Endorsement of Candidates Seeking Election to the York County Board of Supervisors, Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia

With less than a week until the election, VPAR and RPAC of Virginia are pleased to announce the endorsements for candidates seeking office to the York County Board of Supervisors, the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia:

YORK COUNTY
Sheila Noll District 2
Jeff Wassmer District 4
Tom Shepperd District 5

(NOTE — District 1 is in the WAAR footprint and was included in the WAAR interview process, with Walt Zaremba receiving the endorsement. The VPAR Public Policy Committee recommended no endorsement in District 3.)

HOUSE OF DELEGATES
Gordon Helsel (R) 91st District
Jeoin Ward (D) 92nd District
Monty Mason (D) 93rd District
David Yancey (R) 94th District
Marcia Price (D) 95th District
Brenda Pogge (R ) 96th District

SENATE OF VIRGINIA
John Miller (D) 1st District
Mamie Locke (D) 2nd District
Tommy Norment (R) 3rd District

VPAR encourages its members to consider this important information when going to the polls on Election Day, November 3rd. The REALTOR® Party platform regarding pro-housing, pro-business and pro-economic growth should be important elements that VPAR members use as they make their decision at the ballot box.

VPAR and the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) are non-partisan entities that focus on issues relevant to the housing and real estate markets and the interests of our members.

For more details, go to the official VPAR endorsement announcement that can be found here: https://files.acrobat.com/…/248b83ec-6ac4-4efc-ab8a-2d4b0d8…

For more details on the House and Senate endorsements, go to REALTORS CHOOSE: http://www.virginiarealtorschoose.com/2015-endorsements/

THE LEGISLATIVE LINE Number 5 March 1, 2015

CapitalVIRGINIA PENINSULA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
THE LEGISLATIVE LINE
The Legislative Update from VPAR
Number 5 March 1, 2015
For the first time in recent memory, the General Assembly adjourned a day early, gaveling out “Sine Die,” Latin for “without another day,” on Friday night, February 27th. In a Session that wrapped up with a two-year budget completed in record time, little acrimony, and raises for state employees, state-supported local employees, college faculty, and teachers, this Session has been regarded by some senior legislators from both parties as one of the best and most efficient on record.

 

This short session also produced:
• extra money for state police, sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers;
• better protection of students from campus sexual assaults and of young children in unlicensed day care homes;
• an historic overhaul of the state ABC Board ;
• big boosts to underfunded state employee and teacher pensions;
• stricter oversight of public-private transportation deals, such as the aborted $1.8 billion plan for a new U.S. 460, and a sweeping reallocation of state transportation funds; and
• financial relief for local governments and higher education, as well as a much-needed early deposit to the state rainy-day fund after draining it to plug a projected $2.4 billion revenue shortfall that ended up being less dire than expected.

 

Nothing was more remarkable in the assembly session than the smooth adoption of a two-year, $35 billion state general fund budget on Thursday — two days before the scheduled adjournment and earlier than anyone involved could remember.

 

With bills now on the Governor’s desk for his approval by midnight on March 30th, in advance of the April 8th Veto Session, Delegates and Senators have returned home, primed to begin the election cycle for all 140 seats of the legislature in November.

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY RETIREMENTS
Eight members of the General Assembly, five members of the Senate and three members of the House, are not seeking re-election this year. Combined, Senators Charles Colgan (D-Manassas), John Watkins (R-Powhatan), Walter Stosch (R-Henrico), Linda T. “Toddy” Puller (D-Alexandria) and Jeff McWaters (R-Virginia Beach), along with Delegates Mamye BaCote (D-Newport News), Tom Rust (R-Reston) and Ed Scott (R-Madison) represent nearly 170 years in legislative service and institutional knowledge. They will be missed for their budget acumen, their statesman/stateswoman-like qualities and their expertise across a variety of issues including agriculture, transportation, accounting and local government operations. All have been stalwart friends of the real estate and housing industries, and VPAR wishes them well on their next journey. We especially will miss our own Peninsula member of the House, Delegate BaCote. Thanks to each of them for their love of and dedication to the Commonwealth. Well done!

