Commonwealth of Virginia caps Application Fee for Tenants

MoneyThe Commonwealth of Virginia has passed HB 720 sponsored by G. Glenn Oder to address landlord and tenant with a definition of application fee, etc. and manner of serving notice to tenants.

This new law adds, among other things, a definition of “application fee.” Application fees are now capped at the fee at $50, and provides that such fee is nonrefundable. The bill also defines “written notice” as notice, including any representation of words, letters, symbols, numbers, or figures, whether (i) printed in or inscribed on a tangible medium or (ii) stored in an electronic form or other medium, retrievable in a perceivable form, and regardless of whether an electronic signature is affixed. In other words, landlords and tenants can now give legal notice via email, Facebook or other electronic media, even without an electronic signature.

In cases where a tenant pays rent with a bad check, the bill also allows a landlord to seek an award of costs or attorney fees or the lesser of $250 or three times the amount of the bad check, draft or order as part of the damages requested on an unlawful detainer action, provided the landlord has given notice. The bill allows such notice to be included in the five-day termination notice at the option of the landlord. The bill contains specific provisions if the dwelling unit is a public housing unit or other housing unit subject to regulation by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Why buy a home?

According to a new® survey of more than 1,000 home shoppers, increasing rental costs are pushing more young adults toward homeownership, with 23 percent of buyers between the ages of 18 and 34 reporting rising rents as a trigger for their recent home purchase. “Although record-low inventory and high prices make this housing market unique, some classic features still top most shoppers’ wish lists,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for®. “At the same time, we found some clear differences in priorities. For instance, older buyers are concerned with privacy and being able to age comfortably, while millennials place more emphasis on family needs, stability, and personal expression.”


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Will Nesbitt

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Will is the principal broker of Nesbitt Realty and Condo Alexandria. He is licensed in anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but focuses on those communities found in and around Alexandria, Arlington, Mount Vernon and Springfield/Franconia. Will has been involved in real estate management, sales and investment for more than twenty years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army. While in the army, he studied Russian at Monterey's Defense Language Institute. He is also a "veteran of the dotcom wars" and built most of the sites associated with Will currently resides in Belle Haven Estates just outside Old Town, overlooking New Alexandria. He is a former president of the Mount Vernon Youth Athletic Association and founded the Alexandria Fun with Friends Group. Will is the author of BattlestorM, a tabletop fantasy game, which was published by Ral Partha Publishing in the late '90's, and Arthur's Realm, a boardgame available at the Gamecrafter.