MACo: Let Locals Strengthen Mold Escrow Requirements

On February 2, 2022, Associate Policy Director Dominic J. Butchko testified before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee in support of SB 320 – Mold Inspections and Remediation – Standards, Reporting, Penalties, and Tax Crediwith amendments. This bill requires local health inspectors to conduct visual mold inspections during regular inspections of apartments. The bill also preempts local escrow laws should mold be discovered within an apartment.

From the MACo testimony

The bill’s preemption of local escrow laws is of some concern. A county’s proximity to a community and its local housing market better allows it to address specific localized issues. SB 320 currently conflicts with county autonomy. The bill should be amended to eliminate the preemption of local laws and instead set a default escrow policy that counties may opt to amend. This sets a floor for counties who have not adopted such escrow laws, while not interfering with the flexibility of those counties who have.

MACo will testify on the bill’s crossfile, HB 361, on February 9, 2022.

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