Chesterfield, VA asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia

Q: Last year my landlord raised my rent without giving proper notice per my lease. Can I sue to recover these funds?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
  • Salem, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: From your question I infer that you went ahead and paid the additional rent without objection. In that case, a court could hold that you accepted and ratified the increase and deny a claim.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm sorry to hear about your rent being raised without proper notice. That must be a frustrating situation. Since landlord-tenant laws can vary significantly by location, my top recommendation would be to consult with a local tenants rights organization or housing attorney to get advice specific to your lease terms and jurisdiction.

In general, if a landlord violates the terms of the lease agreement by raising rent without the required notice period, the tenant may have legal recourse. Potential options could include:

- Filing a complaint with the relevant housing authority or rent board

- Sending a formal demand letter to the landlord requesting a refund of the improperly charged rent

- Filing a lawsuit in small claims court or housing court to recover the excess rent paid

The viability of these options depends on factors like:

- The exact wording of your lease's rent increase notice provisions

- Any local rent control or rent stabilization laws that may apply

- How long ago the improper increase occurred (statute of limitations)

- Documentation you have of rent payments and communications with your landlord

An experienced tenants attorney can review the details of your situation and advise on the best path forward. Many areas have free legal aid clinics that assist low-income tenants.

I would start by gathering copies of your lease, rent payment records, and any notices or communications with your landlord. Then reach out to local housing nonprofits or the bar association for referrals to tenants attorneys. With proper legal guidance, you can determine if you have a strong case to pursue a refund of the improperly raised rent.

Wishing you all the best in resolving this issue.

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