“Crossover,” in the Virginia General Assembly session happens when each chamber (House of Delegates and Senate) finishes their review, debate and approval of their own bills and budget items. Those items then pass over to the other house for a similar process. This year the crossover deadline was February 11th. With crossover behind us, it’s a good time to report on legislation and update you on several key bills considered this session.
The Public Policy Committee of the Virginia Realtors® recommended either supporting, opposing, or working to amend over 125 bills this session. Your NVAR and Virginia Realtors® Government Affairs teams have been busy advocating for Realtor® interests with great success. A full report of those bills impacting the real estate industry will be available after the session.
Legislation to allow associations like the Virginia Realtors® to work with insurance providers in Virginia and establish health insurance plans that they can offer to members of their association.
SB 235 – Sen. George Barker – Passed the full Senate 40-0 on 1/28.
HB 795 – Del. Chris Hurst – Pass the full House (99-Y 0-N) on 2/3.
Legislation to clarify a perceived discrepancy between escrow law and regulations. This legislation will require all rent monies paid to a real estate licensee acting on behalf of a landlord, including current rent, to be deposited into an escrow account. This clarification ensures that all rent monies are deposited into escrow instead of operating accounts and will therefore provide additional protection for consumer funds.
SB 653 – Sen. Jennifer Boysko – Passed the full Senate (40-Y 0-N) on 1/28.
Security Deposit Disbursement
Legislation to clarify that the 45-day time period for returning a security deposit to a tenant starts running from the date of the termination of the tenancy or the date the tenant vacates the unit, whichever occurs last. This clarification will ensure that landlords and tenants are working with the same expectations.
SB 388 – Sen. Jeremy McPike – Passed the full Senate (40-Y 0-N) on 1/21.
HB 594 – Del. Jeff Bourne - Passed the full House (99-Y 0-N) on 2/7.
Death or Disability of Broker
Legislation to clarify that upon the death or disability of a real estate broker who was a sole proprietor or the only licensed broker in any business entity, the real estate board can approve someone to close out the business. Previously, the law did not include LLCs in the list of business entities which implied that if a broker was the only licensed broker in an LLC, the VREB could not appoint someone to conclude the business.
HB 513 – Del. David Bulova - Passed the full House (99-Y 0-N) on 2/7.
POA/Condo Act Extension for Right of Rescission
This legislation would allow parties to a transaction for a property located in a POA or Condo association to agree to extend the three-day right of rescission for up to an additional 4 days. Currently, the statute prohibits the parties from changing the three-day period, even if all the parties agree. This can be burdensome for parties with scheduling difficulties or where additional information is needed before the transaction can move forward. Limiting the extension to 4 days provides extra time, if needed, but still allows for certainty of contract.
HB 176 – Del. Marcus Simon – Passed the full House (99-Y 0-N) on 1/27 and reported from Senate General Laws (15-Y 0-N) on 2/12.
SB 672 – Sen. Monty Mason – Passed the full Senate (40-Y 0-N) on 1/28.
Removal of Restrictive Covenants
Legislation to remove discriminatory restrictive covenant language that would violate fair housing law from real property title and deeds. Current law already declares such language void and contrary to the public policy of the Commonwealth. This legislation would require all deeds executed in any residential real estate transaction to remove this offensive language that can affect property values and delay or prevent the sale of real property.
HB 788 – Del. Lamont Bagby – Passed the full House (99-Y 0-N) on 2/5.