Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Great News ~ Productive Water Authority Meeting


Hello Everyone,

A few weeks ago me, Matt Bennett and Roger Malouf had a very productive meeting with the head attorney/lobbyist for the Virginia Realtors Association - Chip Dicks, the lobbyist for the entire state of Virginia's cities, counties and towns - John Lain the lobbyist for the Water Companies across the state - Preston Bryant, as well as the head of Roanoke Valley Association of Realtors economic & governmental affairs - Joe Sutliff, who by the way is a real nice guy.

The purpose of the meeting was to drum up different ideas on what we can do to prevent landlords from ever having to pay the tenants delinquent water bills. We came up with some great ideas and are currently working on some things to help reduce your chances of this happening to you.

We also had a revelation during this meeting. It turns out that the Western Virginia Water Authority broke the law by putting liens on landlords for tenants delinquent bills without having a critical form that you as the landlord would have had to have filled out. Or Water Authority decided not to use this form. And any Authority that didn’t use it is agreeing to not take part in the lien against landlord program.

The only way for you to find out if you have one of these liens is by doing a title search on yourself at the court house. The Authority did not send out notifications that a lien was placed so you will not know otherwise.

Those of you who paid tenants bills rather than getting a lien on your house, you also didn’t have to do so.

What a mess this created. REI of Virginia will be standing by your side watching to see if the Authority will do the right thing and remove every lien they ever put on a landlords property or if they will force us to take them to court. This should be a real easy case considering the people who wrote the bill including their very own lobbyist confirmed that they broke the law. He said the would talk to them about it and clarify the law to them but he clearly doesn’t have the capabilities of making them do anything.

I’ll keep you updated as we progress. I can tell you one thing though. They are currently not budging a bit on those liens. They all agree with trying to develop solutions to reduce our likelihood of ever paying a tenants bill, but we have not been able to get them off the crazy idea that a landlord should be responsible for a tenants delinquent bill in the first place. They said that this order to make landlords responsible for tenants water bills “came straight from the Governors office” which we are skeptical of.

By the way, there is a process that REI of Virginia Realtor members can use to get laws changed through the RVAR. You landlord Realtors need to talk to Joe Sutliff about what you want changed in the law. Joe has the capabilities of submitting changes to the state VAR. Every year they pick several issues out of what’s sent to them and they push to get it passed as law. So you Realtor / REI members, of which there are many, could be a tremendous benefit to our collective cause to level the playing field for real estate investors state wide.

Good stuff guys. Finally a nice win!

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