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Virginia Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Loud exhaust noise from motorcycles in HOA (Townhouse) community

I live in a townhouse community.

And, my adjacent unit has a Harley Davidson. He constantly fire up his engine, racing in and out of the community.

My association's CC&R has a clause in Parking Rule, which states 'Noisy vehicles and the racing of engines are prohibited'.

My... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 9, 2020

Generally, the Bylaws and/or the Rules and Regulations of the HOA will define that term. You should ask for a copy of both, if you do not already have it, and review it carefully. There is not provision in the Virginia Code that defines that term.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I am trying to break my lease, there has been mold found due to lack of response to water damage. what do I do?

There was noted water damage upon me moving in back in March 2019, the property management has done nothing about that, there was also an A/C leak in the basement last year and I had been emailing for follow up on the water damage repairs since last June. I have received no response until finally... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 7, 2020

Generally in Virginia, when there is visible mold in the Premises, the Tenant must call the Office of Housing Code Enforcement to make a Complaint and ask for an inspector to come to the Premises to visibly see the mold. Based on Governor Northam's recent order, I think that Office in all parts of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I rent a horse barn for running my horse business. My landlord will not allow me to conduct my business b/c of COVID-19

I wrote the VA Governor's office to see what guidelines for running my business, where they said I am able as long as I follow guidelines. Also, our County Sheriff informed us we are not in violation.

Is the landlord able to legally shut down my business

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 7, 2020

There is nothing in the Virginia Code that addresses your factual situation. Your commercial lease may have terms and conditions that address the rights of the landlord and the tenant in your factual situation. if you cannot resolve the matter with the landlord, you will have to seek a decision by... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: We live in VA. We had a yr lease that ended and converted into a 2month to 2month lease. Owner wants more rent and nw te

Owner wants us to pay more rent and sign a new year lease. We've been going back and forth as there was also an option to purchase the house. That deal fell through and by email we agreed to the rent increase starting June 1st. We haven't agreed to a new term yet or signed any paperwork. Can we... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 6, 2020

If you have not signed a new written lease, the 2 month to 2 month lease relationship is retained. Under the laws in Virginia ,to terminate the 2 month-to-2 month lease you must give the landlord a 2 month written notice. An oral agreement between the tenant and the landlord to the increase the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My daughter put in an "intent to renew" form on her apt. The company says the form is a new lease. Is that accurate?

The current lease does not expire until July 31, 2020, but the leasing office is telling her she has to sign. I was the guarantor on the current lease, but have not indicated I plan to again, but they are also telling me I have to sign.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 1, 2020

Without reviewing the entire lease as to its terms and conditions as well as the rights and obligations of all the parties, I cannot provide an answer. Just so you know, I charge $375 an hour to review leases and provide an opinion.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do we have to let the landlord show the property during this stay at home order?

Our landlord put the house on the market, and wants to show the property. We do not feel comfortable having strangers in here with our 2 young kids (plus landlord is a doctor, so she’s not exactly risk-free). Is showing a house considered “essential business” during a stay at home order?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 1, 2020

Generally in Virginia, the residential lease controls the authority of a landlord to show the Premises provided there is reasonable advanced notice given by the landlord to the tenant. You should review the lease to identify that provision. Since the Covid-19 crisis is a matter of first impression... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Dear Esq: my daughter had to leave her off campus apartment after COVID19 cancelled everything. She and

her three roomates have paid their rent each month but now the apartment is empty (3 roomates also left -entire town is deserted). I have recently read about the 'force majeure'. With all the death going on everywhere and in that town as well, is this such an event? The students are clearly... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 1, 2020

The legal definition of "force majeure" is an unforeseeable circumstances that prevents someone from fulfilling a contract. Generally, a pandemic is not an unforeseeable circumstance since they have occurred many times in the past. Unless the residential lease provides that a pandemic is a force... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I'm considering sueing my landlord and im not sure if i have a case and if i do what all i could use for.

My roommate and I moved in, in November. We currently live in our landlords basement. In the lease agreement it was stated there is a washer and dryer down here that hey said they would use but would give us a notice, and they promised to be quick and thorough if anything were to go wrong or mess... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 31, 2020

I regret that a blank fact statement will not allow a response as to your rights to bring a claim against your landlord. Specific details of the facts is essential.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: How much time should a tenant be allowed before being forced to either renew a lease or move in Virginia?

So, a few weeks ago I found out that the property I have been renting for 5 years was in foreclosure due to ads a newspaper posts. When I asked the property management about it they knew nothing. So now a 3 days ago they tell me that the owner says he’s brought his mortgage current, but is... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 29, 2020

In Virginia, a written residential lease generally provides the time period for the tenant to renew the lease or give the landlord notice of non-renewal. There is no Virginia statute that controls this time period. It sounds like you are on a month-to-month tenancy since you stated you have been... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Leasing co. going after both me and roommate for charges roommate is responsible for.