 
STATUS OF THE REALTOR®
2015 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
VAR’s entire legislative agenda PASSED THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY and rests on the Governor’s desk. Governor McAuliffe must take action on ALL legislation by midnight on Monday, March 30th.
IN ADDITION, as noted in last week’s update, we have prevailed on two budget issues: 1.) the language in the Governor’s budget that would have resulted in an increase from $500 to $2,500 for the deductible in mitigating underground petroleum tanks has been removed; and 2.) the $50,000 appropriation needed to enact the criminal inducement policy is in the House budget and also is in the Senate budget.

 

HB 1450 – Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act;
Representations related to special flood hazard area
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1450
Introduced by: Jackson H. Miller
Buyers Should Be Aware of Storm Water Maintenance Agreements. Increasingly, local governments are entering into maintenance agreements with landowners that may require the landowner to ill maintain a stormwater facility on the property. For many years, we have advised that REALTORS® tell buyers to identify the existence of these facilities on the property, but not to ask whether or not there is a formal maintenance agreement with the locality in place. To ensure that your buyers and buyers agents know what to ask, we are amending the “buyer-beware” disclosure form to include the existence of stormwater maintenance agreement.
ROLLED INTO HB 1642

 

HB 1452 – Landlord and tenant law; who may recover rent and possession
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1452
Introduced by: Jackson H. Miller
Different Judges Interpret the Law Differently. We have several judges in Virginia who say that because “family trusts” are not specifically spelled out in the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act, or the VRLTA, our property managers cannot appear in court on behalf of their clients. This leaves the owner to have to appear in person or to hire an attorney. This was an oversight in the VRLTA. To make sure our property managers can continue to represent their clients in court, we will propose amending the Virginia Landlord Tenant Act to add “family trusts.”
Passed the House 98-0 on January 28th; passed the Senate 38-0 on February 19th. Headed to the Governor’s office.

 

HB 1965 – Dept. of Professional and Occupational Regulation; Real Estate Transaction Recovery Fund
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1965
Introduced by: Thomas Davis Rust
Helping our Consumers Recover Funds They Are Owed. Currently, when a licensee is found guilty of a Real Estate Board regulation and the consumer is owed money, the consumer has to petition the general district court for a judgment. The judgment specifically must state the offense that occurred with the real estate licensee or the Real Estate Board cannot award the funds. To fix that, we are amending the Code of Virginia to allow judges to award a general judgment, similar to what already is allowed under the Board of Contractors.
Passed the House 90-0 on February 4th; passed the Senate 38-0 on February 19th. Headed to the Governor’s Office.

 

HB 2100 – Condominium and Property Owners’ Association Acts; allowable charges; rental of units
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb2100
Introduced by: Christopher K. Peace
Further Clarification to the POA and COA. Each year, issues arise in the relationships between REALTORS®, homeowners, Property Owners’ Associations (POA’s) and Condominium Owners’ Associations (COA’s). VAR will work with the state legislature to make sure there is clarity in the law regarding what fees can be charged and what actions ownership associations can take. It is important to find the proper balance in the agreements between homeowners and POA’s and COA’s to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.
Passed the House 100-0 on February 10th; passed the Senate 38-0 on February 19th with amendments. Reconsidered with Senate amendments by the House on February 23rd and passed 98-0. The bill is headed to the Governor for his approval.
SB 775 – Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; related to special flood hazard zones https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=sb775
Introduced by: Mamie E. Locke
Passed the House 99-0 on January 22nd; passed the Senate 38-0 on February 16th. Headed to the Governor’s Office.

