West's Code of Virginia in the GMUSL Library

Landlord/tenant law is fairly straight forward, with a well-developed set of statutes and case law.

General Information
  • Virginia has two sets of statutes that apply to different landlord/tenant situations.
  • In Virginia, a person is a tenant when both the landlord and the tenant agree that the tenant has the right to occupy the rental property without requiring the permission of someone else. See Va Code § 55-248.4 (definition of tenant).
Information for Landlords
  • You should have an attorney. When working with Legal Services, I would often win cases for tenants because the landlord had made a mistake that an attorney would have easily caught.
  • Virginia law broadly defines rent as all money listed in the lease that the tenant pays the landlord, except for the security deposit. Va. Code § 55-248.4 (definition of rent). For this reason, courts will often consider unpaid utility fees as unpaid rent for the purposes of eviction, assuming the utility fee is included in the lease.
Information for Tenants
  • Think of your relationship with your landlord like a business relationship. Both you and your landlord are getting something out of the deal. Try not to take anything personally, and always try to work out any potential problems, like not being able to make the rent this month, before it becomes a legal issue.
  • There are private databases that collect public information about tenants who were involved in an eviction case. For this reason, it's in your best interest to settle a dispute with your landlord before the landlord files for a legal evictio .

The information on this page was last updated on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 11:13 AM

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