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New Housing Legislation for 2016


See what states across the country are requiring or considering in the new year.

The start of a new year is a good time to put new legislation into effect and review existing regulations to ensure that they reflect constituents' needs and provide maximum efficiency. Some states have established new rules that may affect apartment-community operations, including pest control, building and safety code adherence, and property insurance, as well as discrimination provisions and lease terminations for abuse survivors. 

California, for example, has adopted a host of changes for 2016. In addition to steeper fines for safety and building code violations, mold is now considered a substandard housing condition. And apartment-community owners and managers will need to provide 24 hours' notice of pesticide application inside residents’ apartment homes. 

Also, apartment-community owners and managers are prohibited from discriminating in residency decisions based on citizenship, language spoken or immigration status, and they must allow survivors of domestic violence to terminate their leases with 14 days’ notice instead of 30 days'.

Other states enacting legislative changes of note include: 

  • Georgia (notification to consumer of any personal information shared and with whom as part of background checks); 
  • New York (extension of rent regulation laws, and limits on rent for capital improvements and number of vacant apartment homes for higher-paying residents); 
  • North Carolina (freezing of credit reports for children under 16 to prevent identity theft); and 
  • Oregon (allowance of noncompliance fees for residents who fail to pick up after their pets).
  • Also, New Jersey and Rhode Island are reviewing provisions that would prohibit application fees and remove of date of birth from criminal records, respectively.