 

HB 1642 – Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; related to special flood hazard zones
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1642
Introduced by: Christopher P. Stolle
Buyers Need to Determine If a Property Will Need Flood Insurance: Buyers, particularly in coastal regions of Virginia, should be able to identify whether properties will need additional flood insurance because they are located in a FEMA-determined special flood hazard zone. Currently, a flood certification is performed on every property, regardless of where it is in Virginia, by the mortgage lender. This is used as part of the underwriting of the loan and to ensure appropriate insurance coverage is applied as required by federal law. Flood certifications are performed by third-party providers with expertise in evaluating the FEMA flood zone maps. A list of these providers is readily available on the FEMA website. As with home inspections, storm water facilities, and the sexual offender registry, buyers should be educated on what issues to investigate in the transaction. To accomplish this, we propose amending the Code to add language to the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Statement’s list of disclosures that advises the purchaser to exercise due diligence in investigating whether the property resides within a special flood hazard zone, including obtaining a flood certification.
Passed the House 98-0 on January 28th; passed the Senate 38-0 on February 19th. Headed to the Governor’s Office.

 

1424 – Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Act; delinquent payment
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1424
Introduced by: Daniel W. Marshall, III
Landlords and Property Owners Should Not Bear the Burden. VAR helped pass a requiring a landlord or property owner to pay delinquent water bills from their tenants before the services could be turned back on. Unfortunately, the General Assembly missed one Code section. To fix this oversight, we propose amending all of the sections in the Code to prohibit water authorities from requiring landlords or property owners to pay delinquent water fees from tenants.
Passed the House 98-0 on February 10th; passed the Senate 38-0 on February 20th. Headed to the Governor’s Office.

 

HB 1493 – Enticing, etc., real estate licensee with intent to commit certain felonies; penalty
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1493
Introduced by: Jackson H. Miller
SB 1100 Enticing, etc., real estate licensee with intent to commit certain felonies;
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=sb1100
Introduced by: Mark D. Obenshain
Making Sure Predators Get What They Deserve. There have been several high-profile cases in the past several months where REALTORS® have been lured into vacant houses and assaulted, raped, abducted….or worse. In each of these instances, the victim was lured into the property through contact from a potential “client” who wanted to see the property. We are pursuing legislation to ensure authorities have adequate tools in place to prosecute individuals who knowingly lure or trap Realtors® into these circumstances with intent to do harm.  SB 1100 was reported from the Senate Courts of Justice Committee; with its fiscal impact, the bill was re-referred to the Senate Finance Committee, where it was left on the table as a result of budget constraints. HOWEVER, HB 1493 reported from the House Courts of Justice Committee AND from the House Appropriations Committee. The House appropriated the needed $50,000 in its budget to enact the policy, and the Senate likewise has appropriated the funds, based on contingency language.

For additional information or other details, please contact Susan Gaston, VPAR’s Legislative Consultant, at 757-871-1445 or email at susan@gastongroup.com. We also encourage our members to follow the General Assembly on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VPAREALTORS.

THE LEGISLATIVE LINE Number 4 February 21, 2015

CapitalVIRGINIA PENINSULA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
THE LEGISLATIVE LINE
The Legislative Update from VPAR
Number 4 February 21, 2015

Forty-five days. Two thousand, two hundred sixty-one bills, five of which already have been signed into law by the Governor. Nearly 300 bills tracked by your lobbying team. One hundred forty legislators. Nine degrees. Eight inches of snow.
AND LESS THAN ONE WEEK LEFT!

