Property Management Laws in Fairfax County, VA

Table of Contents

Designing a property management plan that fits your financial goals and helps ease the stress of owning an investment property is no easy task. This is especially true when you’re considering how to navigate the specific real estate laws for the areas in which you own homes.  Maintaining your home and tenants in accordance with all local real estate laws will be one of your number one priorities as you rent your home in Fairfax County.

Fairfax County Laws Regarding Your Rental Home

Becoming familiar with all of the legalities surrounding your investment property is an important part of cohesive property management; this knowledge can protect you from making any costly legal mistakes. Some of the key components of real estate law in Virginia are set forth by both the federal and state governments. Separate counties may also have their own guidelines, too. If you plan to hire a real estate manager you’ll need to assess if they are trained in following the guidelines set forth by both the State of Virginia and the county government. Some laws you’ll need to consider are:

Federal Fair Housing Laws

The fair housing laws protect tenants from any form or housing discrimination. This typically happens to potential tenants when they are  in the process of renting  or getting a loan for a home.  Any activity that prevents someone from access to a home which might be based on race, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status would fall under protection from these laws.

As a homeowner it’s important that you understand how to judiciously find the best tenants for your property. A property manager will be able to help you draft appropriate lease terms and rental applications which protect both you and your tenants from any possible discourse involving these laws.

Federal Lead Paint and Toxin Disclosure Requirements

According to the EPA and the state of Virginia, all landlords must disclose information on lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards in any rental property.

Fairfax County Eviction Guidelines

Eviction of a tenant is a four part process in the state of Virginia which draws out over the course of several weeks. Knowing the ins and outs of the Virginia eviction system will prove valuable information for a property owner. If you have the misfortune of dealing with a tenant who fails to pay their rent, it is crucial that you know which steps need to be taken to recoup your money or remove your delinquent tenants.

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Fairfax County Fire Codes and Zoning Ordinances

These laws and codes are set in place to ensure safe living environments for all citizens of the county. These will be guidelines which cover various zoning issues including the number of people allowed to live in a certain residence, how many vehicles and where said vehicles are allowed to part and what kinds of activities are allowed to be practiced on certain properties.

Specifications of the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

Property Management Laws in Fairfax County, Va
Fairfax, VA rental properties.

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act works to establish a clear boundary for the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants in Virginia.

According to Virginia Law, all tenants have certain rights when they move in, the whole time they are living in a dwelling and even, before it is okay for a landlord to evict them. The Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act, or VRLTA, deals with all residential lease situations  unless the landlord is eligible to opt out, and states this in a written lease. Being able to properly navigate these tricky terms is an essential part of signing leases with your potential tenants.

Legal Requirements for Virginia Property Management Companies

Streamlining the rental process to an expert property management team may be one of the easiest options for a homeowner. However, one of the most critical pieces in choosing a property management company to care for your property is finding someone who knows how to follow all the local laws. The professionals you choose should be adept at following all of the legal requirements for the area and making sure that you, as the homeowner, are protected from any legal fallout.

One of the more crucial components of proper property management in Fairfax County is that all leasing and renting of a property must be completed by someone who has a real estate broker’s license. This is because renting your property is considered a real estate activity under current Virginia real estate laws.

If your chosen property manager is planning to rent your home for you he or she will need a current broker’s license.

Some Exclusions to Virginia Property Manager License Law

Property owners can, of course, choose to show their rental units themselves. This would include presenting and preparing the lease, accepting potential applications, security deposits, and collecting rent. However, these tasks might prove difficult for home owners who are investing in real estate in Fairfax county from a distance and require diligent activity from the property owner. 

The Virginia Real Estate Board has an easy and convenient licensee lookup where a property owner can quickly and easily assess the licensing status of any Virginia property management team. Before you interview a potential manager for your rental property you should always make sure that they have the appropriate licenses to take care of your home. 

