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Questions Answered by F. Paul Maloof
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: When accepting rent with reservation, am I required to include the phrase about not waiving my right to evict?

I live in Virginia and sent a letter indicating acceptance of rent with reservation to my tenant for whom I have received judgment and possession, but neglected to include the phrase about NOT waiving my right to evict.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Dec 4, 2019

The applicable paragraph to have in the letter is as follows:

This letter is written to notify you that your rent has been ACCEPTED WITH RESERVATION of all of Landlord’s rights and WITHOUT PREJUDICE to any right the Landlord has to proceed against you in court. This means that the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: In Virginia, are all single family rental units now subject to the VRLTA? In the past, some landlords were excluded .

The revised FORM DC-469, (revised 10/19), now has a box to check or NOT check, that says, "This writ of eviction is requested pursuant to the VRLTA. The landlord has provided the required notice set forth in Virginia Code 55.1-1250". On the unlawful detainer, I have always indicated that a tenancy... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Dec 4, 2019

The answer to your question is found in the Virginia Code section, as follows:

§ 55.1-1201. (Effective October 1, 2019) Applicability of chapter; local authority.

B. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to occupancy in all single-family and multifamily dwelling units and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I had let my friends at the time live there in September. In October they didn’t want to pay the rent. So what I did I

They applied and got approved but did not want to get on the lease. They stayed there for 2 weeks and had damaged the walls in 3 holes and now are threatening legal action.

They are threatening to sue because their stuff is there but they have not picked it up and the door has been unlocked... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Dec 2, 2019

If you served the tenants with a 5 day notice, in proper form and according the the Virginia Code, to pay or quit on 11/27/19, your next step is to file an Unlawful Detainer with the court in the city/county where the premises is located and have the Sheriff's Office serve the Tenants with the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: if a family member has been living with you for 5 yrs or more, and does chores for room and board, and paid a couple cab

cable bills with no lease are they considered a tenant of sufference?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 30, 2019

The person in question seems to be more like a guest than a tenant.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Are landlords required to pay for the maintenance of repairs not caused by the tenants in the state of va?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 24, 2019

The Virginia Code provides that the landlord shall maintain the premises in a fit condition. This requirement may be agreed to otherwise in writing between the tenant and the landlord.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: How many days notice does a landlord in Virginia need to give a tenant to vacate when they sold the property ?

Landlord did not give any indication to this point that property was for sale.

Landlord says he doesn't know who is buying the property.

I have been an excellent tenant for ten years.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 20, 2019

Generally in Virginia under contract law, if there is a written residential lease, the buyer will purchase the property subject to the existing lease and subject to the tenant's right under the existing lease. In that case, there can not be a matter regarding the tenant vacating the property.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Pay or quit

Hi I was wondering if my landlord took half of my rent for this month already and then 3 day later sent me a pay or quit is this allowed

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 19, 2019

If you paid the rent late and the Landlord sent you a letter that stated the Landlord accepted your rent with reservation of rights, the landlord can then send you a 5 day notice to pay or quit.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Late fees

I been paying my rent half every two weeks for the last two years and it has never been an issue now the land lord is trying to sue me for the 2 year worth of late fees all together at once can they do that it over 2000 dollars my rent is only 500 is this allowed ?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 19, 2019

The rights of the landlord to bring a lawsuit for late fees depends on how the lawsuit is framed and what the lease states about the date the rent is due. You probably have a good defense of "payment" of the rent to the landlord's claims.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Concerning Move Out Inspection, the VRLTA states the landlord will notify the tenant of move out inspection times which

Will occur within 72 hrs of termination of vacancy. My landlord wants to schedule this 9 days later as she is out of town even though I notified her 1 1/2 months ago. What are my options? Can she keep my security deposit or portions of it? The house is immaculate but she’ll find something... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 18, 2019

I think the lease provision regarding a move-out inspection to which you refer states the following:

34. MOVE-OUT INSPECTION. Tenant has the right to be present at the inspection. Landlord, within five (5) days of receipt of Notice of the Tenant’s intent to vacate the Premises, shall...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can my landlord give a pay or quit notice just by email?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 16, 2019