 
The 2015 General Assembly Session certainly can be defined by the numbers, and by the stark difference as well between this and last year’s legislative session. A year ago at this time, the General Assembly was in serious disagreement over Medicaid expansion, which then evolved into a budget issue that resulted in a regular Session lasting for over 100 days and dissolving into a near government shutdown. Tempers were running high and little agreement could be reached. Watch today’s House and Senate, and you will see a near-calm by contrast, with far less consternation.
As we head into the final days of Session, several high stakes issues await final language that will be resolved in conference committees. Campus sexual assault. Day care center regulations. Dominion power rate freeze and solar energy. And ethics reform. Not to mention the state budget. All are in negotiations and all have high stakes.
Speaking of the state budget, the following members have been appointed to the high-powered budget conference committee: Senate President Pro Tempore and Senate Finance Committee Co-Chairman Walter Stosch, R-Henrico; Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City; Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax; Senate Finance Committee Co-Chairman Chuck Colgan, D-Manassas; Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan; and Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Mount Solon. The House negotiators are Appropriations Committee Chair Chris Jones, R-Suffolk; Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Steve Landes, R-Weyers Cave; House Majority Leader Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights; Del. John O’Bannon, R-Henrico; Del. Tag Greason, R-Loudoun; and Del. Johnny Joannou, D-Portsmouth.

STATUS OF THE REALTOR®
2015 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
VAR’s legislative agenda is in strong form and is moving out of the General Assembly toward the Governor’s Office. With the exception of HB 2100 — the bill to amend the POA/COA sections of the Code of Virginia, and which was slightly amended in the Senate so must return to the House on Monday for approval of those Senate amendments – ALL REALTOR® bills have passed the House and the Senate, and are being transmitted to the Executive Branch.
PLUS, it appears that, for the moment, we have prevailed in two budget issues: 1.) the language in the Governor’s budget that would have resulted in an increase from $500 to $2,500 for the deductible in mitigating underground petroleum tanks has been removed; and 2.) the $50,000 appropriation needed to enact the criminal inducement policy is in the House budget and also is in the Senate budget.
Budget negotiators completed their work tonight, Sunday evening….so we will be poring through those details in the coming days to assure that we made it through the budget gauntlet.

HB 1450 – Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act;
Representations related to special flood hazard area
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1450
Introduced by: Jackson H. Miller
Buyers Should Be Aware of Storm Water Maintenance Agreements. Increasingly, local governments are entering into maintenance agreements with landowners that may require the landowner to ill maintain a stormwater facility on the property. For many years, we have advised that REALTORS® tell buyers to identify the existence of these facilities on the property, but not to ask whether or not there is a formal maintenance agreement with the locality in place. To ensure that your buyers and buyers agents know what to ask, we are amending the “buyer-beware” disclosure form to include the existence of stormwater maintenance agreement.
ROLLED INTO HB 1642

HB 1452 – Landlord and tenant law; who may recover rent and possession
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1452
Introduced by: Jackson H. Miller
Different Judges Interpret the Law Differently. We have several judges in Virginia who say that because “family trusts” are not specifically spelled out in the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act, or the VRLTA, our property managers cannot appear in court on behalf of their clients. This leaves the owner to have to appear in person or to hire an attorney. This was an oversight in the VRLTA. To make sure our property managers can continue to represent their clients in court, we will propose amending the Virginia Landlord Tenant Act to add “family trusts.”
Passed the House 98-0 on January 28th; passed the Senate 38-0 on February 19th. Headed to the Governor’s office.

HB 1965 – Dept. of Professional and Occupational Regulation; Real Estate Transaction Recovery Fund
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1965
Introduced by: Thomas Davis Rust
Helping our Consumers Recover Funds They Are Owed. Currently, when a licensee is found guilty of a Real Estate Board regulation and the consumer is owed money, the consumer has to petition the general district court for a judgment. The judgment specifically must state the offense that occurred with the real estate licensee or the Real Estate Board cannot award the funds. To fix that, we are amending the Code of Virginia to allow judges to award a general judgment, similar to what already is allowed under the Board of Contractors.
Passed the House 90-0 on February 4th; passed the Senate 38-0 on February 19th. Headed to the Governor’s Office.

