Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 21. Real Estate Brokers, Sales Persons and Rental Location Agents
11/30/2021

Chapter 21. Real Estate Brokers, Sales Persons and Rental Location Agents.

Article 1. Regulation of Real Estate Brokers, Salespersons and Rental Location Agents.

§ 54.1-2100. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

"Distance learning" means instruction delivered by an approved provider through a medium other than a classroom setting. Such courses shall be those offered by an accredited institution of higher education, high school offering adult distributive education courses, other school or educational institution, or real estate professional association or related entities.

"Real estate broker" means any individual or business entity, including a partnership, association, corporation, or limited liability company, who, for compensation or valuable consideration, (i) sells or offers for sale, buys or offers to buy, or negotiates the purchase or sale or exchange of real estate, including units or interest in condominiums, cooperative interest as defined in § 55.1-2100, or time-shares in a time-share program even though they may be deemed to be securities or (ii) leases or offers to lease, or rents or offers for rent, any real estate or the improvements thereon for others.

"Real estate team" means two or more individuals, one or more of whom is a real estate salesperson or broker, who (i) work together as a unit within the same brokerage firm, (ii) represent themselves to the public as working together as one unit, and (iii) designate themselves by a fictitious name.

"Supervising broker" means a real estate broker who has been designated by a principal broker to supervise the provision of real estate brokerage services by associate brokers and salespersons assigned to a branch office or a real estate team.

Code 1950, § 54-730; 1974, c. 409; 1982, c. 440; 1984, c. 283; 1988, c. 765; 1996, c. 993; 2001, c. 548; 2007, c. 809; 2018, cc. 223, 224.

§ 54.1-2101. Real estate salesperson defined.

For the purposes of this chapter, "real estate salesperson" means any individual, or business entity, who for compensation or valuable consideration is employed either directly or indirectly by, or affiliated as an independent contractor with, a real estate broker, to sell or offer to sell, or to buy or offer to buy, or to negotiate the purchase, sale or exchange of real estate, or to lease, rent or offer for rent any real estate, or to negotiate leases thereof, or of the improvements thereon.

Code 1950, § 54-731; 1974, c. 685; 1978, c. 138; 1984, c. 201; 1988, c. 765; 1992, c. 84; 1996, c. 993; 2018, cc. 223, 224.

§ 54.1-2101.1. Preparation of real estate contracts by real estate licensees; translation.

Notwithstanding any rule of court to the contrary, any person licensed under this chapter may prepare written contracts for the sale, purchase, option, exchange, or rental of real estate, provided that the preparation of such contracts is incidental to a real estate transaction in which the licensee (i) is involved and (ii) does not charge a separate fee for preparing the contracts.

If a party to a real estate transaction requests translation of a contract or other real estate document from the English language to another language, a licensee may assist such party in obtaining a translator or may refer such party to an electronic translation service. The licensee shall not charge a fee for such assistance or referral. In doing so, the licensee shall not be deemed to have breached any of his obligations under this chapter or otherwise become liable for any inaccuracies in the translation.

1997, cc. 200, 231; 2018, cc. 39, 87.

§ 54.1-2102. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1992, c. 84.

§ 54.1-2103. Exemptions from chapter.

A. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:

1. Any person, partnership, association, corporation, entity, or their regular employees, who as owner or lessor perform any of the acts enumerated in §§ 54.1-2100 and 54.1-2101 with reference to property owned or leased by them, where the acts are performed in the regular course of or incident to the management of the property and the investment therein. For property governed by the Virginia Real Estate Time-Share Act (§ 55.1-2200 et seq.), the term "owner" for purposes of this subdivision shall include affiliated entities, provided that (i) the owner has a controlling interest in the affiliated entity or (ii) the affiliated entity and the owner have a common parent company;

2. Any person acting without compensation as attorney-in-fact under a power of attorney issued by a property owner solely for the purpose of authorizing the final performance required of such owner under a contract for the sale, lease, purchase, or exchange of real estate;

3. Service rendered by an attorney-at-law in the performance of his duties as such;

4. A person acting as a receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, administrator or executor, or any person selling real estate under order of any court;

5. A trustee acting under a trust agreement, deed of trust, or will, or the regular salaried employees thereof;

6. Any corporation managing rental housing when the officers, directors, and members in the ownership corporation and the management corporation are the same and the management corporation manages no other property for other persons, partnerships, associations, or corporations;

7. Any existing tenant of a residential dwelling unit who refers a prospective tenant to the owner of the unit or to the owner's duly authorized agent or employee and for the referral receives, or is offered, a referral fee from the owner, agent or employee;

8. Any auctioneer licensed in accordance with Chapter 6 (§ 54.1-600 et seq.) of this title selling real estate at public auction when employed for such purpose by the owner of the real estate and provided the bidding at such auction is held open for no longer than forty-eight hours. An auctioneer shall not advertise that he is authorized to sell real estate. An auctioneer may advertise for sale at public auction any real estate when employed to do so as herein provided, and may advertise that he is authorized to auction real estate at public auction;

9. [Expired.]

10. Any person who is licensed and is in good standing as a real estate broker or salesperson in another state, and who assists a prospective purchaser, tenant, optionee, or licensee located in another state to purchase, lease, option, or license an interest in commercial real estate, as defined in § 55.1-1100, in the Commonwealth. Such real estate licensee from another state may be compensated by a real estate broker in the Commonwealth. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to permit any person not licensed and in good standing as a real estate broker or salesperson in the Commonwealth to otherwise act as a real estate broker or salesperson under this chapter.

B. The provisions of this chapter shall not prohibit the selling of real estate (i) by an attorney-at-law in the performance of his duties as such, (ii) by a receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, administrator or executor, a special commissioner or any person selling real estate under order of court, or (iii) by a trustee acting under the trust agreement, deed of trust or will, or the regular salaried employees thereof.

C. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any salaried person employed by a licensed real estate broker for and on behalf of the owner of any real estate or the improvements thereon which the licensed broker has contracted to manage for the owner if the actions of such salaried employee are limited to (i) exhibiting residential units on such real estate to prospective tenants, if the employee is employed on the premises of such real estate; (ii) providing prospective tenants with factual information about the lease of residential real estate; (iii) accepting applications for lease of such real estate; and (iv) accepting security deposits and rentals for such real estate. Such deposits and rentals shall be made payable to the owner or the broker employed by such owner. The salaried employee shall not negotiate the amounts of such security deposits or rentals and shall not negotiate any leases on behalf of such owner or broker.

D. A licensee of the Board shall comply with the Board's regulations, notwithstanding the fact that the licensee would be otherwise exempt from licensure under subsection A. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require a person to be licensed in accordance with this chapter if he would be otherwise exempt from such licensure.

E. An attorney-at-law referring a client to a licensee shall not be entitled to receive any compensation from a listing firm or offered by a common source information company to cooperating brokers, unless the attorney is also licensed under this chapter as a real estate broker or salesperson.

Code 1950, § 54-734; 1972, c. 324; 1973, cc. 487, 527; 1975, c. 238; 1980, c. 127; 1982, cc. 633, 682; 1988, c. 765; 1992, c. 84; 1993, cc. 816, 899; 1995, c. 227; 1998, cc. 261, 262; 2001, Sp. Sess. I, c. 9; 2009, cc. 88, 262; 2015, cc. 24, 272.

§ 54.1-2104. Real Estate Board; membership; chairman; seal.

The Real Estate Board shall be composed of nine members as follows: seven members who have been licensed real estate brokers or salespersons for at least five consecutive years before their appointment and two citizen members. The terms of Board members shall be four years.

The Board shall elect a chairman from its membership.

The Board shall adopt a seal by which it shall authenticate its proceedings.

Code 1950, §§ 54-737, 54-738, 54-739, 54-744; 1956, c. 145; 1981, c. 447; 1984, c. 201; 1985, c. 448; 1988, cc. 42, 765; 1992, c. 809; 2010, c. 91.

§ 54.1-2105. General powers of Real Estate Board; regulations; educational and experience requirements for licensure.

A. The Board may do all things necessary and convenient for carrying into effect the provisions of this chapter and may promulgate necessary regulations.

B. The Board shall adopt regulations establishing minimum educational requirements as conditions for licensure. Board regulations relating to initial licensure shall include the following requirements:

1. Every applicant for an initial license as a real estate salesperson shall have:

a. At a minimum, a high school diploma or its equivalent; and

b. Completed a course in the principles of real estate that carried an academic credit of at least four semester hours, but not less than 60 hours of classroom, correspondence, or other distance learning instruction, offered by an accredited institution of higher education, high school offering adult distributive education courses, or other school or educational institution offering an equivalent course.

2. Every applicant for an initial license as a real estate broker shall have:

a. At a minimum, a high school diploma or its equivalent; and

b. Completed not less than 12 semester hours of classroom or correspondence or other distance learning instruction in real estate courses offered by an accredited institution of higher education or other school or educational institution offering equivalent courses.

3. Every applicant for a license by reciprocity as a real estate salesperson or real estate broker shall have:

a. Completed a course in the principles of real estate that is comparable in content and duration and scope to that required in subdivision 1 or 12 semester hours of classroom or correspondence or other distance learning instruction in real estate courses that are comparable in content and duration and scope to that required in subdivision 2; and

b. If currently licensed by another state as a real estate salesperson or broker, passed Virginia's examination.

C. The Board may waive any requirement under the regulations relating to education or experience when the broker or salesperson is found to have education or experience equivalent to that required. No regulation imposing educational requirements for initial licensure beyond those specified by law shall apply to any person who was licensed prior to July 1, 1975, and who has been continuously licensed since that time, except that licensure as a salesperson prior to such time shall not exempt a salesperson who seeks to be licensed as a broker from the educational requirements established for brokers.

D. The Board shall establish criteria to ensure that prelicensure and broker licensure courses meet the standards of quality deemed by the Board to be necessary to protect the public interests. For correspondence and other distance learning instruction offered by an approved provider, such criteria may include appropriate testing procedures. The Board may establish procedures to ensure the quality of the courses.

Noncollegiate institutions shall not be authorized to grant collegiate semester hours for academic credit.

The specific content of the real estate courses shall be in real estate brokerage, real estate finance, real estate appraisal, real estate law, and such related subjects as are approved by the Board.

E. The Board may establish criteria delineating the permitted activities of unlicensed individuals employed by, or affiliated as an independent contractor with, real estate licensees or under the supervision of a real estate broker.

F. The Board may take a disciplinary case against a licensee under advisement, defer a finding in such case, and dismiss such action upon terms and conditions set by the Board.

Code 1950, § 54-740; 1974, c. 663; 1977, c. 3; 1980, c. 571; 1981, c. 117; 1984, cc. 201, 283; 1985, c. 116; 1988, cc. 9, 765; 1989, c. 244; 1991, c. 576; 1992, cc. 65, 446, 624, 717; 1995, c. 125; 1996, cc. 890, 903; 1997, c. 389; 1998, c. 268; 2000, c. 759; 2003, cc. 998, 1027; 2006, cc. 61, 627; 2007, c. 809; 2010, cc. 373, 637; 2012, c. 750; 2016, c. 334; 2019, cc. 179, 395.

§ 54.1-2105.01. Educational requirements for all salespersons within one year of licensure.

A. The Board shall establish guidelines for a post-license educational curriculum of at least 30 hours of classroom, or correspondence or other distance learning, instruction, in specified areas, which shall be required of all salespersons within the initial year of licensure. Failure of a new licensee to complete the 30-hour post-licensure curriculum within one year from the last day of the month in which his license was issued shall result in the license being placed on inactive status by the Board until the curriculum has been completed.

B. To establish the guidelines required by this section, the Board shall establish an industry advisory group composed of representatives of the practices of (i) residential real estate, (ii) commercial real estate, and (iii) property management. The industry advisory group shall consist of licensed real estate salespersons and real estate brokers who shall be appointed by and shall meet at the direction of the Board to update the guidelines. The Board shall review and may approve educational curricula developed by an approved school or other provider of real estate education authorized by this chapter. The industry advisory group shall serve at no cost to the Board.

