NCVRMA Legislative Update – July 2021
The pace at the legislature has slowed a bit as state budget work is underway. The Senate passed their budget on June 25. The House is currently working on their budget. After the House passes its proposed budget, then the conference committee process starts. The conference committees mark the start of the two chambers negotiating on the differences between their two budgets.
In addition to the House and Senate working to pass a state budget, this year Governor Cooper announced that the negotiations will be trilateral as legislative leaders have agreed that his administration will be a part of the conference committees.
Governor Cooper did veto the General Assembly’s budget proposals for the last two years so this appears to be a step in the right direction in passing a state budget.
During the last legislative update, you were provided with information on HB30-Southern Shores Eminent Domain and HB352-Hotel Safety Issues.
House bill 30 has successfully passed both chambers. As a reminder, NCR did not take a position on this bill. However, we did monitor it to ensure local governments were given no greater abilities than is already allowed.
House bill 352 did pass the House but died as a standalone bill in the Senate. The provisions of the bill are now included in HB366-Regulatory Reform Act. It received a favorable vote on June 29 in the Senate Agriculture, Energy and Environment committee.
The bill would classify people staying in hotels for less than 90 days as transient occupants and not tenants. Therefore, hotel owners could remove people without getting a court-ordered eviction. NCR does not have a position on this bill but has been monitoring it to ensure there are no changes made to landlord tenant laws unintentionally.
The topic of love letters continues to be discussed and debated. Sellers are receiving love letters in order to influence their decision making as they decide which offer to accept. In the May e-bulletin, the Commission stated that love letters could potentially cause a fair housing violation risk. There are differing opinions within the real estate community on this issue but ultimately, love letters are not illegal.
NC Home Inspector Licensure Board Update (NCHILB)
One issue has resulted as a hotly debated topic this year, that is the issue of walk through inspections, also called walk and talk inspections. Buyers are asking for 30-minute walk and talks in order to move the process faster and gain an edge over other buyers in this highly-competitive real estate market. There is growing concern that walk and talks don’t meet the standards of practice requirements because there is no written report issued. Licensed inspectors are required to follow the standards of practice.
Appraisal Board Update
The Appraisal Board is also dealing with a hot topic this year. That is the issue of fair housing and appraisal reports. Discrepancies on appraisals and the issue of discrimination has become an issue frequently reported in the media. Numerous articles have highlighted appraisals on the same property varying significantly depending on the race of the homeowner. This issue will be addressed with education focusing on understanding fair housing and avoiding unintentional biases when conducting an appraisal.
Please add to your calendar the September 15-16 virtual State of Real Estate event. We are excited about this year’s conference. We will take a look at the state of real estate post pandemic. Experts will discuss NC’s changing demographics, economic development, and commercial real estate as we head into recovery from the pandemic. The event will also feature a discussion on housing affordability and availability. We will end both days by taking a deeper dive into these on the local level.