HB 2100 – Condominium and Property Owners’ Association Acts; allowable charges; rental of units
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb2100
Introduced by: Christopher K. Peace
Further Clarification to the POA and COA. Each year, issues arise in the relationships between REALTORS®, homeowners, Property Owners’ Associations (POA’s) and Condominium Owners’ Associations (COA’s). VAR will work with the state legislature to make sure there is clarity in the law regarding what fees can be charged and what actions ownership associations can take. It is important to find the proper balance in the agreements between homeowners and POA’s and COA’s to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.
Passed the House 100-0 on February 10th; passed the Senate 38-0 on February 19th with amendments. The House will reconsider the bill as amended by the Senate on Monday, February 23rd.

SB 775 – Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; related to special flood hazard zones https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=sb775
Introduced by: Mamie E. Locke
Passed the House 99-0 on January 22nd; passed the Senate 38-0 on February 16th. Headed to the Governor’s Office.

HB 1642 – Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; related to special flood hazard zones
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1642
Introduced by: Christopher P. Stolle
Buyers Need to Determine If a Property Will Need Flood Insurance: Buyers, particularly in coastal regions of Virginia, should be able to identify whether properties will need additional flood insurance because they are located in a FEMA-determined special flood hazard zone. Currently, a flood certification is performed on every property, regardless of where it is in Virginia, by the mortgage lender. This is used as part of the underwriting of the loan and to ensure appropriate insurance coverage is applied as required by federal law. Flood certifications are performed by third-party providers with expertise in evaluating the FEMA flood zone maps. A list of these providers is readily available on the FEMA website. As with home inspections, storm water facilities, and the sexual offender registry, buyers should be educated on what issues to investigate in the transaction. To accomplish this, we propose amending the Code to add language to the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Statement’s list of disclosures that advises the purchaser to exercise due diligence in investigating whether the property resides within a special flood hazard zone, including obtaining a flood certification.
Passed the House 98-0 on January 28th; passed the Senate 38-0 on February 19th. Headed to the Governor’s Office.

1424 – Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Act; delinquent payment
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1424
Introduced by: Daniel W. Marshall, III
Landlords and Property Owners Should Not Bear the Burden. VAR helped pass a requiring a landlord or property owner to pay delinquent water bills from their tenants before the services could be turned back on. Unfortunately, the General Assembly missed one Code section. To fix this oversight, we propose amending all of the sections in the Code to prohibit water authorities from requiring landlords or property owners to pay delinquent water fees from tenants.
Passed the House 98-0 on February 10th; passed the Senate 38-0 on February 20th. Headed to the Governor’s Office.

HB 1493 – Enticing, etc., real estate licensee with intent to commit certain felonies; penalty
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1493
Introduced by: Jackson H. Miller

SB 1100 Enticing, etc., real estate licensee with intent to commit certain felonies;
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=sb1100
Introduced by: Mark D. Obenshain
Making Sure Predators Get What They Deserve. There have been several high-profile cases in the past several months where REALTORS® have been lured into vacant houses and assaulted, raped, abducted….or worse. In each of these instances, the victim was lured into the property through contact from a potential “client” who wanted to see the property. We are pursuing legislation to ensure authorities have adequate tools in place to prosecute individuals who knowingly lure or trap Realtors® into these circumstances with intent to do harm.

SB 1100 was reported from the Senate Courts of Justice Committee; with its fiscal impact, the bill was re-referred to the Senate Finance Committee, where it was left on the table as a result of budget constraints. HOWEVER, HB 1493 reported from the House Courts of Justice Committee AND from the House Appropriations Committee. The House appropriated the needed $50,000 in its budget to enact the policy, and the Senate likewise has appropriated the funds, based on contingency language. We will be looking through the budget in the coming days to confirm that the bill has been fully appropriated.