C. The curricula for new licensees shall include topics that new licensees need to know in their practices, including contract writing, handling customer deposits, listing property, leasing property, agency, current industry issues and trends, flood hazard areas and the National Flood Insurance Program, property owners' and condominium association law, landlord-tenant law, Board regulations, real estate-related finance, and such other topics as designated by the Board. The post-licensure education requirements of this section for new licensees shall be in lieu of the continuing education requirements otherwise specified in this chapter and Board regulations.

2007, c. 809; 2011, c. 461; 2015, c. 692; 2018, cc. 60, 86.

§ 54.1-2105.02. Regulation of real estate education providers and courses.

A. The Board may regulate any school that is established to offer real estate courses except such schools as are regulated by another state agency. Such authority shall include, but not be limited to, qualification of instructors, approval of course curricula, and requirement that such schools submit evidence of financial responsibility to ensure that these schools protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

B. Board regulations shall include a procedure for processing applications of educational institutions, real estate professional associations, or related entities, to provide continuing education courses, which procedure, at a minimum, shall (i) provide for a broad range of subject matters suitable for the continuing education of licensed professionals in a multifamily residential and commercial office, as well as single-family residential, sales, leasing and property management; (ii) acknowledge, in writing, receipt of such applications within 10 calendar days after receipt; and (iii) provide written notification to the applicant, within 75 calendar days of receipt of the application, whether the application has been approved or disapproved, and if disapproved, the reasons therefor. In addition, the Board shall prepare a comprehensive listing of courses, pre-approved by the Board, related to the professional competency requirements for the multifamily residential and commercial office industries.

Board regulations shall include criteria for evaluating and approving continuing education course credits and for awarding credit hours for such courses, as well as procedures for ensuring the quality of real estate courses. The Board shall approve recommended course titles, content, and hours of continuing education credit developed and published by national professional real estate trade associations, unless the Board determines in writing that such titles, content, or credit hours should not be approved and specifies the reasons therefor.

2007, c. 809.

§ 54.1-2105.03. Continuing education; relicensure of brokers and salespersons.

A. Board regulations shall include educational requirements as a condition for relicensure of brokers and salespersons to whom active licenses have been issued by the Board beyond those now specified by law as conditions for licensure.

1. Brokers to whom active licenses have been issued by the Board shall be required to satisfactorily complete courses of not less than 24 hours of classroom or correspondence or other distance learning instruction during each licensing term. Of the total 24 hours, the curriculum shall consist of:

a. A minimum of eight required hours to include at least three hours of ethics and standards of conduct, two hours of fair housing, and the remaining three hours of legal updates and emerging trends, flood hazard areas and the National Flood Insurance Program, real estate agency, and real estate contracts;

b. A minimum of eight hours of courses relating to supervision and management of real estate agents and the management of real estate brokerage firms as are approved by the Board, two hours of which shall include an overview of the broker supervision requirements under this chapter and the Board regulations; and

c. Eight hours of general elective courses as are approved by the Board.

The Board may, on a year-by-year basis, adjust the required hours and course topics specified in this subdivision for the next succeeding year, applicable to a licensee in the next renewal period for his license, including the addition of topics deemed by the Board to be essential. Such designation or adjustment by the Board shall be made prior to September 1 of any given calendar year. The action of the Board in making such adjustment shall be subject to § 2.2-4012.1.

The fair housing requirements shall include an update on current cases and administrative decisions under fair housing laws. If the licensee submits a notarized affidavit to the Board that certifies that he does not practice residential real estate and shall not do so during the licensing term, training in fair housing shall not be required; instead, such licensee shall receive training in other applicable federal and state discrimination laws and regulations.

2. Salespersons to whom active licenses have been issued by the Board shall be required to satisfactorily complete courses of not less than 16 hours of classroom or correspondence or other distance learning instruction during each licensing term. Of the total 16 hours, the curriculum shall consist of:

a. A minimum of eight required hours to include at least three hours of ethics and standards of conduct, two hours of fair housing, and the remaining three hours of legal updates and emerging trends, real estate agency, real estate contracts, and flood hazard areas and the National Flood Insurance Program; and

b. Eight hours of general elective courses as are approved by the Board.

The Board may, on a year-by-year basis, readjust the required hours and course topics specified in this subdivision for the next succeeding year, applicable to a licensee in the next renewal period for his license, including the addition of topics deemed by the Board to be essential. Such designation or adjustment by the Board shall be made prior to September 1 of any given calendar year. The action of the Board in making such adjustment shall be subject to § 2.2-4012.1.

3. The Board shall approve a continuing education curriculum of not less than three hours, and as of July 1, 2012, every applicant for relicensure as an active broker or salesperson shall complete at a minimum one three-hour continuing education course on the changes to residential standard agency effective as of July 1, 2011, to Article 3 (§ 54.1-2130 et seq.) prior to renewal or reinstatement of his license. If the licensee submits a notarized affidavit to the Board that certifies that he does not practice residential real estate and shall not do so during the licensing term, training in residential representation shall not be required. A licensee who takes one three-hour continuing education class on residential representation shall satisfy the requirements for continuing education and may, but shall not be required to, take any further continuing education on residential standard agency.

The fair housing requirements shall include an update on current cases and administrative decisions under fair housing laws. If the licensee submits a notarized affidavit to the Board that certifies that he does not practice residential real estate and shall not do so during the licensing term, training in fair housing shall not be required; instead, such licensee shall receive training in other applicable federal and state discrimination laws and regulations.

4. For correspondence and other distance learning instruction offered by an approved provider, the Board shall establish the appropriate testing procedures to verify completion of the course and require the licensee to file a notarized affidavit certifying compliance with the course requirements. The Board may establish procedures to ensure the quality of the courses. The Board shall not require testing for continuing education courses completed through classroom instruction.

B. Every applicant for relicensure as an active salesperson or broker shall complete the continuing education requirements prior to each renewal or reinstatement of his license. The continuing education requirement shall also apply to inactive licensees who make application for an active license. Notwithstanding this requirement, military personnel called to active duty in the armed forces of the United States may complete the required continuing education within six months of their release from active duty.

C. The Board shall establish procedures for the carryover of continuing education credits completed by licensees from the licensee's current license period to the licensee's next renewal period.

D. The Board may grant exemptions or waive or reduce the number of continuing education hours required in cases of certified illness or undue hardship as demonstrated to the Board.

2007, c. 809; 2011, c. 461; 2012, c. 750; 2015, c. 692; 2016, c. 334; 2018, cc. 60, 86.

§ 54.1-2105.04. Education requirements; reactivation of licenses; waiver.

A. Board regulations shall include remedial educational requirements for any salesperson or broker who has been inactive for more than three years. The regulations shall require the applicant to meet the educational requirements for a salesperson or broker in effect at the time either becomes active.

B. When the license has been inactive for more than three years, the Board may waive the educational requirements for reactivation of a license under the following conditions: (i) during the time the license has been inactive, the holder of such inactive license has been engaged in an occupation whereby the knowledge of real estate would be retained or (ii) the holder of such license is a member or the spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States who has been permanently assigned outside Virginia for a portion of the time the license has been inactive, and the holder of the inactive license remained current in the field of real estate and demonstrates this fact to the satisfaction of the Board.

C. The Board or its agent shall require proof of identity prior to an applicant taking the state examination.

2007, c. 809.

§ 54.1-2105.1. Other powers and duties of the Real Estate Board.

In addition to the provisions of §§ 54.1-2105.01 through 54.1-2105.04, the Board shall:

1. Develop a residential property disclosure statement form for use in accordance with the provisions of the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act (§ 55.1-700 et seq.) and maintain such statement on its website. The Board shall also develop and maintain on its website a one-page form to be signed by the parties acknowledging that the purchaser has been advised of the disclosures listed in the residential property disclosure statement located on the Board's website; and

2. Inform licensed brokers, in a manner deemed appropriate by the Board, of the broker's ability to designate an agent pursuant to § 54.1-2109 in the event of the broker's death or disability.

1993, c. 958; 2000, c. 759; 2007, cc. 265, 809; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2011, c. 461; 2014, cc. 24, 705; 2018, cc. 60, 86; 2020, c. 749.

§ 54.1-2105.2. Cease and desist orders for unlicensed activity; civil penalty.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Board may issue an order requiring any person to cease and desist from acting as a real estate broker or salesperson when such person is not licensed by the Board in accordance with this chapter. The order shall be effective upon its entry and shall become final unless such person files an appeal with the Board in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) within 21 days of the date of entry of the order.

B. If the person fails to cease and desist the unlicensed activity after entry of an order in accordance with subsection A, the Board may refer the matter for enforcement pursuant to § 54.1-306.

C. Any person engaging in unlicensed activity shall be subject to further proceedings before the Board and the Board may impose a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for any real estate transaction or the compensation received from any such real estate transaction, whichever is greater. Any penalties collected under this section shall be paid to the Literary Fund after deduction of the administrative costs of the Board in furtherance of this section.

2005, c. 437.

§ 54.1-2106. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, c. 993.

§ 54.1-2106.1. Licenses required.

A. No business entity, other than a sole proprietorship, shall act, offer to act, or advertise to act, as a real estate firm without a real estate firm license from the Board. Such firm may be granted a license in a fictitious name. No business entity shall be granted a firm license unless (i) every managing member of a limited liability company, officer of a corporation, partner within a partnership, or associate within an association who actively participates in the firm brokerage business holds a license as a real estate broker; and (ii) every employee or independent contractor who acts as a salesperson for such business entity holds a license as a real estate salesperson or broker. An individual holding a broker's license may operate a real estate brokerage firm which he owns as a sole proprietorship without any further licensure by the Board, although such individual shall not operate the brokerage firm in a fictitious name. However, nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit a broker operating a brokerage firm from having a business entity separate from the brokerage firm for such broker's own real estate business, provided that such separate business entity otherwise complies with this section. A non-broker-owned sole proprietorship shall obtain a license from the Board.

B. No individual shall act as a broker without a real estate broker's license from the Board. An individual who holds a broker's license may act as a salesperson for another broker. A broker may be an owner, member, or officer of a business entity salesperson as defined in subsection C.

C. No individual shall act as a salesperson without a salesperson's license from the Board. A business entity may act as a salesperson with a separate business entity salesperson's license from the Board. No business entity shall be granted a business entity salesperson's license unless every owner or officer who actively participates in the brokerage business of such entity holds a license as a salesperson or broker from the Board. The Board shall establish standards in its regulations for the names of business entity salespersons when more than one licensee is an owner or officer.

D. No group of individuals consisting of one or more real estate brokers or real estate salespersons, or a combination thereof, shall act as a real estate team without first obtaining a business entity salesperson's license from the Board. A real estate team may hire one or more unlicensed assistants, as employees or independent contractors, as otherwise provided by law.

E. If any principal broker maintains more than one place of business within the Commonwealth, such principal broker shall be required to obtain a branch office license from the Board for each place of business maintained. A copy of the branch office license shall be kept on the premises of the branch office.

1996, c. 993; 1998, c. 265; 1999, cc. 82, 105; 2008, c. 319; 2012, c. 750; 2018, cc. 223, 224; 2019, cc. 179, 395.

§ 54.1-2106.2. Certification of audit on renewal of firm or sole proprietorship license.

When submitting a renewal of any firm or sole proprietorship license, the principal broker or supervising broker of the firm shall certify that he has audited or has caused to be audited the operations, policies, and procedures of the firm to assure compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with regulations adopted by the Board. Such audit shall be conducted at least once during each term of licensure, and the completed audit form developed by the Board, signed by the principal or supervising broker, shall be kept on the premises of the firm or sole proprietorship and shall be produced for inspection or copying upon request by an authorized agent of the Board.

2012, c. 750.

