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New Virginia Laws That Impact Landlords Who Own More Than 4 Properties

Michele - Friday, May 28, 2021
Property Management Blog

In 2020, the Virginia Fair Housing Law was expanded to include “Source of Funds” as a protected class.  This update to the law impacts only landlords who own at least 10% of more than four rental properties.  For these landlords, when considering applications from potential tenants, we must consider any source that lawfully provides funds to or on behalf of a renter, including any assistance, benefit, or subsidy program.  This means that landlords who own a portion of more than four properties must consider applicants who participate in the County Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8).  Such applicants will still need to meet all other qualifying criteria.

During the pandemic, as the state legislature took steps to limits the risks associated with widescale evictions, several other laws were put into place to protect tenants who were financially impacted by COVD-19.  The two new laws below are applicable only to landlords who own more than four rental properties:

1. Payment Plans – If a tenant falls behind on their rent, before a landlord (who owns more than four properties) can proceed with the eviction process, a payment plan must be offered to the tenant.  The payment plan would pro-rate the past due rent over the next 6 months or over the remaining months of the lease term, whichever is less.

2. Consideration of rental history during the pandemic – A landlord who owns more than four properties cannot deny an application based solely on payment history or an eviction for nonpayment of rent that occurred during the period beginning on March 12, 2020, and ending 30 days after the expiration or revocation of any state of emergency declared by the Governor elated to the COVID-19 pandemic

As we have several landlord clients who own more than four properties, we have put processes in place to address these new requirements. We are also meeting with our attorney on a regular basis and staying on top of all Realtor Updates in order to ensure that we are looking out for our landlords’ best interests by taking a proactive approach to staying compliant with new laws. 

If you have any questions regarding how RPM Direct LLC can assist you with the management of your property, please contact Michele Odems at 703-963-6540.