REALTOR® DAY RE-CAP
Many thanks to the VPAR REALTOR® and Affiliate Members for coming to Richmond to spend time advocating for our bills! Over 40 VPAR members participated in this annual trek to the state Capitol to meet with members of the House and Senate, hear high-level speakers and learn more about the legislative process and our Virginia government, and tour the beautiful buildings in Capitol Square. YOUR EFFORTS, YOUR ENERGY and YOUR ENTHUSIASM ARE APPRECIATED BY YOUR LOBBYING TEAM and BY YOUR LEGISLATORS! Check out some fun photos that we posted on the VPAR Facebook Page!
https://www.facebook.com/VPAREALTORS/photos/pcb.840067346032244/840065939365718/?type=1&theater
MANY THANKS to the following sponsors for the VPAR REALTOR® Day on the Hill event! We could not have achieved the success of the day without your generous support!
Presidential Sponsor
Atlantic Bay Mortgage

VIP Sponsors
REIN

Patron Sponsors
Commonwealth Exterminating
Lytle Title & Escrow
Monarch Mortgage
National Exterminating

Supporter Sponsor
PRIMELENDING

Friend of VPAR
Union Mortgage
The Real Estate Book
Fulton Mortgage
FUN AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY!!!!
The Session always is arduous and extremely intense, so there are days when all of us stuck in those buildings for hours on end look for reasons to laugh, chill out and have fun! One of the best days of any Session is Valentine’s Day! Celebrating a bit early this year, here’s a sample of just how we honor Cupid at the Capitol. The 6th floor, home to our auspicious legislative leadership, outdid themselves this year in the decorating department….and a certain Senate intern, who shall remain nameless, helped! Thanks to Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn for the filming! VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS!
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10155184865320029&set=vb.449133900028&type=2&theater

For additional information or other details, please contact Susan Gaston, VPAR’s Legislative Consultant, at 757-871-1445 or email at susan@gastongroup.com. We also encourage our members to follow the General Assembly on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VPAREALTORS.

THE LEGISLATIVE LINE – January 18, 2015

CapitalVIRGINIA PENINSULA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
THE LEGISLATIVE LINE
The Legislative Update from VPAR
Number 1 January 18, 2015

The 2015 Session of the General Assembly of Virginia was gaveled in this past Wednesday, January 14th, for what will be a fast-paced, 46-day legislative session. Per the Constitution of Virginia, the legislature convenes for 46 days in an odd-numbered year, and for 60 days in an even year. Keep in mind that the Commonwealth also operates on a biennial budget; odd-numbered years mark the second year of a biennium, operating off of and amending the previous year’s budget, while in even-numbered years, new two-year budgets are developed.

This marks the second year of the McAuliffe Administration, with amendments to the budget coming from the Governor’s office. And Virginia finds itself in a budget shortfall to the tune of $2.4 million dollars, which will make for potential budget fireworks. For a quick overview of the state budget, visit http://hac.state.va.us/committee/files/2015/1-14-15/House%20Budget%20Briefing%2001-14-15.pdf.

In addition, the day before the gavel fell, a former member of the House who now in jail was re-elected, and the week prior, former Governor McDonnell was sentenced to two years in federal prison, both of which have catapulted ethics reform to the top of issues to be handled.

Finally, the Session will be conducted in the context of an election year, with all 100 seats in the House of Delegates and all 40 seats in the Senate going up for re-election in November. To quote the Majority Leader of the Senate, Hon. Tommy Norment (R-3rd, James City County), “You can sum up the 2015 Session by these four letters: BEPP – the Budget, Ethics, Posturing and Politics.” Sen. Norment likely will be proven true.