§ 54.1-2107. Certain action to constitute real estate broker or salesperson.

One act for compensation or valuable consideration of buying or selling real estate of or for another, or offering for another to buy or sell or exchange real estate, or leasing, or renting, or offering to rent real estate, except as specifically excepted in § 54.1-2103, shall constitute the person, firm, partnership, copartnership, association or corporation, performing, offering or attempting to perform any of the acts enumerated above, a real estate broker or real estate salesperson.

Code 1950, § 54-732; 1984, c. 201; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-2108. Protection of escrow funds, etc., held by broker.

No licensee or any agent of the licensee shall divert or misuse any funds held in escrow or otherwise held by him for another. Where escrow funds or other funds are held by the licensee or his agents and the Real Estate Board or its agents have reason to believe that the licensee is not able to adequately protect the interests of persons involved, or his conduct threatens their interests, the Board shall file a petition with any court of record having equity jurisdiction over the licensee or any of the funds held by him stating the facts upon which it relies. The court may temporarily enjoin further activity by the licensee and take such further action as shall be necessary to conserve, protect and disburse the funds involved, including the appointment of a receiver. If a receiver is appointed his expenses and a reasonable fee as determined by the court shall be paid by the licensee. If the court finds him unable to make such payment, the Board shall determine whether the expenses and fees shall be paid from the Virginia Real Estate Transaction Recovery Fund or from funds received by the Board. Such determination shall be made within thirty days of the Board's receipt of the court-approved receiver invoices. If the court finds that the licensee was without fault and that he is found not to have violated any provisions of this chapter or of the regulations of the Board, then the receiver's expenses and fees shall be paid by the Board. Such payments shall be paid from funds received by the Board.

1973, c. 487, § 54-764.5; 1988, c. 765; 1997, c. 82; 1998, c. 29.

§ 54.1-2108.1. Protection of escrow funds, etc., held by a real estate broker in the event of foreclosure of real property; required deposits.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law:

1. If a licensed real estate broker or an agent of such licensee is holding escrow funds for the owner of real property and such property is foreclosed upon, the licensee or agent shall have the right to file an interpleader action pursuant to § 16.1-77.

2. If a single-family residential dwelling unit is foreclosed upon, and at the date of the foreclosure sale there is a real estate purchase contract to buy such property and such contract provides that the earnest money deposit held in escrow by a licensee shall be paid to a party to the contract in the event of a termination of the real estate purchase contract, the foreclosure shall be deemed a termination of the real estate purchase contract and the licensee or an agent of the licensee may, absent any default on the part of the purchaser, disburse the earnest money deposit to the purchaser pursuant to such provisions of the real estate purchase contract without further consent from, or notice to, the parties.

3. If a single-family residential dwelling unit is foreclosed upon and there is a tenant in the dwelling unit on the date of the foreclosure sale and the landlord is holding a security deposit of the tenant, the landlord shall handle the security deposit in accordance with applicable law, which requires the holder of the landlord's interest in the dwelling unit at the time of termination of tenancy to return any security deposit and any accrued interest that is duly owed to the tenant, whether or not such security deposit is transferred with the landlord's interest by law or equity, and regardless of any contractual agreements between the original landlord and his successors in interest. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the landlord from making lawful deductions from the security deposit in accordance with applicable law.

4. If a single-family residential dwelling unit is foreclosed upon pursuant to § 55.1-1237 and there is a tenant in such dwelling unit on the date of the foreclosure sale, the successor in interest who acquires the dwelling unit at the foreclosure sale shall assume such interest subject to the following:

a. If the successor in interest acquires the dwelling unit for the purpose of occupying such unit as his primary residence, the successor in interest shall provide written notice to the tenant, in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-1202, notifying the tenant that the rental agreement is terminated and that the tenant must vacate the dwelling unit on a date not less than 90 days after the date of such written notice.

b. If the successor in interest acquires the dwelling unit for any other purpose, the successor in interest shall acquire the dwelling unit subject to the rental agreement and the tenant shall be permitted to occupy the dwelling unit for the remaining term of the lease, provided, however, that the successor in interest may terminate the rental agreement pursuant to § 55.1-1245 or the terms of the rental agreement. The successor in interest shall provide written notice of such termination to the tenant in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-1202.

If rent is paid to a real estate licensee acting on behalf of the landlord as a managing agent, such property management agreement having been entered into prior to and in effect at the time of the foreclosure sale, the managing agent may collect the rent and shall place it into an escrow account by the end of the fifth business banking day following receipt.

5. If a single-family residential dwelling unit is foreclosed upon, and at the date of the foreclosure sale there is a written property management agreement between a landlord and a real estate licensee licensed pursuant to the provisions of § 54.1-2106.1, the foreclosure shall convert the property management agreement into a month-to-month agreement between the successor landlord and the real estate licensee acting as a managing agent, except in the event that the terms of the original property management agreement between the landlord and the real estate licensee acting as a managing agent require an earlier termination date. Unless altered by the parties, the terms of the original property management agreement that existed between the landlord and the real estate licensee acting as a managing agent shall govern the agreement between the successor landlord and the real estate licensee acting as a managing agent. The property management agreement may be terminated by either party upon provision of written notice to the other party at least 30 days prior to the intended termination date. Any funds received or held by the real estate licensee acting as a managing agent shall be disbursed only in accordance with the terms of the property management agreement or as otherwise provided by law.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law:

1. Any rent paid to a real estate licensee acting on behalf of a landlord client in connection with the lease shall be placed in an escrow account by the end of the fifth business banking day following receipt, regardless of when received, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the principals to a lease transaction.

2. Any security deposits paid to a real estate licensee acting on behalf of a landlord client in connection with the lease shall be placed in an escrow account by the end of the fifth business banking day following receipt, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the principals to a lease transaction.

3. Any application deposit as defined by § 55.1-1200 paid by a prospective tenant for the purpose of being considered as a tenant for a dwelling unit to a real estate licensee acting on behalf of a landlord client shall be placed in escrow by the end of the fifth business banking day following approval of the rental application by the landlord, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the principals to a lease transaction.

4. Such funds shall remain in an escrow account until disbursed in accordance with the terms of the lease, the property management agreement, or the applicable statutory provisions, as applicable.

5. Except in the event of foreclosure, if a real estate licensee acting on behalf of a landlord client as a managing agent elects to terminate the property management agreement, the licensee may transfer any funds held in escrow by the licensee on behalf of the landlord client to the landlord client without his consent, provided that the real estate licensee provides written notice to each tenant that the funds have been so transferred. In the event of foreclosure, a real estate licensee shall not transfer any funds to a landlord client whose property has been foreclosed upon.

6. A real estate licensee acting on behalf of a landlord client as a managing agent who complies with the provisions of this section shall have immunity from any liability for such compliance, in the absence of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

2010, c. 181; 2013, c. 489; 2017, cc. 67, 394; 2020, c. 1014; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 426.

§ 54.1-2108.2. Protection of escrow funds, etc., held by a real estate broker in the event of termination of a real estate purchase contract.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for purchase transactions:

1. Upon the ratification of a contract, an earnest money deposit received by the principal broker or supervising broker, or an agent of such principal broker or supervising broker, shall be placed in an escrow account by the end of the fifth business banking day following ratification, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the principals to the transaction, and shall remain in that account until the transaction has been consummated or terminated.

2. In the event that the transaction is not consummated, the principal broker or supervising broker shall hold such funds in escrow until (i) all principals to the transaction have agreed in a written agreement as to their disposition, upon which the funds shall be returned to the agreed-upon principal as provided in such written agreement; (ii) a court of competent jurisdiction orders such disbursement of the funds; (iii) the funds are successfully interpleaded into a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to this section; or (iv) the broker releases the funds to the principal to the transaction who is entitled to receive them in accordance with the clear and explicit terms of the contract that established the earnest money deposit.

At the option of a broker, written notice may be sent by the broker that release of such funds shall be made unless a written protest is received from the principal who is not receiving the funds by such broker within 15 calendar days of the date of such notice. Notice of a disbursement shall be given to the parties to the transaction in accordance with the contract, but if the contract does not specify a method of delivery, one of the following methods complies with this section: (a) hand delivery; (b) United States mail, postage prepaid, provided that the sender retains sufficient proof of mailing, which may be either a United States postal certificate of mailing or a certificate of service prepared by the sender confirming such mailing; (c) electronic means, provided that the sender retains sufficient proof of the electronic delivery, which may be an electronic receipt of delivery, a confirmation that the notice was sent by facsimile, or a certificate of service prepared by the sender confirming the electronic delivery; or (d) overnight delivery using a commercial service or the United States Postal Service. Except as provided in the clear and explicit terms of the contract, no broker shall be required to make a determination as to the party entitled to receive the earnest money deposit. A broker who complies with this section shall be immune from liability to any of the parties to the contract.

3. A principal broker or supervising broker holding escrow funds for a principal to the transaction may seek to have a court of competent jurisdiction take custody of disputed or unclaimed escrow funds via an interpleader action pursuant to § 16.1-77.

4. If a principal broker or supervising broker is holding escrow funds for the owner of real property and such property is foreclosed upon by a lender, the principal broker or supervising broker shall have the right to file an interpleader action pursuant to § 16.1-77 and otherwise comply with the provisions of § 54.1-2108.1.

2018, cc. 60, 86; 2019, cc. 179, 395.

§ 54.1-2109. Death or disability of a broker.

Upon the death or disability of a licensed real estate broker who was engaged in a proprietorship or who was the only licensed broker in a business entity listed in clause (i) of subsection A of § 54.1-2106.1, the Real Estate Board shall grant approval to carry on the business of the deceased or disabled broker for 180 days following the death or disability of the broker solely for the purpose of concluding the business of the deceased or disabled broker in the following order:

1. A personal representative qualified by the court to administer the deceased broker's estate.

2. If there is no personal representative qualified pursuant to subdivision 1, then an agent designated under a power of attorney of the disabled or deceased broker, which designation expressly references this section.

3. If there is no agent designated pursuant to subdivision 2, the executor nominated in the deceased broker's will.

4. If there is no executor nominated pursuant to subdivision 3, then an adult family member of the disabled or deceased broker.

5. If there is no adult family member nominated pursuant to subdivision 4, then an employee of, or an independent contractor affiliated with, the disabled or deceased broker.

In the event none of the foregoing is available or suitable, the Board may appoint any other suitable person to terminate the business within 180 days.

1984, c. 283, § 54-731.3; 1988, c. 765; 2014, cc. 24, 705; 2019, cc. 179, 395; 2020, c. 383.

§ 54.1-2110. Resident broker to maintain place of business in Virginia.

Every resident real estate broker shall maintain a place of business in this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 54-733; 1981, c. 34; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-2110.1. Duties of supervising broker.

A. Each place of business, each branch office, and each real estate team shall be supervised by a supervising broker. The supervising broker shall exercise reasonable and adequate supervision of the provision of real estate brokerage services by associate brokers and salespersons assigned to the branch office or real estate team. The supervising broker may designate another broker to assist in administering the provisions required by this section, but such designation shall not relieve the supervising broker of responsibility for the supervision of the acts of all licensees assigned to the branch office or real estate team.

