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Virginia Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
3 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a Landlord Lock a commercial tenant out without notice
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 30, 2020

In Virginia with regard to a commercial lease, the terms and conditions that are embodied in the four corners of the lease agreement control the rights and obligations of the parties. If the commercial lease provides that the landlord may change the locks if the tenant does not fulfill a provision... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Juvenile Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Are their any laws that prevent a parent of an 18 year old from going to see their lover or friends

Also are there any laws that prevent a toxic, controlling parent from controlling an 18 year old’s life

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

I regret that I do not handle family law or juvenile law cases. Sorry.

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My notice wasnt written so charging me 2 months rent. Is this legal?

Roughly 4-6 months ago I made an in person appointment to talk about the lease date and to tell them we were leaving on the lease date. Now we are just leaving and they are saying that we didnt provide a written notice, so they are charging me a "fee" equal to 2 months rent($3000) and... Read more »

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

The Virginia Code requires a "written" notice to be given by either the tenant or the landlord to terminate the lease. This is the law. It is probable that the lease provided for a "written" notice as well so if that is the case, you are bound by the contract.

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3 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Is a landlord allowed to ask for rent when the tenant has not occupied the apt in a whole month due to repairs.

We've been out of our apt for a month now because the tenants above us caught a fire. The repairs have taken way longer than they were supposed to and now the landlord is asking for us to pay rent.

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

The lease should control the answer to your questions. Generally, if the landlord has not delivered possession of the premises to the tenant, the rent is not due and payable from the tenant to the landlord. If another tenant caused you to be displaced from the premises because of a fire, the other... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: What happens if my landlord exceeds 45 day period for security deposit return and didn't notify me of final inspection?

My original lease was supposed to end March 31st, 2020. Property Manager said that I needed a 60 day notice to terminate lease, so I paid for April to satisfy lease agreement. My security deposit should have been returned by June 15. When I messaged her for an update on that date, she said she was... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 25, 2020

The Virginia Code requires a landlord to allow the tenant a move out inspection and to be present for that inspection. If the landlord failed to allow the tenant to attend the move out inspection, it is a breach of the lease.

The Virginia Code also requires the landlord to either provide...
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3 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Civil Rights, Juvenile Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a parent legally restrict an 18 year old that still lives under their roof from leaving the house.

Are their any laws that prevent a parent of an 18 year old from going to see their lover or friends

Also are there any laws that prevent a toxic, controlling parent from controlling an 18 year old’s life

Afsana Chowdhury
Afsana Chowdhury answered on Jun 24, 2020

Once they’re 18, they’re an adult and get to make their own decisions. You cannot force an adult to stay in your home if they don’t want to. But you can make an adult leave your home as long as you follow the law in doing so.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can my apartment manager force me to take down a security camera installed in my window? They make me take down pictures
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 20, 2020

It depends on what is provided in your residential lease contract. If the lease prohibits no security cameras, then there is a prohibition. If the lease is silent on security cameras, there is no prohibition.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a lot owner landlord tell me to take down my security cameras even though I own mobile home

Says I will get evicted if not taken down within 24 hours says nothing in my lease about not having cameras and had them since 2015 help I have them to protect me and my vehicles my neighbor constantly harasses me and he is sick and tired of seeing videos of him harassing me so I got a letter... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 19, 2020

To the extent that your lease does not prohibit the security cameras, you do not have an obligation to taken them down as the landlord has requested.

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can my landlord evict me or refuse to renew my lease if I have a service dog?

Miley States that I can have one cat but my doctor just informed me that I qualify for a service dog. My question is if I get the service dog can my landlord evict me or refuse to renew my lease

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 15, 2020

I regret that I do not handle matters that involve service dogs. That is a specialized area of law. Sorry.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I ask someone to leave my house, from a verbal agreement that he pay his rent by buying groceries and cooking?

He is my daughter's boyfriend, and we had a verbal agreement, nothing written.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 13, 2020

In Virginia, an oral agreement is considered a contract. When's purpose is a residential lease, all the legal requirements embodied in the Code of Virginia for a landlord-tenant matter are applicable. If your daughter's boyfriend is seen by the law as a tenant, you must proceed with a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Is it allowed for the landlord to increase a month-to-month rent during corona in VA? I heard rent increases are on hold
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 12, 2020

The Supreme Court of Virginia has suspended all new eviction cases in the Commonwealth of Virginia for tenants unable to pay rent as a result of COVID-19 through April 6. and then the eviction moratorium has been extended through June 28. I saw no order by the Governor that placed a freeze on... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I have a former tenant who was served a 30 Day Notice on 5/14. She vacated on 5/21 but still has items in the home.

