Arlington, VA asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia

Q: I was falsely accused of smoking in my apartment. What are my options?

I was falsely accused of smoking in my apartment when I am a non-smoker. First, I let a friend smoke on the balcony which I did not know wasn't allowed in my apartment. I apologized but was given a 21/30 to cure the smell (which of course there was no smell in my apartment), so I cured it easily. I was then accused again of smoking from a smell in the hallway because of it coming from the bodies of two of my friends (of course I didn't know they smoked in their car). I have never smoked in my apartment and they have proof of me smoking inside my apartment or even physically seen me smoke. I am a non-smoker being accused of smoking and being forced to leave. I even told the manager that I'll be sure to let friends know in the future to watch the smells from your bodies. Do I have any options to fight this?

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

A: The written 21/30 notice is a first step in the filing of a Unlawful Detainer. The folks who are accessing you of the smoking have the burden of proof so you should go to court and deny their claim and put them to the test. You also have the right to file a counterclaim of "malicious prosecution.:

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