B. As used in this section, "reasonable and adequate supervision" by the supervising broker shall include the following:

1. Being available to all licensees under his supervision at reasonable times to review and approve all documents, including leases, contracts, brokerage agreements, and advertising as may affect the firm's clients and business;

2. Ensuring the availability of training opportunities and that the office has written procedures and policies that provide clear guidance in the following areas:

a. Handling of escrow deposits in compliance with law and regulation;

b. Complying with federal and state fair housing laws and regulations if the firm engages in residential brokerage, residential leasing, or residential property management;

c. Advertising and marketing of the brokerage firm and any affiliated real estate teams or business entities;

d. Negotiating and drafting of contracts, leases, and brokerage agreements;

e. Exercising appropriate oversight and limitations on the use of unlicensed assistants, whether as part of a team arrangement or otherwise;

f. Creating agency or independent contractor relationships and elements thereof;

g. Distributing information on new or amended laws or regulations; and

h. Disclosing required information relating to the physical condition of real property;

3. Ensuring that the brokerage services are carried out competently and in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;

4. Undertaking reasonable steps to ensure compliance by all licensees assigned to a branch office with the provisions of this chapter and applicable Board regulations, including ensuring that licensees possess a current license issued by the Board;

5. Ensuring that affiliated real estate teams or business entities are operating in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and applicable Board regulations;

6. Ensuring that brokerage agreements include the name and contact information of the supervising broker; and

7. Maintaining the records required by this subsection for three years. The records shall be furnished to the Board's agent upon request.

C. Any supervising broker who resides more than 50 miles from a branch office under his supervision, having licensees who regularly conduct business assigned to such branch office, shall certify in writing quarterly on a form provided by the Board that the supervising broker has complied with the requirements of this section.

D. As a condition of the renewal of a branch office license, the supervising broker shall provide to the Board the name and license number of each real estate licensee affiliated with the branch office at the time of the renewal in a format deemed acceptable by the Board.

2012, c. 750; 2016, c. 334; 2018, cc. 223, 224.

§ 54.1-2111. Consent to suits and service of process by nonresidents; manner of service.

A. Every nonresident applicant shall file with the Real Estate Board an irrevocable consent that suits and actions may be commenced against such applicant in the proper court of any county or city of this Commonwealth in which a cause of action may arise or in which the plaintiff may reside, by the service of any process or pleading authorized by the laws of this Commonwealth on the Director of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. The consent shall stipulate that such service of process or pleadings on the Director shall be taken and held in all courts to be as valid and binding as if due service had been made upon the applicant in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

B. Any process or pleadings served upon the Director shall be filed by the Director in his office and a copy thereof immediately forwarded by registered mail to the main office of the licensee at the last known address.

Code 1950, §§ 54-773, 54-774; 1988, c. 765; 1993, c. 499.

§ 54.1-2111.1. Voluntary compliance program; real estate brokers.

A. The Board shall promulgate regulations to allow the audit of the practices, policies, and procedures of a real estate broker licensed by the Board, either through a third party retained by the real estate broker or through a self-audit, and if the broker is determined by such audit to not be in compliance with the provisions of this chapter or applicable regulations of the Board, to allow for the broker to enter into a voluntary compliance program to bring the broker's practices, policies, and procedures into compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The broker shall notify the Board of the discovery of any noncompliance within 30 days after discovery and shall submit a written statement with a plan to bring the practices, policies, and procedures into voluntary compliance, which completion of such voluntary compliance shall not exceed a period of 90 days from the date that the plan is submitted to the Board.

B. Certification by the broker or auditor of such broker shall constitute immunity from an enforcement action under this chapter or under the applicable regulations of the Board.

C. The provisions of this section do not apply if the noncompliance by the broker was intentional or a result of gross negligence of the broker.

2010, cc. 373, 637.

Article 2. Virginia Real Estate Transaction Recovery Act.

§ 54.1-2112. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Act" means the Virginia Real Estate Transaction Recovery Act.

"Balance of the fund" means cash, securities that are legal investments for fiduciaries under the provisions of subdivisions A 1, 2, and 4 of § 2.2-4519, and repurchase agreements secured by obligations of the United States government or any agency thereof, and shall not mean accounts receivable, judgments, notes, accrued interest, or other obligations payable to the fund.

"Board" means the Real Estate Board.

"Claimant" means any person with an unsatisfied judgment against a regulant, who has filed a verified claim under this act.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

"Fund" means the Virginia Real Estate Transaction Recovery Fund.

"Improper or dishonest conduct" includes only the wrongful and fraudulent taking or conversion of money, property or other things of value or material misrepresentation or deceit.

"Judgment" includes an order of a United States Bankruptcy Court (i) declaring a claim against a regulant who is in bankruptcy to be a "Debt Nondischargeable in Bankruptcy," (ii) extinguishing a claim against a regulant who is in bankruptcy and for which claim no distribution was made from the regulant's bankruptcy estate but excluding any such claim disallowed by order of the bankruptcy court, or (iii) extinguishing a claim against a regulant who is in bankruptcy and for which claim only partial distribution was made from the regulant's bankruptcy estate. An order of dismissal shall not be considered a judgment.

"Regulant" means a person, partnership, association, corporation, agency, firm or any other entity licensed by the Real Estate Board as a real estate broker or real estate salesperson.

"Verified claim" means a completed application, on a form designed by the Board, the truthfulness of which has been attested to by the claimant before a notary public, along with all required supporting documentation, that has been properly received by the Department in accordance with this chapter.

1977, c. 69, § 54-765.2; 1984, cc. 266, 283; 1985, c. 448; 1987, c. 555; 1988, c. 765; 1992, c. 348; 1993, c. 499; 2015, c. 409.

§ 54.1-2113. Establishment and maintenance of fund, duty of Director, assessments of regulants.

A. Each initial regulant at the time of licensure shall be assessed $20, which shall be specifically assigned to the fund. Initial payments may be incorporated in any application fee payment and transferred to the fund by the Director within 30 days.

B. All assessments, except initial assessments, for the fund shall be deposited, within three work days after their receipt by the Director, in one or more federally insured banks, savings and loan associations or savings banks located in the Commonwealth. Funds deposited in banks, savings and loan associations or savings banks, to the extent in excess of insurance afforded by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or other federal insurance agency, shall be secured under the Virginia Security for Public Deposits Act (§ 2.2-4400 et seq.). The deposit of these funds in federally insured banks, savings institutions or savings banks located in the Commonwealth shall not be considered investment of such funds for purposes of this section. Funds maintained by the Director may be invested in securities that are legal investments for fiduciaries under the provisions of § 64.2-1502. The Director shall maintain in his office an accurate record of all transactions involving the fund, which records shall be open for inspection and copying by the public during the normal business hours of the Director.

C. The minimum balance of the fund shall be $400,000. Whenever the Director determines that the balance of the fund is or will be less than such minimum balance, the Director shall immediately inform the Board. At the same time, the Director may recommend that the Board transfer a fixed amount of interest earnings to the fund to bring the balance of the fund to the amount required by this subsection. Such transfer of interest shall be considered by the Board within 30 days of the notification of the Director.

D. If available interest earnings are insufficient to bring the balance of the fund to the minimum amount required by this section, or if a transfer of available interest earnings to the fund has not occurred, the Board shall assess each regulant within 30 days of notification by the Director, a sum sufficient to bring the balance of the fund to the required minimum amount. The Board may order an assessment of regulants at any time in addition to any required assessment. No regulant shall be assessed a total amount of more than $20 during any biennial license period or part thereof, the biennial period expiring on June 30 of each even-numbered year. Assessments of regulants made pursuant to this subsection may be issued by the Board (i) after a determination made by it or (ii) at the time of license renewal.

E. At the close of each fiscal year, whenever the balance of the fund exceeds $2 million, the amount in excess of $2 million shall be transferred to the Virginia Housing Trust Fund established pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 36-141 et seq.) of Title 36. Except for transfers pursuant to this subsection, there shall be no transfers out of the fund, including transfers to the general fund, regardless of the balance of the fund.

F. If the Board determines that all regulants will be assessed concurrently, notice to the regulants of such assessments shall be by first-class mail, and payment of such assessments shall be made by first-class mail to the Director within 45 days after the mailing to regulants of such notice.

If the Board determines that all regulants will be assessed in conjunction with license renewal, notice to the regulants may be included with the license renewal notice issued by the Board. The assessment shall be due with the payment of the license renewal fees. No license shall be renewed or reinstated until any outstanding assessments are paid.

G. If any regulant fails to remit the required payment mailed in accordance with subsection F within 45 days of the mailing, the Director shall notify the regulant by first-class mail at the latest address of record filed with the Board. If no payment has been received by the Director within 30 days after mailing the second notice, the license shall be automatically suspended. The license shall be restored only upon the actual receipt by the Director of the delinquent assessment.

H. The costs of administering the act shall be paid out of interest earned on deposits constituting the fund. The remainder of the interest, at the discretion of the Board, may (i) be used for providing research and education on subjects of benefit to real estate regulants or members of the public, (ii) be transferred to the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, or (iii) accrue to the fund in accordance with subsection C.

1977, c. 69, § 54-765.3; 1982, c. 6; 1984, c. 266; 1987, c. 555; 1988, c. 765; 1990, c. 3; 1992, cc. 348, 810; 1997, c. 82; 2007, c. 791; 2013, c. 754.

§ 54.1-2114. Recovery from fund generally.

A. The claimant shall not himself be (i) a regulant, (ii) the personal representative of a regulant, (iii) the spouse or child of the regulant against whom the judgment was awarded or the personal representative of such spouse or child, or (iv) a lending or financial institution or any person whose business involves the construction or development of real property.

B. Whenever any person is awarded a final judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia against any individual or entity for improper or dishonest conduct as defined in the act, and the improper or dishonest conduct occurred during a period when the individual or entity was a regulant and occurred in connection with a transaction involving the sale, lease, or management of real property by the regulant acting in the capacity of a real estate broker or real estate salesperson and not in the capacity of a principal, or on his own account, the person to whom such judgment was awarded may file a verified claim with the Director for a directive ordering payment from the fund of the amount unpaid upon the judgment, subject to the following conditions:

1. If any action is instituted against a regulant by any person, such person shall serve a copy of the complaint upon the Board by certified mail or the equivalent.

2. A copy of any pleading or document filed subsequent to the initial service of process in the action against a regulant shall be provided to the Board. The claimant shall submit such copies to the Board by certified mail, or the equivalent, upon his receipt of the pleading or document.

3. A verified claim shall be filed with the Director no later than 12 months after the date of entry of the final judgment from which no further right of appeal exists.

4. Prior to submitting a verified claim, the claimant shall:

a. Conduct or make a reasonable attempt to conduct debtor's interrogatories to determine whether the judgment debtor has any assets, including any listings held by the regulant and any commissions due thereby; and

b. Take all legally available actions for the sale or application of any assets disclosed in the debtor's interrogatories.

5. If the judgment debtor has filed bankruptcy, the claimant shall file a claim with the proper bankruptcy court. If no distribution is made, or the distribution ordered fails to satisfy the claim, the claimant may then file a claim with the Board. The verified claim shall be received by the Board within 12 months of the date of bankruptcy discharge or dismissal. In the event the judgment is silent as to the conduct of the regulant, the Board shall determine (i) whether the conduct of the regulant that gave rise to the claim was improper or dishonest as defined in § 54.1-2112 and (ii) what amount, if any, such claimant is entitled to recover from the Fund.

C. The Department shall promptly consider the verified claim. If it appears that a prima facie case has been made for payment of the claim, the Department shall provide the regulant with a notice offering the opportunity to be heard at an informal fact-finding conference pursuant to § 2.2-4019 of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). Such notice shall state that if the regulant does not request an informal fact-finding conference within 30 days, with three days added in instances where the notice is sent by mail, the Department shall present the claim to the Board with a recommendation to pay the verified claim.

D. A claimant shall not be denied recovery from the Fund due to the fact that the order for judgment filed with the verified claim does not contain a specific finding of improper or dishonest conduct. Any language in the order that supports the conclusion that the court found that the conduct of the regulant meets the definition of improper or dishonest conduct in § 54.1-2112 shall be used by the Board to determine eligibility for recovery from the Fund. To the extent the judgment order is silent as to the court's findings on the conduct of the regulant, the Board may determine whether the conduct of the regulant meets the definition of improper or dishonest conduct by substantial evidence in the verified claim.