Effortless Legal Protection on Your Income Property

You’ll want to find a team of experts who can maintain proper legal standards on a variety of issues faced by homeowners. Thus making sure that you are legally protected from any costly legal fees down the road. For instance, look for a professional management team that will take care of:

  • Tenant relationship and communication including documentation of move-in logistics and home inspections
  • 24 hour maintenance requests including timely repairs of legally required items as are detailed in the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA).
  • Lease renewals and drafting lawfully correct month-to-month rental agreements
  • Correctly documenting and depositing escrow funds from security deposits
  • Ensuring full compliance with all local laws
  • Acquiring proper paperwork to get  your property licensed as a legal rental in Fairfax County
  • Collecting rent, documenting funds and depositing to your account
  • Generating tax and year-end financial reports

Legally Protecting Our Clients

The bottom line is that managing multiple properties can be a stressful ordeal for homeowners. Managing real estate in Fairfax County requires keeping abreast of quickly changing property law while also ensuring that your tenants’ rights are always being met.

At Nomadic Real Estate, we make understanding all the latest changes in property laws one of our number one priorities. This includes:

  • Federal
  • State
  • Local statutes
  • Fair housing laws
  • Fairfax County and Virginia licensing compliance

Our goal is to make sure you are completely satisfied with our service and ensure that you will not experience any legal complications with your property in the future. This creates an environment where we are protecting you and your investments from start to finish, thus eliminating any costly legal fees caused by errors along the way.  Nomadic Real Estate professionals make it a personal quest to completely understand all the details that go into protecting your personal and rental properties in Virginia, Maryland and beyond. 

Your Free Rental Analysis

Do you have some questions regarding our property management services or wonder how to get started with the management of your residential property? Contact us today to find out how together we will be a winning team. We will offer you advice and guidance regarding:

  • A thorough rental price report to calculate the income potential for your rental property. 
  • A detailed overview of all of our services.
  • Information about our on boarding process and how we offer unique services for your area. 
  • Professional and experienced guidance on the current rental market.
  • Assistance in crafting  a personalized strategy to meet your real estate goals.

We’re looking forward to providing you with our superior property management service and are excited to show you how our team will exceed your expectations.

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Enhanced Reporting

Your portal includes a selection of extremely useful reports. Reports are available in the “Reports” section, and are distinct from the financial statements. Unlike financial statements which are static records, Reports are dynamic real-time records that will update with current data every time you view them. 

Scroll down to learn more about Reports:

Navigate to the "Reports" module in your portal:

Owner Portal Reports
  • Keep in mind, these reports are dynamic records. They will refresh to display current information every time you view them. 

Enhanced Rent Roll Report:

Enhanced Rent Roll Report
  • The Enhanced Rent Roll Report will show the rent amount, last payment date, move-in date, lease expiration date, and security deposit amount for each of your tenants. 
  • It will also show a portfolio summary with occupancy percentage, vacancy loss, and more!

Unit Comparison Report:

Unit Comparison Report
  • If you own multiple units (or buildings) with Nomadic, you’ll get access to the Unit Comparison Report. 
  • This report enables you to quickly compare financial performance between your units at a glance without toggling between individual reports. 

Income Statement Month-Over-Month:

Income Statement by Month Report
  • The Income Statement Detail – Monthly Report serves as a month-over-month record of portfolio performance. You’ll see itemized income and expense categories and can track monthly. This report will update with fresh data every time you view it. 

Financial Statements

Financial statements will be published to your portal on a monthly basis. The statements are found in your Documents library, and provide a historical record of all financial performance. The statements serve as a snapshot of financial performance over a given period, and are static documents (unlike Reports, the statements do not update/change in real-time). 

Scroll down for more info about the Financial Statements in your Documents library:

The Documents area contains monthly financial statements:

Owner Portal Documents
  • The statements in the Documents are are static documents. They are posted to the portal once a month to serve as a historical record of financial performance. 

