes to pass inclusionary zoning ordinances to promote the development of affordable housing.  Inclusionary zoning requires housing developers to sell or rent a proportion of their units below market rate, regardless of the economics of a project or whether the developer receives just compensation. Senate Bill 462 would instead allow municipalities and parishes to offer VOLUNTARY economic incentive policies to promote the development of affordable housing.

Louisiana REALTORS® will be resending a call to action next week to members who have not responded to the call to action on this important bill.

Additional Bills

House Bill No. 386, Representative Katrina Jackson, Changes to Security Deposits for Residential Leases

This bill proposed a law change on security deposits for residential leases and potentially placed additional burdens on residential lessors. Louisiana REALTORS® was opposed to certain components of this bill. The bill was defeated in the House Commerce Committee after much debate.  There is a similar Senate bill that we will continue to monitor.

House Bill No. 653, Representative Simon, Includes Elevators and Escalators as Life Safety Equipment

This bill would require property owners to register elevators and escalators in their commercial buildings with the State Fire Marshal and to allow the state fire marshal to inspect these devices.

REALTOR® members expressed concerns that there are currently parishes and municipalities that already inspect these devices and the proposed law would have property owners in these areas subject to two inspections.   An amendment was placed on the bill to exempt parishes and municipalities that are already inspecting these devices therefore only requiring property owners in these parishes and municipalities to have their elevators and escalators inspected by one entity.

Regulation of Boards and Commissions

Several bills are going through the legislature to modify how boards and commissions operate.  Some of these bills would have an impact on real estate licensees and LR will continue to work with the authors of these bills and will update members on changes or impacts as session progresses.