Virginia REALTORS® will release new and updated standard forms on July 1. For property managers, there are a few changes that are particularly important.
- SCRA Waiver (Form 280)
- A law passed by the General Assembly (and effective as of July 1, 2021) prohibits military tenants from preemptively waiving their rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) at the beginning of the lease term. As a result, the Standard Forms subcommittee has removed our SCRA waiver from our document library. Because this form will no longer be in our library, the committee added some additional language to our lease to help take its place.
- Residential Lease (Form 200)
- The General Assembly changed some requirements that landlords or property managers must follow to access a property, and the committee incorporated those into the lease. Paragraph 9(a)(ii) now states that the landlord will give the tenant at least 72 hours’ notice for routine maintenance that has not been requested by the tenant. They also added a new section 9(e) that clarifies that during a public health state of emergency (like the one we’re currently in), a tenant can request in writing that the landlord not conduct any nonemergency property repairs or maintenance. By doing so, the tenant waives any rights under the lease and the law for failure to address those nonemergency issues. It also requires any workers who perform such maintenance to wear appropriate PPE as required by state law.
- Because the committee removed the SCRA waiver from the library, they added in a section to paragraph 18 of the lease so that the tenant can indicate whether they are a member of the military. The tenant can also provide the name of their command and commanding officer so that the landlord/property manager will know who to contact. They removed the language from paragraph 18(d) regarding a preemptive waiver of SCRA rights and added a clause stating that the tenant agrees that the lease termination protections extend no more than 60 days from discharge or release from full-time duty. Finally, paragraph 18(g) states that the tenant acknowledges that they have no current orders to depart 35 miles or more from the dwelling.
- Paragraph 21 was edited to reflect the fact that the law now states that a landlord must accept full payment for the right of redemption. It also clarifies that tenants of landlords with five or more properties can use the right of redemption as many times as they want during the lease term.
- Finally, Paragraph 26 clarifies that if the tenant breaches the lease, they are responsible for attorney’s fees incurred by either the landlord or property manager.
- Tenant Change Amendment (Form 250)
- This form was modified to change the name so it better reflects how our members are actually using the form. Instead of the Roommate Addendum, it is now called the Tenant Change Amendment.
Should you have any questions about this piece, please contact the Virginia REALTORS® Legal Hotline.