Yes, it’s” March Madness” for basketball fans but also its madness at the State Capital and it just happens to be the month of March!
Besides basketball tournaments, it also the time of the legislative session that many proposed Bills face Joint Favorable Committee Deadline Dates. If a proposal is not voted on and given a “JF Approval;” it will die. Also in March, the bigger Committees like Judiciary, Appropriations and Finance, Revenue & Bonding begin to host public hearings and wind their way through the maze of Proposed Bills sitting on their agendas.
This year, the biggest concern for CTPOA members is the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and how it handles a claim that discrimination has occurred. That proposal is sitting in the Judiciary Committee and must be raised for a public hearing for it to have any chance at becoming a law and helping landlords.
Back on September 23, 2016 when a Public Hearing in the Program Review and Investigation Committee was held, landlords bravely got up to the microphone and told their stories. One landlord after another spoke about a “broken process” and how they felt the system was completely one-sided favoring the tenant and how they were in essence extorted into making settlements to avoid endless litigation costs in a process allowing tenants unlimited appeals if they don’t like the investigation results.
This year State Representative Cara Pavalock –D’amato (Pictured Above) introduced a proposal known as House Bill # 6899 that would help push the investigation process more to the center of the road. This proposal is sitting in the Judiciary Committee and might need a call to action to have it raised for a public hearing. Her proposal is an attempt to make the investigation process more fair and neutral, CTPOA applauds Representative Pavalock-D’Amatos efforts to shine more light onto this subject.
All landlords should join us and support the CTPOA efforts to make this CHRO discrimination investigation process fair to all parties; now is a great time to join CTPOA, just click on our membership tab. Additionally, in case we need to alert our CTPOA members and other concerned property owners with a “Call to Action” to make sure this proposal is heard in the Judiciary Committee, we are attaching the List of Judiciary Committee Members
The Connecticut House of Representatives in action.
It’s that time of the year when private property owners come under pressure from some well intended but misguided politicians seeking to impose more taxes and government regulations on our struggling housing industry. Recently it was reported that only eight States in our nation showed a population loss, Connecticut was one of them and lost more population than all the other States except West Virginia...this is astounding. The message this year needs to be clear; we need to help struggling businesses survive and not impose more bureaucracy on the real estate industry driving people away from Connecticut.
Owning rental property is a small business and CTPOA is known for fighting for what is right for its members and this year we will do the same. Our Legislative Committee for 2017 is the largest ever…this year more and more people are fed up with the policies that have been dragging us down as a State and a Nation and are getting involved. CTPOA greatly welcomes this rejuvenation of interest in our political process and we hope that our grass roots efforts will be noticed!
We are posting a list of proposals that have been introduced so far that will have an impact on housing if passed. We are not adding the numerous Proposed Bills for the 8-30G Affordable Land Use Appeals proposals as that is not a statewide fight but we have a keen interest in that long-standing struggle; we understand both sides of the Affordable Housing debate and are offering our resources to find some common ground and finally resolve this 20 year long struggle.
Here is the current list of Proposed Bills as of Jan. 13 We’ll update the list often as it will grow rapidly in size as more Bills come forward….WE ALSO INVITE YOU TO OUR NEXT CTPOA MEET-UP on January 24th in Waterbury, you can register to attend by clicking on our “Events tab” on our website’s Homepage.
BY: Michael Downes
In recognition of over 28 years of legislative advocacy for the rights of property owners across Connecticut, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) was awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Connecticut Property Owners Alliance at their annual holiday dinner and awards ceremony held the evening of December 7th at the Grand Oak Villa in Oakville.
“I’m deeply honored to receive this award,” said Rep. O’Neill. “CTPOA and I worked hard together to stop bad tenants from abusing the system while protecting the rights of law-abiding tenants. I look forward to working with them in the next legislative session that starts in January.”
CTPOA President Bob DeCosmo presented the award, noting that O’Neill, who assisted with the founding of the organization, has been an essential aspect of the success of the group and their policy goals of ensuring that fair housing laws are fair for all parties involved.
The CTPOA also recognized Representatives Cara Pavalock (R-77) and Rep. Larry Butler (D-72) with their “Legislative Leadership Award.”
A network of professional rental property owners across the state, CTPOA share the goal of improving business conditions for the property owner community.
Three new Laws went into effect in 2016 that impact Rental Housing directly; one of these deals with Bedbugs, the others are “Fair Housing” and Security Deposits. On Tuesday 11-15-2015, CTPOA will host a networking and meet-up for the housing community at SAN MARINOS RESTAURANT, 111 Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury from 5:30 till 7:00pm followed by an update on the new laws.
Photo of CTPOA President Bob DeCosmo, Rep. Larry Butler and other Housing Advocates at the October 11th Governor’s “Bill Signing Ceremony” for new Housing laws.
At 7:00pm, there will be a presentation from Mike Morin of Bedbug Finders LLC and he will detail some of the highlights and requirements for landlords when exterminating Bedbugs. Additionally, CTPOA president Bob De Cosmo will provide an update on the other requirements imposed upon Connecticut landlords from this past Legislative session that impact leases and closings. Tom Fernandes of maximum Home Performance will detail the benefits of a cost saving energy audit (which you can ordered on our website)
Paid CTPOA members can attend for free and also view the new laws by logging into our website and visiting “Laws & Statutes,” then clicking on “New Laws – 2016.” The public is invited to this event and there is a $10 charge for non-members to help cover the costs of the food. Please register by visiting the “Events” section on our website.
Within one week, after CTPOA’s efforts to expose how the process of investigating discrimination complaints has fallen out of balance, our focus shifted from Fair Housing to Property Maintenance. The Fair Housing issue is far from over and a follow-up meeting with CHRO Vice Commissioner Sheryl Sharp, Housing Co-Chair State Representative Larry Butler and CTPOA president Bob DeCosmo is scheduled for October 11th, another important issue is now impacting Connecticut Property Owners and demanding attention.
With the formation of a new “Working Group” led by Supervisory Housing Prosecutor Judith Dicine in collaboration with the State Department of Public Health, a group of interested parties has been convened to look into whether Connecticut should implement a Statewide Property Maintenance Code. The purpose for such a working group is to research the pros and cons of such a statewide code.
On September 29, approximately two dozen individuals, many from code-enforcement showed up at the office of the Chief State’s Attorney in Rocky Hill for a two hour meeting to decide if Connecticut should implement the International Code Council 2015 Property Maintenance Code.
The CT Apartment Association was represented by their lobbyist John Bailey, Government Affairs committee members Dan Lax and Attorney Robert Chesson, while CTPOA members David Habberfeld and Bob DeCosmo attended the meeting. The next meeting is set for November 2 at 9:30 and John Bailey and Bob DeCosmo will be in attendance at a sub-group that is tasked with dissecting the code to see what if anything must be changed to account for Connecticut’s aging housing stock.