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COVID-19 Virginia Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
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: 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I rent a horse barn for running my horse business. My landlord will not allow me to conduct my business b/c of COVID-19

I wrote the VA Governor's office to see what guidelines for running my business, where they said I am able as long as I follow guidelines. Also, our County Sheriff informed us we are not in violation.

Is the landlord able to legally shut down my business

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 7, 2020

There is nothing in the Virginia Code that addresses your factual situation. Your commercial lease may have terms and conditions that address the rights of the landlord and the tenant in your factual situation. if you cannot resolve the matter with the landlord, you will have to seek a decision by... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do we have to let the landlord show the property during this stay at home order?

Our landlord put the house on the market, and wants to show the property. We do not feel comfortable having strangers in here with our 2 young kids (plus landlord is a doctor, so she’s not exactly risk-free). Is showing a house considered “essential business” during a stay at home order?

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

Generally in Virginia, the residential lease controls the authority of a landlord to show the Premises provided there is reasonable advanced notice given by the landlord to the tenant. You should review the lease to identify that provision. Since the Covid-19 crisis is a matter of first impression... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Dear Esq: my daughter had to leave her off campus apartment after COVID19 cancelled everything. She and

her three roomates have paid their rent each month but now the apartment is empty (3 roomates also left -entire town is deserted). I have recently read about the 'force majeure'. With all the death going on everywhere and in that town as well, is this such an event? The students are... Read more »

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

The legal definition of "force majeure" is an unforeseeable circumstances that prevents someone from fulfilling a contract. Generally, a pandemic is not an unforeseeable circumstance since they have occurred many times in the past. Unless the residential lease provides that a pandemic is... Read more »

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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 »

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