Virginia Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers

Q: Been in this property for 18years and landlord has been harassing me since he had to buy a new heating unit!

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 22, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
With regard to the harassment, you can go to court and file a request for a Protective Order. As for the lack of heat, you can call the office of housing code enforcement for the city/county in which you live and make a complaint. The common law, in landlord-tenant matters, provides a Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment to the tenant so if the Landlord continues to disturb you, you can bring a lawsuit against the landlord for a breach of that covenant.

Q: Hi, My landlord will not let me end a month-to-month lease without my roommates consent (live in VA). Is this legal?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 19, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
When there are more than one tenant on a month to month tenancy, all tenants must be uniform with regard to the termination of the lease. If one tenant does not agree to terminate the month to month tenancy, then the lease will not terminate. There is no such thing as a tenancy at will.

Q: My landlord has given me a 60 notice. I am leaving earlier. She is claiming 1 month rent. I’m not there

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 19, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
If your original written lease was not renewed by a new written lease, then you are on a month to month lease. By the Code of Virginia, in such a lease either the landlord or the tenant can give the other party a 30 day written notice to terminate the lease. The written notice must be given in the month before the last month that rent will be due. For example, a written notice on February 27, 2019 will terminate the month to month lease as of March 31, 2019. Even if you moved out before the...

Q: Can my landlord charge me for painting?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 19, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
The answer to your question about whether the landlord can charge you, the tenant, for painting the apartment when you move out is found in the provisions of the lease. If the lease states that at the end of the lease term, the tenant shall pay for the apartment to be repainted, then the tenant has that monetary obligation and must pay for it. If the lease is silent on the tenant's obligation for repainting the apartment, then the tenant has no contractual obligation.

Q: Do I have to sign a termination agreement on my current lease if my roommate decides not to renew but I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 15, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
Either tenant has the right to remain in the Premises until the end of the Lease's Term, even of one co-tenant gives notice of an early termination. I suspect the lease states that both tenants are jointly and severally liable for the payment of rent until the end of the Lease's Term. You need to provide written notice to the PM that you do not intend to terminate the Premises until the end of the Lease's Term, and keep a copy for your records. Any showing of the Premises without advanced...

Q: What are my tenant rights if a landlord is forcing me to pay rent only through certified check only?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 9, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
If the lease you signed has a provision that allows the landlord to require certified funds after previous late payments, the contract's terms are binding on you. Yo uh should demand a copy of the written lease as signed by tenant and landlord.

Q: When is the signed rental lease starts from? From the date of signing the lease. Or from the date of taking position?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 5, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
The lease you signed should have on the document the date that the lease term begins and the date the lease terms ends. If the end of the lease term is 4/29/19, that is binding on you, the tenant, and you must vacate the premises, unless the landlord grants you an extension.

Q: bed bug responsibility. Ive lived in place 6 months and bed bugs are terrible there prior to me moving in.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 5, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
You may want to call the Office of Building Code Enforcement of the city/county in which the premises is located and make a formal complaint about the bed bugs. They should send out an inspector regarding your complaint.

Q: Newly renting, Carpets smell like urine, 2 small babies in house. Owner refuses to replace them. What rights do we have?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 3, 2019
Daniel P Leavitt's answer
Check your rental agreement first and also see if the Virginia Landlord Tenant Agreement covers this situation. It may be something you want to retain a lawyer to investigate further as they can tell you what rights you may or may not have and also your liability if you choose to breach your agreement (assuming that it would be a breach and it may not). It's possible the landlord is breaching but you really should pay a lawyer to investigate or do the work yourself on it.

Q: How can we hold the landlord responsible for not having a secured wooden shelf that came down on our child?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 22, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
In Virginia, the general rule is that when the Tenant takes possession of the premises, the Tenant is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the premises, such as the shelf. This provision for maintenance and repairs should be contained in the written lease, if you signed one.

Q: Can my landlord terminate due to a lease violation?

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 22, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
You should document the situation and your position in a written statement to your Landlord. If you do not vacate the premises voluntarily, the Landlord will have to file an Unlawful Detainer with the Court to seek a court order for possession. You can dispute the claims made in the Unlawful Detainer and attempt to persuade the Judge that you are correct and the Landlord is wrong

Q: Do I need to clean up trash and yard debris left behind by previous tenants? That's what my landlord wants me to do.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 21, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
Generally, the lease's provisions will address this issue. If you were not in possession of the premises when the debris occurred, you are not responsible for the removal of that debris.

Q: If a landlord in Va does not return your deposit back in the allowed 45 days what is the best course of action forward?

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 18, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
You can bring a lawsuit against the landlord for breach of the lease agreement but you have the burden of proof to persuade the judge that your claim should be decided in your favor. If you proceed on your own without an attorney, you may have problems with the proof.

Q: I own a trailer but rent a lot from a landlord. Whose responsibility is it to remove a hazardous tree?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 13, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
Generally in Virginia, if the lease for the land states that the Tenant is responsible for maintenance of the land, then the Tenant is responsible for the trees. If there is no mention of who is responsible for maintenance of the land, the tree is a fixture of the land and it generally is the landlord's responsibility to care for the trees. Each case will depend on the facts on a case by case basis.

Q: My landlord wants me to pay with an money order through the mail, is there other ways I can pay I don't feel comfortable

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 11, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
Generally, the written lease that you signed and the landlord signed will have a provision regarding what methods are acceptable for the payment of rent.

Q: What can a landlord sue you for after 4 years? We went to court in 2015 for rent and dmg. He won with some reduced.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 10, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
If you want to discuss your situation, call me on Monday after 2pm. 703-684-2000.

Paul Maloof

Q: Can a landlord contact us 8 months after we move out treating to sue us for damages?

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 10, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
If you had a written lease, there is a 5 year statute of limitations to bring a claim for damages. If you had an oral lease, it is a 3 year statute of limitations.

Q: I rented a place where landlord rents each bedroom out. Where kitchen area is a common area for all and no rental doc.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 7, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
This sounds like an oral rental agreement, which is allowed in Virginia. The Code of Virginia states that within 30 days after the tenant returns possession to the landlord (return of the keys), an itemization of the deductibles, which are from damages to the premises, from the security deposit must be given in writing to the tenant. Then, within 45 days after the tenant returns possession to the landlord, the net amount of the security deposit must be returned to the tenant. Generally, a...

Q: Can I sue landlord for overcharging me rent? I live in a senior citizen complex and was given a new lease in Virginia.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 7, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
You may certainly sue the landlord for overcharging you rent since this is a breach of contract claim. The rent amount that you are obligated to pay is reflected in your new lease contract. Anything over that amount is an overcharge.

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