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Louisiana REALTORS® Recap of the 2018 Regular Legislative Session

Louisiana REALTORS® is happy to report that the real estate industry came out of the 2018 Regular Legislative Session unscathed once again.  In large part, the bills that Louisiana REALTORS® supported are awaiting action on the part of the governor and bills that Louisiana REALTORS® opposed were either heavily amended to remove our opposition or stalled in the legislative process.

Below is a summary of key bills tracked by Louisiana REALTORS® and where they stand in the process at of the time of this post.  For further information on these or any other pieces of legislation, please contact Kim Callaway, kim@larealtors.org, (225) 923-2210.

HB No. 383/ Voluntarily Deferred in House Committee

This bill was Louisiana REALTORS® first-time home buyer rebate proposition. 

·         While the bill did not reach the finish line due to budget constraints, it did allow Louisiana REALTORS® to promote the benefits of homeownership and highlight the struggles first-time home buyers face in today’s environment. 

·         These discussions with legislators will better position Louisiana REALTORS® with future legislation filed to help first-time home buyers pursue the American dream of home ownership.

<<Read more from the latest version of the bill>>

HB No. 372/Sent to the Governor

House Bill No. 372 would require administrative rules sought to be promulgated by boards and commissions, including but not limited to the Louisiana Real Estate Commission (LREC), to undergo additional review to ensure that members who sit on occupational licensing will avoid liability under federal antitrust laws. 

·         At the request of the author, Louisiana REALTORS® was at the table at every meeting where associations representatives negotiated committee amendments for the bill. 

·         Louisiana REALTORS® worked tirelessly with representatives of a coalition of 50+ national and state associations to ensure that amendments were adopted to put the bill in a posture that Louisiana REALTORS® and most associations accepted. 

<<Read more from the latest version of the bill>>

HB No. 617/Sent to the Governor

Representative Hilferty filed this bill on behalf of Louisiana REALTORS® to clarify some matters following the Valobra v. Nelson case pertaining to the residential property disclosure form.

·         The bill clarifies that the residential property disclosure form is required to be executed for all subsequent transfers following the property being transferred through a succession. 

·         The bill further clarifies that the seller must disclose whether there was a meth lab on the property to be sold that is still on the list of contaminated properties maintained by the Department of Environmental Quality.

<<Read more from the latest version of the bill>>

HB No. 659/Involuntarily Deferred in House Committee

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 had amendments adopted to address those concerns.

·         However, the bill still failed to pass due to opposition from the towing industry.

Louisiana REALTORS® is proud that we were able to convince the author and the committee of the need to preserve property rights and that the bill was changed to address our concerns.

<<Read more from the latest version of the bill>>

HB No. 748/Sent to the Governor

This bill would have potentially given the state authority over certifications and designations that REALTORS® are awarded by the National Association of REALTORS® and certifications issued by private organizations in other professions and occupations. 

·         The author stated that this was not her intent and had amendments adopted to remove this portion of the bill.

·         However, the bill also sought to establish questionable policy regarding the standards by which the state could legitimately regulate any occupation or profession.

·         Due to the concerns of Louisiana REALTORS® and almost 50 other organizations of professions and occupations, the bill was largely amended in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and International Affairs to only require a review of all agencies that issue professional and occupational licenses and a timeline for that review. 

<<Read more from the latest version of the bill>>

SB No. 462/Vetoed

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 have instead allowed municipalities and parishes to offer VOLUNTARY economic incentive policies to promote the development of affordable housing.

Governor Edwards vetoed this bill stating that it may jeopardize federal funding available to local governments for affordable housing programs.  However, in his veto message Governor Edwards stated that he is not opposed to signing similar legislation next year if local governments do not actively pursue inclusionary zoning strategies within the next year.

<<Read more from the latest version of the bill>>

<<Read the veto message>>


SB No. 466/Act No. 416

As filed, this legislation proposed a law change on security deposits for residential leases and potentially placed many additional burdens on residential lessors. Therefore Louisiana REALTORS® was initially opposed to the bill. 

·         However, after amendments were put on the bill it now only provides that a tenant would have the right to recover the amount of the portion of any security deposit wrongfully withheld and $300 or twice any portion of the security deposit wrongfully withheld, whichever is greater.

·          Prior law allowed the tenant to recover actual damages or $200, whichever was greater.

·         These amendments significantly altered the bill and removed not only Louisiana REALTORS® opposition but also the opposition of the Apartment Association of Louisiana.  

<<Read more from the latest version of the bill>>