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NAA Leaders Address Industry Concerns in Model Landlord and Tenant Legislation

Model Landlord and Tenant Legislation

Since 2010, NAA has been monitoring the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) as it works to update the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTA). This model landlord and tenant legislation was first created in 1972, but has not been updated since. 

The proposed URLTA draft under consideration gives NAA pause. It contains burdensome requirements on rental housing providers, particularly in the areas of security deposits, early termination for victims of domestic and sexual violence, disposition of abandoned property and deceased tenant’s property, and retaliatory evictions. 

To ensure that the apartment industry’s concerns are addressed, NAA assembled a working group, led by the 2013 NAA State and Local Issues Chair, Mike Clark of Alpha-Barnes Real Estate Services, to make recommendations to remedy these issues. To accomplish this, the working group walked through the proposed URLTA revisions on a series of conference calls prior to the ULC’s November 2013 meeting. 

Along with regional representatives from the working group, NAA staff presented these recommendations at the ULC’s meeting. The regionally diverse, in-person representation gave ULC members a real sense of the unintended consequences the revised URLTA may have on rental housing providers.

NAA made significant strides at the ULC’s meeting. Among other victories, the ULC removed Article 11 in its entirety. Article 11 would have departed from the common law on assignments; specifically releasing the assignor from liability if the landlord consents to an assignment. NAA’s working group recommended that the ULC remove this section because of the possible implications the section would have on rent‐controlled and off‐campus student housing. 

The ULC will hold two additional meetings and has a revised target date of 2015 for completion of the URLTA revision. NAA staff is currently reviewing this timeline and considering next steps for the ULC’s March meeting. NAA continues to work with the ULC on the proposed URLTA draft and will activate the NAA affiliate network to promote the apartment industry’s interests with their local commissioners who serve on the ULC.

Special thanks go to Mike Clark for his leadership and shepherding this process; Paul Cohen of Cohen and Willwerth, P.C., David Mintz of the Texas Apartment Association, and Joe Puckett of the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association for attending the ULC’s meeting as regional representatives; and other members of the Landlord/Tenant Working Group for their valuable insights.

A report briefly describing the outcome of each recommendation is available upon request.