Legislative Update February 6, 2017

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February 6, 2016

Legislative Update

Kicking off the 2017 legislative session

By Bob Quinn
Government Affairs Director, New Hampshire REALTORS®

The 2017 New Hampshire Legislative session has kicked off, and here are a few of the early session highlights as they pertain to the New Hampshire REALTORS mission of protecting private property rights and your business interests:

Senate Bill 73: DES septic requirements in conversion of a bedroom to an accessory dwellings.

NHAR had engaged the NH Department of Environment of Services (DES) for much of 2016 regarding REALTOR concerns with rules relative to added loadage requirement of septic tanks when an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), or in-law apartment, is added to a residence.

NHAR worked with allies in the legislature to introduce SB 73, which states that no plans, specifications, nor additional load requirements are required whenever an existing bedroom in a single-family residence is converted to an accessory dwelling unit.

The bill is currently being considered in the Senate. NHAR and DES continue to discuss potential changes to DES regulations to resolve our concerns.

HB 654: Short-term rental and municipal regulations.

Once again, the legislature is considering several bill seeking to give municipalities the ability to place onerous and expensive requirements on property owners who are renting their home on a short-term basis. These bills are in response to the rise in popularity of marketing platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway.

HB 654 would give towns the ability to enact any ordinance related to health and safety of a rental unit in a residential structure. That could include mandatory surprise inspections as well as new fees and expenses. Meanwhile, the Senate is considering SB 173, which would allow towns to ban short-term rentals in Accessory Dwelling Units.

NHAR has stopped similar bills in the past and will continue to fight to protect the property rights of homeowners renting out on a short-term basis.

HB 97: Use of drones when marketing real estate.

The intent of the bill is to regulate both governmental and non-governmental uses of drones. NHAR has objected to one section of the bill which would have required permission from neighbors prior to using a drone for marketing of properties when any structure might be visible. NHAR has suggested an amendment to exempt any professional licensed person from that provision of the bill. The bill is still in committee.

For a full review of bills NHAR is tracking in the legislature, click here.

For more information, contact NHAR Government Affairs Director Bob Quinn at 603-225-5549or bob@nhar.com


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