Roanoke, VA asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia

Q: I moved out before the end of the lease and keep paying rent but the landlord does not look for a new tenant. Can I sue?

The landlord started renovating the apartment instead of looking for a new tenant.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
  • Salem, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: You may be entitled to a refund for the period after the landlord began renovations of the rental unit. There is a difference between 'renovations' (serious work such as upgrade kitchen, bath, etc) and 'turnover' (new paint, possibly replace old carpet, etc). Also consider the cost of suit - you have to make sure you sue the right entity (landlord may own unit in a company name) and it's likely you will have three trips to the courthouse - first to file suit; second to show up on the 'return date' which schedules for the third time, the trial. You may need witnesses, and you'll certainly have to have proof of landlord's actions after you moved out. If you're paid hourly, consider those hours as a cost of suit - and the court cannot pay you for your time to go to/from court.

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