2012 Changes to Real Estate Law, Commission Rules

Following is a summary of changes to the Real Estate License Law and Commision rules during 2012:

Commission Rules

Residential Property Disclosure Form. The form has been modified for easier completion by users. (See the article in this issue of the Bulletin, beginning on page 1).

(Temporary Rules) Broker Price Opinions/Comparative Market Analyses. Non-provisional brokers may now prepare broker price opinions for fees.(See the article in this Bulletin beginning on page 1).

Real Estate License Law

Broker Price Opinions/Comparative Market Analyses (S521). See Session Law 521 on the General Assembly Web site and the article in this issue of the Bulletin on page 1.

Rental Property/Lithium Battery Smoke Alarms (S77). Provides that after December 31, 2012, landlords shall, when installing a new smoke alarm or replacing an existing smoke alarm, install a tamper resistant, ten-year lithium battery smoke alarm except in certain cases, and providing that landlords may deduct from the tenant security deposit damage to a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm, as recommended by the Child Fatality Task Force. 

Landlord Tenant Law Changes (H493). Amends  the laws related to landlord tenant relationships including tenant appeals in evictions and abandoned property, and permitted uses of a tenant security deposit. Establishes a process whereby a landlord may remove from a residential dwelling unit tangible personal property belonging to a deceased tenant after filing an affidavit with the clerk of Court in the county in which the residential dwelling unit is located.  Provides that a vacation rental agreement may include a cleaning fee, the amount of which shall be provided in the agreement, reasonably calculated to cover the costs of cleaning the residential property upon the termination of the tenancy. (See the May 2012 issue of the Bulletin for a discussion of Fair Housing Law relating to tenant rights).

Severance of Mineral Rights Disclosure (S820). Requires almost all contracts for sale of residential properties on or after October 1, 2012, to include a disclosure explaining the severance of mineral rights and disclosing whether the seller (1) has knowledge that mineral rights were severed from the property  by a previous owner; (2) has previously severed the mineral rights from the property; and (3) intends to sever the mineral rights from the property prior to transfer of title to buyer. (See the article on “Fracking” in this issue of the Bulletin on page 6).

This article came from the October 2012-Vol43-2 edition of the bulletin.