A. As used in this section, “nonresident property owner” means any nonresident individual or group of individuals who owns and leases commercial
real property within a county or city in the Commonwealth.
B. Every nonresident property owner shall appoint and continuously maintain an agent
who (i) if such agent is an individual, is a resident of the Commonwealth, or if such
agent is a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other entity, is
authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth and (ii) maintains a business
office within the Commonwealth. Every lease executed by or on behalf of nonresident property owners regarding any
such real property shall specifically designate such agent and the agent's office
address for the purpose of service of any process, notice, order, or demand required
or permitted by law to be served upon such nonresident property owner.
C. Whenever any nonresident property owner fails to appoint or maintain an agent,
as required in this section, or whenever his agent cannot with reasonable diligence
be found, then the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall be an agent of the nonresident
property owner upon whom may be served any process, notice, order, or demand. Service may be made on the Secretary of the Commonwealth or any of his staff at
his office who shall forthwith cause it to be sent by registered or certified mail
addressed to the nonresident property owner at his address as shown on the official
tax records maintained by the locality where the property is located.
D. The name and office address of the agent appointed as provided in this section
shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the court in which deeds are recorded
in the county or city in which the property lies. Recordation shall be in the same book as certificates of fictitious names are recorded
as provided by § 59.1-74 for which the clerk shall be entitled to a fee of $10.
E. No nonresident property owner shall maintain an action in the courts of the Commonwealth
concerning property for which a designation is required by this section until such
designation has been filed.
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