Illinois REALTOR® Magazine | January 2013

Key Bills Signed Into Law

By Julie Sullivan  | Assistant Director, Legislative and Political Affairs

Be aware of new laws that go into effect Jan. 1

Your IAR lobbyists and REALTOR® advocates were tracking legislation through the 2012 General Assembly session and into the bill-signing period. Here is a recap of key legislative changes that go into effect in 2013.

Crackdown on Metal Thieves

The continuing problem of metal theft resulted in two new laws to add muscle to the existing Recyclable Metal Purchase Registration law. Illinois has a law in place that requires recyclable metal dealers to keep records for purchases of recyclable metal valued at $100 or more and for each transaction involving the purchase of metal street signs. Public Act 97-923 (HB 3825) will require, as of Jan. 1, 2013, that ALL purchases of recyclable metals be recorded rather than only those valued at $100 or more.

Dealers will also be required to keep a photograph and/or video of the seller and of the materials presented on the scale in their records. The legislation adds a new section on “restricted purchases” and limitations on dealers who purchase HVAC recyclable metal and copper. If a dealer suspects property to be lost or stolen
they are REQUIRED to notify the local law enforcement agency and provide the seller’s information. Public Act 97-924 (HB 4013) was also approved by the General Assembly in the 2012 session. This new law simply added the requirement that all purchases of recyclable metal containing copper be recorded by the dealers.

  • WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: Greater protection for construction sites and vacant properties.

Radon Hazards Disclosure

Public Act 97-981 (HB 4606) will make a change to the Disclosure of Information on Radon Hazards statement required to be provided to buyers of residential real property.  The form was modified to require the seller to provide the purchaser “the most current “records and reports pertaining to elevated radon concentrations within the dwelling rather that the previously required “all available” records and reports which had caused some concern due to its vagueness. 

Owner-Tenant Issues

Public Act 97-999 (HB 5314) will permit a landlord to send an itemized damage statement required when withholding any part of a security deposit by electronic mail, in addition to regular mail.

  • WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: Another option for a landlord to communicate required information to a tenant

Transactional Issues

Public Act 97-710 (SB 275) requires the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and any other state licensing agency to issue an expedited temporary professional/occupational license to a service member OR their spouse if certain conditions are met. The temporary license is valid for six months and cannot be renewed. An applicant must:

  • show proof that they are either a service member or the spouse of a service member;
  • show proof they hold a valid license in good standing for the profession/occupation issued by another state, commonwealth, possession or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia or any foreign jurisdiction and the requirements for licensure are determined to be substantially equivalent;
  • show proof the applicant or spouse is assigned to a duty station in Illinois or has established legal residence in Illinois;
  • submit a complete set of fingerprints for criminal history checks (if applicable to the requirements of the licensing entity);
  • show proof the applicant is not ineligible for licensure;
  • submit an application for full licensure; and
  • pay the required fee.


Public Act 97-966 (SB 3792) amends the Mechanics Lien Act related to completion time for payment in order to obtain a lien. Current law provides that a contract need not provide a time for the completion or a time for payment in order to obtain a mechanics lien, provided, that the work is done or material furnished within three years from the commencement of the work or the commencement of furnishing the material. Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, this provision is for work done or material furnished as to residential property and for all other property there will be a five-year time frame. NOTE: the changes to the law will become inoperative three years after the bill’s effective date. 

  • WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU:  A specific time frame based on the type of property.

Housing/Real Estate Finance

Public Act 97-952 (HB 4615) amends the Rental Housing Support Program Act to clarify the language regarding grants for the operating expenses of local administering agencies and provides that if a grant to a local administering agency covers more than one year, the authority shall calculate operating expenses on an annual pro rata share of the grant. This was an initiative of the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA).

Public Act 97-751 (HB 3950) grants condominium unit owners the right to grant an easement for the laying of high speed Internet cable in addition to cable television wiring. 

  • WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: Modernizes the state law to reflect consumer choice of cable provider services.

