Advocacy in Action: Advance REALTOR® Priorities in Virginia!

Now in session… all of Virginia’s 100 Delegates and 40 Senators returned to the State Capitol on January 11th for a 46-day General Assembly ‘session’ to review amendments to the biennial budget and act on thousands of pieces of legislation.

The primary goal of advancing REALTOR® priorities at the state level is to shape the future of real estate in the Commonwealth to promote homeownership and protect private property rights.  The Virginia REALTORS® (VR)(formerly the Virginia Association of REALTORS®) works to carry YOUR voice to lawmakers at the General Assembly level.

While ‘session’ just kicked off, the process of developing VR’s legislative agenda actually began several months ago.  Taking input from local associations, including DAAR, and individual REALTORS®, the volunteer members of the VR’s Public Policy Committee vetted dozens of ideas and from them recommended a legislative package for our Board of Directors to formally endorse.

This year, VR will advocate for the following legislation and has asked that you encourage your state lawmakers through this Call to Action to support the following:

Transfer of Security Deposits upon the Sale of a Dwelling Unit (HB 1623 – Yancey; SB 991 – Dance)
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 (SB 966),– Obenshain; HB 2281– Leftwich)  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– J. Miller; SB 1231 – Stanley) and Condo Act Amendments (HB 2274, – D. Marshall; SB 1255 – DeSteph)

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

Amendments to the Residential Disclosure Act (HB 2034– J. Miller) Renames the “red-flag” disclosure statement the “buyer to beware” statement and allows for electronic delivery of the form to the potential purchaser. The measure also adds the following to the “buyer to beware” statement:

  •  Owner makes no representations with respect to underlying conservation or other easements.
  •  Owner makes no representations with respect to an underlying community development authority.

Click here to view or print a copy of VR’s 2017 Legislative Agenda

In addition to stewarding the VR legislative agenda, the VR Public Policy Committee, which includes DAAR member Gene Mock, will meet weekly during the session to vet hundreds of bills – as well as a few budget items – to determine the potential impact on housing and private property rights and to take a position of “support”, “oppose” or “amend” on each of these bills.

Please reach out to Brenda Morton, DAAR’s Government Affairs and Communications Manager, at mailto:bmorton@dullesarea.comif you have any questions.