Introduced in House Passed House Introduced in Senate Passed Senate Became Law
01/07/2020        

Landlord and tenant; tenant rights and responsibilities.

Requires the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop a statement of tenant rights and responsibilities explaining in plain language the rights and responsibilities of tenants under the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (� 55.1-1200 et seq.) and maintain such statement on the Department's website along with a form to be signed by the parties to a rental agreement. The bill requires that the statement be provided to any prospective tenant and that the form developed by the Department be signed by the parties to the rental agreement. Failure to provide the statement of tenant rights and responsibilities to a prospective tenant or to provide a signed copy of the form with the copy of the signed rental agreement creates a rebuttable presumption that a landlord who has an assertion made against him of material noncompliance with the lease agreement has failed to maintain the dwelling unit in a fit and habitable condition.

Date Version PDF TXT
02/07/2020 Senate: Printed as engrossed 20106406D-ES1 Open
01/29/2020 Senate: Committee substitute printed 20106406D-S1 Open
01/07/2020 Senate: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20105101D Open

            

2020 SESSION

    20106406D
    SENATE BILL NO. 707
    AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
    (Proposed by the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology
    on January 29, 2020)
    (Patron Prior to Substitute--Senator McClellan)
    Senate Amendments in [ ] � February 7, 2020
     
    A BILL to amend and reenact �� 36-139 and 55.1-1204 of the Code of Virginia, relating to landlord and tenant; tenant rights and responsibilities.

    Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

    1. That �� 36-139 and 55.1-1204 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

    36-139. Powers and duties of Director.

    The Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development shall have the following responsibilities:

    1. Collecting from the governmental subdivisions of the Commonwealth information relevant to their planning and development activities, boundary changes, changes of forms and status of government, intergovernmental agreements and arrangements, and such other information as he may deem necessary.

    2. Making information available to communities, planning district commissions, service districts and governmental subdivisions of the Commonwealth.

    3. Providing professional and technical assistance to, and cooperating with, any planning agency, planning district commission, service district, and governmental subdivision engaged in the preparation of development plans and programs, service district plans, or consolidation agreements.

    4. Assisting the Governor in the providing of such state financial aid as may be appropriated by the General Assembly in accordance with � 15.2-4216.

    5. Administering federal grant assistance programs, including funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Economic Development Administration and other such federal agencies, directed at promoting the development of the Commonwealths communities and regions.

    6. Developing state community development policies, goals, plans and programs for the consideration and adoption of the Board with the ultimate authority for adoption to rest with the Governor and the General Assembly.

    7. Developing a Consolidated Plan to guide the development and implementation of housing programs and community development in the Commonwealth for the purpose of meeting the housing and community development needs of the Commonwealth and, in particular, those of low-income and moderate-income persons, families and communities.

    8. Determining present and future housing requirements of the Commonwealth on an annual basis and revising the Consolidated Plan, as necessary to coordinate the elements of housing production to ensure the availability of housing where and when needed.

    9. Assuming administrative coordination of the various state housing programs and cooperating with the various state agencies in their programs as they relate to housing.

    10. Establishing public information and educational programs relating to housing; devising and administering programs to inform all citizens about housing and housing-related programs that are available on all levels of government; designing and administering educational programs to prepare families for home ownership and counseling them during their first years as homeowners; and promoting educational programs to assist sponsors in the development of low and moderate income housing as well as programs to lessen the problems of rental housing management.

    11. Administering the provisions of the Industrialized Building Safety Law (� 36-70 et seq.).

    12. Administering the provisions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (� 36-97 et seq.).

    13. Establishing and operating a Building Code Academy for the training of persons in the content, application, and intent of specified subject areas of the building and fire prevention regulations promulgated by the Board of Housing and Community Development.

    14. Administering, in conjunction with the federal government, and promulgating any necessary regulations regarding energy standards for existing buildings as may be required pursuant to federal law.

    15. Identifying and disseminating information to local governments about the availability and utilization of federal and state resources.

    16. Administering, with the cooperation of the Department of Health, state assistance programs for public water supply systems.

