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HB 2033 Landlord and tenant law; residential tenancies, landlord and tenant obligations and remedies.
SUMMARY AS PASSED HOUSE: (all summaries)
Landlord and tenant law; residential tenancies; landlord and tenant obligations and remedies. Provides that the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (§ 55-248.2 et seq.) (the Act) shall apply to all residential tenancies; however, a landlord who is a natural person, an estate, or a legal entity that owns no more than two single-family residential dwelling units in its own name subject to a rental agreement may opt out of the Act by stating so in the rental agreement. The bill conforms general landlord and tenant law relating to residential tenancies to the Act, including the security deposits, lease terms, notice, and disclosure provisions. The bill also allows the landlord, for unclaimed security deposits, to submit such funds to the State Treasurer rather than the Virginia Housing Trust Fund and changes the requirement that a landlord make reasonable efforts to advise the tenant of the right to be present at the landlord's inspection to a requirement that written notice of the right be provided. The bill provides for a landlord to provide a tenant with a written statement of charges and payments over the previous 12 months rather than an accounting as required under current law. In addition, the bill includes any activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety by the tenant or authorized occupants, guests, or invitees as an immediate nonremediable violation for which the landlord may terminate the tenancy. The bill also authorizes a landlord to dispose of the property of a deceased tenant if a personal representative has not been appointed by the circuit court. The landlord may proceed with the disposal after providing 10 days' notice. The bill (i) provides that authorized occupants, guests, or invitees must vacate the dwelling unit after the death of a sole tenant; (ii) allows a landlord to request during the pendency of an unlawful detainer action an order requiring the tenant to provide the landlord with access to the dwelling unit; (iii) adds oil to the utilities that may be included in ratio utility billing; (iv) requires the landlord to provide a written security deposit disposition statement following a move-out inspection and provides for the landlord to seek recovery for additional damages discovered after the security deposit disposition has been made, provided, however, that the tenant may present evidence of the move-out report to support the tenant's position that such additional damages did not exist at the time of the move-out inspection; and (v) authorizes a landlord to retain an attorney to prepare or provide any required written notice and permits the use of an electronic signature or an electronic notarization.