2023 REALTOR® Advocacy “Wins” & Milestones
Note: As the year comes to a close, it seems fitting to celebrate the progress made in real estate legislative and regulatory advocacy in 2023, both in Tennessee and at the national level. To our EMTAR members who invest in advocacy, we say THANK YOU! Your involvement makes a huge positive difference! If you’d like to learn more about getting involved, visit here on our website. Here are a few of the many examples of advocacy “wins” over the past year . . .
Successful legislation of interest to Tennessee REALTORS® included:
Prohibiting State Property Tax: HJR81 passed the House 81-11 and will be considered by the Senate next session. Proposed constitutional amendments must pass one general assembly with a majority vote, then the proposed amendment must pass the next general assembly with a 2/3 vote. Following that process, the proposed amendment will appear on ball during a statewide election.
Eviction of Senior Tenants: SB717/HB988 (as amended) only applies to housing for seniors 55 and older that receive federal funding and are being sold for new property development. Those facilities will now be required to provide 60 days’ notice for termination of tenancy if the tenant is not in arrears on rent payments. This legislation took effect on July 1, 2023.
Real Property Records Integrity Act: SB368/HB1182 contracts for services to sell residential real estate consisting of 1-4 dwelling units shall not be recorded and will be found void and unenforceable if the agreement runs with the land or is binding on future owners of interests in the real property OR allows for assignment of the right to provide services without notice to and the consent of the owner OR purports to create a lien, encumbrance, or other real property security interest. Any person who records such an agreement is liable to an affected party for $10,000.00 in statutory damages.
Bills that were not successful that Tennessee REALTORS® opposed included:
Fuel Gas Detector Act: SB1188/HB171 required the installation and maintenance of fuel gas detectors in rooms containing appliance fueled by propane, natural gas, or any liquefied petroleum gas for multi-family occupancy buildings and single-family residential properties that are under a lease agreement.
Notice Requirements for Surveyors: SB1296/HB52 would have expanded the notice requirement for land surveyors conducting boundary surveys by requiring them to notify all adjoining landowners of the survey rather than just when the surveyor discovers or reasonably should have discovered discrepancies between the deed descriptions of the adjoining owners.
National Advocacy Highlights included:
(See more details in each of these national areas on this page.)
Educating on Consumer Protections: NAR provided feedback to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission on tenant screening practices, emphasizing their role in supporting safe and healthy housing communities and NAR’s commitment to ensuring that members carry these out in a way that complies with all CFPB regulations and the Fair Housing Act.
Lowering the Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP): As a result of NAR’s advocacy, the FHA reduced mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs) by 30 basis points, significantly helping new and low- to moderate-income buyers.
Raise the Capital Gains Exclusion: NAR successfully advocated for the introduction of the “More Homes on the Market Act” (H.R. 1321), a bipartisan bill that would incentivize more owners to sell their homes by doubling the maximum amount of capital gains a homeowner can exclude on the sale of a principal residence and annually adjusting it for inflation. This would unlock a significant segment of inventory previously unavailable to prospective buyers.
Increasing Borrower Eligibility: After decades of NAR advocacy, the Federal Finance Housing Agency (FHFA) committed to evaluating and adding additional credit scoring models for borrower eligibility. The new models will incorporate positive rental and utility history, opening opportunities for otherwise-qualified borrowers with “thin” credit files, and giving borrowers credit for making reliable payments on other credit commitments.
Protecting Land Development: NAR is part of a large coalition that has been challenging the overreach of federal environmental regulation on the rights of owners to use and develop private land. The pending Waters of the U.S. (“WOTUS”) litigation is currently stayed in light of the recent Supreme Court decision (Sackett v. EPA), which provided needed clarity under the Clean Water Act and the ability to build on land subject to this law.
Reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): NAR successfully pressed Congressional leaders to successfully extend NFIP through November 17, following our launch of an all-member call for action activating thousands of members to make tens of thousands of contacts with members of Congress. NAR’s estimates that 1,300 real estate transactions are affected each day of an extended NFIP lapse.
You’ll find more information at the following links:
Tennessee REALTORS® Advocacy page (member login required)
About EMTAR: Chartered in 1969, our Association’s 1,300+ REALTORS® are a proud part of the 36,000+ members of Tennessee REALTORS® and of the 1.5 million+ members of NAR, all working to serve the public and protect the rights of America’s property owners. EMTAR members are known not only for their unmatched real estate excellence and high ethical standards, but also for being generous, hospitable, others-focused, loyal, hardworking, and eager to help wherever and whenever help is needed.