Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances
Chapter 14. Nonresidential Tenancies

§ 55.1-1401. Appointment of resident agent by nonresident property owner; service of process, etc., on such agent or on Secretary of the Commonwealth.

A. As used in this section, "nonresident property owner" means any nonresident individual or group of individuals who owns and leases commercial real property within a county or city in the Commonwealth.

B. Every nonresident property owner shall appoint and continuously maintain an agent who (i) if such agent is an individual, is a resident of the Commonwealth, or if such agent is a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other entity, is authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth and (ii) maintains a business office within the Commonwealth. Every lease executed by or on behalf of nonresident property owners regarding any such real property shall specifically designate such agent and the agent's office address for the purpose of service of any process, notice, order, or demand required or permitted by law to be served upon such nonresident property owner.

C. Whenever any nonresident property owner fails to appoint or maintain an agent, as required in this section, or whenever his agent cannot with reasonable diligence be found, then the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall be an agent of the nonresident property owner upon whom may be served any process, notice, order, or demand. Service may be made on the Secretary of the Commonwealth or any of his staff at his office who shall forthwith cause it to be sent by registered or certified mail addressed to the nonresident property owner at his address as shown on the official tax records maintained by the locality where the property is located.

D. The name and office address of the agent appointed as provided in this section shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the court in which deeds are recorded in the county or city in which the property lies. Recordation shall be in the same book as certificates of fictitious names are recorded as provided by § 59.1-74 for which the clerk shall be entitled to a fee of $10.

E. No nonresident property owner shall maintain an action in the courts of the Commonwealth concerning property for which a designation is required by this section until such designation has been filed.

1973, c. 301, § 55-218.1; 1987, c. 360; 2006, c. 318; 2008, c. 119; 2019, cc. 365, 712.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.