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Virginia Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: How can a company garnish my wages twice?

I moved out of a apartment complex 6 years ago because they had bed bugs and would only do one apartment at a time and the bed bugs will travel,

So 4 years later they garnish my wages for $700+ now they are garnishing me again for the same amount they took my $799 deposit when I moved.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on May 6, 2021

In Virginia, the law that effects the garnishment of wages and/or bank account has a set period of 180 days before the matter goes to court. If the full amount of the judgment is not satisfied by the initial garnishment, the judgment creditor has the right to file a second garnishment to seek the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Landlord is selling we got cart letter if we rent month to month does new owner have to offer that also?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on May 3, 2021

Need an answer to what do you mean by a "cart letter?" Not familiar with that terminology.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I live in virginia and i have been renting a room n paying cash to my friend. (No lease)

Can she take me 2 court if no lease was ever signed n i was paying cash. I still owe her 300.00

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on May 1, 2021

You have an oral (rather than a written) month-to-month tenancy. If the landlord follows the CDC rules for a tenant who does not pay rent on time and gives the proper notice(s) as required by the DCD and federal/state laws, the landlord can seek possession of the premises and seek and eviction.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO??

Disabled, w/out an Advocate or ATTY; Fearful of making wrong decision

45 yro, No Evictions, Owned Homes, Gainfully Employed, until:

Displaced by COVID after 4 yrs of caring for a parent, all savings expended.

Moved to Richmond; No SSDI, Unemp, absolutely zero aid or... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on May 1, 2021

Based on your financial condition, you should call Northern Virginia Legal Services on Monday for assistance. They are pro bono attorneys and may be able to help you with your current situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Virginia on
Q: LANDLORD FILED AN EVICTION AFTER TENANT ASKED FOR COVID RENT RELIEF; RENT WAS STILL TIMELY. WHAT CAN I DO?

LL wont cooperate with Tenant in COVID Rent Relief Pgm (Reqd by Va and CDC Moratorium Rules)

Managed to get Eviction DISMISSED BUT:

How can I force them to cooperate with RRP before resource pool is depleted!

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on May 1, 2021

The likelihood to force anyone to do anything these days is slim to none. You may be able to file a formal complaint against the landlord with the Office of the Virginia Attorney General in Richmond, VA.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Landlord sent certified letter saying she sold the property and wants us to move out. Am only 1 1/2 years into 3yr lease

Is this legal? Especially with covid?

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Apr 28, 2021

Selling a property is not a reason to terminate a lease unless there is a specific provision in the lease agreement, so I don't believe you have to leave. If you want to leave early, it sounds like the landlord is willing to agree to a release and maybe even pay you to leave, but if you want... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My fiancé signed a lease of a trailer in a mobile home park but are now finding issues that we had no knowledge of.

We just found out the air ducts in our home are pulled out of place and two rooms are not getting the air (it’s literally just pouring AC out under the home), and many other small things that weren’t noticeably to the eye during a walkthrough

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 28, 2021

Your course of action is to call the Office of Housing Code Enforcement for the city/county in which the premises is located and make a formal Complaint.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My landlord (who denies being my landlord) is not respecting my rights as a tenant. What should I do?

We ran into a lot of issues. The septic line had a tree root growing in it, we lost all bathroom utilities for weeks and he suggested showering at a college not too far from my house and using the bathroom at our neighbors house because it’s a “pricey” project. Our ceiling in our kitchen is... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 27, 2021

The facts as you reported them seems like an situation of uninhabitability. 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 inspector will come to the premises and if the inspector finds Code violations,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Does VA 55-231 allow a Landlord to seize property w/o notice as payment for an utility invoice w/o documentation?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 22, 2021

Virginia Code Section 55-231 was abrogated so it has no force and effect. Title 55.1 is the current Virginia Title applicable to Residential Landlord-Tenant issues.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Does VA 55-231 pertain to a landlord seizing commercial property for unpaid utility of which there is no record?

Is this legal under 55.1 or otherwise? 5 yr commercial lease, month to month in 2020. Facility vacated without issue at closing of business. In lease, "fixtures shall at all times remain personal property of Tenant .. + may be removed by Tenant at any time". The Landlord made a verbal... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 22, 2021

There is no Virginia Code Section 55-231. That Title was replaced by Title 55.1.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can my landlord make new rules after move in?

