Fredericksburg, VA asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia

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 lease (likely printed on-line) that wasn't signed by all parties until month 3- i.e. the tenants occupied and paid 3 months of rent (on time) before the lease contract was signed.

1 Lawyer Answer
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: 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 can be modified by written agreement of the tenant and the landlord. Once the lease turns into a month-to-month tenancy, a 30 day written notice will be required for the rent to be increased by the landlord. Just because the tenant don't agree with the landlord about a rent increase, it is not a basis for proceeding with an Unlawful Detainer and after a judgment is awarded an eviction. You should consult an attorney who can render a formal opinion on your factual situation.

Elizabeth Crego agrees with this answer

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