New laws go into effect Friday - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

New laws go into effect Friday

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Hundreds of new laws go into effect Friday across the Commonwealth.

The laws focus on everything from drinking wine to deceased voters. One law gives homeowners and renters more rights.

Effective Friday, real estate agents and landlords must disclose to their clients or tenants if the home they are selling or renting contains Chinese drywall. Failure to do so allows the tenant to void their lease.

Chinese drywall can lead to health and safety issues.

Another law that take effect Friday — the absentee votes of deceased voters will count.

In the past, the ballots of Virginians who voted early but died before election day were discarded.

Wine lovers will now be able to bring their own wine to a restaurant, but keep in mind you could be charged a "corkage" fee.

One law aims to help victims of abusive relationships. Those victims will find protective orders easier to get.

This law comes in the wake of tragedies like the death of UVA lacrosse star Yeardley Love. She was found dead in her apartment in April of last year. Her boyfriend, George Huguely, is charged with first degree murder.

Lawmakers have now extended the ability to obtain an order of protection to any relationship that could cause harm — including dating.

Protective orders now include "any" act of violence or force that puts someone in danger of injury, sexual assault, or death.

Prior to this new law, court orders were only issued for protection against specific criminal acts, and it was tough for people who were dating — but not living together or married — to get one.

Protective orders can also now apply to workplace relationships.

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