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Virginia Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Military Law for Virginia on
Q: I live in VA and retired from the military. I have a DD214, and my home of record is Texas. Can I break my lease?

I have the SCRA clause in my lease.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Oct 26, 2022

The SCRA limits anyone from taking a judgment against a service member when he or she is called to active duty. Unless you share the lease for review -- which you should not do in an open on-line forum -- I have no idea what your SCRA clause says, but I would take a wild guess that it has nothing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Is emergency protection order sufficient justification to break a rental lease?

VA Code § 55.1-1236 (2021)

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Oct 14, 2022

It would be incompetent to answer this without a factual inquiry and interview, and the Internet in an open forum is not the correct place to get that. Seek counsel licensed on the applicable jurisdiction, and secure a consult.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a landlord serve a 60 day notice and after 20 days issue a 5 day pay or quit notice in Roanoke Virginia.

Lease expired in May now it is month to month but no new lease since May the problem occurred because rent is owed for September and for October. The 5 day notice says that after 5 days he can take possession of house and anything in it.

Jennifer Alettia French
Jennifer Alettia French
answered on Oct 7, 2022

When you fail to pay rent the landlord serves you with a written 5 day pay or quit notice in the first step towards an eviction. If rent is not paid within 5 days, the landlord then must file a summons for unlawful detainer in the court in which the property resides. Virginia does not permit... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Property seller violates multiple laws, purchaser has hard evidence, judge ignores. What happened?

Edit:

55.1-1204 Section C says Mr Sternberg is incorrect in his answer. He also says perjury and discrimination against protected classes is "irrelevant". I need someone who cares about those things and the law to answer.

Some points (this box isn't enough for all... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Oct 4, 2022

Most of the facts in your question are irrelevant. A contract for land must be in writing or it is void. Depending on where you are, a writing can sometimes be lots of things short of a Purchase and Sale Agreement on the local Board of Realtors form. I think there is one DC case in which a check... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: What makes a tenant at sufferance in Virginia?

I have a cousin I let stay in an apartment of mine for the past 2 years, I do not collect rent from her, nor has she signed a lease. Two months ago, she wanted me to sign a paper for her saying that she paid $650 a month in rent. I told her no that it was illegal for me to do so. At that time I... Read more »

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger
answered on Oct 3, 2022

No, unfortunately not. You still have to go through the eviction process by filing with the court and having the court enter a judgment for possession in your favor. If you decide to hire an attorney to assist, I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I get out of a lease if the leasing office lied about smoke history?

We just signed a lease for an apartment in Virginia. After moving in, my wife complained of a chemical smell covering a cigarette smoke smell. The leasing office claimed the prior tenant did not smoke, and maintenance claimed it was to cover up curry. My wife just found a pile of cigarettes in a... Read more »

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger
answered on Sep 24, 2022

It's possible you could make a misrepresentation or fraudulent inducement argument, but if this goes to court you're going to need to be able to convince a judge that 1) the landlord told you it hasn't been smoked in; and 2) that it was smoke and not curry. If you decide to hire a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Foreclosure for Virginia on
Q: In Arlington VA I need to evict previouse owner from a foreclosed home. Is this a 3 or 5 days notice? I need assistance

In Arlington VA , I need to evict previouse owner from a foreclosed home. Is this a 3 or 5 days notice? advice ?

I need REASONABLE professional assistance.

James H. Wilson Jr.
PREMIUM
James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Sep 8, 2022

A former owner of real estate that was sold at a foreclosure auction becomes a tenant at sufferance after delivery of a deed from the substitute trustee. A tenant at sufferance is one who enters into possession of real property lawfully, but remains in possession unlawfully. After title to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: In Virginia how does one stop a landlord from passing on normal ware and tare expenses?

The lease says the resident shall pay for causing damage. Unethically, the landlord is passing on normal ware and tare expenses to their tenant. Without any contractual basis or notice the landlord added a $50 fee to the rent for repairing the refrigerator. Also, they did not provide an invoice for... Read more »

Jennifer Alettia French
Jennifer Alettia French
answered on Aug 1, 2022

It depends on how the lease agreement is worded. Usually residential leases are for a specific period of time (a year is standard) with the rent remaining the same for that year. The landlord can not change the rent midlease unless the lease allows for it to be unilaterally changed during the term... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Is the Property Management company liable for my stolen vehicle?

My vehicle was stolen from the garage in my high rise building. The security gate that allows entry into the garage has been broken for weeks. This allowed the thieves easy and clear entry. Is the property management company negligent and liable for damages?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Jul 26, 2022

A Virginia attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for a week. It could depend on a number of factors - other thefts in area, construction of gate, nature of breakage, terms of parking arrangements, etc. An investigation would need to address these and other possible issues. Good... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a landlord deny a physical, signed lease in preference for an electronic one?

