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Virginia Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Who decides if who is responsible for the atty fee if I sign the lease the judge or landlord
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 24, 2021

In Virginia, only a judge has the authority and the power to award attorney's fees that would be made part of an Order and/or a Judgment.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: In a lease agreement can the property management ask the tenant to be responsible for their legal fees
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 24, 2021

In all contract matters, including a residential lease, the landlord or its agent, such as the property management, can require that the tenant will be for the landlord's attorney's fees if there is a dispute or otherwise.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can the co-deed holder to my home evict me? Both our names are on the deed.
Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Jul 22, 2021

No. If you're an owner, the co-owner cannot evict you (and you cannot evict the co-owner either). If you decide to hire an attorney to assist, I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can my apartment complex charge for liability and an additional monthly trash (trash compactor)?

The building has changed management companies in March and we have noticed these recurring monthly charges for "BH Liability" & "Monthly Trash".

There is nothing in our lease that talks about a $12 liability charge. We are required by lease to have our own renters... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 20, 2021

In Virginia, a lease is a contract that cannot be modified by a unilateral act by one party, unless all parties to the lease agree in writing to the modifications, which would include additional charges that were not contained in the original lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: As a landlord in VA, can I use the info on the state's public website for general district courts to deny an application

The state's website, www.courts.state.va.us provides info on cases held in general district courts in every city/county in VA. I used the info to deny a rental application based on unlawful detainers found under his name within the last 5 years, where the plaintiffs, (NOT the applicant!) were... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 19, 2021

If the denial of the tenant's application is based on facts and not on discrimination, then you are allowed to assert a denial.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: A section of my lease: "Disparaging Statements" of any kind are prohibited by residents.

"statements or communication, which defames the owner, employee, or management of rental unit... may be subject to action for defamation by person who suffers injury or loss as a result of defamatory statement."

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 19, 2021

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives every American the right of freedom of speech, which is an indispensable asset to American democracy. The right to express a unique point of view allows every American to exchange new ideas and to hear different interpretations of the truth. A... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My landlord did not give house keys upon move in and will not until second month. Can I change the locks for my safety?

Me and my roommates moved in on Friday April 16. Our landlord has not given us house keys and says he will not until the second month. I’m not sure about the laws but I feel like that is illegal. Our lease says we cannot change the locks without permission from the landlord and he will not give... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 19, 2021

Under the Virginia Code, the Landlord has a duty to maintain the premises in a fit condition. If there is no AC and there is a major plumbing leak, you should contact the Office of Housing Code Enforcement for the city/county in which the premises is located and make a formal complaint. An... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can landlord refuse to renew my lease at this time rent is paid on time each month and its difficult to find a place now
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 15, 2021

A landlord has the right to not agree to renew a lease. This is a contractual relationship and not a civil rights matter, unless the refusal is based on some issue of discrimination. .

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Landlord is harassing us every month with material non-compliance notices when we have receipts to prove we’ve paid rent

Over the course of two years while staying at Southern Stove Lofts, there have been several Material Non-Compliance notices filed against myself and roommates. Each time, we collect our money order receipts and bring them to the leasing office to prove that we did in fact pay rent. To which they... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 12, 2021

The party (you in this matter) who files the claim in court has the burden of proof to persuade the judge by a preponderance of the evidence that your claim is valid, based on Virginia law and what the landlord did is a violation of Virginia law. Without knowing your matter or what evidence and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I live in Virginia and I want to evict someone from my house. They have no lease agreement and do not pay rent.
Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Jul 9, 2021

Arguably, no notice is required if there was never a tenancy created, but to be safe, you could give a 30 day notice and then if they don't leave, you could file with the court. The eviction process is a bit complicated due to covid, so if you decide to hire a lawyer, I'm sure anyone who... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: One of two roommates has seemingly abandoned the property. The remaining tenant has been paying the rent faithfully.

The lease expires on August 31, 2021, but the remaining tenant would like a new lease effective August 1, 2021, with the roommate's name removed from the lease and the locks changed immediately. According to the remaining tenant, he has attempted to contact the roommate numerous times over the... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 4, 2021

1. Property that is left in the premises by a tenant who has vacated the premises is considered to be abandoned, and can be disposed of in a reasonable way.

