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Virginia Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
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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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Having issues with tenant. I asked landlord for meeting. She said she didn't want to and she didn't feel like it.

She told my caseworker that it would be against the law for her to have a meeting with the two of us. I just wanted to know if this is true.

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

I know of no law in Virginia that would restrict a meeting between the landlord and the tenant with a case worker present.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: You My tenant is asking to see my contractors invoice for repairs due to pet damage.

This tenant is still in a lease until September. I invoiced her under the property management firm. Do I have to share my contractors invoice with her? We first used her non refundable pet deposit and then used a small portion of her security deposit. In our pet agreement its states that if a... Read more »

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

In Virginia, it is generally required for full disclosure. if you are demanding a payment, the law will require for you to disclose the basis and supporting documentation for the expense that you demand be repaid. Also in Virgjnia, a landlord is not permitted to apply the tenant's security deposit... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: We notified the apartment that we had 2 cats prior to moving in, now they claim they didn't know and require a $500 dep

We informed them before signing our lease in November. It has been noted on 2 separate occasions that we have cats, and our deposit was more at the time of signing than we were quoted. We assumed that was for the cat deposit. Now they say they did not know about the cats, and we owe a $500... Read more »

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

This is a question of fact. If there is a dispute and it goes to court, the party who brings the claim against the other will have to bear the burden of proof to establish the true facts surrounding the dispute. It may be less expensive to pay the $500 deposit but that is a decision you must made.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My move in date is March 6, my first payment is supposed to be April 1, for the period of March 6-31. When do we pay?

The lease had a mistake on it that was not caught until after signatures and deposit was paid. The lease states, lease term will begin on March 6, 2020 through March 31 2021. It then further states, If the lease begins on a day other than the first day of the month, the rent shall be prorated with... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Mar 2, 2020

This would generally be what is called a "Mutual Mistake of Fact." Generally, Virginia law requires the Contract be reformed to correct the mutual mistake. If both parties do not agree to reform the Contract, you would have to go to Court to ask a Judge to make a decision.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Fixed term lease that ends June 2021. Can the landlord break the lease to sell and ask us to move this spring?

We have lived here for 5 years, signing a new lease one time. Our current lease is up in 16 months but the landlord called and asked us if we would move early so they could sell the house this summer instead of next. Can they even do that? We have not broken the terms of the lease.

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

Under Virginia law, the existing residential lease remains binding and in effect if the current owner/landord sells the Property to a different party. Based on what you indicated that the "landlord asked us if....." it sounds like there is no demand but only a request being made by the landlord.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: The shelter can't verify the breed of my dog and the landlord wants him gone.

My landlord allows pets but has a restricted pet list which we are fine with. We rescued a dog from a shelter and sought to follow the rules and add the dog to the lease.

They refuse to add it and say it must go because the shelter and vet put it down as a mixed breed. They say I can't... Read more »

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

In Virginia, the rules and regulations regarding dogs that the Landlord makes part of the lease will control. This is not considered by the Courts to be an unreasonable restriction regarding dogs imposed by the Landlord.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Will I be evicted if I inform my landlord of my roommates marijuana usage?

My roommate has been a couple months behind rent and smokes weed inside our apartment. I have found residue and paraphernalia in his bathroom and his room. Since we are both listed on the lease, can I be evicted as well if I inform our landlord of his marijuana usage?

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

In Virginia, assuming your residential lease is the standard Virginia residential lease, all tenants are "jointly and severally liable" for the rent as well as to obey all other terms and conditions of the lease, like smoking weed in the Premises. If one tenant is bad/smokes weed in the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: New landlord is attempting to talk tenants into voiding their auto-renewed leases by signing new leases.

It is my understanding that a lease signed in Virginia prior to a new landlord taking possession of a property must be honored until said contract has expired. There are no other issues in dispute.

Is my understanding correct? Where is this stated in the VRLTA?

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

In Virginia, when there is an existing lease signed by a landlord and the tenant, after which the landlord sells the premises to a new owner/landlord, the new owner/landlord is obligated to take the premises subject to the terms and conditions of the existing lease, provided the tenant is not in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: In Virginia must I give a reason to the tenant as to why I want to terminate a month to month lease with a 30 day notice
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Feb 24, 2020

No reason is required to be given for the termination of a month to month tenancy. Virginia Code § 55.1-1253. (Effective October 1, 2019) Periodic tenancy; holdover remedies provides as follows:

A. The landlord or the tenant may terminate a week-to-week tenancy by serving a written notice...
Read more »

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