Effective July 1st: New Virginia Laws
The Virginia General Assembly wrapped up their legislative sessions in the early months of 2021. The Governor has taken action on 500+ bills/resolutions, with many affecting the housing industry.
Of approximately 3,000 bills/resolutions that were introduced during these sessions, Governor Northam took action on 552 and vetoed none of them during the 2021 special session.
Below is a summary of the bills that will take effect on July 1st, 2021, many of which were actively monitored by the advocacy team at Virginia REALTORS®.
Laws Effective as of July 1st:
- HB 1824: Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act (Required Disclosures for Buyer to Beware; Mold) | Del. Alex Askew
The bill adds a provision to the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act to require buyers to beware and exercise necessary due diligence when determining the condition of a real property and to obtain a mold assessment by a business that complies with EPA-provided guidelines.
- HB 1826: Property Owners and Condo Owners Associations (POA/COA) | Del. David Bulova
Virginia REALTORS® worked with stakeholders in the Common Interest Community to introduce legislation that will allow property owner and condo unit owners associations to conduct regular and annual meetings through electronic means. The Attorney General has already opined that these meetings can be held electronically but stakeholders believe it would be prudent to add this to the Virginia Code. Passed the House 98-0 and passed the Senate 39-0.
- HB 1832: Virginia Highway Cooperation Act “Greenway Bill” | Del. Suhas Subramanyam
The bill will implement a series of measurement standards to regulate the toll costs of the Dulles Greenway such as: (i) to assess whether the proposed toll increases will discourage commuters from using the road; (ii) to prohibit any proposed toll increases that extend beyond one year. The bill was signed by Gov. Northam on March 25th. To see DAAR’s update on the bill, please click here.
- HB 1842: Property & Condo Associations’ Rulemaking Authority to Prohibit Smoking | Del. Mark L. Keam
The bill provides Property Owners’ Associations and Condo Associations the rulemaking authority to prohibit smoking in the development, including rules that prohibit smoking with common elements/areas and units. Signed by Governor Northam on March 18th, 2021.
- HB 1889: Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; landlord remedies, noncompliance with rental agreement | Del. Marcia “Cia” Price
Removes the of July 1st, 2021 sunset date of certain provisions enacted during the 2020 Special Session related to the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. This includes (i) requirements for landlords with more than 4 properties to offer a payment plan to tenants before terminating a lease; (ii) that those participating in a payment plan may continue to receive other rent relief programs. The legislation also extends the sunset on provisions increasing the amount of time that owners of 4 or fewer units must wait after serving written notice of nonpayment before pursuing remedies for termination from 4 to 15 days.
- HB 1981: Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; access to dwelling unit during certain emergencies | Del. Betsy Carr
Authorizes a tenant to decline to permit a landlord to exhibit the tenant’s dwelling unit for sale or lease if the tenant has stated in writing a reasonable concern for his own health during a state of emergency declared by the Governor in response to a public health threat. The tenant must instead provide a video tour of the dwelling unit or other acceptable substitute for exhibiting the unit for sale or lease. The bill also states that a tenant who has provided notice that he/she does not want nonemergency repairs made during a public health state of emergency (as declared by the governor), the landlord and their employees/agents may enter the unit nonetheless provided that they wear the appropriate personal protective equipment and provides the tenant with 7 days written notice and at a time agreed upon by the tenant.
- HB 1900 / SB 1215: Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; tenant remedies for exclusion from dwelling unit | Del. Sally Hudson & Sen. Adam Ebbin
Provides that a general district court shall enter an order upon petition by a tenant that his landlord has (i) unlawfully removed/excluded the tenant from the dwelling unit, (ii) interrupted/caused the interruption of an essential service to the tenant, or (iii) taken action to make the premises unsafe for habitation. Law effective as of July 1st, 2021.
- HB 1923 / SB 1334: Expanding Broadband Capacity in the Commonwealth | Del. Hala Ayala & Sen. John Edwards
Expands an existing pilot program through which Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power are authorized to expand broadband capacity to Internet providers in underserved areas of Virginia to include municipal Internet service providers. The current program is restricted to nongovernmental Internet service providers. Governor Northam signed the bill in late-March of this year.
- HB 2014: Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; landlord’s acceptance of rent with reservation | Del. Marcia “Cia” Price
Provides that an eviction will be cancelled if a tenant makes full payment of rent along with any damages, judgments, and court costs at least 48 hours before a scheduled eviction, unless there are bases for eviction other than nonpayment of rent stated in the unlawful detainer.
- HB 2064: Recording an electronic document; electronic notarial certificate. | Del. Marcus Simon
Provides that if a clerk of the circuit court does not have an eRecording System, the clerk shall record a legible paper copy of an electronic document, provided that such copy otherwise meets the requirements for recordation and is certified to be a true and accurate copy of the electronic original by the party who submits the document for recordation. If a clerk has an eRecording System, the clerk shall follow the provisions of the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. The act requires an electronic notarial certificate to include the county or city in the Commonwealth where the notary public was physically located and indicate whether the notarization was done in person or by remote online notarization, defined in the bill as an electronic notarization where the signer is not in the physical presence of the notary. The bill also adds additional forms of “satisfactory evidence of identity” when a notary is using video and audio communication.
- HB 2099: Judgments; limitations on enforcement, judgment liens, settlement agents, effective date | Del. Carrie Coyner
The bill reduces from 20 years to 10 years from the date of a judgment the period of time within which an execution may be issued, or action may be taken on such judgment. The legislation also provides that the limitation of the enforcement of a judgment may be extended for 10 years up to two times by a recordation of a certificate prior to the expiration period in the clerk’s office in which a judgment lien is recorded. The law allows a settlement agent or title insurance company to release a judgment lien, provided that the obligation secured by such judgment lien has been satisfied by payment made by the settlement agent.
- HB 2161/SB 1410: Active military or a military spouse; prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, etc. | Del. Kathy K.L. Tran & Sen. John Bell
Prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and housing on the basis of a person’s military status, defined as a member of the uniformed services of the United States or a reserve component thereof or a spouse or other dependent of the same.
- HB 2229: Protecting Tenants During the Foreclosure Process | Del. Marcus Simon
Federal legislation re-enacted the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) in 2018. The PTFA requires that a purchaser at foreclosure allow a tenant to continue to occupy the rental dwelling unit for up to 90 days if the purchaser is buying the house as their home and up to the balance of the term of the existing lease if the purchaser is buying the house for investment. Virginia REALTORS® is seeking legislation to conform Virginia law to the PTFA. Passed the House 99-0 and passed the Senate 30-9.
- SB 1143: Wetland Permit Extension through 2021 | Sen. John Cosgrove
Retroactively extends certain wetlands permits that are set to expire between March 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021 to January 1st, 2022.
- SB 1309: Stormwater Assistance and Flood Protection & Mitigation | Sen. Adam Ebbin
The bill allows any locality to create a local Stormwater Management Fund, via ordinance, consisting of appropriated local funds for the purpose of granting funds to an owner of private property or common interest community.
Laws Effective Post-July 1st:
- HB 2320/SB 1389: Consumer Awareness – Flood Risk Report | Del. Kelly K. Convirs-Fowler & Sen. Lynwood Lewis
Requires the Real Estate Board to make available on its website a flood risk information form, the details of which are outlined in the bill. The bill also provides that an owner of residential real property located in the Commonwealth who has actual knowledge that the dwelling unit is a repetitive risk loss structure, as defined in the bill, shall disclose such fact to the purchaser on a form provided by the Real Estate Board on its website.
Effective: January 1st, 2022
For questions, reach out to DAAR’s Government Affairs Director.
June 21, 2021