Submitted a physical lease prior to the expiration of my previous lease and was later informed that the property manager "did not accept paper leases" so I was charged several hundred more for the next month's rent because I had been transferred to a month-to-month... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
answered on Jul 15, 2022

That sounds like nonsense.

You may want a lawyer to help you. I would suggest a 'tenant assertion' to have the court declare that a lease exists and you are due refund/credit/lower rent payments on the lease. You would file the assertion in the General District Court for the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do I have a fighting chance in court

Recently my ex landlord hit me with a warrant in debt for back rent. They are claiming i haven't paid rent in 2 years which is ridiculous since my lease was year to year. The only time that i did not pay rent was for a six month period when my heat went out and other things that needed major... Read more »

Elaine Jarvis
Elaine Jarvis
answered on Jul 7, 2022

First of all: make sure (absolutely sure) you show up at the first return and ask to contest everything and do NOT admit to owing anything. Then I would think about talking to a lawyer because it would appear that you do have defenses--and this assumes the lease is in Virginia:

1. You...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do I need to give notice to a person staying in my property in the state of Virginia? More details below.

Does not pay rent and is not in a lease agreement. Property damage has occurred by this person. If a notice needs to be given how long? Also do I need to go through the court system as in an eviction?

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger
answered on May 31, 2022

If you're going to evict based on non-payment or property damage, then you do need to give notice and evict through the court process. If you're evicting based on a person who has no tenancy rights then arguably no notice is required, but even then, the safest thing to do is give notice.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: How can I file a civil suit against an evicted tenant for over $100k in damages and costs?
Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger
answered on Apr 23, 2022

You'd just file a complaint for breach of contract in Virginia Circuit Court for the unpaid rent and any other damages (like property damage) and then serve the former tenants with the complaint. I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help if you decide to hire a lawyer. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: What is the definition of lease term?

After proper notification of termination of Virginia Association of Realtors Property Management Agreement, can prior property manager continue to collect management fees after new lease agreement is made with tenant by new property manager.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Apr 5, 2022

It depends on what the contracts you signed said. Either read them yourself or retain counsel to help you understand them. It's not a bad idea to read them before you sign them, too.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: short term 6 month lease was broken by tenant. deposit returned, had to pay broker fee to recruit new tenant. lawsuit

short term lease six month. Renter purchased a home 4 month later. Security deposit returned. I had to pay $,3000.00 broker fee to recruit new tenant. Now she has filed a lawsuit . Looking guidance

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Mar 29, 2022

Your description is not sufficiently clear. The tenant broke the lease. Nevertheless, you chose to return the full deposit without deducting for the rent or brokerage damages. Now, the tenant is suing you? Regardless of whether I understood you, you need a lawyer to review the facts. Perhaps it is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My niece’s mother passed in December, 2021. How do I get her live in boyfriend out of the home?
Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger
answered on Mar 29, 2022

You'd likely have to provide a 30 day notice and then file an unlawful detainer with the court if he doesn't leave (assuming the boyfriend was not given the home in the will). If you decide to hire an attorney, I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My landlord has given me a 60 day notice to leave as he “wants to sell” the home. We have been here a year and lease is

About to expire. I’ve talked with previous tenants and the landlord has done the same to them and refused offers that was given to buy. What can I do to stay?

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger
answered on Mar 13, 2022

It depends on the specific language in your lease agreement. If there's a provision that permits the owner to terminate the agreement for purposes of a sale, then you're in a more difficult position. I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to hep if you'd ie to hire an attorney. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence, Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My sister lives in Amherst, Virginia. A very controlling, manipulative, mentally unstable boyfriend won't leave.

How can she remove him and keep herself safe?

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger
answered on Feb 22, 2022

She needs to provide notice and then file the eviction paperwork with the court. I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to hep if you decide to hire an attorney. Good luck!

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I live in Va. My ex boyfriend is living in my home and wont leave.can I evict him? How long is the process?

He does not pay rent nor is he leasing. I own the home.I served 3 day eviction notice but he doesn't believe it's real and refuse to leave. Ive called police on him for harassing me in my home. He keeps attempting to hurt himself by falling down steps, falling on furniture and breaking... Read more »

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger
answered on Jan 25, 2022

Yes, you can evict him. The specific process depends on what your agreement with him was. Was there a signed lease? Did he pay rent or perform some service in exchange for living there. That impacts the type of notice you give. If you decide to hire a lawyer, I'm sure anyone who responds would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I have a tenant evicted who has not paid rent for over a year ?

This tenant refused to renew there lease last year stating they were moving and this fall filed bankruptcy.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof
answered on Jan 23, 2022

When the tenant/debtor filed bankruptcy and included in the bankruptcy the landlord as a creditor, there is an automatic stay on all existing claims by creditors against the tenant/debtor. If the tenant/debtor was discharged in the bankruptcy, all unsecured creditors are discharged/eliminated from... Read more »

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