Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 55. Property and Conveyances [Repealed Effective October 1, 2019]
Chapter 13.2. Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
10/20/2019

§ 55-248.7:2. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Landlord may obtain certain insurance for tenant.

A. Damage Insurance. A landlord may require as a condition of tenancy that a tenant have commercial insurance coverage as specified in the rental agreement to secure the performance by the tenant of the terms and conditions of the rental agreement and pay for the cost of premiums for such insurance coverage obtained by the landlord, generally known as "damage insurance." As provided in § 55-248.4, such payments shall not be deemed a security deposit, but shall be rent. However, as provided in § 55-248.9, the landlord cannot require a tenant to pay both security deposits and the cost of damage insurance premiums, if the total amount of any security deposits and damage insurance premiums exceeds the amount of two months' periodic rent. The landlord shall notify a tenant in writing that the tenant has the right to obtain a separate policy from the landlord's policy for damage insurance. If a tenant elects to obtain a separate policy, the tenant shall submit to the landlord written proof of such coverage and shall maintain such coverage at all times during the term of the rental agreement. Where a landlord obtains damage insurance coverage on behalf of a tenant, the insurance policy shall provide coverage for the tenant as an insured. The landlord shall recover from the tenant the actual costs of such insurance coverage and may recover administrative or other fees associated with administration of a damage insurance policy, including a tenant opting out of the insurance coverage provided by the landlord pursuant to this subsection. If a landlord obtains damage insurance for his tenants, the landlord shall provide to each tenant, prior to execution of the rental agreement, a summary of the insurance policy or certificate evidencing the coverage being provided and upon request of the tenant make available a copy of the insurance policy.

B. Renter's Insurance. A landlord may require as a condition of tenancy that a tenant have renter's insurance as specified in the rental agreement that is a combination multi-peril policy containing fire, miscellaneous property, and personal liability coverage insuring personal property located in residential units not occupied by the owner. A landlord may require a tenant to pay for the cost of premiums for such insurance obtained by the landlord, to provide such coverage for the tenant as part of rent or as otherwise provided herein. As provided in § 55-248.4, such payments shall not be deemed a security deposit, but shall be rent. If the landlord requires that such premiums be paid prior to the commencement of the tenancy, the total amount of all security deposits and insurance premiums for damage insurance and renter's insurance shall not exceed the amount of two months' periodic rent. Otherwise, the landlord may add a monthly amount as additional rent to recover the costs of such insurance coverage. The landlord shall notify a tenant in writing that the tenant has the right to obtain a separate policy from the landlord's policy for renter's insurance. If a tenant elects to obtain a separate policy, the tenant shall submit to the landlord written proof of such coverage and shall maintain such coverage at all times during the term of the rental agreement. If a tenant allows his renter's insurance policy required by the rental agreement to lapse for any reason, the landlord may provide any landlord's renter's insurance coverage to such tenant. The tenant shall be obligated to pay for the cost of premiums for such insurance as rent or as otherwise provided herein until the tenant has provided written documentation to the landlord showing that the tenant has reinstated his own renter's insurance coverage.

C. Where a landlord obtains renter's insurance coverage on behalf of a tenant, the insurance policy shall provide coverage for the tenant as an insured. The landlord shall recover from the tenant the actual costs of such insurance coverage and may recover administrative or other fees associated with the administration of a renter's insurance program, including a tenant opting out of the insurance coverage provided to the tenant pursuant to this subsection. If a landlord obtains renter's insurance for his tenants, the landlord shall provide to each tenant, prior to execution of the rental agreement, a summary of the insurance policy prepared by the insurer or certificate evidencing the coverage being provided and upon request of the tenant make available a copy of the insurance policy. Such summary or certificate shall include a statement regarding whether the insurance policy contains a waiver of subrogation provision. Any failure of the landlord to provide such summary or certificate, or to make available a copy of the insurance policy, shall not affect the validity of the rental agreement.

If the rental agreement does not require the tenant to obtain renter's insurance, the landlord shall provide a written notice to the tenant, prior to the execution of the rental agreement, stating that (i) the landlord is not responsible for the tenant's personal property, (ii) the landlord's insurance coverage does not cover the tenant's personal property, and (iii) if the tenant wishes to protect his personal property, he should obtain renter's insurance. The notice shall inform the tenant that any such renter's insurance obtained by the tenant does not cover flood damage and advise the tenant to contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or visit the websites for FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program or for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Flood Risk Information System to obtain information regarding whether the property is located in a special flood hazard area. Any failure of the landlord to provide such notice shall not affect the validity of the rental agreement. If the tenant requests translation of the notice from the English language to another language, the landlord may assist the tenant in obtaining a translator or refer the tenant to an electronic translation service. In doing so, the landlord shall not be deemed to have breached any of his obligations under this chapter or otherwise become liable for any inaccuracies in the translation. The landlord shall not charge a fee for such assistance or referral.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the landlord from recovering from the tenant as part of the rent, the tenant's prorated share of the actual costs of other insurance coverages provided by the landlord relative to the premises, or the tenant's prorated share of a self-insurance program held in an escrow account by the landlord, including the landlord's administrative or other fees associated with the administration of such coverages. The landlord may apply such funds held in escrow to pay claims pursuant to the landlord's self-insurance plan.

2004, c. 123; 2005, c. 285; 2010, c. 550; 2012, c. 788; 2015, c. 596; 2018, c. 221; 2019, cc. 386, 394.

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.