Download a statement to see month and YTD financials:

Owner Portal Property Statement

You'll also find a month-over-month operating statement:

Month over Month Statement

Portal Communication Tool

You can use your owner portal to communicate with our team. Any messages you send through the portal will go straight to your Account Manager. When we reply, you’ll get an email notification and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

Here’s an overview of using the communication platform:

Click "Communications" and navigate to "Conversations":

Commincation Dashboard Screenshot
  • The communications module will contain a record of all messages that you create through the portal. 

Click the "New Message" button and send your message:

Owner Portal New Message Screenshot

Responses will show up in the conversation ticket:

Portal Conversation Response Screenshot
  • You’ll get an email notification whenever you get a response, and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

You can reply in-line using the comment box:

Owner Portal Comment

Each conversation will be logged in its entirety:

Portal Conversation Snapshot

Understanding the Ledger

Your portal includes a ledger with all transactions. The ledger is populated with data in real-time as transactions flow through our accounting software. Much of this information is also available in the Reports area, as well as the Statements in your Documents library, but the ledger is the most comprehensive resource for diving into the details. 

Please scroll through the sections below to get a better understanding of how to interpret the ledger. 

By default, transactions are sorted chronologically:

Owner Ledger Dates
  • The date reflected in the lefthand column is the actual transaction date, not the “bill date”. This is the date the transaction was actually processed. 

If you have multiple properties with Nomadic, you'll see the address for each transaction in the "Location" column:

Ledger Property Column
  • You can filter the ledger to look at just one property, all properties, or specific sets of properties. 
  • If you only have one property with us, you’ll just see the ledger for that property. 

The Description column displays the transaction type:

Owner Ledger Description Column
  • BILL: this is an expense transaction, such as for repair costs or management fees.
  • CHARGE: this is a transaction  billed to the tenant, most typically a rent payment. 
  • NACHA EXPORT: this is a credit we processed to your distribution account. This type of transaction is how you get paid! 

The Amount column shows the dollar value of each transaction:

Owner Ledger Amount Column
  • Positive Amounts: if an amount is positive, it reflects a transaction that is payable to you. Typically, this will be a rent payment that we collected from your tenants. On occasion, a positive number could also signify a journal entry or credit adjustment. 
  • Negative Amounts:  if an amount is negative, this is a transaction that is either payable to Nomadic or is an amount that has already been paid to you. Typically this will be for repair costs or management/leasing fees. Owner draws (net distributions into your checking/savings account) also reflect as negative amounts, since they have already been paid to you. 

The Account Balance column shows a sum of positive/negative transactions at a given point in time:

Owner Ledger Account Balance Column
  • Account Balance should always equal zero after a net distribution has been processed. When the balance is zero, this means that all expenses have been paid and you’ve received the remainder as net operating income, leaving a balance of zero (meaning: no one is due any money, as all funds have been distributed appropriately). 

Navigating the Propertyware Owner Portal

Your portal includes some extremely useful features that help you understand your property’s financial performance at a new level, with real-time transparency into every transaction.

Scroll through the snapshots below for an overview of portal navigation! If you need more help or have specific questions about using the portal, you can reach out to your Account Manager any time for a screen share. 

You can filter all info by date range or property:

PW Portal Filters

View a snapshot of income and expenses on your dashboard:

PW Owner Dashboard View

See every transaction in real-time on your ledger:

Owner Portal Ledger View

Statements and forms will be posted to your documents library:

Owner Portal Document Library

View a suite of real-time financial reports:

Portal Reports View

See a running list of all bills, and drill down for more detail:

Owner Portal Bills View

Under Bill Details, you'll find dates/descriptions/amounts and more:

Portal Bill Details

You can also communicate with your Account Manager through the portal:

Owner Portal Communication Tools

How do net distributions work?

Net distributions keep your accounting clean and simple. Each month we’ll collect rent from the tenants, deduct any repair expenses for the previous month and any management/leasing fees for the current month, and credit the remaining net operating income to your account. 

Net Distribution

You’ll receive a statement via email each time a net distribution is processed, and can view all transaction details in your Propertyware owner portal.