IN OTHER NEWS FROM THE CAPITOL THIS WEEK>>>>
• Governor Terry McAuliffe delivered his first State of the Commonwealth address on January 14th. The evening address traditionally marks the official opening of the General Assembly Session. See the full address here.
http://www.wdbj7.com/news/local/web-extra-state-of-the-commonwealth-address/30712018
• Virginia has been absent a state song since 1997, and the push for finding one has resumed this Session. Del. Bill Howell, the Speaker of the House from the Fredericksburg area, has submitted legislation that would make “Our Great Virginia” the new state song. Check it out here….
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa9u5HwBm_Y

 

 

STATUS OF THE REALTOR®
2015 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
What is the REALTOR® Legislative Agenda this year? See the details below for the major initiatives that your Association is pushing through the state legislature. But know that we literally are tracking hundreds of bills for the REALTOR® Association that impact taxation, lending, transportation, economic development and many others. Follow all of the latest by going to REALTORS® Choose at http://www.realtorschoose.com/bills/.
HB 1450 – Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act;
Representations related to special flood hazard area
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1450
Introduced by: Jackson H. Miller
Buyers Should Be Aware of Storm Water Maintenance Agreements. Increasingly, local governments are entering into maintenance agreements with landowners that may require the landowner to maintain a stormwater facility on the property. For many years, we have advised that REALTORS® tell buyers to identify the existence of these facilities on the property, but not to ask whether or not there is a formal maintenance agreement with the locality in place. To ensure that your buyers and buyers agents know what to ask, we are amending the “buyer-beware” disclosure form to include the existence of stormwater maintenance agreement.

HB 1452 – Landlord and tenant law; who may recover rent and possession
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1452
Introduced by: Jackson H. Miller
Different Judges Interpret the Law Differently. We have several judges in Virginia who say that because “family trusts” are not specifically spelled out in the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act, or the VRLTA, our property managers cannot appear in court on behalf of their clients. This leaves the owner to have to appear in person or to hire an attorney. This was an oversight in the VRLTA. To make sure our property managers can continue to represent their clients in court, we will propose amending the Virginia Landlord Tenant Act to add “family trusts.”

HB 1965 – Dept. of Professional and Occupational Regulation; Real Estate Transaction Recovery Fund
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1965
Introduced by: Thomas Davis Rust
Helping our Consumers Recover Funds They Are Owed. Currently, when a licensee is found guilty of a Real Estate Board regulation and the consumer is owed money, the consumer has to petition the general district court for a judgment. The judgment specifically must state the offense that occurred with the real estate licensee or the Real Estate Board cannot award the funds. To fix that, we are amending the Code of Virginia to allow judges to award a general judgment, similar to what already is allowed under the Board of Contractors.

HB 2100 – Condominium and Property Owners’ Association Acts; allowable charges; rental of units
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb2100
Introduced by: Christopher K. Peace
Further Clarification to the POA and COA. Each year, issues arise in the relationships between REALTORS®, homeowners, Property Owners’ Associations (POA’s) and Condominium Owners’ Associations (COA’s). VAR will work with the state legislature to make sure there is clarity in the law regarding what fees can be charged and what actions ownership associations can take. It is important to find the proper balance in the agreements between homeowners and POA’s and COA’s to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.

SB 775 – Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; related to special flood hazard zones
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=sb775
Introduced by: Mamie E. Locke
HB 1642 – Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; related to special flood hazard zones
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1642
Introduced by: Christopher P. Stolle
Buyers Need to Determine If a Property Will Need Flood Insurance: Buyers, particularly in coastal regions of Virginia, should be able to identify whether properties will need additional flood insurance because they are located in a FEMA-determined special flood hazard zone. Currently, a flood certification is performed on every property, regardless of where it is in Virginia, by the mortgage lender. This is used as part of the underwriting of the loan and to ensure appropriate insurance coverage is applied as required by federal law. Flood certifications are performed by third-party providers with expertise in evaluating the FEMA flood zone maps. A list of these providers is readily available on the FEMA website. As with home inspections, storm water facilities, and the sexual offender registry, buyers should be educated on what issues to investigate in the transaction. To accomplish this, we propose amending the Code to add language to the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Statement’s list of disclosures that advises the purchaser to exercise due diligence in investigating whether the property resides within a special flood hazard zone, including obtaining a flood certification.