E. If the Board finds that there has been compliance with the statutory conditions to which reference is made in this section, the Board shall issue a directive ordering payment to the claimant from the fund the amount unpaid on the judgment, subject to the limitations set forth in § 54.1-2116. The claimant shall be notified in writing of the findings of the Board. The Board's findings shall be considered a "case decision" and judicial review of these findings shall be in accordance with § 2.2-4025 of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Board shall have the right to appeal a decision of any court which is contrary to any distribution recommended or authorized by it.

1977, c. 69, § 54-765.4; 1984, c. 266; 1987, c. 555; 1988, c. 765; 1996, c. 115; 2006, c. 723; 2015, c. 409.

§ 54.1-2115. Investigations.

Upon receipt of the notice of proceedings against the regulant, the Department may cause its own investigation to be conducted pursuant to § 54.1-306.

1987, c. 555, § 54-765.4:1; 1988, c. 765; 2015, c. 409.

§ 54.1-2116. Limitations upon recovery from fund; certain actions not a bar to recovery.

A. The aggregate of claims by claimants against the fund based upon unpaid judgments arising out of the improper or dishonest conduct of one regulant in connection with a single transaction involving the sale, lease, or management of real property, is limited to $50,000. If a claim has been made against the fund, and the Board has reason to believe that there may be additional claims against the fund arising out of the same transaction, the Board may withhold any payment(s) from the fund for a period of not more than one year. After such one-year period, if the aggregate of claims arising out of the same transaction exceeds $50,000, such $50,000 shall be prorated by the Board among the claimants and paid from the fund in proportion to the amounts of their judgments against the regulant remaining unpaid.

B. The maximum claim of one claimant against the fund based upon an unpaid judgment arising out of the improper or dishonest conduct of one regulant in connection with a single transaction involving the sale, lease, or management of real property, shall be limited to $20,000, regardless of the number of claimants and regardless of the amount of the unpaid judgment of the claimant.

C. The aggregate of claims against the fund based upon unpaid judgments arising out of the improper or dishonest conduct of one regulant in connection with more than a single transaction involving the sale, lease, or management of real property is limited to $100,000 during any biennial license period, the biennial periods expiring on June 30 of each even-numbered year. If a claim has been made against the fund, and the Board has reason to believe that there may be additional claims against the fund from other transactions involving the same regulant, the Board may withhold any payment(s) from the fund involving such regulant for a period of not more than one year. After the one-year period, if the aggregate of claims against the regulant exceeds $100,000, such $100,000 shall be prorated by the Board among the claimants and paid from the fund in proportion to the amounts of their judgments against the regulant remaining unpaid.

D. Excluded from the amount of any unpaid judgment upon which a claim against the fund is based shall be any sums included in the judgment which represent interest, or punitive damages. The claim against the fund may include court costs and attorney fees.

E. If, at any time, the amount of the fund is insufficient to satisfy any claims, claim, or portion thereof filed with the Board and authorized by the act, the Board shall, when the amount of the fund is sufficient to satisfy some or all of such claims, claim, or portion thereof, pay the claimants in the order that such claims were filed with the Board.

F. Failure of a claimant to comply with the provisions of subdivisions B 1 and 2 of § 54.1-2114 and the provisions of § 54.1-2117 shall not be a bar to recovery under this act if the claimant is otherwise entitled to such recovery.

1977, c. 69, § 54-765.5; 1987, c. 555; 1988, c. 765; 2015, cc. 409, 710.

§ 54.1-2117. Participation by Board in proceedings.

Upon service of the complaint as provided in subdivision B 1 of § 54.1-2114, the Board, the Director, or duly authorized representatives of the Board shall then have the right to request leave of court to intervene.

1977, c. 69, § 54-765.6; 1987, c. 555; 1988, c. 765; 2015, c. 409.

§ 54.1-2118. Payment of claim; assignment of claimant's rights to Board.

The Director shall, subject to the provisions of § 54.1-2116, pay to the claimant from the fund such amount as shall be directed by the Board upon the execution and delivery to the Director by such claimant of an assignment to the Board of the claimant's rights against the regulant to the extent that such rights were satisfied from the fund.

1977, c. 69, § 54-765.7; 1987, c. 555; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-2119. Revocation of license of regulant upon payment from fund.

Upon payment by the Director to a claimant from the fund as provided in § 54.1-2118, the Board shall immediately revoke the license of the regulant whose improper or dishonest conduct, as defined in the act, resulted in payment from the fund. The regulant whose license was so revoked shall not be eligible to apply for a license as a real estate broker or real estate salesperson until he has repaid in full the amount paid from the fund on his account, plus interest at the judgment rate of interest from the date of payment from the fund.

1977, c. 69, § 54-765.8; 1984, c. 266; 1987, c. 555; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-2120. No waiver by Board of disciplinary action against regulant.

Nothing contained in this article shall limit the authority of the Board to take disciplinary action against any regulant for any violation of this chapter or Board regulations, nor shall the repayment in full by a regulant of the amount paid from the fund on such regulant's account nullify or modify the effect of any disciplinary proceeding against such regulant for any such violation.

1977, c. 69, § 54-765.9; 1978, c. 129; 1987, c. 555; 1988, c. 765.

Article 3. Duties of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons.

§ 54.1-2130. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Agency" means every relationship in which a real estate licensee acts for or represents a person as an agent by such person's express authority in a commercial or residential real estate transaction, unless a different legal relationship is intended and is agreed to as part of the brokerage agreement. Nothing in this article shall prohibit a licensee and a client from agreeing in writing to a brokerage relationship under which the licensee acts as an independent contractor or which imposes on a licensee obligations in addition to those provided in this article. If a licensee agrees to additional obligations, however, the licensee shall be responsible for the additional obligations agreed to with the client in the brokerage agreement. A real estate licensee who enters into a brokerage relationship based upon a written brokerage agreement that specifically states that the real estate licensee is acting as an independent contractor and not as an agent shall have the obligations agreed to by the parties in the brokerage agreement, and such real estate licensee and its employees shall comply with the provisions of subdivisions A 3 through 7 and subsections B and E of § 54.1-2131; subdivisions A 3 through 7 and subsections B and E of § 54.1-2132; subdivisions A 3 through 7 and subsections B and E of § 54.1-2133; subdivisions A 3 through 7 and subsections B and E of § 54.1-2134; and subdivisions A 2 through 6 and subsections C and D of § 54.1-2135 but otherwise shall have no obligations under §§ 54.1-2131 through 54.1-2135. Any real estate licensee who acts for or represents a client in an agency relationship in a residential real estate transaction shall either represent such client as a standard agent or a limited service agent.

"Agent" means a real estate licensee who is acting as (i) a standard agent in a residential real estate transaction, (ii) a limited service agent in a residential real estate transaction, or (iii) an agent in a commercial real estate transaction.

"Brokerage agreement" means the written agreement creating a brokerage relationship between a client and a licensee. The brokerage agreement shall state whether the real estate licensee will represent the client as an agent or an independent contractor.

"Brokerage relationship" means the contractual relationship between a client and a real estate licensee who has been engaged by such client for the purpose of procuring a seller, buyer, option, tenant, or landlord ready, able, and willing to sell, buy, option, exchange or rent real estate on behalf of a client.

"Client" means a person who has entered into a brokerage relationship with a licensee.

"Commercial real estate" means any real estate other than (i) real estate containing one to four residential units or (ii) real estate classified for assessment purposes under § 58.1-3230. Commercial real estate shall not include single family residential units, including condominiums, townhouses, apartments, or homes in a subdivision when leased on a unit by unit basis even though these units may be part of a larger building or parcel of real estate containing more than four residential units.

"Common source information company" means any person, firm, or corporation that is a source, compiler, or supplier of information regarding real estate for sale or lease and other data and includes, but is not limited to, multiple listing services.

"Customer" means a person who has not entered into a brokerage relationship with a licensee but for whom a licensee performs ministerial acts in a real estate transaction. Unless a licensee enters into a brokerage relationship with such person, it shall be presumed that such person is a customer of the licensee rather than a client.

"Designated agent" or "designated representative" means a licensee who has been assigned by a principal or supervising broker to represent a client when a different client is also represented by such principal or broker in the same transaction. A designated representative shall only act as an independent contractor.

"Dual agent" or "dual representative" means a licensee who has a brokerage relationship with both seller and buyer, or both landlord and tenant, in the same real estate transaction. A dual agent has an agency relationship under brokerage agreements with the clients. A dual representative has an independent contractor relationship under brokerage agreements with the clients. A dual representative shall only act as an independent contractor.

"Independent contractor" means a real estate licensee who (i) enters into a brokerage relationship based upon a brokerage agreement that specifically states that the real estate licensee is acting as an independent contractor and not as an agent; (ii) shall have the obligations agreed to by the parties in the brokerage agreement; and (iii) shall comply with the provisions of subdivisions A 3 through 7 and subsections B and E of § 54.1-2131; subdivisions A 3 through 7 and subsections B and E of § 54.1-2132; subdivisions A 3 through 7 and subsections B and E of § 54.1-2133; subdivisions A 3 through 7 and subsections B and E of § 54.1-2134; and subdivisions A 2 through 6 and subsections C and D of § 54.1-2135 but otherwise shall have no obligations under §§ 54.1-2131 through 54.1-2135.

"Licensee" means real estate brokers and salespersons as defined in Article 1 (§ 54.1-2100 et seq.).

"Limited service agent" means a licensee who acts for or represents a client in a residential real estate transaction pursuant to a brokerage agreement that provides that the limited service agent will not provide one or more of the duties set forth in subdivision A 2 of §§ 54.1-2131, 54.1-2132, 54.1-2133, and 54.1-2134, inclusive. A limited service agent shall have the obligations set out in the brokerage agreement, except that a limited service agent shall provide the client, at the time of entering the brokerage agreement, copies of any and all disclosures required by federal or state law, or local disclosures expressly authorized by state law, and shall disclose to the client the following in writing: (i) the rights and obligations of the client under the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act (§ 55.1-700 et seq.); (ii) if the client is selling a condominium, the rights and obligations of the client to deliver to the purchasers, or to receive as purchaser, the condominium resale certificate required by § 55.1-1990; and (iii) if the client is selling a property subject to the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55.1-1800 et seq.), the rights and obligations of the client to deliver to the purchasers, or to receive as purchaser, the association disclosure packet required by § 55.1-1809.

"Ministerial acts" means those routine acts which a licensee can perform for a person which do not involve discretion or the exercise of the licensee's own judgment.

"Property management agreement" means the written agreement between a property manager and the owner of real estate for the management of the real estate.

"Residential real estate" means real property containing from one to four residential dwelling units and the sale of lots containing one to four residential dwelling units.

"Standard agent" means a licensee who acts for or represents a client in an agency relationship in a residential real estate transaction. A standard agent shall have the obligations as provided in this article and any additional obligations agreed to by the parties in the brokerage agreement.

1995, cc. 741, 813; 2006, c. 627; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2011, c. 461; 2012, c. 750; 2016, c. 334.

§ 54.1-2131. Licensees engaged by sellers.

A. A licensee engaged by a seller shall:

1. Perform in accordance with the terms of the brokerage agreement;

2. Promote the interests of the seller by:

a. Conducting marketing activities on behalf of the seller in accordance with the brokerage agreement. In so doing, the licensee shall seek a sale at the price and terms agreed upon in the brokerage agreement or at a price and terms acceptable to the seller; however, the licensee shall not be obligated to seek additional offers to purchase the property while the property is subject to a contract of sale, unless agreed to as part of the brokerage agreement or as the contract of sale so provides;

b. Assisting in the drafting and negotiating of offers and counteroffers, amendments, and addenda to the real estate contract pursuant to § 54.1-2101.1 and in establishing strategies for accomplishing the seller's objectives;

c. Receiving and presenting in a timely manner written offers and counteroffers to and from the seller and purchasers, even when the property is already subject to a contract of sale; and

d. Providing reasonable assistance to the seller to satisfy the seller's contract obligations and to facilitate settlement of the purchase contract;

3. Maintain confidentiality of all personal and financial information received from the client during the brokerage relationship and any other information that the client requests during the brokerage relationship be maintained confidential, unless otherwise provided by law or the seller consents in writing to the release of such information;

4. Exercise ordinary care;

5. Account in a timely manner for all money and property received by the licensee in which the seller has or may have an interest;

6. Disclose to the seller material facts related to the property or concerning the transaction of which the licensee has actual knowledge; and

7. Comply with all requirements of this article, all fair housing statutes and regulations for residential real estate transactions as applicable, and all other applicable statutes and regulations which are not in conflict with this article.

