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IREM Looks Back on 2009 Legislative Victories

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(Chicago, Jan. 6, 2010) – The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), strongly committed to legislative advocacy, claimed significant legislative victories in 2009 of benefit to its members, other commercial real estate professionals and allied interest groups.  Among the most notable of these victories, some achieved in collaboration with the National Association Of Realtors (NAR), are these:

  • Extension and Expansion of TALF – In August 2009, it was announced that the Troubled Asset-backed securities Loan Facility (TALF) program would be extended into 2010 and that it would be expanded to cover commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS).  In November, the first new CMBS in 18 months was sold under the TALF program and more loans are in the pipeline.

The above actions align with the legislative statement of policy related to the Economic Stimulus Package and the Treasury’s Financial Stability Plan developed by IREM in January 2009. Briefly, the policy calls for Congress and the federal government to make money available for small business loans, short-term loans for capital improvements, and refinancing for mortgages.  It also encourages Congress and the federal government to (1) stabilize and provide liquidity to commercial real estate credit markets – including mortgage-backed securities; (2) maintain or enhance federal tax policies that strengthen the commercial real estate market; and (3) stimulate and support the commercial real estate industry through investment.

  • Permanent Prohibition of Banks in Real EstateOn March 11, 2009, President Obama signed into law the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act that permanently prohibits banks from entering the real estate brokerage and management businesses. IREM had worked to convince Congress that the proposed rule published in January 2001 was inconsistent with banking law, bad for consumers, and bad for banking.
  • House-Passed Energy Bill – This bill originally called for the following provisions which IREM opposed: (1) energy audits of all properties, (2) energy labels for all buildings, and (3) disclosure of all findings at sale or lease of the property. The final version of the House-passed bill, H.R. 2454, does NOT have an audit requirement, and only requires energy labels for new construction.
Tenant Protections When Renting Foreclosed Property – A bill known as the Helping Families Save Their Home Act of 2009 ((H.R. 1106 or S. 896), which became law on May 20, 2009, included provisions to protect tenants from eviction as a consequence of a foreclosure affecting the property they have rented.  These provisions align with a statement of policy developed by IREM the prior March -- which it promoted heavily to Congress -- supporting requirements that banks and lending institutions be required to notify tenants of a pending foreclosure on the property in which they reside.  More specifically, the policy expresses support for tenants whose rents are paid and current and are in compliance with all other requirements of their lease.  Most importantly, it calls for tenants to be able remain in the property through the end of their lease – assuming the subsequent owner does NOT intend to use the property as a principal residence.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE OF REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT
The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) has been the source for education, resources, information, and membership for real estate management professionals for more than 75 years. An affiliate of the National Association of Realtors, IREM is the only professional real estate management association serving both the multi-family and commercial real estate sectors. With 80 U.S. chapters, 12 international chapters, and several other partnerships around the globe, IREM is an international organization that also serves as an advocate on issues affecting the real estate management industry.

Membership includes more than 18,000 individual members and 515 corporate members. IREM promotes ethical real estate management practices through its credentialed membership programs, including the Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation, the Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) certification, the Accredited Commercial Manager (ACOM) certification, and the Accredited Management Organization (AMO) accreditation. These esteemed credentials certify competence and professionalism for those engaged in real estate management. In addition, IREM offers Associate, Student, and Academic memberships.

Collectively, IREM CPM Members in the United States manage over $1.5 trillion in real estate assets, including 8.4 million residential units and 8.4 billion net square feet of commercial space. An additional 977,400 residential units are managed by IREM ARM Members. IREM Members are employed by some of the most prestigious real estate firms in the world and nearly 70% hold upper-level management positions. Due to their professionalism and vast experience, property owners and investors worldwide continually seek out the management services of IREM Members.

To learn more about the Institute of Real Estate Management and its chapter network, call (800) 837-0706, Ext. 4650 (outside the U.S. call (312) 329-6000) or visit www.irem.org.