The legislation is now introduced in both chambers of Congress.
On February 7, 2024, Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) introduced S. 3755, the Respect State Housing Laws Act, in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would end the CARES Act’s federal notice to vacate requirement for federally-backed and federally-assisted housing, a temporary pandemic measure left in place due to a drafting error.
The National Apartment Association (NAA) – alongside real estate coalition partners – worked diligently with members of Congress to secure the introduction of this bill in both chambers. For an industry that operates on small margins – 93 cents of every rent dollar cover essential operational expenses and support local communities – federal intrusion into a highly-localized process presents immense financial and operational hurdles.
In March 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act, legislation that included a temporary 120-day moratorium on evictions and late fees for federally-backed and federally-assisted housing. The moratorium featured what should have been a temporary notice to vacate requirement. Due to a drafting error in the legislation, however, this provision – which intrudes state and local notice periods – has remained in place long past the moratorium’s expiration, and remains a disputed issue in courts today. Read more on the notice to vacate requirement.
For nearly four years, rental housing providers have navigated immense operational hurdles and financial challenges, only exacerbated by federal interference into state and local law. The introduction of this bill is a critical step in the right direction, and NAA will steadfastly advocate to ensure it crosses the finish line.
For more information on the Respect State Housing Laws Act, please contact Jodie Anderson.