Leasing company charged hundreds of dollars for new person to be added to lease, which new roommate did not pay (I paid another 'application fee' as remaining roommate on 'altered' lease). Leasing co. added late fees, which roommate never paid. I moved out a week before roommate did near the end of... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 27, 2020

In Virginia, generally all residential leases make all tenants jointly and severally liable for the terms and conditions of the lease. If your roommate failed to pay his share, as you agreed with that roommate, the landlord and leasing company is not bound by the agreement between you and your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: How can a student break a lease for an apartment off campus when the school shuts down and recommends everyone go home?

Is Coronavirus pandemic enough to break a lease?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 26, 2020

If the terms of the written residential lease authorizes the tenant to terminate the lease as a result of a pandemic, such as Covid-19, then the tenant has that right. Otherwise, no such right exists.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I ask a tenant that owes 4 months of rent to move to the living room and give me back the room?

evictions are on hold due to Corona Virus

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 26, 2020

There is no law against "asking." Whether the tenant will oblige you is a different question.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Tenant Rights: our apartment has a roach infestation, can we cancel our lease if the treatment they provided don’t work
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 25, 2020

If there is a roach infestation, you can proceed with the requirements of a Tenant's Assertion that must be filed in General District Court in the city/county where the property is located. The Court will make the decision as to whether your lease will be cancelled. During the period when the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: In Virginia my lease has expired and I am paying monthly rent, how much notice do I have to give the landlord to move?

Our lease expired at the end of February, and a few days before the end of the month the landlord added some provisions to the new lease that we did not agree with. We asked the property manager to help us work out a compromise with the landlord, but when he had not answered us by March 1st, I paid... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 23, 2020

In Virginia, when the original written residential lease expires because it was not renewed by either party, the tenancy converts into a month-to-month tenancy by operation of law. The written notice by either party that is required by law to terminate a month-to-month tenancy is 30 days. For... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I moved into a trailer with the intent to buy. They changed mind & want me out. I am not on lease with trailer park

He was 3 months behind on lot rent & I was to pay 250 over to go towards his arrears $650 lot rent and 250 towards his arrears that will pay for trailer, for a cost of 2000. I was to move in and do repairs and start paying on the 1rst. And he was to just add me as a roommate in the trailer park... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 20, 2020

In Virginia, all tenants of residential housing have rights under the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act, which was recently revised on July 1, 2019. Generally, a landlord must give written notice to a month-to-month tenant before going to court to seek an order of possession in order to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Lease is almost up & PM wants to show to renters. W/COVID 19, we worry. What our rights regarding our poss exposure?

We have rented a single family home for almost 4 years. Our lease is up in May and we are planning on moving, but our property manager wants to showing the home to potential renters. WE realize they have a right to show the home under normal circumstances, but these are not normal times, and we... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 18, 2020

As you stated, the PM has a right to show the premises to potential renters. You do not have a right of refusal unless the terms of your lease gives you such rights. As a possible and reasonable safeguard from the virus, you may want to ask the PM to have everyone who enters the premises with the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Is an unlawful detained and eviction the same th ing in va
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 18, 2020

In Virginia, an Unlawful Detainer is the initial lawsuit by the landlord against the tenant. The "eviction" process occurs after the Court awards a judgment for possession and perhaps monetary damages to the landlord and the landlord seeks the removal, as known as an eviction, of the tenant from... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: How soon should a landlord give me written notice that they will not be renewing my lease I live in Richmond Virginia my

My lease ends April 30 2020 I will need time to find a new home.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 16, 2020

In Virginia, the time periods for notice to renew or not renew the lease is designated in the terms and conditions of the lease.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My moms landlord sold her townhouse without telling her, now the new owner is trying to make her pay more on her lease
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 14, 2020

Your mother's landlord has no legal duty or obligation to notify your mother that he/she is selling the Property. The new owner/landlord must legally assume the lease (if it is a written lease and there are several months remaining in the Term) and as such is bound by the amount of the monthly... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: In Va. I want to review my tenant file and all the contents. Am I within my rights to request this of my PM?

I want to go and request to review my tenant file with my property manager. I want to see what contents are in the file. The Property Manager is telling me no and that I am not entitled to review the file. If the file is about me and concerns me and residency then why can't I review it?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 11, 2020

Generally in Virginia, the files of the Property Manager are its business records and are private. If there is a lawsuit filed by you in Circuit Court against the PM, you will be entitled to discovery of the contents of the PM's file that relates to you.

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