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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The start of 2013 means several new laws aimed at protecting homeowners’ rights in Virginia take effect.

One of the laws makes it harder for local governments to take your property. The amendment, passed by Virginia voters in November, means local governments may only seize your property for public use.

The law forbids the government from seizing land for economic revitalization if the primary purpose is private gain, job creation or increased tax revenue.

The new amendment also states that if your land is seized, a locality must also include money for lost profits into the amount of cash you’re given.

Another law that starts Tuesday requires insurance agents to inform homeowners if their policy does not cover earthquake damage.

That bill was created in the wake of the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked parts of Central Virginia in August of 2011.