2015 Legislative Session Update: Week Six

2015 Session Updates ,

We have just finished week six of legislative session and we are on the countdown to the final stretch! Here are all the important movements on FAA’s priority issues.

Building Codes and Maintenance: SB 1232 sponsored by Sen. Wilton Simpson, has passed the Senate Community Affairs Committee; a committee substitute, which includes the FAA maintenance amendment, has been added to the bill text. SB 1232 is now on the calendar in the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee. Its companion, HB 915 sponsored by Rep. Dane Eagle, will be heard in the House Committee on Regulatory Affairs on Tuesday.

How this affects you: SB 1232 allows apartment workers who hold a Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT) to perform HVAC and AC repairs costing less than $1,000. Currently, maintenance workers are not legally allowed to perform any work in AC or HVAC units, and this would reduce costs for apartment communities by enabling them to utilize onsite employees rather than outsourcing to contractors.

Unlawful Detention by a Transient Occupant: HB 305 sponsored by Rep. Shawn Harrison, has passed the house. Its Senate companion, SB 656 sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala, been placed on the Senate Special Orders Calendar for its first reading.

How this affects you: HB 305 reforms the current process for evicting a transient occupant of a property (an occupant who is not on a lease and is not a permanent resident of the property). The bill would alleviate the need for a court order to remove the transient, and would allow a law enforcement official to eject the occupant immediately on grounds of criminal trespass, as long as the current lease holder or owner filed a sworn affidavit regarding possession of the property.

Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure: Senate Bill 524 sponsored by Sen. Darren Soto, passed through the Senate Banking and Insurance committee, and will be heard in the Senate Rules committee. The house companion, HB 779 sponsored by Rep. Mia Jones, passed the House judiciary committee.

How this affects you: This bill creates a state level solution to the now expired federal ”Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Bill.” The bill requires that a new owner of a recently foreclosed property give tenants a notice to vacate the residence at least 90 days before the purchaser intends to occupy the residence. In situations in which a lease exists and the purchaser does not intend to occupy the residence, the tenant can continue to stay until the end of the lease. This bill continues the practice that a lease supersedes a foreclosure, unless the new owner intends to occupy the property.