Virginia Commercial Real Estate Bills – Effective July 1, 2015

Sands Anderson’s Commercial Real Estate Team followed the 2015 Virginia legislative session for bills related to the real estate industry. Below is our selection of the top five we felt you would find most relevant to your business. For our full list, click here.

If you would like to discuss any of these and how it will impact your business, we welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

Top 5 Commercial Real Estate Bills
Effective July 1, 2015

HB 1451 Landlord and tenant laws
Provides that in cases of a change in use, the 120-day termination notice is not waived, except in the case of a month to month lease  which can be terminated by the landlord after 30 days written notice. This new law allows water, sewer, electrical, natural gas, or other utilities to be added in the rent amount or as additional rent as specified in the rental agreement or lease.  The law prohibits a landlord from photocopying a U.S. government-issued identification under certain circumstances.  It allows a rental agreement to provide for prepaid rent and allows third-party service providers to maintain tenant records (and frees landlords and managing agents from liability in the event of a data breach of such third-party service provider, except in the case of gross negligence or intentional acts.)

HB 1452 Landlord and tenant law; who may recover rent and possession
Adds an employee who has proper written authorization by a manager, general partner, or trustee of a family trust to sign pleadings as the agent of the business entity to obtain a judgment for possession or for rent or damages.

HB 1849 Zoning Variances
Changes the standard by which a board of zoning appeals may grant an application for a zoning variance. The new standard changes the “undue” and “demonstrable hardship” to a finding by the BZA that the strict application of the zoning ordinance would “unreasonably restrict the utilization of the property” or if the granting of a variance would “alleviate a hardship due to a physical condition relating to the property or improvements thereon.”  This should make it easier to obtain a zoning variance in certain circumstances.

SB 1257 Cash proffer for residential construction; sunset date
Removes the July 1, 2017, expiration date in current law that provides for the delay in the payment of certain per-dwelling-unit cash proffers until after the final inspection of the property and prior to the issuance of any certificate of occupancy.

HB 1828 Land preservation; tax credit
This new law makes several changes to the land preservation tax credit by reducing the maximum amount of tax credits that may be issued in each calendar year from $100 million to $75 million beginning in 2015.  The law also provides that with the exception of credits issued for fee simple interest donations, reducing the maximum amount of the land preservation tax credit that may be claimed in any year from $100,000 in taxable year 2014 to $20,000 in taxable years 2015 and 2016 and $50,000 for each taxable year thereafter.  The law requires that a complete application for the tax credit with regard to a conveyance must be filed with the Department of Taxation by December 31 of the year following the calendar year of the conveyance.  Finally, it prohibits the Department of Taxation from issuing any tax credit for a donation from any allocation or pool of tax credits attributable to a calendar year prior to the year in which the complete tax credit application for the donation was filed.

This information was shared via the Sands Anderson Commercial Real Estate enewsletter.