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2017 Virginia General Assembly Wraps Up with REALTOR Wins

va capitol

The VAR Legislative Agenda has advanced with unanimous votes throughout the process.

ALL HAVE PASSED. SOME HAVE BEEN SENT TO THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE. SOME HAVE BEEN SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR.

Here’s the current status:

Transfer of Security Deposits upon the Sale of a Dwelling Unit
HB 1623  SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR 2/20
SB 991 AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

Allows a property manager to transfer a security deposit to the owner and to simply provide notice to the tenants, versus having to obtain the written consent of the owner and tenants.

Licensee Responsibilities – Transfer of Escrow Funds and Foreclosures
HB 2281  FINAL PASSAGE UNANIMOUS
SB 966  SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR 2/20

Allows for a smoother transition for an existing tenant and a new owner following a foreclosure.

Allows the tenant to continue to pay rent to the: (i) new landlord, (ii) the property manager at the time of the foreclosure, or (iii) the courts, through an escrow account.

Allows for the written property management agreement to continue in place following a foreclosure on a month-to-month basis until terminated by either the property manager or the new owner, unless a shorter period is provided for in the property management agreement.

This legislation does not change Virginia Code Section 55-248.15:1 that places the responsibility on the landlord at the lease termination to make disposition of the tenant’s security deposit, regardless of whether that landlord received the tenant’s security deposit from a prior landlord.

POA Act Amendments
HB 2045 AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE
SB 1231 AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

Condo Act Amendments
HB 2274 AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE
SB 1255 AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

Associations cannot condition, limit or prohibit for sale signs other than limiting signs to those that are in compliance with the VREB regulations.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The contract between a homebuyer/homeowner and a Homeowners’ Association (HOA) is just that – a legally binding contract between two private entities that cannot be trumped by local ordinance or by state or federal law. The bills above, if signed into law, do not change any signage restrictions set forth in Ford’s Colony or in any HOA’s covenants or restrictions, given that those are court-recorded instruments. An HOA’s Board of Directors is the only entity that can amend these instruments, including any provision in that instrument that restricts signage. The Board of Director of an HOA would have to pass that amendment by a super-majority of the Board.

The bills impact signage in any community only that it clarifies that no signage restriction can be in conflict with the regulations of the Virginia Real Estate Board.

Associations cannot require a formal power of attorney from a real estate licensee to represent their clients before the association and are required to accept a document from the real estate licensee signed by the owner that confirms representation.

Adds that failure to deliver the association disclosure packet within the 14-day requirement subjects the association to up to $1,000 fine imposed by the Common Interest Community Board.


Residential Property Disclosure Act Amendments
HB 2034  FINAL PASSAGE UNANIMOUS

Renames the “red-flag” disclosure statement the “buyer to beware” statement.
Adds the following buyer to beware statements:
Owner makes no representations with respect to underlying conservation or other easements.
Owner makes no representations with respect to an underlying community development authority.
Allows for electronic delivery of the form to the potential purchaser.
Generally, “cleans up” the Residential Disclosure Act.

OTHER BILLS OF INTEREST
HB 2033 Omnibus Landlord-Tenant Law PASSED UNANIMOUSLY
SB 1189 Water and Sewer Liens PASSED UNANIMOUSLY 
HB 2108  Broadband Bill PASSED 79-13-1
SB 1578 Short Term Rentals PASSED 86-14

THE 2017 VAR LEGISLATIVE AGENDA CAN BE FOUND HERE:

http://www.virginiarealtorschoose.com/2017-bills/