Sine Die! General Assembly Adjourns 2012 Session

The 2012 session of the NC General Assembly adjourned this past Tuesday after winning legislative tussles with Governor Perdue over the state budget, fracking and the death penalty. The three veto overrides provided an anti-climatic finale to a short session that saw much accomplished to improve the state’s business climate — while also leaving some key real estate industry priorities unfinished. Here’s a summary of the key bills that found their way to the Governor’s desk … and a few that didn’t.

I’m a LAW! …

    SB 521 – Broker Price Opinions – The biggest industry win of the session, this legislation allows brokers to provide BPOs and CMAs for a fee under limited circumstances. REBIC and our member associations strongly supported this bill and helped lobby for its passage late in the session. Signed by Governor Perdue on July 13. For more on this important legislation, see our Blog post HERE.SB 42 – Mechanics Liens / Private Lien Agent – Requires contractors and suppliers to give notice to a third-party Lien Agent designated by the property owner to preserve their lien rights. This critical legislation, which has been signed by the Governor, helped avert a potential title insurance crisis in North Carolina. You can read more about it in our recent Blog post.HB 199 – Metal Theft Prevention Act of 2012 – Toughens penalties for copper theft and requires registration of metal recyclers. HB 493 Landlord Tenant Law Changes – Amends the laws related to Landlord and Tenant relationships, giving property owners more flexibility on the use of deposits and helping to expedite the eviction process.SB 810 Regulatory Reform Act of 2012 – Makes numerous changes to state administrative rulemaking procedures, directs DENR to track and report on permit processing times. While not yet signed by the Governor, it is expected to become law.HB 925 Annexation Reform 2 – This bill, opposed by the City of Charlotte and the North Carolina League of Municipalities, changes the state’s involuntary annexation procedures, requiring majority vote of all residents in an area before annexation may occur.

Still just a bill …

    SB 731 Zoning/Design and Aesthetic Controls – Our biggest disappointment this session was our inability to move this important legislation out of the House Commerce Committee. The bill, which passed the Senate last year, would have limited structural design & aesthetic controls on residential construction. Local governments mobilized to defeat its passage, and it was assigned to a subcommittee early in the session, from which it never emerged. We plan to work with the North Carolina Home Builders Association and the North Carolina Association of Realtors in 2013 to reintroduce this legislation and fight for its passage.Rental Registration Fix –REBIC and our member associations were lobbying for legislation that would have restricted the authority of local governments to enact mandatory Rental Registration programs and bring clarity to a bill passed in 2011. But disagreements over specific language meant this effort will also have to wait until January.

Thanks to all our members who phoned or e-mailed their legislators to help get some of these bills passed! And a special thanks to those who took time out of their schedules to make a trip up to Raleigh to personally walk the halls of the Legislative Building. Your efforts helped make the difference for our industry!


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