2. If the landlord and the tenant agree to a written renewal of the lease before the end of the term, then it is a novation and is...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a landlord in Virginia forbid the use of flushable wipes?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 30, 2021

To the best of my knowledge and belief, there is nothing in the Code of Virginia that gives the landlord a right to prohibit the use of flushable wipes and there is nothing in the Code of Virginia that restricts the landlord to forbid same. This prohibition may be made part of the written lease... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: How do I go about evicting a tenant that has not paid rent in 2 months
Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Jun 30, 2021

You have to provide notice and then give them a chance to cure by paying. If they don't and if they don't apply for rental assistance then you can file with the court. I'd strongly encourage you to hire a lawyer to assist with the eviction process because it has been more difficult... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do we have to pay until the new tenant moves in?

Our 12 month lease expires tomorrow, but requires 60 days of notice to terminate or goes month-to-month. We found a new place and gave notice to our current landlord on 5/26 that we were leaving. We acknowledged that it was not 60 days and asked if there was anything we could do to shorten that... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 29, 2021

Given your reported facts that you gave written 60 day notice on 5/26/2021 that you would vacate the premises within 60 days and that the premises was vacated by you sometime after 5/26/2021, and the landlord re-let the premises to begin on 7/23/2021, the landlord has, by his/her conduct, has... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Am I responsible for paying rent until a new tenant takes occupancy?

When I requested to terminate my lease early, my property manager emailed me stating "The landlord has agreed to release you from your lease upon the following conditions.

1. *60 day notice, and provided at the time of said notice there is not a rental waiting list at the apartment... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 21, 2021

If you requested and received those conditions in writing and then your landlord signed a written release at the time the conditions were fulfilled, you have a novation to prove that your were released from further rent. If you do not have a signed agreement and a signed release, you may have the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can manager of motel where I work and live for past 3 yrs raise my rent if I no longer work for him

He threatened to raise my rent if I quit him

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 18, 2021

There are two relationships involved in your reported situation. One is the employer-employee relationship. The other is the landlord-tenant relationship. I will only address the landlord-tenant relationship because I do not handle employment law matters. If you have a written lease, the landlord... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I live in Virginia and my landlord claims he smelt pot coming from my apartment when i wasn’t even home. what can i do ?

I don’t have any pot in the apartment nor have we smoked in here can he evict us? we have also received complaints of our baby crying from our neighbors and we have been threatened to be evicted twice. my landlord claimed in writing that my neighbor said they smelled pot from our apartment but... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 15, 2021

You should send a letter or an email to your landlord and dispute the claims that you were smoking pot in the premises. If the landlord brings a court action against you, the landlord has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence in order to win his case. You can ask your neighbor to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I moved out of my apartment in 10/20. My landlords emailed me today saying I have a remaining balance. What should I do?

Is it legal for them to do that ? I specifically asked before leaving if I needed to be present for the inspection of my apartment and if everything was good (I had an automatic payment of my rent).

They told me I was all good and now 8 months later they ask me for a remaining balance of rent.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 14, 2021

You should send an email back to the landlord and dispute the claim that you owe any additional rent. In Virginia, there is no specific law that addresses your issue. It may be that a Judge will have to decide the issue.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a landlord make a current tenant leave the unit while showing it to prospective tenants?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 12, 2021

In Virginia, a landlord has no right to exclude a tenant from the premises during the lease term, even to show the premises to prospective tenants.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Rental property is saying we are rent responsible until a new tenant moves in? is this legal?

My fiancé & I moved out of the apartment we shared with his mother a year ago, we put our notice in & were notified that we would not be removed from the lease until his mother showed proof of income to sign her own lease so she went on a month to month because she was still making... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 9, 2021

In Virginia, a month-to-month tenancy is terminable on a written 30 day advanced notice. If the tenant(s) gave the proper written notice, then the month-to-month tenancy would be terminated and there are no additional responsibilities for the tenant, including paying rent.

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