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Virginia Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Public Benefits and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do I have the right to take security deposit interest back?

The lease agreement says in Your security deposit will be deposited and held in an interest bearing account in a federally insured banking institution. But the landlord said Virginia law was changed in 2014, removing the requirement that interest accrue on security deposits held by landlords unless... Read more »

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

Since the law states :unless agreed to otherwise" and you reported that you agreed in the lease that the security deposit would be interest bearing, the landlord is bound by the terms of the lease and the law to accrue interest on your security deposit, however, you have no right to demand the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I moved into a house that hasn't had a move-in/out inspect for 5 yrs. Am I be liable for damages from before I moved in?

I have 1 roommate who has stayed in this house since 5 years ago, and me and another tenant moved in to replace her old roommates. The management company has not done a move-in or out inspection because they only do it if every tenant on the lease vacates the property. The security deposits have... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Aug 5, 2020

The answer to your question depends on how the landlord will act at the time you end the lease and move out. Without evidence of the condition of the premises on the day you moved in, it will be impossible to establish the condition of the premises on that date. Therefore, it will be impossible to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can my landlord make me pay a deposit for repairs and then take forever to make repairs?

I rent a townhouse which our A/C broke. Last year our landlord purchased a home warranty which requires a $100 deposit for each situation something needs to get fixed. They have us pay that deposit, even if it’s not our fault. They’re reasoning is they pay the premium so we pay the deposit.... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Aug 3, 2020

The answer to your question depends on what is stated in your residential lease with regard to whether the landlord or the tenant is responsible for repairs, such as the AC. Generally, the landlord has a duty to maintain the appliances, such as the AC unit, unless it is agreed in the lease that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Landlord Intentionally Ignoring Me and refusing to set up payment plan as I have been affected by COVID-19

My business was shut down until we reopened (still slow). Apartment management and I agreed verbally with the management office to set up a payment plan. A week later they said they want rent paid in full. I argued my case about the agreement, they said they will talk to the manager. Next day,... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Aug 3, 2020

It sounds like these are discussions and negotiations about paying rent. It is not a question is it legal or illegal. It is a question of whether opposing parties can come to an agreement. It takes two to reach an agreement so if one side will not agree, there is no agreement in the eyes of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I need help Ny lease apparently ends tomorrow but I can’t leave

I signed a 12 month lease with my landlord and it’s the 7th month and my landlord says the july31st at 8 am everyone who didn’t renew is the last day of their lease but I can’t leave that soon I prepared for a 12 month lease I also lost my job due to COVID and domestic violence so I haven’t... Read more »

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

Even if you have a 12 month written lease, the nonpayment of rent is a breach of the leased and as such the landlord can proceed with a notice for you to pay or quit and then begin legal proceedings to have you evicted. The loss of your job or the domestic abuse is not a defense to nonpayment of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can you legally rent out your home?

Can you legally rent out your home if you are on disability. Do you have to let someone know you are renting out your home

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

The answer will depend on what are the disability permissions and the disability prohibitions.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do I have to pay early termination fee Or give a notice if lessor is renting the home illegally?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 28, 2020

The answer to your question will depend on what is the illegality and if the other person is charged with the illegality.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: If the people we are renting from say theY still legally live here to get government money.Is it legal for Them to Rent?

We are trying to leave our lease agreement early. The people we rent from live elsewhere but told us to tell anyone that they still live here so they can receive government help. Would I be responsible for early termination fees. And do I have to go to court for this?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 28, 2020

Based on your stated facts, it sounds like the people who are the landlords are committing a fraud on the government. If you make statements to anyone, government or otherwise, that support the fraudulent commission of that crime, you will be an accessory to the crime and could be charge... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Am I obligated to sign this lease when a verbal agreement to sign happened prior to being given a copy of the lease?

I moved into a rental as a third party not on the lease, though I had the Landlord's permission. I have been residing and paying rent to my roommate for 7 months, and she paid the landlord. The lease was on an automatic renewal set to end July 31st and my roommate (who is on the lease) did not... Read more »

Elizabeth Crego
Elizabeth Crego answered on Jul 28, 2020

It seems to me that there are a few different ways this could be interpreted.You could be regarded as merely a permitted occupant for the last seven months under the lease with your roommate, which creates no independent obligation on your part. It also provides no protections for you and you would... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do you have to allow a showing of a rental property you currently live in during COVID 19?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 28, 2020

There is no prohibition in Virginia regarding showing a rental property during the Covid-19 crisis.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can my landlord charge an extra fee for cleaning even though we followed the the terms of the lease?

