Below are snapshots of some of the more important successes in THA’s legislative initiatives, over the years. This work is performed on behalf of our members, and many never realize the amount of time expended on these efforts. At a membership rate of $200 annually, I am sure you will find the value well worth the small investment!
Each year several thousand bills are submitted from the General Assembly. Some initiatives are submitted by THA, some directly from legislators, some from the Governor’s office (called administrative bills), and others are submitted from third parties. It would not be possible for a single small business, to take on the time needed to review all of the proposed legislation. That's why you support your trade association! We do the work for you, to ensure you can just run your business!
As THA is a multi-disciplined Association, each legislative session is monitored closely, to ensure predatory legislation is not passed. This requires hours of reading, fact-finding, and continuous review of bill amendments, until the General Assembly (session) closes. Typically, the THA Staff, Legislative Committee, lobbying firm, and attorney assumes the lead role in review and monitoring. In some instances, it is necessary to send bill reviews to leaders in the industry, from a specific discipline, to gain feedback on the possible implications if a bill should pass.
- 1980: Zoning law to prohibit discrimination against multi-sections.
- 1986: 50% reduction of sales tax on manufactured homes.
- 1988: 16’ wide movement on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
- 1991: Extended 16’ wide movement to include Monday.
- 1991: Successful in defeating bill, in the legislature, that would have repealed our state zoning law and required our homes to be built to local building codes.
- 1991: Successful in state preemptive set-up standards.
- 1992: Successful in passing bill to allow transporters to purchase annual tags.
- 1994: Defeated a bill to repeal our state zoning law.
- 1996: Successful in legislation to increase 16’ wide movement to 6 days.
- 1996: Successful in legislation to increase the height of homes to 15’ 6”.
- 1997: Successful in legislation to place sales tax regulations into state law.
- 1999: Defeated bill to repeal our state zoning law.
- 1999: Defeated a local government bill to prohibit manufactured homes in one city.
- 1999: Amended law on taxes and rent in manufactured home communities.
- 2000: Defended sales tax exemption in numerous bills.
- 2001: Supported legislation that requires retailers to anchor homes that they sale.
- 2002: Successful in legislation to obtain 16’ wide annual permits; increased the height on the annual permit from 13’6” to 14’2”.
- 2002: Successful in re-writing the installation law to require training, continuing education, and increased fines.
- 2002: Successful in defeating legislation that would require weather radios in all manufactured homes.
- 2003: Successful in legislation to allow titles of manufactured homes to be surrendered.
- 2003: Successful in defeating predatory lending legislation.
- 2003: Successful in legislation to extend the overall length of towing vehicle and home from 90’ to 120’ under the annual permit.
- 2003: Defeated legislation to require weather radios in manufactured homes.
- 2004: Successful in legislation to define “certified” in our installation law; remove the requirement of moisture vapor barrier from the definition of set-up; and exempt HVAC companies from the installation licensing requirements.
- 2004: Successful in defeating a bill that would prevent lenders from requiring comprehensive, all peril, or guaranteed replacement coverage insurance.
- 2005: Successful in defeating legislation that would have repealed our installation preemption law.
- 2005: Successful in defeating legislation that would have exempted manufactured home communities from having to meet the installation requirements of the law.
- 2005: Defeated numerous predatory lending bills.
- 2006 Successful in passing legislation to exempt the manufactured housing installers, manufacturers, and modular building manufacturers from the requirement of obtaining a plumber’s limited license, to perform service, maintenance, or home installations.
- 2006: Successful in defeating multiple legislation on re-establishing local control.
- 2006: Successful in negotiations for a final bill relative to predatory lending.
- 2006: Multiple bill reviews for assessed value of homes, ethics, certificate of title, plumbing/mechanical code inspectors, electrical inspections/ inspectors, county adequate facilities tax/impact fees, etc.
- 2006: Exemption of the requirement for the installation completion of HVAC equipment, prior to electrical connection.
- 2007: Successful in legislation to allow for 45 days of temporary power/service on designated circuits for home installation completion, testing of equipment, environmental conditioning, and special operational equipment.
- 2007: Successful with a Supreme Court Ruling which determined “modular homes” are distinct types of structures from “mobile homes” and “trailers,” and because the restrictive covenant did not expressly prohibit “modular homes,” the plain wording of the covenant cannot be expanded to prohibit the defendant’s modular home.
- 2007: Successful in legislation - Mobile homes and manufactured buildings provisions. Authorizes Commissioner of Commerce and insurance to assess penalties, including civil penalties not to exceed $5,000, for violations of Modular Building Act; specifies that ready-removables are not included in the definition of modular building units; makes other technical changes relative to modular buildings.
- 2008: Successful in legislative exemption: Introduced bill limited the movement of single-family homes from one foundation to another. THA negotiated a provision exemption which states, ‘single family residences do not include manufactured or modular homes’.
- 2008: THA supported a legislative bill which would allow LEA vocational-technical students to construct and sell five modular buildings instead of one, during their curriculum year. Additionally, the restriction for ’residential’ was removed to allow LEA curriculum providers the option to build small commercial applications.
- 2009: THA worked with the administration to pass SAFE Act language in Tennessee, known as the “Tennessee Residential Lending, Brokerage and Servicing Act” and was successful in lobbying for a limited exemption for retailers of manufactured or modular homes..
- 2009: Successful in defeating a proposed bill which would require a seller and/or landlord to provide buyers and renters with an energy audit of estimated energy usage of a dwelling.
- 2009: Successful in defeating changes to the licensing and installation provisions of manufactured homes standard.
- 2009: THA supported lenders/bankers in the passage of a process to cancel the certificate of title on a manufactured home, to enable enjoining the home and property as real property.
