HB 1607 - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1607
SPONSORS: Rep. Gagnon, Sull. 5; Rep. Cloutier, Sull. 10; Rep. Gauthier, Sull. 3; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5
COMMITTEE: Commerce and Consumer Affairs
This bill adds the authority in the housing standards law for the appointment of a receiver by a court to remedy an unhealthful condition in a property which poses a threat to the health and safety of tenants or the public.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
VII. To petition a court to appoint a receiver under RSA 48-A:5-a.
48-A:5-a Appointment of Receiver; Procedure.
I. Any public agency, on its own or pursuant to a petition by at least 10 residents of the municipality, where a condition exists which may endanger or materially impair the health or safety of a resident or the health and safety of the public, may file a petition in the superior court against the owner of the property to enjoin the threat to health and safety. Such petition shall set forth the defective condition and the reason that it poses a threat to the health and safety of the petitioner, other tenants, or public at large, and that said condition was not substantially caused by the tenant or any other person acting under the tenant's control. The petition shall also state that the owner or tenant has been notified of the condition not less than 14 days prior to filing of the petition.
II. A temporary hearing on said petition shall be held no more than 30 days from the filing of the petition, unless such a temporary hearing is waived by the parties.
III. If the court finds that a condition exists which may endanger or materially impair the health or safety of the public or other tenants, and that the property is structurally sound and the estimated cost of improvements to comply with code requirements does not exceed 50 percent of the value of the property, it may appoint a receiver if the court finds:
(a) That residents are threatened by the dangerous condition or conditions; and
(b) That at least 30 days prior to the filing of the petition the owner was notified of the existence of the dangerous condition by a state or local health officer, building inspector, housing code official, or by the governing body of the municipality in which the property is situated; and
(c) The owner has failed to substantially abate the health or safety hazard or has not contracted to make the repairs or modifications that are necessary to render the property safe for occupancy.
IV. If the court appoints a receiver, the receiver shall have such powers and duties as the court shall determine including the right to:
(a) Collect rents from every tenant or resident who is renting at the property.
(b) Disburse the rent collected for mortgage payments, taxes, and operating expenses as they come due, and for the payment of other expenses necessary for the operation and maintenance of the property.
(c) Make contracts and payments necessary to abate and correct the dangerous conditions.
(d) Evict tenants pursuant to RSA 540 or other applicable provisions of law.
(e) Collect reasonable fees for services as authorized by the court.
V. Upon appointment, the receiver shall promptly repair the property and maintain it in a safe and healthful condition. The receiver shall have full power to borrow funds and to grant security interests or liens on the affected property, to make such contracts as the receiver may deem necessary, and, notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary, shall not be subject to any public bidding law nor considered a state, county, or municipal employee for any purpose. In order to secure payment of any costs incurred and repayment of any loans for repair, operation, maintenance, or management of the property, the receiver shall have a lien with priority over all other liens or mortgages except municipal liens, and such lien priority may be assigned to lenders for the purpose of securing loans for repair, operation, maintenance, or management of the property. No such lien shall be effective unless recorded in the registry for the county in which the property is located.
VI. The receiver shall be authorized to collect rents and shall apply the rents to payment of any repairs necessary to bring the property into compliance with the sanitary code and to necessary expenses of operation, maintenance, and management of the property, including insurance expenses and reasonable fees of the receiver, and then to payment of any unpaid taxes, assessments, penalties, or interest. Any excess of income in the hands of the receiver shall then be applied to payments due any mortgagee or lienor of record.
VII. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to relieve the owner of property of any civil or criminal liability or any duty imposed by reason of acts or omissions of the owner, nor shall appointment of a receiver suspend any obligation the owner or any other person may have for payment of taxes, of any operating or maintenance expense, or of mortgages or liens, or for repair of the premises.
VIII. The receiver shall be liable for injuries to persons and property to the same extent as the owner would have been liable; however, such liability shall be limited to the assets and income of the receivership, including any proceeds of insurance purchased by the receiver in its capacity as receiver. The receiver shall in no instance be personally liable for actions or inactions within the scope of the receiver's capacity as receiver. No suit shall be brought against the receiver except as approved by the court which appointed the receiver. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit the right of tenants to raise any counterclaims or defenses in any summary process or other action regarding possession brought by a receiver.
IX. The remedies in this section shall be available to condominium unit owners and tenants in condominium units. Whenever used in this section, the term ''petitioner'' shall include a condominium unit owner or tenant, the term ''owner'' shall include a condominium association, the terms ''mortgagees'' and ''lienors'' shall include mortgagees and lienors of individual condominium units, and the term ''rents'' shall include condominium fees. The receiver shall have the right to impose assessments upon individual condominium units for payment of expenses incurred in the exercise of his powers, which liens shall have priority over all other liens and mortgages, except municipal liens.
X. The receiver shall file with the court and with all parties of record, on a bimonthly basis, an accounting of all funds received by and owed to the receiver, and all funds disbursed, and shall comply with such other reporting requirements mandated by court, unless, for cause shown, the court determines that less frequent or less detailed reports are appropriate; provided that said notice shall not be less than 5 days.
XI. If the court finds that a tenant or owner has filed a frivolous petition for the purpose of harassing the other party, it shall assess the court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees against the petitioner.
XII. The remedies provided in this section are in addition to and not in derogation of any other remedies which may be available to an injured party at common law or by statute.
|Feb. 6, 2018||House||Hearing|
|Feb. 20, 2018||House||Exec Session|
|March 6, 2018||House||Floor Vote|
|Jan. 3, 2018||Introduced 01/03/2018 and referred to Commerce and Consumer Affairs HJ 1 P. 17|
|Feb. 6, 2018||Public Hearing: 02/06/2018 01:15 PM LOB 302|
|Feb. 13, 2018||Subcommittee Work Session: 02/13/2018 09:00 AM LOB 302|
|Feb. 20, 2018||Subcommittee Work Session: 02/20/2018 09:00 AM LOB 305|
|Feb. 20, 2018||Executive Session: 02/20/2018 LOB 302|
|Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 19-1; CC)|
|March 6, 2018||Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/06/2018 (Vote 19-1; CC) HC 9 P. 8|
|March 6, 2018||Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 03/06/2018 HJ 6 P. 13|