Capitol Connection – March 23, 2018
Senate Bill 18-015: Protecting Homeowners And Deployed Military
SB18-015, sponsored by Senator Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), Senator Hill (R-Colorado Springs), Representative D. Williams (R-Colorado Springs), and Representative Liston (R-Colorado Springs), allows for the removal of an unauthorized person from a residential property within 24 hours based on an affidavit from the true property owner. The rightful property owner is subject to the penalty of perjury if the information they report on the affidavit is inaccurate. The Colorado Association of REALTORS (CAR) Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) supports this legislation and sees this as a problem that is occurring statewide.
On Wednesday , the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee heard testimony on SB18-015 from several witnesses including CAR. The bill was laidover for action at a later date, and we are aware that an amendment may be offered to allow for an emergency process adding another 24 hours of time before a homeowner could remove an unauthorized person from their property. This amendment could allay some of the potential opposition’s concerns and CAR will be vigilantly monitoring the next steps and hearing for this important legislation for property owners.
The unauthorized occupation of property poses a real menace to real estate when an unauthorized occupant moves into a vacant apartment or house without the consent of the true owner. Frequently houses targeted by unauthorized occupants are foreclosures or properties under-going renovations, but they can also be homes offered for sale by owners. In some egregious cases, families have returned home from a vacation to find unauthorized occupants living in their homes.
The result is that under existing laws, true property owners must spend time and money to go through lengthy eviction proceedings to remove these squatters from their properties. SB18-015 is a common sense public policy solution that would: 1) Give rightful property owners a remedy to remove unauthorized persons and lessen damages to private property; 2) Give law enforcement officials the tools and necessary procedures to deal with this problem, which is not adequately addressed in current statute; 3) Protect consumers from becoming a victim of these types of scams; and 4) Deter fraudulent transfers of real estate and trespasser events that threaten private property rights
House Bill 18-1227: Real Estate Commission Flexibility in License Period
HB18-1227, sponsored by Senator Cooke (R-Greeley), and Representatives Wist (R-Centennial) and Herod (D-Denver), is a clean-up bill for the 2017 real estate sunset bill. In the sunset bill, the expiration date of real estate licenses changed from an anniversary date to a calendar renewal on December 31st of the third year after issuance. However, the legislative legal services committee had a few concerns about some rules promulgated to effect this change and therefore a clean-up bill this year will address those concerns to ensure that real estate licenses can be renewed on the calendar date instead of the anniversary date. CAR’s LPC and the Division of Real Estate support this legislation.
On Wednesday the Senate Committee on Business, Labor, and Technology adopted an amendment that corrects a minor drafting error and HB18-1227 passed out of committee unanimously and will now be sent to the consent calendar of the Senate floor. As amended in the House and Senate committees the bill now will allow for calendar renewals of licenses and clear up some of the confusion around the transition period.
Several of our rural members and local boards previously did not have the same access to a quality transition course. Some do not have offerings because only one type of education service provider can offer the course and this would mean members would have to travel long distances to meet their requirements. Additionally, depending on the timing of their renewal date during that transition period, some transitioning licensees could be closer to a more current annual update course offering and the transition course would be dated since it is only updated once in 5 years. The number of continuing education requirements will remain the same under the amendments, but in the transition license period two annual update courses will be required and the rest of the requirements can be met with elective courses.
Senate Bill 18-007: Affordable Housing Tax Credit
SB18-007, sponsored by Speaker Duran (D- Denver), Senator Guzman (D-Denver), Senator Tate (R-Centennial), and Representative J. Becker (R-Fort Morgan), renames the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) to the Colorado Affordable Housing Tax Credit and extends the program through 2024, which was originally set to expire in 2019. On Monday, the House Finance Committee heard SB18-007 and adopted one amendment to the bill which allows smaller scale investors to participate in the state affordable housing tax credit without having to meet the federal partnership definition. This legislation, as amended, passed out of committee and will next be heard in the House Appropriation Committee.
CAR’s LPC strongly supports this legislation and as affordable housing advocates, CAR has historically supported LIHTC. Since 2015, this program has supported the development of over 4,000 affordable rental housing units and generated over $463 million in private sector equity to support Colorado’s affordable housing needs.
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Upcoming Events: NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings (May 14-19, 2018)
The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo is where NAR members take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. REALTORS® come to Washington, DC, for special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show. Registration is now open. Click here for more information.
This year, NAR has held the REALTOR® Legislative Meetings schedule from 2:00PM to 4:30PM on Wednesday, May 16th to allow time for Capitol Hill Visits. For Colorado, we have 9 Members of Congress visits to complete on Capitol Hill. While we will try to schedule as many meetings as possible during this NAR designated time frame, we will not be able to fit all of these meetings into this window. As we approach May, CAR Staff will be in contact with attendees regarding our hill visits meeting schedule for your constituent meetings with your Members of Congress.
Sign up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts
More than 50,000 REALTORS® from across the country have already signed up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts – have you? Text CO REALTORS to 30644 to stay up to date on REALTOR® issues! You’ll be among the first to know about NAR Calls for Action and more! Click here for more information.
Invest in RPAC
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Colorado Project Wildfire
Developed by the Colorado Association of REALTORS®, Project Wildfire is designed to help reduce the destruction of land, property, and lives. Working in partnership with other like-minded fire prevention organizations across the state, local REALTOR® associations are bringing education and awareness, as well as access to resources, directly to residents in their local communities. To learn more about Colorado Project Wildfire, click here.