Hearing Canceled on Ill-Conceived Rental Licensing Program

The hearing on HB 1199 – Real Property – County Rental Property Licenses – Requirements and Limits was canceled the morning the bill was set to be heard. MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu was set to oppose the bill as it would require counties to establish a licensing program for single-family dwelling units operated as residential rental property and cap licenses for these properties at 15% of all the single-family dwelling units in the county.

From the MACo Testimony:

Counties believe these statewide requirements are arbitrarily established without consideration of local housing policies or needs. They may also result in an artificial limit on rental housing availability and subsequently raise rental costs.

Additionally, the requirements in the bill are burdensome in that they would impose substantial costs and obligations on counties that do not currently operate rental licensing programs. Those counties would require additional administrative staff and inspectors to oversee the properties in addition to other costs to set up the framework to operate such a program. Furthermore, in counties that already have a rental licensing program, the bill unnecessarily preempts local authority to manage rental housing properties as they have already deemed fit and appropriate for their communities.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.