We were required to hire a cleaning company at move out, which we did. My landlord was not happy with the work, so the cleaning company offered to come back and clean the places she was not happy with. She declined and said she would do it herself. She is now trying to charge us $100.00 for her... Read more »

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

A Landlord is not permitted to charge a tenant for the Landlord's own time cleaning the premises. It must be an out of pocket payment for the Landlord to have a right to charge the Tenant for cleaning the premises. You will have to sue the Landlord in small claims court for the $100.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a tenant legally pro-rate their own rent when they decide to leave earlier than expected?

My current tenants gave me notice on July 18, 2020 that they would be moving August 15th. They originally were set to leave December 2020. Because they are leaving mid-month, they are refusing to pay the full amount of rent. They are saying they will pay half or they will require access to the... Read more »

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Jul 26, 2020

If this is the initial lease term, the 60 day notice likely refers to notice required prior to the end of the lease term - not notice at any point during the lease term. Without seeing your lease, my guess is that the tenants are not able to break the lease and if they refuse to allow you access... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: As an employee of an apartment complex what are my rights after being physically threatened by a tenant?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 24, 2020

I regret that I do not handle employment law matters. Sorry.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Is it fraudulent for a renter who's using a voucher and allow her to pay the remainder?

I am renting to a person using a housing voucher in the state of Virginia'. We are asking &1750.00/mo. The program will only pay $1573 and the tenant has agreed to pay the remainder of $177.00. The issue is, the housing authority cannot know that the rent is higher than the monthly... Read more »

Shafeek Seddiq
Shafeek Seddiq answered on Jul 24, 2020

I think you know what you should do and do not need someone to tell you. As a general rule is that if you feel uncomfortable to do something then do not do it. Alternatively, call a lawyer near you who will explain how this works.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can you rent a home and charge NO rent in lieu of repairs?

I have a second home that a person wants to rent. It is not up to code and would not pass the laws under the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. The person wanting to rent is a contractor and wants to make the repairs himself in lieu of rent. We would not charge any rent for an agreed... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 21, 2020

The law in Virginia provides it will not be legal.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Electric panel box, not in (Premises), does that exclude building or does that mean, Area of rented space only.

The basement being left unlocked till , made known to Landlord.

That Electricty was being used by Landlord at Tenants expense with no reimbursements nor authorization.

Which is still being used and no permission nor authorization has been given by any Tenant in the building.... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 21, 2020

The definition of the "premises" is generally reflected in the lease. To determine what is the definition, you need to look at your lease to see if the electric panel box is included or not included as a part of the "premises."

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Is it required that tentent have access to their electrical fuse and breaker pantel box? Can landlord denie access?

4 apartments in this building.

All 4 Electrical fuse and Breaker boxes is located in locked basement, off limits to tentent.

Front and Rear Entrance, including basement lighting and subpump is being connected to tentents power meters.

There is no 5th. Electrical Meter for... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 21, 2020

If the electrical box or panel is not in the tenant's premises, the tenant generally is not permitted access to that box or panel.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Collections and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: If a UD case is non-suited, is there any way to seal this or otherwise keep it from being uploaded to the Internet?

Related to the prior question: "Can I seal or expunge an eviction record in Virginia pursuant to § 19.2-392.2

The case did not result in an eviction nor a collection" You will see a lot of these as first time civil defendants seek to pay arrears after Unlawful Detainer (UD)... Read more »

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

In Virginia, eviction matters are generally not under seal. You may want to seek a formal opinion from an attorney in the jurisdiction where you reside on your questions.

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a apartment complex have a 17 year old pay the application fee before turning 18?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 20, 2020

In Virginia, a 17 year old does not have "capacity" to enter into a contract. The payment of an application fee would seem not to be the entering into a contract but the payment of a fee.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I seal or expunge an eviction record in Virginia pursuant to § 19.2-392.2

The case did not result in an eviction nor a collection

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

In Virginia , expungement relates to criminal cases. In a civil case like an eviction, the proper procedure is to file a Motion to Vacate and Set Aside the Judgment.

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