Public Act 97-849 (SB 1692) amends the High Risk Home Loan Act (Act) to expand the Act from applying to just home equity loans, to ALL loans secured by a person’s residence. IAR had initial concerns when this measure was introduced that the change would have subjected seller financing transactions to the Act, which was really designed for banks and mortgage brokers to comply with certain limitations, disclosures, and “ability to repay” rules. IAR felt that imposing such requirements on seller financing would diminish this as an option for many sellers and buyers.

The final approved Act is intended to conform provisions of the High Risk Home Loan Act to the federal Dodd-Frank Act and other federal laws and rules. IAR used material from the National Association of REALTORS® and negotiated with the Attorney General’s office to craft an agreed amendment which added the following exemption to the definition of “high risk home loan” in the Act:  “...A natural person who provides seller financing secured by a principal residence no more than three times in 12-month period, provided such consumer credit transaction is not made by a person that has constructed or acted as a contractor for the construction of the residence in the ordinary course of business of such person.” 

  • WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: Seller financing will be maintained as a viable option for most sellers.

Local Governmental Powers

Public Act 97-827 (HB 4687) will enhance transparency as concerned members of the public seek to understand actions that will be considered by local governmental bodies. Agendas must set forth the general subject matter of any resolution or ordinance that will be the subject of final action at the meeting. The new law also requires that the governmental body conducting the public meeting ensure that any requested notice and agenda for the meeting is continuously available for public review during the entire 48-hour period preceding the meeting. 

  • WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: Understanding of what is going to be debated by your local governmental entities at a scheduled meeting.

Public Act 97-1053 (SB 409) also enhances protections for property taxpayers by making important changes to the Special Service Area (SSA) Tax law. Because of the action of the General Assembly, the hearing notice required to be given by the municipality or county prior to levying a tax for special services MUST also include the proposed tax levy for special services for the initial year for which taxes will be levied within the SSA. The new law provides that if in any year (other than the initial levy year), the estimated SSA tax levy is more than 105 percent of the amount extended for the SSA purposes the previous levy year, that notice shall be given and a hearing held on the reason for the increase. The new law also requires that the meeting must be in a location convenient to property within the SSA. 

  • WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: Information to you, the taxpayer, on Special Service Area Taxes which are in addition to property taxes.

Public Act 97-976 (HB 3859) establishes procedures whereby a county and municipality can enter into an agreement to share or rebate any portion of sales taxes generated within their jurisdiction. The local units of government are required to follow reporting requirements which are to be posted on the Illinois Department of Revenue website and updated on a monthly basis.

  • WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: Another economic development tool for your community.

Public Act 97-1054 (SB 3386) will permit Cook County to send electronic notices of assessment changes and will allow taxpayers to file complaints electronically.

  • WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: Quicker access to information.

Public Act 97-971 (SB 549) will allow the creation of a new special local district encompassing the city of East St. Louis, the village of Washington Park, the village of Alorton and the village of Brooklyn. The powers include authority for St. Clair County to adopt a mandatory $100 fine on certain defendants and permits the aforementioned municipalities within the new police district to use TIF funds to hire police officers IF they determine by ordinance that, as a result of the development, more police officers are needed to protect the public health and safety of the residents. The municipality can use no more than 10 percent of the available funds to hire police officers.

  • WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: Police protection for the residents within the jurisdiction.


 

Breakout Text: 

Illinois REALTOR®

REALTORS® Make a Difference in 2012 Election


2012 End of Session Report

For a comprehensive review of legislation approved and defeated by the General Assembly visit IARactioncenter.org.

Looking Ahead

A lame duck session will be held Jan. 3-8 with the new Illinois General Assembly to be sworn in on Jan. 9. For 2013 session dates visit www.ilga.gov.


Don’t miss the Annual IAR Capitol Conference

April 16, 2013

This is your chance to meet directly with your state lawmakers at the State Capitol in Springfield and make sure the Illinois REALTOR® voice is heard on proposed laws affecting your real estate business.

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