HB 1424 – Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Act; delinquent payment
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1424
Introduced by: Daniel W. Marshall, III
Landlords and Property Owners Should Not Bear the Burden. VAR helped pass a bill several years ago that prohibited a water authority from attaching a lien or otherwise requiring a landlord or property owner to pay delinquent water bills from their tenants before the services could be turned back on. Unfortunately, the General Assembly missed one Code section. To fix this oversight, we propose amending all of the sections in the Code to prohibit water authorities from requiring landlords or property owners to pay delinquent water fees from tenants.

HB 1493 – Enticing, etc., real estate licensee with intent to commit certain felonies; penalty
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=hb1493
Introduced by: Jackson H. Miller
SB 1100 Enticing, etc., real estate licensee with intent to commit certain felonies; penalty
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=sb1100
Introduced by: Mark D. Obenshain
Making Sure Predators Get What They Deserve. There have been several high-profile cases in the past several months where REALTORS® have been lured into vacant houses and assaulted, raped, abducted….or worse. In each of these instances, the victim was lured into the property through contact from a potential “client” who wanted to see the property. We are pursuing legislation to ensure authorities have adequate tools in place to prosecute individuals who knowingly lure or trap Realtors® into these circumstances with intent to do harm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VPAR’s General Assembly Delegation Contact Information
Del. Mamye BaCote, D-95th, Newport News (804) 698-1095 DelMBaCote@house.virginia.gov
Del. Gordon Helsel, R-96th, Poquoson (804) 698-1091 DelGHelsel@house.virginia.gov
Del. Keith Hodges, R-98th Urbanna (804) 698-1098 DelKHodges@house.virginia.gov
Del. Rick Morris, R-64th, Carrollton (804) 698-1064 DelRMorris@house.virginia.gov
Del. Brenda Pogge, R-96th, Yorktown (804) 698-1096 DelBPogge@house.virginia.gov
Del. Jeoin Ward, D-92nd, Hampton (804) 698-1092 DelJWard@house.virginia.gov
Del. Monty Mason, R-93rd, Williamsburg (804) 698-1093 DelMMason@house.virginia.gov
Del. David Yancey, R-94th, Newport News (804) 698-1094 DelDYancey@house.virginia.gov
Sen. Mamie Locke, D-2nd, Hampton (804) 698-7502 district02@senate.virginia.gov
Sen. John Miller, D-1st, Newport News (804) 698-7501 district01@senate.virginia.gov
Sen. Tommy Norment, R-3rd, James City (804) 698-7503 district03@senate.virginia.gov

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY WEBSITES OF INTEREST
We would like to share with you some very valuable (and helpful) information regarding General Assembly Resources:
Daily Floor Sessions
To watch the House of Delegates in Session live at Noon each day, click here: http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3

To watch the Virginia Senate in Session live at noon each day, click here: http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3

Daily VA Political News:
Subscribe to receive daily e-mails with news articles highlighting major political and legislative happenings. http://www.vpap.org/vanews

Who’s My Legislator?
Find out who your Delegate and Senator are here: http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/

Virginia General Assembly Website: http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/
You can find additional General Assembly resources, such as meeting schedules and bill tracking, on their website.
REALTOR® DAY ON THE HILL – FEBRUARY 11, 2015
Mark your calendars now for February 11th so that you can attend VPAR’s Annual REALTOR® Day on the Hill! Join REALTORS® from across the Commonwealth as they descend upon the General Assembly to tout the Association’s legislative agenda. Visit with legislators from the region, hear from “in the know” politicos on current issues and tour the Capitol and the Executive Mansion. Join us for a highly beneficial day! Bus transportation will be made available! More details to come.
For additional information or other details, please contact Susan Gaston, VPAR’s Legislative Consultant, at 757-871-1445, or by e-mail at susan@gastongroup.com. We also encourage our members to follow the General Assembly on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VPAREALTORS.