Written by Peter U. Normand, Commercial Lines Account Executive and RiSC Consultant
All eyes were on Washington D.C. yesterday for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. As we look ahead to the next four years, our Real Estate practice group is examining proposed policies of the Biden administration and what they may mean for your business.
Two proposals in particular have caught our eye.
The first is the plan to remove the SALT cap put in place by President Donald Trump. These are limitations on itemized deductions for home mortgage interest and state and local taxes. Experts anticipate this will benefit residents in ten states the most: New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, California, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Vermont. In addition, Biden proposes a $15,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers.
These policies will almost certainly lead to an increase in home buyers in our region, especially those buying for the first time. If you are a landlord or property manager, you will likely see more tenants transitioning from renting to buying, and we anticipate you will be focusing on preparing and updating your properties. As you hire contractors and sub out work, it is vital that you collect certificates of insurance from them and establish a consistent workflow that ensures your compliance with local and state regulations. If you neglect these processes, you risk impacting your loss history and driving up your premiums. We’ve developed a platform called RiSC to address these kinds of challenges. It helps you drive down costs by improving safety, compliance, claims management, and company culture. We specialize in real estate, and encourage you to reach out to us so we can help you stay on top of these issues and allow you to focus on growing your business.
The second Biden proposal we expect to impact you is his plan to offer a $100 billion “Affordable Housing Fund” to expand the accessibility of low-income housing. For landlords, this will mean an increase in the number of Section 8 tenants looking for housing. This could present an opportunity for increased business, but you need to make sure you understand the Massachusetts laws surrounding Section 8, and the state rental voucher program. When you accept Section 8 applications, and take them on as tenants, there are a number of requirements surrounding maintenance protocols, property inspections, and record-keeping you must follow. You also need to consider regulations surrounding discriminatory practices and how you screen tenants, with consistency in the application process being paramount. Don’t feel like you have to navigate this alone. We are here to help you understand the laws and connect you with the appropriate resources to enable you to drive your business forward.
The next four years should be an exciting and vibrant time in the real estate industry, and we invite you to partner with us to make sure you’re taking advantage of the moment by getting the most out of your business. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 413-570-1964 to get started.