I reside in the home. I have not changed the locks so that she may get her items but she has become very belligerent and maliciously leaving messes so that I have to clean them up. She will only come when I am at work and then I clean up when I get home. Three times she has left the doors standing... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 8, 2020

You may want to seek a "Protective Order" from the General District Court in the jurisdiction (city/county) in which the premises is located. Ask the Court to prohibit her ability to enter the premises.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: How do I lawfully evict a family member who lives in the same house as me in the State of Virginia?

Is there a law or statue that I can look at in order to gain more information? There is no lease, they live here without any preconditions. I'm hoping this might point me in the right direction.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 8, 2020

For a matter as you describe in Virginia, I think your best course of action is to go to the General District Court in the jurisdiction (city/county) where you live and ask them for the brochure/pamphlet for an Unlawful Detainer action.

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Are there legal/civil repercussions I can take for an apartment complex charging more rent than what’s on the lease?

I signed a lease for August 2019 to August 2020 at a college apartment complex in Lynchburg. The lease states that I will be charged $450 per month for rent. I have just been made aware that they have been charging $500 a month. I never knew because I paid for the whole leasing term in August. They... Read more »

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

You have two alternatives. You can bring a small claims lawsuit for the excess/overage amount of rent in the General District Court of Lynchburg. You can also contact the Virginia Attorney General's Office and make a formal complaint.

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Return deposit when one tenant leaves and others stay?

I am a landlord in Virginia. We have three tenants. Two renewed the lease and one wants to leave. The deposit check was written by the mother of one of the remaining tenants, but I believe all three payed her equally. Am I legally bound to return a portion of the deposit to the tenant leaving... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 4, 2020

The roommates should figure it out among themselves. Generally in Virginia, the landlord has no duty to the tenants to apportion the return of the security deposit, unless the lease provides otherwise.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can my landlord keep my security deposit?

I gave my landlord notice that I was moving about 4 months before the move-out date (via text). About a month before the move-out date, I told him I may move out a little early (a couple of weeks), but I didn't know the exact date. I ended up moving about a week early. Now, he wants to charge... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 4, 2020

Based on what you stated in your inquiry, you were still a tenant under a written residential lease. If that assumption is correct, the terms of the lease will control the type of notice and the period of time within which the notice must be given by the tenant to the landlord. If you complied with... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can the landlord add damages after the walkthrough?

My landlord did a walkthrough of my apartment after I moved out and told me at the time that there were only minor damages. Then, a few weeks later, he sent me a letter with a list of other expenses he is withholding from my security deposit that he said had to be done. He did not mention these... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 4, 2020

You have the right to challenge the landlord's deductions for damages from your security deposit. You will have to file a lawsuit against the landlord with the court where the premises are located and prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. You may want to hire an attorney to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: If our landlord is taking a long time to repair the air conditioning, do we have any legal recourse?

We have been without AC for 2 weeks, and have a toddler and 70 lb dog living in the home. Due to the current situation in the outside world, we can't really go anywhere to escape the heat during the day. It is 84 degrees in all the bedrooms. The landlord told us that we could break lease... Read more »

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

AC is a necessity in a residential lease. The Landlord has a legal obligation to make sure the AC is working. If the AC is not working in hot weather, you should call the Office of Housing Code Enforcement for the county/city where the premises is located and make a formal complaint. An Inspector... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Collections and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Warrant in Debt for a tenant; judgement 9/2/15 Wants to settle. Do we go to Clerk of Court or how do I proceed?

Contacted me yesterday. I want to make sure I do everything right!

Do we go to Clerk of Court to exchange money, does she bring $ to me then I contact courts its settled?

5 years have passed so its over $20k with the 6% interest. Can bankruptcy be filed to get out of it? But... Read more »

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

At anytime in the process, the parties to the dispute can settle the dispute/judgment by one paying the other an amount of money that is agreed upon. A simple written and signed settlement agreement should be made part of the settlement to memorialized the agreement. After the funds have cleared... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Rent Increase + Intent to Vacate

Our apartment is requiring 60-days notice of our Intent to Vacate but it is now 16 days prior to when we'll need to give this notice and they have yet to provide what our rent increase will be despite asking several times. Is there a timeframe they are required to provide this by prior to the... Read more »

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

The answer to your question depends on what is stated in the residential lease for the deadline date that the landlord to provide you with the notice as to what will be the rent increase. There is no provision in the Virginia Code that addresses this issue. It is a contract matter.

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