The GAD Top Three | April 1st, 2024

Update on DOL Final Rule on Independent Contractor Status, NAR Submits Comments to Department of Veterans Affairs on Allowable Fees, Cherry Grove Township Discusses a Draft Short-Term Rental Ordinance

Starting off this week, we provide more detailed information on the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final independent contractor status rule that went into effect on March 11th and what it may mean to real estate professionals. Second, NAR urges the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow VA Home Loan participants to compensate professional representatives directly. Last, Cherry Grove Township introduces and begins discussions on a short-term rental ordinance. 

1. Update on DOL Final Rule on Independent Contractor Status

The U.S Department of Labor (DOL) final independent contractor rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as covered in the Jan. 22nd GAD Top 3 officially went into effect on Mon, March 11th; despite protest from the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). As of this past Wed., March 27th, NAR has expressed that this new DOL Independent Contractor Rule does not automatically impact real estate professionals to be classified as independent contractors. However, it also does not provide enough clarity to ensure real estate professionals are classified as independent contractors. With this being the case, NAR continues to advocate for U.S. House Resolution 5419 which would provide a carve-out under the FLSA so that direct sellers and qualified real estate agents are consistently defined as independent contractors. As efforts continue to support U.S. House Resolution 5419, check out the NAR Independent Contractor Status webpage for the latest information and FAQs to provide additional clarity and guidance on this new DOL rule.

2. NAR Submits Comments to the Department of Veterans Affairs on Allowable Fees

As the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) continues to move forward with the process of approval for the proposed settlement agreement, NAR is urging the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to revise its policies. Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs prohibits veterans utilizing the VA home loan benefit from compensating their professional representative directly. Under the terms of the proposed settlement agreement, this would put veterans at a disadvantage when offers of compensation are not offered from a seller and could force them to go without professional representation, choose a different loan option, or have to exit the homebuying marketplace. Check out NAR’s Letter to the VA here.     

3. Cherry Grove Township Discusses a Draft Short-Term Rental Ordinance

Cherry Grove Township at their Feb. 14th Township Board Meeting began consideration of a short-term rental ordinance aimed at outlining restrictions and guidelines for short-term rentals (STRs). The Cherry Grove Township Board engaged in extensive deliberation on the draft ordinance, reviewing its contents, and discussing potential adjustments. The Cherry Grove Township Board discussed adding further items and making adjustments to the ordinance. The Cherry Grove Township Board has since met at their regularly scheduled township board meeting on Wed., March 13th where the STR Ordinance was an unfinished agenda item. No minutes are currently available on their website for this March 13th meeting. The next Cherry Grove Township Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 10th at 5:30 pm at the Cherry Grove Township Offices (4830 E M-55, Cadillac, MI). To engage in this process contact Cherry Grove Township Officials. You can find their contact information here on their website.

Connor Miller photo
Connor Miller
Government Affairs Director

As the Government Affairs Director, I work to advocate for the real estate industry through programming that promotes the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates; engage, inform, and activate membership and local government officials on key local and state real estate policies; provide staff support to the REALTOR® Political Action Committee that invests members' voluntary contributions to protect and promote the real estate industry; and support the Aspire North memberships’ involvement in community projects to further grow and strengthen our region.