B. Licensees shall treat all prospective buyers honestly and shall not knowingly give them false information. A licensee engaged by a seller shall disclose to prospective buyers all material adverse facts pertaining to the physical condition of the property which are actually known by the licensee. If a licensee has actual knowledge of the existence of defective drywall in a residential property, the licensee shall disclose the same to the prospective buyer. For purposes of this section, "defective drywall" means all defective drywall as defined in § 36-156.1. As used in this section, the term "physical condition of the property" shall refer to the physical condition of the land and any improvements thereon, and shall not refer to (i) matters outside the boundaries of the land or relating to adjacent or other properties in proximity thereto, (ii) matters relating to governmental land use regulations, or (iii) matters relating to highways or public streets. Such disclosure shall be made in writing. No cause of action shall arise against any licensee for revealing information as required by this article or applicable law. Nothing in this article shall limit in any way the provisions of the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act (§ 55.1-700 et seq.) applicable to residential real estate transactions.

C. A licensee engaged by a seller in a real estate transaction may, unless prohibited by law or the brokerage agreement, provide assistance to a buyer or potential buyer by performing ministerial acts. Performing such ministerial acts that are not inconsistent with subsection A shall not be construed to violate the licensee's brokerage agreement with the seller unless expressly prohibited by the terms of the brokerage agreement, nor shall performing such ministerial acts be construed to form a brokerage relationship with such buyer or potential buyer.

D. A licensee engaged by a seller does not breach any duty or obligation owed to the seller by showing alternative properties to prospective buyers, whether as clients or customers, or by representing other sellers who have other properties for sale.

E. Licensees in residential real estate transactions shall disclose brokerage relationships pursuant to the provisions of this article.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a licensee to disclose whether settlement services under Chapter 10 (§ 55.1-1000 et seq.) of Title 55.1 will be provided by an attorney or a nonattorney settlement agent.

1995, cc. 741, 813; 2006, c. 627; 2008, c. 741; 2011, cc. 34, 46, 461; 2012, c. 750; 2016, c. 334.

§ 54.1-2132. Licensees engaged by buyers.

A. A licensee engaged by a buyer shall:

1. Perform in accordance with the terms of the brokerage agreement;

2. Promote the interests of the buyer by:

a. Seeking a property of a type acceptable to the buyer and at a price and on terms acceptable to the buyer; however, the licensee shall not be obligated to seek other properties for the buyer while the buyer is a party to a contract to purchase property unless agreed to as part of the brokerage relationship;

b. Assisting in the drafting and negotiating of offers and counteroffers, amendments, and addenda to the real estate contract pursuant to § 54.1-2101.1 and in establishing strategies for accomplishing the buyer's objectives;

c. Receiving and presenting in a timely manner all written offers or counteroffers to and from the buyer and seller, even when the buyer is already a party to a contract to purchase property; and

d. Providing reasonable assistance to the buyer to satisfy the buyer's contract obligations and to facilitate settlement of the purchase contract;

3. Maintain confidentiality of all personal and financial information received from the client during the brokerage relationship and any other information that the client requests during the brokerage relationship be maintained confidential unless otherwise provided by law or the buyer consents in writing to the release of such information;

4. Exercise ordinary care;

5. Account in a timely manner for all money and property received by the licensee in which the buyer has or may have an interest;

6. Disclose to the buyer material facts related to the property or concerning the transaction of which the licensee has actual knowledge; and

7. Comply with all requirements of this article, all fair housing statutes and regulations for residential real estate transactions as applicable, and all other applicable statutes and regulations which are not in conflict with this article.

B. Licensees shall treat all prospective sellers honestly and shall not knowingly give them false information. If a licensee has actual knowledge of the existence of defective drywall in a residential property, the licensee shall disclose the same to the buyer. For purposes of this section, "defective drywall" means all defective drywall as defined in § 36-156.1. No cause of action shall arise against any licensee for revealing information as required by this article or applicable law. In the case of a residential transaction, a licensee engaged by a buyer shall disclose to a seller whether or not the buyer intends to occupy the property as a principal residence. The buyer's expressions of such intent in the contract of sale shall satisfy this requirement and no cause of action shall arise against any licensee for the disclosure or any inaccuracy in such disclosure, or the nondisclosure of the buyer in this regard.

C. A licensee engaged by a buyer in a real estate transaction may, unless prohibited by law or the brokerage agreement, provide assistance to the seller, or prospective seller, by performing ministerial acts. Performing such ministerial acts that are not inconsistent with subsection A shall not be construed to violate the licensee's brokerage agreement with the buyer unless expressly prohibited by the terms of the brokerage agreement, nor shall performing such ministerial acts be construed to form a brokerage relationship with such seller.

D. A licensee engaged by a buyer does not breach any duty or obligation to the buyer by showing properties in which the buyer is interested to other prospective buyers, whether as clients or customers, by representing other buyers looking at the same or other properties, or by representing sellers relative to other properties.

E. Licensees in residential real estate transactions shall disclose brokerage relationships pursuant to the provisions of this article.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a licensee to disclose whether settlement services under Chapter 10 (§ 55.1-1000 et seq.) of Title 55.1 will be provided by an attorney or a nonattorney settlement agent.

G. Notwithstanding any other provision of law requiring written brokerage agreements or governing the duties of licensees, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require that a written agreement between a licensee and a prospective buyer be executed prior to the licensee's showing properties to the prospective buyer.

1995, cc. 741, 813; 2006, c. 627; 2011, cc. 34, 46; 2012, c. 750; 2016, c. 334.

§ 54.1-2133. Licensees engaged by landlords to lease property.

A. A licensee engaged by a landlord shall:

1. Perform in accordance with the terms of the brokerage agreement;

2. Promote the interests of the landlord by:

a. Conducting marketing activities on behalf of the landlord pursuant to the brokerage agreement with the landlord. In so doing, the licensee shall seek a tenant at the rent and terms agreed in the brokerage agreement or at a rent and terms acceptable to the landlord; however, the licensee shall not be obligated to seek additional offers to lease the property while the property is subject to a lease or a letter of intent to lease under which the tenant has not yet taken possession, unless agreed as part of the brokerage agreement, or unless the lease or the letter of intent to lease so provides;

b. Assisting the landlord in drafting and negotiating leases and letters of intent to lease, and presenting in a timely manner all written leasing offers or counteroffers to and from the landlord and tenant pursuant to § 54.1-2101.1, even when the property is already subject to a lease or a letter of intent to lease; and

c. Providing reasonable assistance to the landlord to finalize the lease agreement;

3. Maintain confidentiality of all personal and financial information received from the client during the brokerage relationship and any other information that the client requests during the brokerage relationship be maintained confidential, unless otherwise provided by law or the landlord consents in writing to the release of such information;

4. Exercise ordinary care;

5. Account in a timely manner for all money and property received by the licensee in which the landlord has or may have an interest;

6. Disclose to the landlord material facts related to the property or concerning the transaction of which the licensee has actual knowledge; and

7. Comply with all requirements of this article, fair housing statutes and regulations for residential real estate transactions as applicable, and all other applicable statutes and regulations which are not in conflict with this article.

B. Licensees shall treat all prospective tenants honestly and shall not knowingly give them false information. A licensee engaged by a landlord shall disclose to prospective tenants all material adverse facts pertaining to the physical condition of the property which are actually known by the licensee. If a licensee has actual knowledge of the existence of any pipe, pipe or plumbing fitting, fixture, solder, or flux that does not meet the federal Safe Drinking Water Act definition of "lead free" pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 300g-6 in a residential property, the licensee shall disclose the same to the prospective tenant. As used in this section, the term "physical condition of the property" shall refer to the physical condition of the land and any improvements thereon, and shall not refer to: (i) matters outside the boundaries of the land or relating to adjacent or other properties in proximity thereto, (ii) matters relating to governmental land use regulations, and (iii) matters relating to highways or public streets. Such disclosure shall be made in writing. No cause of action shall arise against any licensee for revealing information as required by this article or applicable law. Nothing in this subsection shall limit the right of a prospective tenant to inspect the physical condition of the property.

C. A licensee engaged by a landlord in a real estate transaction may, unless prohibited by law or the brokerage agreement, provide assistance to a tenant, or potential tenant, by performing ministerial acts. Performing such ministerial acts that are not inconsistent with subsection A shall not be construed to violate the licensee's brokerage relationship with the landlord unless expressly prohibited by the terms of the brokerage agreement, nor shall performing such ministerial acts be construed to form a brokerage relationship with such tenant or potential tenant.

D. A licensee engaged by a landlord does not breach any duty or obligation owed to the landlord by showing alternative properties to prospective tenants, whether as clients or customers, or by representing other landlords who have other properties for lease.

E. Licensees in residential real estate transactions shall disclose brokerage relationships pursuant to the provisions of this article.

1995, cc. 741, 813; 2006, c. 627; 2008, c. 741; 2011, cc. 34, 46, 461; 2012, c. 750; 2016, c. 334; 2020, c. 520.

§ 54.1-2134. Licensees engaged by tenants.

A. A licensee engaged by a tenant shall:

1. Perform in accordance with the terms of the brokerage agreement;

2. Promote the interests of the tenant by:

a. Seeking a lease at a rent and with terms acceptable to the tenant; however, the licensee shall not be obligated to seek other properties for the tenant while the tenant is a party to a lease or a letter of intent to lease exists under which the tenant has not yet taken possession, unless agreed to as part of the brokerage agreement, or unless the lease or the letter of intent to lease so provides;

b. Assisting in the drafting and negotiating of leases, letters of intent to lease, and rental applications, and presenting, in a timely fashion, all written offers or counteroffers to and from the tenant and landlord pursuant to § 54.1-2101.1, even when the tenant is already a party to a lease or a letter of intent to lease; and

c. Providing reasonable assistance to the tenant to finalize the lease agreement;

3. Maintain confidentiality of all personal and financial information received from the client during the brokerage relationship and any other information that the client requests during the brokerage relationship be maintained confidential unless otherwise provided by law or the tenant consents in writing to the release of such information;

4. Exercise ordinary care;

5. Account in a timely manner for all money and property received by the licensee in which the tenant has or may have an interest;

6. Disclose to the tenant material facts related to the property or concerning the transaction of which the licensee has actual knowledge; and

7. Comply with all requirements of this article, fair housing statutes and regulations for residential real estate transactions as applicable, and all other applicable statutes and regulations which are not in conflict with this article.

B. Licensees shall treat all prospective landlords honestly and shall not knowingly give them false information. If a licensee has actual knowledge of the existence of defective drywall in a residential property, the licensee shall disclose the same to the prospective tenant. For purposes of this section, "defective drywall" means all defective drywall as defined in § 36-156.1. No cause of action shall arise against any licensee for revealing information as required by this article or applicable law.

C. A licensee engaged by a tenant in a real estate transaction may provide assistance to the landlord or prospective landlord by performing ministerial acts. Performing such ministerial acts that are not inconsistent with subsection A shall not be construed to violate the licensee's brokerage relationship with the tenant unless expressly prohibited by the terms of the brokerage agreement, nor shall performing such ministerial acts be construed to form a brokerage relationship with the landlord or prospective landlord.

D. A licensee engaged by a tenant does not breach any duty or obligation to the tenant by showing properties in which the tenant is interested to other prospective tenants, whether as clients or customers, by representing other tenants looking for the same or other properties to lease, or by representing landlords relative to other properties.

