Call for Action — Watch

A limited call to action will go out tonight asking members in certain areas to e-mail their state Senators to request them to oppose SB No. 46 by Senator Regina Barrow. The bill seeks to seal eviction records thereby keeping property owners from being able to view past tenant history. It will be heard by the Senate Judiciary A Committee tomorrow morning.

The REALTORS who will receive this call to action are constituents of Senators who sit on the state Senate Judiciary A Committee. This includes members of the following boards: NWLAR, GCLRA, GBRAR, NOMAR and NABOR. If you do not receive the CFA it is because your state Senator does not sit on this committee.

Louisiana REALTORS along with the Apartment Association, Louisiana Home Builders Association and Louisiana Press Association oppose this bill. The clerks of courts, city court judges, and justices of the peace that we have spoken to also have issues with the bill.

The basic opposition points are below and were drafted after consultation with stakeholders and reviewing points used by successful opposition to similar bills in other states:

• It can often take landlords months to evict a non-paying tenant in some areas, so it is critical for landlords to be able to properly but fairly screen tenants to avoid devastating financial consequences, especially for small investors.
• SB No. 46 would hide from public view eviction actions filed against tenants, making it very difficult for landlords to determine whether prospective tenants are likely to be good tenants of their property.
• Without this information, rents and security deposits would increase to account for the enhanced financial risks associated with renting apartments.
• The proponents will likely argue that if a tenant prevails in an eviction action, having their court file discoverable unfairly jeopardizes their chances to rent in the future.
• Our view is just like any other public record, the outcome of that case would be considered along with their credit report.

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