When the Nashville City Council floated a bill that would add 90 days to the overall process of selling any occupied residential rental property, the Greater Nashville REALTORS® recognized a serious threat to the rights of property owners and got to work with the help of the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program. Collaborating with the Greater Nashville Apartment Association and voicing their opposition with an energetic call for action, they caused the problematic proposal to be significantly adjusted and indefinitely delayed.
Greater Nashville REALTORS® 2020 President Kristy Hairston cites the value of Advocacy Everywhere as a critical resource for REALTORS®, especially when everyone is so inundated by communications. “No matter where they are – in the field, showing a house, helping their kids with distance learning – the REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts allow our members to participate meaningfully and efficiently in our advocacy efforts. It equips them to be advocates for property rights wherever the pandemic may find them.”
The bill in question was championed by local tenant advocacy groups, and sought to require landlords to notify tenants 90 days prior to listing a rental property for sale. Ryan Adcock, Government Affairs Director of the Greater Nashville REALTORS®, notes that adding this much time to a sale would result in numerous “speed bumps” to selling a home, drastically increasing the amount of time it takes to sell a property and possibly causing confusion for tenants, as well.
The Advocacy Everywhere Program, which he describes as “absolutely user-friendly,” engaged members via REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts and email, connecting them directly to their respective City Councilmembers. A strong response rate got the message across. When it was clear that the bill’s sponsor did not have the votes, he agreed to a compromise that would apply the 90-day requirement only to rental properties of 100 units or fewer, sparing a large percentage of the region’s rental property owners; the bill was also amended to exempt rental agreements that conformed to the state’s Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act, with which the REALTORS® were already in agreement. A vote on the amended bill has been delayed, and Adcock reports that he and his team are closely monitoring its progress.
Thanks to prompt action early in the pandemic by association leadership, REALTORS® in Nashville were deemed ‘essential.’ President Hairston point out that, in a larger sense, beyond helping members to continue conducting their business safely throughout the pandemic, the ‘essential’ designation has elevated their standing in the community – including as legislative advocates. “That word ‘essential’ keeps us mindful of the importance of all aspects of the work we do. Our members are saying, ‘You know what? I am essential, and not just in helping people buy and sell houses. I’m protecting their rights.’ It’s been a real boost in these challenging times.”
To learn more about how the Greater Nashville REALTORS® are working to protect the rights of private property owners, contact Government Affairs Director Ryan Adcock at 615-254-7516.