My landlord is now very weird and is telling me I can only shower for 10minutes. He also has no smoke alarms installed in my room and the windows don’t open. He also has lied about several things including how old the flooring is and he has me turn off my toilet when I’m not using It. The... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 22, 2021

With regard to the mold, the windows that don't open and no smoke alarms, you should call the Office of Housing Code Enforcement for the city/county in which the premises is located and make a formal complaint. An inspector should be sent to the premises and if there are Housing Code... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: What are my rights when landlord wants to sell home?

My lease termed out and I am month to month. I've been in the single family home since 2010. The Landlord just advised they were thinking about selling the home. How much notice is required in VA for me to have to move out after I receive the official notice. My original lease stated I have to... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 22, 2021

In Virginia, when a written lease for a one year (or more than one year) term ends and is not renewed with another written agreement, the lease changes to a month-to-month lease by operation of law. In Virginia, a month-to-month lease may be terminated by a written 30 day notice from the landlord... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My landlord and I had a understanding that as long as my rent was paid b4 the month was out including late fee that it w

Would b fine.So I got a letter stating she wasn't renewing my lease.An to make matters worse she had me do the thing where they help u pay your rent( cause she's money hungry) an soon as I asked about why because she was getting her rent plus late fees she said this way it would pay u up... Read more »

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

If you do not move, the landlord will probably take you to court. In Virginia, most courts will give an automatic 60 day continuance for case like yours but eventually, you will be faced with a court order for possession and an eviction, if you decide to take that course of action.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I take legal action against my landlord? Can I recover the money?

I’ve been living in an illegal basement for the past 6 months (I didn’t know it was illegal before moving in) I even have a month to month lease agreement.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 16, 2021

If you think you have an illegal lease agreement, you are entitled to bring a claim in a court of law against your landlord and seeks damages.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I've been renting for 10 years at my apartment complex in Virginia Beach with yearly lease renewal. Can the landlord sim

simply choose not to renew my contract because they want to renovate the apartment and leave me homeless?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 11, 2021

The issue of who has the right to renew or not renew the lease must be contained in the lease. If the lease do not provide for an automatic renewal or a written renewal of the lease by the landlord, there is no requirement under the Code of Virginia that obligates the landlord to renew the lease,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Landlord illegally entered apartment, but we have almost no proof

Yesterday our landlord tried to charge us for a second cat, stating that the maintenance team was in our apartment on Wednesday and saw a cat that was “less skittish” and they swore was a different cat. We were very adamant that we only have the one cat and that we’ve lived here for almost 2... Read more »

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

You may want to consider filing a lawsuit against the Landlord for "abuse of access." THis Virginai Code section would be applicable.

§ 55.1-1210. Landlord and tenant remedies for abuse of access.

If the tenant refuses to allow lawful access, the landlord may obtain...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Is a landlord's failure to keep an in-unit washer & dryer in working order a violation of VRLTA § 55.1-1220?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 8, 2021

The applicable VA Code Section is:

§ 55.1-1220. Landlord to maintain fit premises.

A. The landlord shall:

2. Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;

If keeping an in-unit washer and dryer repaired...
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1 Answer | Asked in Securities Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I live in an apartment complex. A neighbor recently installed video cameras. He installed not for security but to spy.

He had them facing are building and was told by management to face them in common area and that he could not have cameras on the outside. He took it down but hide it on his balcony in a wreath on that he hung on the storage closet door. He is using them to tattle on anyone walking their dog that... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 8, 2021

If you feel strongly about this issue, you can bring a lawsuit against the neighbor in the court in which the premises is located.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I kick out a person renting a room from my home? No contract, violent tendencies, attempted suicide, current on ren
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 6, 2021

On March 29, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released an eviction moratorium order. It protects people from being evicted for not paying their rent if they complete a declaration form and give it to their landlord. This protection lasts until June 30, 2021.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: So even though it was an email and not a physical letter? And there isn’t 31 days in April. Only 30. So what about that?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 1, 2021

Email is considered by the courts as written notice, especially if the lease provides for such notices to be sent by email. As long as the date of the notice was the day before the ;last day of the month, the termination date the the last day of the following month.

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