Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Government Limits Assessors and Rouge Code Enforcement



Property assessments receive infusion of fairness under new Virginia law
In the 2010 General Assembly session, Virginia legislators passed a bill bringing more fairness to the real estate assessment process.
Let's say that you feel your assessment is overstated and you'd like to appeal it because you'd like to reduce real estate tax bill. As your assessment appeal goes through the system, you have some additional rights based on this new law, effective July 1, 2010.
Upon your request, your real estate assessor must provide you with information about how your assessment was determined. If the assessor doesn’t provide you with this information five days before a court or board of equalization hearing, the information can’t be introduced at the hearing by the assessor. This law also increases the training and experience standards assessors must meet in order to be certified to conduct assessments in Virginia .

Improvements to Virginia properties get additional protections under new law
During the 2010 General Assembly session, Virginia 's legislators passed a law providing additional protections for home improvements.
Let's say you decide to build a front porch on your home. You hire a contractor, get all of the required permits from your local government, and complete the construction in compliance with all applicable rules. But a year later, your local government changes the rules and declares your porch to be illegal because it doesn't comply with the new rules.
Effective July 1, 2010, your local government can’t declare your home improvements to be illegal as long as you followed the rules in effect at the time the improvements were constructed, even if it has adopted stricter rules in the meantime. You also now have the right to replace an existing wastewater disposal system for an existing building even if a new system wouldn’t otherwise be permitted in that location. However, if your system fails and access to the municipal sewer is available, you’ll be required to connect to it.

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