The means by which the notice to pay or quit should be stated in the lease. The Virginia Code allows for notice by email or electronically as well as several other means of notice.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: my landlord made the mistake when signing the lease for 2017 to 2018 and instead put 2017 to 2017 what does that mean

i know that in va if after the lease is expired you go month to month but would this mean that this lease is completely invalided and i cant be sued if i leave or does it still count

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 16, 2019

In Virginia, there is a legal doctrine called mutual mistake of fact. It seems that the typo mistake was not recognized by either party to the lease. The court, if it came to a lawsuit, would most likely reform the lease to show 2017 to 2018.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I be kicked out for late fees that are are year old

I've been living in the same place for 4 years and never had to pay the late fees due to the landlord and I had a verbal agreement that long as we payed she would not charge a late fee and we have not signed a contract since 2016

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 15, 2019

Based on contract law in Virginia, there is a statute of limitations for 3 years on an oral contract and 5 years on a written contract. It sounds like you had a written lease contract that was not renewed in a new written lease so the tenancy became a month to month tenancy by operation of law but... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a landlord increase rent during a VA residential lease? In lease contract line 13 reads landlord can during anytime

In the event landlord can raise rent, how much notice is needed? Said differently, can the increase be effective immediately i.e. at next due payment?

In the event the tenants don't agree can the landlord evict tenants before the end of the lease?

Of note, this is a six month VA... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 15, 2019

In consideration of a lease with a 6 month term, at the end of the 6 months, the lease becomes a month-to-month lease by operation of law unless it is renewed in a new written document. During the term of the 6 months, it is a binding contract for which the rent cannot be increased unilaterally but... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: A tenant has not paid this months rent but has vacated the property, do I have the right to enter and clean it ?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 15, 2019

If the tenant returned the keys to the landlord, that is viewed by the law in Virginia as the return of possession of the premises to the landlord and the landlord will then be authorized to enter the premises. Failure of the tenant to pay rent is not a valid basis for the landlord to enter the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: my toilet was clogged landlord got rotor rooter to unclog it now charging me over 800.00 to be paid in 4 day

can they do this and charge me and evict me asking for a friend

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 15, 2019

If your lease provides that tenant is responsible for maintenance and repairs of the premises, then you are bound by that agreement.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: What can a landlord charge for late fees and are they a one time thing. For West Virginia
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 15, 2019

I do not hold a West Virginia license to practice law so I cannot answer your question. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Which circumstances can a landlord raise rent during a 6month VA residential lease?

of note - per line 13 in Rental lease agreement, "the landlord may increase the rent for the property upon providing to the tenant such notice as required by the Act" end of sentence.

Can the landlord raise the rent with the above information? Should the tenants not agree to the asked... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 14, 2019

The meaning of "notice" as defined by the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is found in VA Code Section 55.1-1200 and states as follows:

"Notice" means notice given in writing by either regular mail or hand delivery, with the sender retaining sufficient proof of having given...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: In compliance with VRLTA and other Virginia rental laws, is this lease clause legal:

"Landlord and Agent are not liable for matters outside the dominion or control of Landlord or Agent so long as there is no gross negligence on their parts, including but not limited to: failure of utilities or services; acts of God; and any injuries or damages to persons or property either caused... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 13, 2019

It sounds like the exception to the Landlord is required to maintain a fit premises. See Virginia Code Section 55.1-1220, subsection D.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: If I have paid everything up to date and have a zero balance going into an eviction hearing, will the landlord or me win
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 8, 2019

The answer will depend on certain facts.

First, it will depend on whether the landlord is seeking unpaid rent or the return of possession or something else, or all three.

Second, if you paid the rent that was in arrears to the landlord and the landlord DID NOT GIVE you a written...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Is the tenant obligated to pay rent under a lease that the property manager didn’t sign?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 2, 2019

The Virginia Code does not require the lease to be signed by the tenant. The code only requires the landlord deliver the lease to the tenant and the premises are delivered to the tenant and the tenant takes possession of the premises.

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