A bill that sets limitations on local Rental Registration programs is awaiting Governor McCrory’s signature today, after passing both chambers of the General Assembly in a flurry of eleventh-hour lawmaking last week.
SB 326, ‘Local Gvmts/Bldgs/Structures/Inspections’, prohibits mandatory Rental Registration programs like the City of Charlotte’s, as well as mandatory inspections of rental units, or the assessment of criminal penalties for the violation of any Rental Registration ordinance.
The legislation does allow cities and counties to require the registration of individual rental units that have:
- More than four verified housing ordinance or code violations in a rolling 12-month period; or,
- Two or more verified housing ordinance or code violations in a rolling 30-day period; or,
- Been identified as being within the top 10 percent of properties with crime or disorder problems, as set forth in a local ordinance.
The bill also prohibits local governments from levying special fees or taxes on residential rental property that does not meet the criteria listed above, and capped those fees at $500 in any 12-month period the property is found to be in violation. SB 326 also disallows local governments from requiring any rental property owner from submitting to an inspection before receiving utility service.
If signed by the Governor as expected, the law would take effect January 1, 2017.
REBIC has long supported legislation to prohibit mandatory Rental Registration ordinances such as the one Charlotte enacted in 2013. Thanks to Representatives Bill Brawley (R-Matthews) and Senator Rick Gunn (R-Burlington) for their leadership in getting this important legislation passed!