House Bill 595 — Requirements for landlords

Lindsay Atkinson 2020 House bill ratings Leave a Comment

Bill description: HB 595 would allow renters to request a joint walk-through of a property prior to moving out.

Rating: -1

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market? 

HB 595 allows renters to request a joint walk-through (with their landlord) of a rented space before moving out. It requires this joint walk-through to occur before a landlord can assess any damages to the property and deduct them from the security deposit. 

This bill is a modified version of HB 462 and improves on it in several ways. Specifically, it clarifies that “if a tenant does not request a walk through upon move-out or if a tenant requests a walk through upon move-out and fails to appear, a landlord may” still assess any damages and deduct them from the security deposit. This provides greater clarity on the role of each party in this walk-through. 

However, the walk-through still places a new requirement on landlords, and thus a new requirement in the free market. And this requirement places a heavier burden on landlords than on tenants. There is a provision written into this bill that if a tenant does not show up to the walk-through of a property (which must occur “before the last day on the termination notice”) then the landlord can still assess damages. But there is no provision about what would happen if a “landlord or his agent” cannot attend a walk-through prior to the termination of the lease. The landlord or agent would likely not be able to assess damages, even if it was perfectly acceptable to the tenant to schedule a walk-through at a later date, because this bill would not allow for that.