Bill Summary for S 326 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

Jun 29 2016

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
Senate Bill 326 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 18, 2015
AN ACT REVISING THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH COUNTIES AND CITIES MAY INSPECT BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES.
Intro. by Gunn, Meredith, Apodaca.

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Bill summary

House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition. Deletes the contents of the previous edition and replaces it with the following.

Changes the long title to AN ACT REVISING THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH COUNTIES AND CITIES MAY INSPECT BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES. Changes the short title.

Amends GS 153A-364, concerning county inspections of building and structures when there is reasonable cause to believe that unsafe or hazardous conditions exist, providing that "reasonable cause" means that the property (was, landlord or owner) has a history of more than four verified violations (was, more than two) of the housing ordinances or codes within a rolling 12-month period (was, just a 12-month period). Also provides that the inspections department cannot discriminate between owner-occupied or tenant-occupied buildings. Deletes language referring to periodic inspections in lieu of inspections in general. Provides that counties can require inspection as part of a targeted effort to respond to blighted or potentially blighted conditions. Sets limitations on the total aggregate of targeted areas in the county to be no greater than one square mile or 5% of the area within the county, whichever is greater. Sets out other limitations for targeted area designations. Deletes a provision that provided the county cannot discriminate in selecting targeted areas for inspections.

Adds provisions providing that the county can require only owners or managers of individual rental units having either more than four verified violations in a rolling 12-month period or two or more verified violations in a rolling 30-day period, or if the property is identified as being in the top 10% of properties with crime or disorder problems, to obtain permission before leasing property or register the property. Sets out new provisions establishing when a special fee or tax can be levied on residential rental property. Also prohibits the county from providing that any violation of a rental registration ordinance is a criminal offense, or requiring owners or managers of rental property to submit to an inspection before receiving any utility service provided by the county. Includes language defining verified violation. Deletes GS 153A-364(d) concerning the levy of fees for residential property registration for specified rental units. Enacts new GS 153A-364(e) and (f), providing that if a property is identified as being in the top 10% of properties with crime or disorder problems, then the county must notify the landlord of any crimes, disorders, or other violations that will be counted against the property to allow the landlord an opportunity to correct the problems. Sets out ways the county or sheriff must help landlords in addressing criminal activity. Sets out an appeals process and procedures for action taken by the county against an individual rental unit, providing decisions can be appealed to specified entities if created and functioning, or to the county manager or designee. 

Amends GS 160A-424, concerning city inspections of building and structures when there is reasonable cause to believe that unsafe or hazardous conditions exist, providing that "reasonable cause" means that the property (was, landlord or owner) has a history of more than four verified violations (was, more than two) of the housing ordinances or codes within a rolling 12-month period (was, just a 12-month period). Also provides that the inspections department cannot discriminate between owner-occupied or tenant-occupied buildings. Deletes language referring to periodic inspections in lieu of inspections in general. Provides that cities can require inspection as part of a targeted effort to respond to blighted or potentially blighted conditions. Sets limitations on the total aggregate of targeted areas in the county to be no greater than one square mile or 5% of the area within the city, whichever is greater. Sets out other limitations for targeted area designations. Deletes a provision that provided the city cannot discriminate in selecting targeted areas for inspections.

Adds provisions providing that the city can require only owners or managers of individual rental units having either more than four verified violations in a rolling 12-month period or two or more verified violations in a rolling 30-day period, or if the property is identified as being in the top 10% of properties with crime or disorder problems, to obtain permission before leasing property or register the property. Sets out new provisions establishing when a special fee or tax can be levied on residential rental property. Also prohibits the city from providing that any violation of a rental registration ordinance is a criminal offense or requiring owners or managers of rental property to submit to an inspection before receiving any utility service provided by the city. Includes language defining verified violation. Deletes GS 153A-364(d) concerning the levy of fees for residential property registration for specified rental units. Enacts new GS 153A-364(e) and (f), providing that if a property is identified as being in the top 10% of properties with crime or disorder problems, then the city must notify the landlord of any crimes, disorders, or other violations that will be counted against the property to allow the landlord an opportunity to correct the problems. Sets out ways the city or police department must help landlords in addressing criminal activity. Sets out an appeals process and procedures for action taken by the city against an individual rental unit, providing decisions can be appealed to specified entities if created and functioning, or to the city manager or designee.

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