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2017 Legislative Update: Week 0

Posted by taylor on January 20th, 2017

On Monday January 23rd the 2017 Utah State Legislature will begin its annual 45 day session. Each week the Utah Apartment Association will update you on issues that will affect the Rental Housing Industry.

Following are some of the issues you should be aware of: 

PAC Fundraising Report - 2016
2016 was a record year for UAA Political Action Contributions. 678 members contributed to the PAC in 2016, for the total of $88,160 - a UAA record. PAC funds are used to support candidates who understand and support our issues such as the Governor, Speaker of the House and President of the Senate, who are all Landlords and UAA members.

In 2017 our goal is to raise $100,000 and to increase the percentage of members who contribute to the PAC. The more members who have "skin in the game" and help fund our tremendously successful efforts the better it will be for the industry. In 2016, 678 of our 3,500 members contributed to the PAC. That was less than 20%. Our goal in 2017 is to see 40% of our members support the PAC. 

Rental Assistance Guarantee Fund
The Governor has put in his budget a request for between $500,000 and $1 million to fund a rental housing guarantee program. This fund will increase the opportunity for hard to house tenants who receive Section 8 vouchers to cover rent by allowing landlords who are damaged to apply for the fund. In essence, the State of Utah would be a limited guarantor and mitigate damage to the landlords by reimbursing for the costs of evictions, property damages, and attorney's fees. Landlords will have to obtain a judgement to qualify. 

More details to follow. The bill will be sponsored by Representative Rebecca Edwards (R), Bountiful.

Current Bills we are Tracking
There are only a couple of other bills public so far pertaining to our industry.

HB 83: Rental Housing Application Disclosure Amendments is a bill that we oppose, but are working with the sponsor to find compromise (we will report more on this next week).

SB 52: Rental Amendments is a bill we have negotiated with Senator Fillmore, (R), South Jordan, and support. We will write more on this next week as well.

We also know Representative Brian King, (D), Salt Lake City is running a bill again to prohibit cities from making denial of individuals with criminal histories a condition of being in a Good Landlord program. We expect more developments on that issue soon.

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