Friday, May 2, 2014

2014 Virginia Passed Laws That Affect Landlords.

I did many hours of research to see what passed this year that people aren’t talking about in our industry. So, since no one seems to be watching, I’ll do it.

A: Small landlords now with 3 to 10 properties are subject to the Landlord Tenant Act look up HB 273  Click on the Governors Acts of Assembly Chapter Text for the FINAL bill on all of these.

B: If a tenant pays a judgement that you have against them, you have 90 days to notify the court so it can be entered on the judgement docket. If you don’t you are liable for a fine of $100 as well as the cost of releasing the judgement. HB 393

C: If a city councilman or other part time officer agent or employee of a city misuses public assets in the amount over $1,000 in a year period they will be slapped on the hand with a Class 1 misdemeanor which would be equivalent to a minor traffic ticket. That is IF the police department wants to charge them. HB 420

D: Cities, counties and towns now have to give you the last 2 years of appraised values. They used to only have to give the last year. HB 525

E: Group homes / boarding houses: Roanoke city currently says you can have no more than 4 unrelated adults OR a family and 2 unrelated adults in a house to be considered a single family house. This bill says that if you are renting to no more than 8 people with mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities or developmental disabilities and you have one resident or NON resident staff person which could be you, the house shall be considered residential occupancy by a SINGLE family. HB 527 Group Homes and Zoning

F: This one is great! If a tenant doesn’t show up to court, and you demonstrate to the judge that they owe more money, the court now is required to allow an amendment of the amount you are requesting on the unlawful detainer and enter a judgement for the new amount. HB 596

G: Looks like now if you have it in your lease, you can bill a tenant for any local government fees that you get which include things such as storm water (rain tax), recycling, trash collection, rental inspection programs, power, etc. If landlords jump on board with this one the city will have repercussions when they go after the landlord. The fees that you charge them will be legally deemed to be rent. We will need to talk about this one in more detail. Maybe Ross will come in and talk about it. HB 614

H: Adding an alternate name: Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act to The Virginia Rental Housing Act. Also now if you have terminated the rental agreement, and didn’t take the tenant to court, you are still legally owed unpaid rent, late fees, damages, etc. You no longer need a judgement for the money to be owed. Which would lead me to believe that you can now send a collection agency after them without a judgement.

Also in this bill if a tenant dies the rental agreement is immediately terminated on the date of the death and the estate of the person who died is liable for actual damages to the property. This bill is HB 638


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