- 2010: Defeated a bill which would have moved manufactured home inspections from the Department of Commerce and Insurance back to the jurisdiction of local codes.
- 2010: Successfully halted a bill in committee which would have required landlords of rental property in Davidson County to obtain a security deposit for first and last months' water service before allowing a tenant to take occupancy of any separately metered residential unit which is supplied with water by a public utility. The deposit would be based on the average amount of previous water bills for the unit. The bill would have also required the landlord to make an inquiry as to whether the tenant paid the water bill.
- 2010: Successfully halted the creation of a Class C misdemeanor against a person who removes a movable structure, such as a mobile home, from property when the person has not paid all monies owed to the property owner.
- 2010: Successfully defeated the requirement of sprinklers in manufactured housing. THA completed extensive research on the cost and applicability of fire sprinklers in one and two-family dwellings. THA submitted a formal report to the 106thCongress, and those comments were published in their entirety, as an appendix to the final document presented by Commerce & Insurance who introduced and supported the implementation of sprinklers.
- 2011: Successfully defeated an intangible personal property tax (IPPT) enforcement on state-based loan/finance companies.
- 2012: Successfully amended bills, which requires local governments seeking more stringent sprinkler requirements in one-family and two-family dwellings to adopt an ordinance or resolution with a two-thirds majority vote. Due to our collective efforts, the bill sponsors and other stakeholders, under the bill as amended (if a local government adopts mandatory sprinkler requirements for one-family and two-family dwellings), agreed to add an additional exemption so that the requirements will not apply to manufactured homes constructed or installed under parts 2 and 4 of chapter 126 of Title 68 of the Tennessee Code Annotated, unless the requirements are consistent with the regulations established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) relating to the installation of sprinkler equipment in manufactured homes. Note that an exemption already existed on one section of the state code; however, the state has never recognized that ‘clause of the law’.
- 2012: Successful in amending modular construction bills to include language stating, ‘No ready-removable shall be modified for use as residential, recreational, or emergency housing in this state’.
- 2013: Successful in negotiating exemption language which would have required a roofer’s contracting license from the board of licensing contractors before beginning roofing work. The industry successfully negotiated this exception to ensure no additional licensing requirements would be necessary for new, used or warranty work related to roofs for manufactured housing.
- 2014: Successful in defeating a bill in committee which would prohibit the owner of a moveable structure from removing the moveable structure from a rented space in a mobile home park in which the moveable structure is attached, if the owner of the moveable structure has not paid the operator of the park all monies owed for property taxes.
- 2015: Successful in negotiating language to cap fee increases. If the state increases industry licensing fees, it must follow a statutory formula, rather than an arbitrary increased fee amount.
- 2016: Successful in defeating numerous predatory pieces of legislation targeting retailer advertising.
- 2017: Successful in defeating numerous predatory pieces of legislation targeting finance.
- 2018: Successful in defeating numerous predatory pieces of legislation targeting communities.
- 2019: Successful in passing legislation to increase the transportable height of factory-built homes from 15’6” to 16’.
- 2019: Successful in securing an administrative change which clarifies only one escort vehicle is required for 14’-wide transports on the interstate highway system or highways with four (4) or more lanes.
- 2020: Successful in passing legislation to increase the permitted transportable width of factory-built homes from 16’ to 18’.
- 2020: Successful in modifying the statutory holiday restrictions of home transports. This change will open four (4) additional shipping weekends for the industry. (January - Martin Luther King Day; February - President’s Day; October – Columbus Day; and November – Veterans Day. This statutory change allows the industry to become more in harmony with other commodity shipments.
- 2020: Successful in securing an administrative clarification which ensures annual trip permits may be purchased for lengths up to 120’. A loophole found in the statute had reduced the allowance down to 90’.
- 2021: For future purposes, THA entered in to a 'Memorandum of Understanding' (MOU) with the Tennessee Rehabilitative Initiative in Correction (TRICOR). That MOU was entered into the legislative record, should future industry leaders need a reference point of original program intent. Due to statutory changes submitted in criminal justice reform in 2021, homebuilding training programs within the correction system, and the sale of products produced in those training programs, were given the authority to sell the products they produce, in the open market. This could create a competitive arena with our homebuilding market, which is strictly disallowed by statute, but programs can expand at any time, out of their intended scope. The MOU serves as the basis for the original intended scope. Among other items, the MOU would require notification to the industry prior to any proposed residential project and prior to proceeding with home placement. TRICOR has stated clearly they have no desire to enter the homebuilding market, but do want to recoup costs of labor, materials, and training, for any structure built under a construction skills program.
- 2022: THA submitted an administrative amendment (HB1668/SB1922) to Title 45, Chapter 13, which requires a sponsoring mortgage lender or mortgage loan broker to ensure that each application for a residential mortgage loan contains the unique identifier, instead of the license number, of the applicable mortgage lender, mortgage loan broker, and the mortgage loan originator. This action corrects the recording of duplicative identifiers, which previously slowed the progress of data processing. HB1668 is now Public Chapter 659, with an effective date of July 1, 2022.
- 2023: Among other significant legislative reviews and monitoring, THA successfully lobbied against a bill which would have removed safeguard language allowing a county or municipal legislative body to pass immediate ordinances or resolutions for the adoption of residential sprinklers. Generally, the bill amendment (SA0271 for SB0554) provides if a local government seeks to adopt mandatory sprinkler requirements for one-family and two-family dwellings, then the local government shall adopt the requirements by either ordinance or resolution, as appropriate. As the law is currently written, the process to require sprinklers must pass several readings and votes. This bill failed in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.
Annually, we encourage our members to support Tennessee's legislative efforts, by contributing to the Political Action Committee (PAC) campaign. Review the PAC webpage, for more information!