NEW SC LAWS TO AFFECT PROPERTY OWNERS ON THE COAST
In my role as committee member on the Legislative Committee for the South Carolina Association of Realtors, we meet in Columbia, go up to the Statehouse to meet and chat with representatives, we review bills, we help to instruct our incredible and tireless lobbyist, Cashion Drolet, and SOMETIMES we see the fruition of the labor.
Most recently Governor Nikki Haley signed into law three really important bills affecting our real estate lives and property.
Property Insurance Becomes Law
S.569 - which means it was a Senate sponsored bill and the number it is referred to by; was signed into law. This legislation enacts the Competitive Insurance Act.
What it will do:
Require insurers to provide all policy holders a recap of coverage provided as well as a summary of discounts they might be able to use, replacement cost of their home, options to increase deductible, etc.
Increase Transparency; the Director of Insurance must hold an annual public hearing on the coast and prepare an annual report for the SC General Assembly as well as initiate a multimedia campaign to raise awareness of steps homeowners may take to mitigate storm damage.
Build a SC Risk Model - this is a big one! Directs the SC Department of Insurance to pursue a SC-based risk model. These are used by insurance providers to determine homeowners insurance rates; having a SC model will more accurately determine insurance rates that reflect the true risk of storm losses in our state.
Foreclosure Bill Becomes Law
S.1007 will expedite the foreclosure process for properties that are unoccupied. This creates a process within the judicial foreclosure system to quickly identify these properties and move them to foreclosure and back on the market. These properties negatively affect neighborhood values, reduce the tax base, increase crime, and impose additional costs on local governments and increase the burdens of the court system.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR SECOND HOMEOWNERS
Property Tax Relief for Owners who Rent their Primary Residences
The House agreed to Senate amendments on S.437 which allows homeowners to rent their primary residence up to 72 days and maintain a 4% assessment ratio. The bill strikes the existing language limiting this to 15 days. It was amended to include provisions regarding places of worship and maintaining 4% when moving property into family trusts.
So things indeed get accomplished at the statehouse this year - though they have returned this week to complete work on some other very important bills as well.
If you think that South Carolina might just be a great place to live - be sure to check out some properties either on Hilton Head Island or on the mainland!