    17. Advising the Board on matters relating to policies and programs of the Virginia Housing Trust Fund.

    18. Designing and establishing program guidelines to meet the purposes of the Virginia Housing Trust Fund and to carry out the policies and procedures established by the Board.

    19. Preparing agreements and documents for loans and grants to be made from the Virginia Housing Trust Fund; soliciting, receiving, reviewing and selecting the applications for which loans and grants are to be made from such fund; directing the Virginia Housing Development Authority and the Department as to the closing and disbursing of such loans and grants and as to the servicing and collection of such loans; directing the Department as to the regulation and monitoring of the ownership, occupancy and operation of the housing developments and residential housing financed or assisted by such loans and grants; and providing direction and guidance to the Virginia Housing Development Authority as to the investment of moneys in such fund.

    20. Establishing and administering program guidelines for a statewide homeless intervention program.

    21. Administering 15 percent of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Block Grant and any contingency funds awarded and carry over funds, furnishing home weatherization and associated services to low-income households within the Commonwealth in accordance with applicable federal law and regulations.

    22. Developing a strategy concerning the expansion of affordable, accessible housing for older Virginians and Virginians with disabilities, including supportive services.

    23. Serving as the Executive Director of the Commission on Local Government as prescribed in � 15.2-2901 and perform all other duties of that position as prescribed by law.

    24. Developing a strategy, in consultation with the Virginia Housing Development Authority, for the creation and implementation of housing programs and community development for the purpose of meeting the housing needs of persons who have been released from federal, state, and local correctional facilities into communities.

    25. Administering the Private Activity Bonds program in Chapter 50 (� 15.2-5000 et seq.) of Title 15.2 jointly with the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority and the Virginia Housing Development Authority.

    26. Developing a statement of tenant rights and responsibilities explaining in plain language the rights and responsibilities of tenants under the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (� 55.1-1200 et seq.) and maintaining such statement on the Departments website. The Director shall also develop and maintain on the Departments website a printable form to be signed by the parties to a written rental agreement acknowledging that the tenant has received from the landlord the statement of tenant rights and responsibilities as required by � 55.1-1204. The Director may at any time amend the statement of tenant rights and responsibilities and such printable form as the Director deems necessary and appropriate. The statement of tenant rights and responsibilities shall contain a plain language explanation of the rights and responsibilities of tenants in at least 14-point type.

    27. Carrying out such other duties as may be necessary and convenient to the exercise of powers granted to the Department.

    55.1-1204. Terms and conditions of rental agreement; payment of rent; copy of rental agreement for tenant.

    A. A landlord and tenant may include in a rental agreement terms and conditions not prohibited by this chapter or other rule of law, including rent, charges for late payment of rent, the term of the agreement, automatic renewal of the rental agreement, requirements for notice of intent to vacate or terminate the rental agreement, and other provisions governing the rights and obligations of the parties.

    B. The A landlord shall offer the a prospective tenant a written rental agreement containing the terms governing the rental of the dwelling unit and setting forth the terms and conditions of the landlord tenant landlord-tenant relationship and shall provide with it the statement of tenant rights and responsibilities developed by the Department of Housing and Community Development and posted on its website pursuant to � 36-139. The parties to a written rental agreement shall sign the form developed by the Department of Housing and Community Development and posted on its website pursuant to � 36-139 acknowledging that the tenant has received from the landlord the statement of tenant rights and responsibilities. Such The written rental agreement shall be effective upon the date signed by the parties.

    C. If a landlord does not offer a written rental agreement, the tenancy shall exist by operation of law, consisting of the following terms and conditions:

    1. The provision of this chapter shall be applicable to the dwelling unit that is being rented;

    2. The duration of the rental agreement shall be for 12 months and shall not be subject to automatic renewal, except in the event of a month-to-month lease as otherwise provided for under subsection C of � 55.1-1253;

    3. Rent shall be paid in 12 equal periodic installments in an amount agreed upon by the landlord and the tenant and if no amount is agreed upon, the installments shall be at fair market rent;

    4. Rent payments shall be due on the first day of each month during the tenancy and shall be considered late if not paid by the fifth of the month;

    5. If the rent is paid by the tenant after the fifth day of any given month, the landlord shall be entitled to charge a late charge as provided in this chapter;

    6. The landlord may collect a security deposit not to exceed an amount equal to two months of rent; and

    7. The parties may enter into a written rental agreement at any time during the 12-month tenancy created by this subsection.