E. Licensees in residential real estate transactions shall disclose brokerage relationships pursuant to the provisions of this article.

F. Notwithstanding any other provision of law requiring written brokerage agreements or governing the duties of licensees, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require that a written agreement between a licensee and a prospective tenant be executed prior to the licensee's showing properties to the prospective tenant.

1995, cc. 741, 813; 2006, c. 627; 2011, cc. 34, 46; 2012, c. 750; 2016, c. 334.

§ 54.1-2135. Licensees engaged to manage real estate.

A. A licensee engaged to manage real estate shall:

1. Perform in accordance with the terms of the property management agreement;

2. Exercise ordinary care;

3. Disclose in a timely manner to the owner material facts of which the licensee has actual knowledge concerning the property;

4. Maintain confidentiality of all personal and financial information received from the client during the brokerage relationship and any other information that the client requests during the brokerage relationship be maintained confidential unless otherwise provided by law or the owner consents in writing to the release of such information;

5. Account for, in a timely manner, all money and property received in which the owner has or may have an interest; and

6. Comply with all requirements of this article, fair housing statutes and regulations for residential real estate transactions as applicable, and all other applicable statutes and regulations which are not in conflict with this article.

B. Except as provided in the property management agreement, a licensee engaged to manage real estate does not breach any duty or obligation to the owner by representing other owners in the management of other properties.

C. A licensee may also represent the owner as seller or landlord if they enter into a brokerage relationship that so provides; in which case, the licensee shall disclose such brokerage relationships pursuant to the provisions of this article.

D. If a licensee has actual knowledge of the existence of defective drywall in a residential property, the licensee shall disclose the same to the owner. For purposes of this section, "defective drywall" means all defective drywall as defined in § 36-156.1.

E. Property management agreements in residential real estate transactions shall be in writing and shall:

1. Have a definite termination date or duration; however, if a property management agreement does not specify a definite termination date or duration, the agreement shall terminate 90 days after the date of the agreement;

2. State the amount of the management fees and how and when such fees are to be paid;

3. State the services to be rendered by the licensee; and

4. Include such other terms as have been agreed to by the owner and the property manager.

F. The provisions of this section shall not apply to licensees engaged in commercial real estate transactions.

1995, cc. 741, 813; 2011, cc. 34, 46, 461; 2016, c. 334.

§ 54.1-2136. Preconditions to brokerage relationship.

Prior to entering into any brokerage relationship provided for in this article, a licensee shall advise the prospective client of (i) the type of brokerage relationship proposed by the broker and (ii) the broker's compensation and whether the broker will share such salary or compensation with another broker who may have a brokerage relationship with another party to the transaction.

1995, cc. 741, 813.

§ 54.1-2137. Commencement and termination of brokerage relationships.

A. The brokerage relationships set forth in this article shall commence at the time that a client engages a licensee and shall continue until (i) completion of performance in accordance with the brokerage agreement or (ii) the earlier of (a) any date of expiration agreed upon by the parties as part of the brokerage agreement or in any amendments thereto, (b) any mutually agreed upon termination of the brokerage agreement, (c) a default by any party under the terms of the brokerage agreement, or (d) a termination as set forth in subsection G of § 54.1-2139.

B. Brokerage agreements shall be in writing and shall:

1. Have a definite termination date; however, if a brokerage agreement does not specify a definite termination date, the brokerage agreement shall terminate 90 days after the date of the brokerage agreement;

2. State the amount of the brokerage fees and how and when such fees are to be paid;

3. State the services to be rendered by the licensee;

4. Include such other terms of the brokerage relationship as have been agreed to by the client and the licensee; and

5. In the case of brokerage agreements entered into in conjunction with the client's consent to a dual representation, the disclosures set out in subsection A of § 54.1-2139.

C. Except as otherwise agreed to in writing, a licensee owes no further duties to a client after termination, expiration, or completion of performance of the brokerage agreement, except to (i) account for all moneys and property relating to the brokerage relationship and (ii) keep confidential all personal and financial information received from the client during the course of the brokerage relationship and any other information that the client requests during the brokerage relationship be maintained confidential, unless otherwise provided by law or the client consents in writing to the release of such information.

1995, cc. 741, 813; 2011, c. 461; 2012, c. 750; 2018, cc. 60, 86.

§ 54.1-2138. Disclosure of brokerage relationship in residential real estate transactions.

A. Upon having a substantive discussion about a specific property or properties in a residential real estate transaction with an actual or prospective buyer or seller who is not the client of the licensee and who is not represented by another licensee, a licensee shall disclose any broker relationship the licensee has with another party to the transaction. Further, except as provided in § 54.1-2139 or 54.1-2139.1, such disclosure shall be made in writing at the earliest practical time, but in no event later than the time when specific real estate assistance is first provided. Such disclosure may be given in combination with other disclosures or provided with other information, but if so, the disclosure must be conspicuous, printed in bold lettering, all capitals, underlined, or within a separate box. Any disclosure which complies substantially in effect with the following shall be deemed in compliance with this disclosure requirement:

DISCLOSURE OF BROKERAGE RELATIONSHIP IN A RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION

The undersigned do hereby acknowledge disclosure that:

The licensee.....................… (name of broker or salesperson)

associated with.........................…

(Name of Brokerage Firm)

represents the following party in a residential real estate transaction:

....… Seller(s)or
....… Buyer(s)

....… Landlord(s) -13m or
....… Tenant(s)

................…
..........................…

DateName

................…
..........................…

DateName

B. A licensee shall disclose to an actual or prospective landlord or tenant, who is not the client of the licensee and who is not represented by another licensee, that the licensee has a brokerage relationship with another party or parties to the transaction. Such disclosure shall be in writing and included in all applications for lease or in the lease itself, whichever occurs first. If the terms of the lease do not provide for such disclosure, disclosure shall be made in writing no later than the signing of the lease. Such disclosure requirement shall not apply to lessors or lessees in single or multifamily residential units for lease terms of less than two months.

C. If a licensee's relationship to a client or customer changes, the licensee shall disclose that fact in writing to all clients and customers already involved in the specific contemplated transaction.

D. Copies of any disclosures relative to fully executed purchase contracts shall be kept by the licensee for a period of three years as proof of having made such disclosure, whether or not such disclosure is acknowledged in writing by the party to whom such disclosure was shown or given.

E. A limited service agent shall also make the disclosure required by § 54.1-2138.1.

1995, cc. 741, 813; 1997, cc. 86, 119; 2006, c. 627; 2012, c. 750; 2016, c. 334.

§ 54.1-2138.1. Limited service agent in a residential real estate transaction, contract disclosure required.

A. A licensee may act as a limited service agent in a residential real estate transaction only pursuant to a written brokerage agreement in which the limited service agent (i) discloses that the licensee is acting as a limited service agent; (ii) provides a list of the specific services that the licensee will provide to the client; and (iii) provides a list of the specific duties of a standard agent set out in subdivision A 2 of § 54.1-2131, subdivision A 2 of § 54.1-2132, subdivision A 2 of § 54.1-2133, or subdivision A 2 of § 54.1-2134, as applicable, that the limited service agent will not provide to the client. Such disclosure shall be conspicuous and printed either in bold lettering or all capitals, and shall be underlined or in a separate box. In addition, a disclosure that contains language that complies substantially in effect with the following shall be deemed in compliance with this disclosure requirement:

"By entering into this brokerage agreement, the undersigned do hereby acknowledge their informed consent to the limited service agent in a residential real estate transaction by the licensee and do further acknowledge that neither the other party to the transaction nor any real estate licensee representing the other party is under any legal obligation to assist the undersigned with the performance of any duties and responsibilities of the undersigned not performed by the limited service agent."

A limited service agent shall disclose dual agency in accordance with § 54.1-2139.

B. A licensee engaged by one client to a residential real estate transaction and dealing with an unrepresented party or with a party represented by a limited service agent and who, without additional compensation, provides such other party information relative to the transaction or undertakes to assist such other party in securing a contract or with such party's obligations thereunder, shall not incur liability for such actions except in the case of gross negligence or willful misconduct. A licensee does not create a brokerage relationship by providing such assistance or information to the other party to the transaction. A licensee dealing with a client of a limited service agent may enter into an agreement with that party for payment of a fee for services performed or information provided by that licensee. Such payment shall not create a brokerage relationship; however, the licensee providing such services or information for a fee shall be held to the ordinary standard of care in the provision of such services or information.

2006, c. 627; 2012, c. 750; 2016, c. 334.

§ 54.1-2139. Disclosed dual agency and dual representation authorized in a residential real estate transaction.

A. A licensee may not act as a dual agent or dual representative in a residential real estate transaction unless he has first obtained the written consent of all parties to the transaction given after written disclosure of the consequences of such dual agency or dual representation. A dual agent has an agency relationship under the brokerage agreements with the clients. A dual representative has an independent contractor relationship under the brokerage agreements with the clients. Such disclosure shall be in writing and given to both parties prior to the commencement of such dual agency or dual representation.

B. If the licensee is currently representing a party as an agent or independent contractor representative and that party desires to engage in a real estate transaction with another existing client represented by the licensee, the licensee may engage in dual representation provided that prior to commencement thereof the disclosure required by this section is given to both of the licensee's existing clients.

C. If the licensee is currently representing a party as an agent or independent contractor representative and the licensee proposes to represent a new client in a dual representation, the licensee may only engage in such dual representation if prior to commencement thereof, the disclosure required by this section is given to the licensee's one existing client and one new client.

D. Such disclosures shall not be deemed to comply with the requirements in this section if (i) not signed by the client or (ii) given in a purchase agreement, lease, or any other document related to a transaction. However, such written consent and disclosure of the brokerage relationship as required by this article shall be presumed to have been given as against any client who signs a disclosure as required in this section.

E. The obligation to make the disclosures required by this section shall not relieve the licensee of the obligations set out in subsection B of § 54.1-2137 requiring all brokerage relationships to be set out in a written agreement between the licensee and the client.

F. No cause of action shall arise against a dual agent or dual representative for making disclosures of brokerage relationships as provided by this article. A dual agent or dual representative does not terminate any brokerage relationship by the making of any such allowed or required disclosures of dual agency or dual representation.

G. In any real estate transaction, a licensee may withdraw, without liability, from representing a client who refuses to consent to a disclosed dual agency or dual representation hereby terminating the brokerage relationship with such client. Such withdrawal shall not prejudice the ability of the licensee to continue to represent the other client in the transaction nor to limit the licensee from representing the client who refused the dual agency or dual representation in other transactions not involving the dual agency or dual representation.

H. The dual agency or dual representation disclosure in a residential transaction shall contain the following provisions and disclosure that substantially complies with the following shall be deemed in compliance with this disclosure requirement:

DISCLOSURE OF DUAL AGENCY OR DUAL REPRESENTATION IN A RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION

The undersigned do hereby acknowledge disclosure that:

The licensee ____________________ (name of broker or salesperson) associated with ____________________ (Brokerage Firm) represents more than one party in this residential real estate transaction as follows:

A. Brokerage Firm represents the following party (select one):

[ ] Seller(s) [ ] Buyer(s) [ ] Landlord(s) [ ] Tenant(s)

As a (select one):

[ ] standard agent [ ] limited service agent [ ] independent contractor

Brokerage Firm represents another party (select one):

[ ] Seller(s) [ ] Buyer(s) [ ] Landlord(s) [ ] Tenant(s)

As a (select one):

[ ] standard agent [ ] limited service agent [ ] independent contractor

B. Brokerage Firm disclosure and client acknowledgement of the following (select one):

[ ] Brokerage Firm represents two existing clients in the transaction and the undersigned acknowledge the following:

The undersigned understand that the foregoing dual agent or dual representative may not disclose to either client any information that has been given to the dual agent or representative by the other client within the confidence and trust of the brokerage relationship except for that information which is otherwise required or permitted by Article 3 (§ 54.1-2130 et seq.) of Chapter 21 of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia to be disclosed.

