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General Assembly Winds Down, with Both Wins & Some Unfinished Business for Real Estate Industry

Posted June 27, 2018

As the North Carolina General Assembly winds down an unusually short Short Session in Raleigh, Realtors®, home builders, property managers and developers are looking at some legislative victories — along with some unfinished business.

First, the wins …

  • HB 948 – Building Code Regulatory Reform — Clarifies existing language allowing licensed architects and engineers to certify components or elements of a building, without the need for a city or county inspection; gives builders the ability to request inspections from a state program in the event a local inspection can’t be provided within 48 hours; and, provides greater flexibility to the State Qualifications Board to grant provisional licenses to code enforcement officials. Thanks to Representative Mark Brody for his leadership in sponsoring this bill!
    Status: On Governor’s Desk
  • SB 224 — Landlord Recovery Expenses — Allows landlords to recover legal fees and other out-of-pocket expenses in summary ejectment cases. The legislation was introduced in response to a recent Superior Court decision that required a landlord to reimburse a tenant nearly $200 in eviction expenses after he paid his past-due balance.
    Status: On Governor’s Desk
  • HB 826 – Clarify System Development Fees — Clarifies and streamlines the water/sewer capacity fee authority approved for local governments in 2017. Thanks to Senator Paul Newton for his work on this important legislation.
    Status: On Governor’s Desk
  • SB 99 — Appropriations Act of 2018 — The state budget includes a crucial provision that allows contractors who pay tax on materials covered under the Repair, Maintenance & Installation (RMI) sales tax provision to pay those taxes at the retail level and receive credit from the Department of Revenue.
    Status: Session Law 2018-5

Now the unfinished business …



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General Assembly Approves Building Code Reform Legislation

Posted on June 25, 2018

The North Carolina General Assembly approved last week's legislation that would make substantive reforms to local building permitting and inspection processes both Mecklenburg County and statewide.

HB 948 – ‘Building Code Regulatory Reform‘ was sponsored by Rep. Mark Brody (Union), and makes some very beneficial changes to the permitting and inspection process that would benefit both home builders and commercial developers. They include:

  • Clarifies existing language allowing a licensed architect/engineer to certify a component or element of a building, without the need for a city or county to inspect and approve that component.
  • Gives the State Department of Insurance the statutory authority to assign Marketplace Pool inspectors to conduct an inspection in the event the local officials cannot provide one within 2 business days of a request.
  • Provide greater flexibility for the State Q-Board to grant provisional licenses to Code Enforcement officials who are certified and in good standing in other states, which will help address the growing issue of inspector vacancies across North Carolina.

HB 948 is now awaiting Governor Cooper’s signature. Thanks to the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) for their leadership on this critical piece of legislation.

Energy Code Exemption for Industrial Buildings Took Effect March 1

Posted on March 2, 2018

An Energy Code exemption championed by REBIC and NAIOP will finally take effect this week, after the Rules Review Commission set an effective date of March 1, 2018, for N.C. Session Law 2017-10, formerly known as SB131.

Language in the bill, which was signed into law during the 2017 session of the General Assembly,  excludes from state Energy Efficiency Code requirements any buildings with the following use classifications:

  • Factory Group F
  • Storage Group S
  • Utility & Miscellaneous Group U

Furthermore, language in the legislation introduced by Representative Bill Brawley ensures that the energy code exclusion ‘shall apply to the entire floor area of any structure’ included in the provision. This language was intended to prevent the office or showroom portion of a warehouse, industrial or manufacturing building from having to meet energy efficiency code requirements, when the majority of the structure does not.

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