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  • Summary date: Feb 14 2023 - View Summary

    Enacts new Article 9, Housing Market Manipulation, in GS Chapter 75, providing as follows. Sets out NCGA findings related to the state's urban growth, businesses purchasing homes as rental properties, and home ownership. States that the NCGA seeks to balance the interests of building wealth through the use of business entities acquiring properties for rental purposes against the State, local, and individual economic benefits that result from having a citizenry broadly engaged in and accruing the advantages attendant to home ownership.

    Makes it illegal for any person (as defined), including affiliates of the person, to purchase a single-family home in a qualifying county for a purpose other than for use by the person as a residence if the person, including affiliates of the person, owns 100 or more single-family homes in qualifying counties that are used primarily for rental purposes. Defines a qualifying county as a county with a population greater than 150,000 as of the most recent decennial census. Defines a single family home as a residential structure that is either a fully detached or semi-detached building or that is a row or town home that (1) is separated from the adjacent unit by a ground-to-roof wall, (2) does not share heating or air-conditioning systems or utilities, and (3) does not have units located above or below.

    Gives the Attorney General the same authority under this Article to make rules, conduct civil investigations, bring civil actions, and enter into assurances of discontinuances as provided under GS Chapter 75. Allows the court to award or impose any relief available under GS Chapter 75. Allows bringing a civil action for violations, allowing courts to impose civil penalties of up to $100 per day for each single-family home acquired in violation of this Article. Also allows the court to award a prevailing plaintiff one or more of the following: (1) equitable relief; (2) damages; (3) costs and fees, including reasonable attorneys' fees; and (4) exemplary damages equal to the greater of $50,000 or three times the total of damages, costs, and fees. Allows awarding a prevailing defendant costs and fees, including reasonable attorneys' fees, upon a finding by the court that the action was not well-grounded in fact and warranted by existing law or was interposed for any improper purpose.

    Sets out the process for the joinder of interested parties. Provides that if a party is unable to pay an amount awarded by the court, the court may find an interested party joined as jointly and severally liable for violation of the Article and make the award recoverable against any or all of the joined parties.

    Specifies that the Article does not limit rights and remedies available to the State or to any person under any other law and does not alter or restrict the Attorney General's authority under this Article concerning conduct involving assertions of violations of this Article.