    D. Except as provided in the written rental agreement, or as provided in subsection C if no written agreement is offered, rent shall be payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Except as provided in the written rental agreement, rent is payable at the place designated by the landlord, and periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one month or less and otherwise in equal installments at the beginning of each month. If the landlord receives from a tenant a written request for a written statement of charges and payments, he shall provide the tenant with a written statement showing all debits and credits over the tenancy or the past 12 months, whichever is shorter. The landlord shall provide such written statement within 10 business days of receiving the request.

    E. Except as provided in the written rental agreement or, as provided in subsection C if no written agreement is offered, the tenancy shall be week-to-week in the case of a tenant who pays weekly rent and month-to-month in all other cases. Terminations of tenancies shall be governed by � 55.1-1253 unless the rental agreement provides for a different notice period.

    F. If the rental agreement contains any provision allowing the landlord to approve or disapprove a sublessee or assignee of the tenant, the landlord shall, within 10 business days of receipt of the written application of the prospective sublessee or assignee on a form to be provided by the landlord, approve or disapprove the sublessee or assignee. Failure of the landlord to act within 10 business days is evidence of his approval.

    G. The landlord shall provide a copy of any written rental agreement signed by both the tenant and the landlord and the statement of tenant rights and responsibilities to the tenant within one month of the effective date of the written rental agreement. The failure of the landlord to deliver such a rental agreement and statement shall not affect the validity of the agreement. However, the landlord shall not file or maintain an action against the tenant in a court of law for any alleged lease violation unless he has provided the tenant with the statement of tenant rights and responsibilities.

    H. No unilateral change in the terms of a rental agreement by a landlord or tenant shall be valid unless (i) notice of the change is given in accordance with the terms of the rental agreement or as otherwise required by law and (ii) both parties consent in writing to the change.

    I. The landlord shall provide the tenant with a written receipt, upon request from the tenant, whenever the tenant pays rent in the form of cash or money order.

    2. That the Department of Housing and Community Development shall convene a stakeholder group consisting of landlords, property managers, and tenants, as well as attorneys knowledgeable in the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (� 55.1-1200 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) and other applicable provisions of the Code of Virginia relating to eviction procedures in residential landlord-tenant cases for the purpose of providing input into (i) the development of the form to be developed by the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development for posting on its website pursuant to � 36-139, as amended by this act, acknowledging that a tenant has received from the landlord the statement of tenant rights and responsibilities and (ii) any updates to the statement of tenant rights and responsibilities.

    [ 3. That the provisions of this act shall not become effective unless an appropriation effectuating the purposes of this act is included in a general appropriation act passed in 2020 by the General Assembly that becomes law. ]

    Picture Name From Date Type
    Jennifer L. McClellan D-Richmond Sponsor
    Date Branch Action
    01/29/2020 Senate Senate: Committee substitute printed 20106406D-S1
    01/29/2020 Senate Senate: Reported from General Laws and Technology with substitute (14-Y 0-N)
    01/29/2020 Senate Senate: Rereferred to Finance and Appropriations
    01/07/2020 Senate Senate: Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
    01/07/2020 Senate Senate: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20105101D
    Summary
    Congress - Bill Number Major Title
    Branch Vote Date Yes No Not Voting
    Wiki




    Start Description.
    Requires the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop a statement of tenant rights and responsibilities explaining in plain language the rights and responsibilities of tenants under the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (� 55.1-1200 et seq.) and maintain such statement on the Department's website along with a form to be signed by the parties to a rental agreement. The bill requires that the statement be provided to any prospective tenan
    End Description.

    Bill TEXT Points.
    This Bill has been listed with the following Subjects from Texts:
    Landlord and tenant


    Virginia
    1-1244 of the Code of Virginia, relating to landlord and tenant; tenant rights and responsibilities; explanation and remedy for material noncompliance


    End Bill TEXT Points.
    Date Bill Major Title
    Committee Name
    Subject Type