[ ] Brokerage Firm represents one existing client and one new client in the transaction and the undersigned acknowledge the following:

The undersigned understand:

1. That following the commencement of dual agency or representation, the licensee cannot advise either party as to the terms to offer or accept in any offer or counteroffer; however, the licensee may have advised one party as to such terms prior to the commencement of dual agency or representation;

2. That the licensee cannot advise the buyer client as to the suitability of the property, its condition (other than to make any disclosures as required by law of any licensee representing a seller), and cannot advise either party as to what repairs of the property to make or request;

3. That the licensee cannot advise either party in any dispute that arises relating to the transaction;

4. That the licensee may be acting without knowledge of the client's needs, client's knowledge of the market, or client's capabilities in dealing with the intricacies of real estate transactions; and

5. That either party may engage another licensee at additional cost to represent their respective interests.

The undersigned by signing this notice do hereby acknowledge their informed consent to the disclosed dual representation by the licensee.

a____________________________________________________________
bDateName (One Party)
c____________________________________________________________
dDateName (One Party)
e____________________________________________________________
fDateName (One Party)
g____________________________________________________________
hDateName (One Party)

1995, cc. 741, 813; 2011, c. 461; 2012, c. 750.

§ 54.1-2139.01. Disclosed dual agency and dual representation in commercial real estate transactions authorized.

A. A licensee may act as a dual agent or dual representative in a commercial real estate transaction only with the written consent of all clients to the transaction. A dual agent has an agency relationship under the brokerage agreements with the clients. A dual representative has an independent contractor relationship under the brokerage agreements with the clients. Such written consent and disclosure of the brokerage relationship as required by this article shall be presumed to have been given as against any client who signs a disclosure as provided in this section.

B. Such disclosure may be given in combination with other disclosures or provided with other information, but if so, the disclosure shall be conspicuous, printed in bold lettering, all capitals, underlined, or within a separate box. Any disclosure which complies substantially in effect with the following shall be deemed in compliance with this disclosure requirement:

DISCLOSURE OF DUAL AGENCY OR DUAL REPRESENTATION IN A COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION

The undersigned do hereby acknowledge disclosure that:
The licensee..............................................................…
(name of broker or salesperson)
associated with...........................................................…
(Brokerage Firm)
represents more than one party in this commercial real estate transaction as
follows:
Brokerage Firm represents the following party (select one):
[ ] Seller(s) [ ] Buyer(s) [ ] Landlord(s) [ ] Tenant(s)
As a (select one):
[ ] agent [ ] independent contractor
Brokerage Firm represents another party (select one):
[ ] Seller(s) [ ] Buyer(s) [ ] Landlord(s) [ ] Tenant(s)
As a (select one):
[ ] agent [ ] independent contractor

The undersigned understand that the foregoing dual agent or dual
representative may not disclose to either client any information that has been
given to the dual agent or representative by the other client within the
confidence and trust of the brokerage relationship except for that information
which is otherwise required or permitted by Article 3 (§ 54.1-2130 et seq.) of
Chapter 21 of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia to be disclosed.

The undersigned by signing this notice do hereby acknowledge their informed
consent to the disclosed dual representation by the licensee.
................…
....................................…
DateName (One Party)
................…
....................................…
DateName (One Party)
................…
....................................…
DateName (Other Party)
................…
....................................…
DateName (Other Party)

C. The obligation to make the disclosures required by this section shall not relieve the licensee of the obligations set out in subsection B of § 54.1-2137 requiring all brokerage relationships to be set out in a written agreement between the licensee and the client.

D. No cause of action shall arise against a dual representative for making disclosures of brokerage relationships as provided by this article. A dual representative does not terminate any brokerage relationship by the making of any such allowed or required disclosures of dual representation.

E. In any real estate transaction, a licensee may withdraw, without liability, from representing a client who refuses to consent to a disclosed dual representation thereby terminating the brokerage relationship with such client. Such withdrawal shall not prejudice the ability of the licensee to continue to represent the other client in the transaction or to limit the licensee from representing the client who refused the dual representation in other transactions not involving dual representation.

2012, c. 750; 2016, c. 334.

§ 54.1-2139.1. Designated standard agency or designated representation authorized in a residential real estate transaction.

A. A principal or supervising broker may assign different licensees affiliated with the broker as designated agent or representative to represent different clients in the same residential real estate transaction to the exclusion of all other licensees in the firm. Use of such designated agents or representatives shall not constitute dual agency or representation if a designated agent or representative is not representing more than one client in a particular real estate transaction; however, the principal or broker who is supervising the transaction shall be considered a dual agent or representative as provided in this article. Designated agents or representatives may not disclose, except to the affiliated licensee's broker, personal or financial information received from the clients during the brokerage relationship and any other information that the client requests during the brokerage relationship be kept confidential, unless otherwise provided for by law or the client consents in writing to the release of such information.

B. Use of designated agents or representatives in a residential real estate transaction shall be disclosed in accordance with the provisions of this article. Such disclosure may be given in combination with other disclosures or provided with other information, but if so, the disclosure shall be conspicuous, printed in bold lettering, all capitals, underlined, or within a separate box. Any disclosure that complies substantially in effect with the following shall be deemed in compliance with such disclosure requirement:

DISCLOSURE OF DESIGNATED AGENTS OR REPRESENTATIVES IN A RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION

The undersigned do hereby acknowledge disclosure that:

The licensee...........................................................…
(Name of Broker and Firm)
represents more than one party in this residential real estate transaction as
indicated below:

....… Seller(s) and Buyer(s)

....… Landlord(s) and Tenant(s).

The undersigned understand that the foregoing dual agent or representative
may not disclose to either client or such client's designated agent or
representative any information that has been given to the dual agent or
representative by the other client within the confidence and trust of the
brokerage relationship except for that information which is otherwise required
or permitted by Article 3 (§ 54.1-2130 et seq.) of Chapter 21 of Title 54.1 of
the Code of Virginia to be disclosed.

The principal or supervising broker has assigned
...................................to act as Designated Agent or Representative
(broker or salesperson)
for the one party as indicated below:
[ ] Seller(s) [ ] Buyer(s) [ ] Landlord(s) [ ] Tenant(s)
As a (select one):
[ ] standard agent [ ] limited service agent [ ] independent contractor
..............................… to act as Designated Agent or Representative
(broker or salesperson)
for the other party as indicated below:
[ ] Seller(s) [ ] Buyer(s) [ ] Landlord(s) [ ] Tenant(s)

As a (select one):
[ ] standard agent [ ] limited service agent [ ] independent contractor

The undersigned by signing this notice do hereby acknowledge their consent
to the disclosed dual representation by the licensee.
................…
....................................…
DateName (One Party)
................…
....................................…
DateName (One Party)
................…
....................................…
DateName (Other Party)
................…
....................................…
DateName (Other Party)

C. The obligation to make the disclosures required by this section shall not relieve the licensee of the obligations set out in subsection B of § 54.1-2137 requiring all brokerage relationships to be set out in a written agreement between the licensee and the client.

D. No cause of action shall arise against a designated agent or representative for making disclosures of brokerage relationships as provided by this article. A designated agent or representative does not terminate any brokerage relationship by the making of any such allowed or required disclosures of dual representation.

E. In any residential real estate transaction, a licensee may withdraw, without liability, from representing a client who refuses to consent to a disclosed designated agency or representation agreement thereby terminating the brokerage relationship with such client. Such withdrawal shall not prejudice the ability of the licensee to continue to represent the other client in the transaction or to limit the licensee from representing the client who refused the designated agency or representation relationship in other transactions not involving designated representation.

2011, c. 461; 2012, c. 750; 2016, c. 334.

§ 54.1-2139.2. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2012, c. 750, cl. 2.

§ 54.1-2140. Compensation shall not imply brokerage relationship.

The payment or promise of payment or compensation to a real estate broker does not create a brokerage relationship between any broker, seller, landlord, buyer or tenant.

1995, cc. 741, 813.

§ 54.1-2141. Brokerage relationship not created by using common source information company.

No licensee representing a buyer or tenant shall be deemed to have a brokerage relationship with a seller, landlord or other licensee solely by reason of using a common source information company. However, nothing contained in this article shall be construed to prevent a common source information company from requiring, as a condition of participation in or use of such common source information, that licensees providing information through such company disclose the nature of the brokerage relationship with the client, including, but not limited to, whether the licensee is acting as (i) an independent contractor, (ii) a limited service agent, (iii) a standard agent, or (iv) an agent as provided in the brokerage agreement. A common source information company may, but shall not be obligated to, require disclosure of a standard agency relationship, and may adopt rules providing that absent any disclosure, a licensee providing information through such company may be assumed to be acting as a standard agent. A common source information company shall have the right, but not the obligation, to make information about the nature of brokerage relationships available to its participants and to settlement service it provides including, without limitation, title insurance companies, lenders, and settlement agents.

1995, cc. 741, 813; 2006, c. 627; 2012, c. 750; 2016, c. 334.

§ 54.1-2142. Liability; knowledge not to be imputed.

A. A client is not liable for (i) a misrepresentation made by a licensee in connection with a brokerage relationship, unless the client knew or should have known of the misrepresentation and failed to take reasonable steps to correct the misrepresentation in a timely manner, or (ii) the negligence, gross negligence or intentional acts of any broker or broker's licensee.

B. A broker who has a brokerage relationship with a client and who engages another broker to assist in providing brokerage services to such client shall not be liable for (i) a misrepresentation made by the other broker, unless the broker knew or should have known of the other broker's misrepresentation and failed to take reasonable steps to correct the misrepresentation in a timely manner, or (ii) the negligence, gross negligence or intentional acts of the assisting broker or assisting broker's licensee.

C. Clients and licensees shall be deemed to possess actual knowledge and information only. Knowledge or information among or between clients and licensees shall not be imputed.

D. Nothing in this article shall limit the liability between or among clients and licensees in all matters involving unlawful discriminatory housing practices.

E. Except as expressly set forth in this section, nothing in this article shall affect a person's right to rescind a real estate transaction or limit the liability of (i) a client for the misrepresentation, negligence, gross negligence or intentional acts of such client in connection with a real estate transaction, or (ii) a licensee for the misrepresentation, negligence, gross negligence or intentional acts of such licensee in connection with a real estate transaction. However, nothing in this article shall create a civil cause of action against a licensee.

1995, cc. 741, 813; 2016, c. 334.

§ 54.1-2142.1. Liability for false information.

A licensee shall not be liable for providing false information if the information was (i) provided to the licensee by the licensee's client; (ii) obtained from a governmental entity; (iii) obtained from a nongovernmental person or entity that obtained the information from a governmental entity; or (iv) obtained from a person licensed, certified, or registered to provide professional services in the Commonwealth, upon which the licensee relies, and the licensee did not (a) have actual knowledge that the information was false or (b) act in reckless disregard of the truth. This includes any regulatory action brought under this chapter and any civil actions filed. However, nothing in this article shall create a civil cause of action against a licensee.

2011, c. 461; 2013, c. 499; 2016, c. 334.

§ 54.1-2143. Real estate board regulations to be consistent.

Any regulations adopted by the Virginia Real Estate Board shall be consistent with this article, and any such regulations existing as of the effective date of this article shall be modified to comply with the provisions of this article.

1995, cc. 741, 813.

§ 54.1-2144. Common law abrogated.

The common law of agency relative to brokerage relationships in real estate transactions to the extent inconsistent with this article shall be expressly abrogated.

1995, cc. 741, 813.

§ 54.1-2145. Article does not limit antitrust laws.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit, modify, impair, or supercede the applicability of any federal or state antitrust laws.

2006, c. 627.

§ 54.1-2146. Licensee maintenance of records.

Any document or record required to be maintained by a licensee under this chapter may be an electronic record in accordance with the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.).

2011, c. 461.