What happens in Orlando does NOT stay in Orlando. Here’s a quick update from my favorite governance and committee meetings last week at the Florida Realtors Convention and Trade Show.
Schedule change for 2017 – some of the committees or subcommittees that mostly give out information rather than conduct business (motions, recommendations, etc.) are being sunsetted and converted to education sessions for 2017. The goal of this change to shorten the time needed for the business meetings allowing members and staff to focus their time on what they really need. It’s also hoped that conflicts between education classes and committee meetings will be eliminated.
Property Management – Two big legal actions took place this year that are impacting property managers statewide. One is the new requirement to process rental applications for active duty service members within 7 days. They must be either approved, or rejected with explanation within 7 days of receipt. The other is regarding automatic rejection of tenants based on arrest or conviction records. It’s recommend that each property management office have a written policy or guideline for what they will and will not accept when it comes this issue. The concern is the statistics show particular protected classes (Fair Housing) have a higher percentage of arrests or convictions for certain crimes and automatically rejecting them without a written policy could cause disparate impact.
Luckily our Residential Property Management Committee Chair, Keith Wood, also ECAR Public Policy Chair, brought this to our meeting a couple of months ago. So no surprise to our Property Managers who attended.
MLS – Nothing really new on the MLS horizon. The MLS Practices meeting was mostly about the Council of MLS’s and how they are partnering with NAR with the hopes of providing more support to current and future nationwide MLS issues. The other main topic of the meeting was Project Upstream, which is a developing project that’s backed by NAR and being developed by RPR.
Risk Management – The two big topics for this session was Unmanned Aerial Systems/Small Unmanned Aircraft/Drones/UFOs and making your website ADA compliant. Margy Grant, head Florida Realtors Legal Counsel, gave an update on the recent changes to, please allow me to just call them drones. There was some discussion that technically speaking, drones carry weapons rather than a camera, but we won’t stand on that formality. Go to http://www.realtor.org/law-and-ethics/faqs-for-small-unmanned-aircraft-rule for more info on that subject.
Cynthia Sass, an attorney from Tampa, gave a lot of great information about making your website ADA compliant. This is something that every ECAR member who has a public website should be seriously looking at. Lawsuits are starting and widespread. Also, it is NOT your website developer’s responsibility to resolve this for you. It’s your site, get with them to make sure it gets done. If you would like a copy of the multi-page document that was distributed at the meeting, please let me know.
Unfortunately this is one of the committees being sunsetted, so I’ll have to watch the education classes next year for things likely to have previously come out of this meeting.
That’s all the news that’s new from Florida Realtors on the MLS front.
Questions? Call us at 850-244-2411, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Beck, MLS Director
Emerald Coast Association of Realtors
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Santa Rosa Beach, FL