Following a week consisting mostly of organization and build up to the inauguration of Governor Ralph Northam, the General Assembly resumed its work on Monday and considered several bills impacting Virginia REALTORS®.

Three of our key priorities were considered this week. Two of the bills were passed by for the week and will be considered next week. HB 311 passed out of subcommittee unanimously on Wednesday and will be considered by the full committee next week. Below you will find information on all three pieces of legislation complete with links to read the bills in their entirety. We will continue to update you as our priorities move through the legislative process.

Acceptance of Rent with Reservation – Senator Mamie Locke (SB 197)

The current statute requires a landlord to give a notice of acceptance of rent with reservation in order to accept rental payments and still move forward with eviction.  The current language of the statute is being interpreted different ways by different judges, so that landlords and tenants, property managers and lawyers don’t know exactly how to handle these notices. The purpose of this legislation is to simply clarify the existing law removing the requirement for second notice for the time period between entry of an order of possession and prior to eviction, thus eliminating the confusion with the existing statutory language.

SB 197

  • 01/01/18  Senate: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18102102D
  • 01/01/18  Senate: Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology

Notes: SB 197 was taken by for the week and will be considered by the Committee on General Laws and Technology on 1/22.

Clarification of Supreme Court Case – Title – Delegate Marcus Simon (HB 311)

A real property owner who buys a house at foreclosure sale, if the occupant does not move out, would file an unlawful detainer in the general district court.  In the Parrish case, the occupant challenged the legal title of the successor owner and the Supreme Court ruled that such owner would have to try “sufficiency of legal title” in the circuit court since a general district court does not have jurisdiction to try legal title to real property.  The Office of the Executive Secretary of the Virginia Supreme Court (OES) prepared a narrative in the general district court judge’s manual to try to head off the potential of every unlawful detainer case getting derailed by assertion by a tenant or other occupant of insufficiency of legal title to real property. The purpose of this legislation is to put into statutory language the substance of the OES judge’s manual narrative.

HB 311

  • 01/04/18  House: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18102426D
  •   01/04/18  House: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
  •   01/16/18  House: Assigned Courts sub: Subcommittee #2
  •   01/17/18  House: Subcommittee recommends reporting (8-Y 0-N)

Translation of Documents Non – English Language – Delegate David Bulova (HB 439)

This legislation would encourage real estate licensees to assist the growing diverse population in the Commonwealth by establishing statutory authority for a real estate licensee to refer a party to one or more translation services so the party can contract directly with a translation service of their choosing. The legislation would also make clear that the real estate licensee is not liable for any inaccuracies that may occur by the translator or translation service since all the real estate licensee is doing is advising the party of the availability of translation services.

HB 439

  • 01/06/18  House: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18104351D
  •   01/06/18  House: Referred to Committee on General Laws
  •   01/17/18  House: Assigned GL sub: Subcommittee #2

Notes: Taken by for the week. Will be considered week of 1/22-1/26.

Listed below are several resources to help you navigate the legislative session. You will find resources to help determine who your elected representative is and how to contact them, how to determine who serves on which committees, as well as when our legislative priorities will be considered. If you care to do so, you can even watch online as these meetings take place!

Brendon Shaw serves as our full-time representative in Richmond and advocates on our behalf. Should you have any questions about legislation, the legislative process, or Virginia REALTORS legislative priorities, he can be reached by email at

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Committee information

Daily floor calendars (voting schedule)