A. As used in this section, “nonresident property owner” means any nonresident individual or group of individuals who owns and leases (i) residential real property consisting of four or more rental units or (ii) commercial real property within a county or city in the Commonwealth.
Terms Used In Virginia Code 55-218.1
- City: means an independent incorporated community which became a city as provided by law before noon on July 1, 1971, or which has within defined boundaries a population of 5,000 or more and which has become a city as provided by law. See Virginia Code 1-208
- Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
- Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
- Locality: means a county, city, or town as the context may require. See Virginia Code 1-221
- notice: means notice given in writing by either regular mail or hand delivery, with the sender retaining sufficient proof of having given such notice, which may be either a United States postal certificate of mailing or a certificate of service confirming such mailing prepared by the sender. See Virginia Code 55-225.20
- Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
- Process: includes subpoenas, the summons and complaint in a civil action, and process in statutory actions. See Virginia Code 1-237
- Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
B. Every nonresident property owner shall appoint and continuously maintain an agent who (i) if such agent is an individual, is a resident of the Commonwealth, or if such agent is a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other entity, is authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth and (ii) maintains a business office within the Commonwealth. Every lease executed by or on behalf of nonresident property owners regarding any such real property shall specifically designate such agent and the agent’s office address for the purpose of service of any process, notice, order or demand required or permitted by law to be served upon such property owner.
C. Whenever any nonresident property owner fails to appoint or maintain an agent, as required herein, or whenever his agent cannot with reasonable diligence be found, then the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall be an agent of the nonresident property owner upon whom may be served any process, notice, order or demand. Service may be made on the Secretary or any of his staff at his office who shall forthwith cause it to be sent by registered or certified mail addressed to the property owner at his address as shown on the official tax records maintained by the locality where the property is located.
D. The name and office address of the agent appointed as provided herein shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the court in which deeds are recorded in the county or city wherein the property lies. Recordation shall be in the same book as certificates of fictitious names are recorded as provided by § 59.1-74 for which the clerk shall be entitled to a fee of $10.
E. No nonresident property owner shall maintain an action in the courts of the Commonwealth concerning property for which a designation is required hereunder until such designation has been filed.