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Virginia Tenant Rights

Virginia Tenant Rights


What are Virginia Tenant Rights?

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act establishes the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants in the state of Virginia. The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act applies to all rental agreements in the state. 

Virginia Tenant Rights: Security Deposit Limits and Deadlines

Security deposits are required by the bulk of rental agreements and residential leases in the state of Virginia. Security deposits are dollar amounts—typically one month’s rent—intended to cover damage to the dwelling beyond normal wear and tear. Moreover, the security deposit will cushion the financial blow if the tenant defaults on their rent. Listed below are frequently asked questions associated with Virginia Tenant Rights as they pertain to security limits:

Do Virginia Tenant Rights Laws limit how much a landlord may charge a tenant for a security deposit?

• Yes, according to Virginia tenant rights laws, landlords may only charge their tenants the equivalent of two months’ rent for a security deposit.

What Happens when a Tenant Moves Out? What—according to Virginia Tenant Rights—is the deadline for returning a security deposit?

• According to VA Tenant Rights, landlords must return the tenant’s security deposit within 45 days follow the move or the surrender of the rental property (vacating the property and returning the keys to the landlord)

Does My Landlord—according to VA Tenant Rights—responsible for providing me with information as it pertains to my security deposit?

Yes, in addition to adhering to Virginia Tenant Rights laws concerning the limits and how the deposit must be returned, all landlords in Virginia must pay accrued interest on deposits at an annual rate equivalent to 4% below the Federal Reserve Board discount rate

Virginia Tenant Rights: Evictions

Virginia Tenant Rights concerning evictions are outlined under the Writ of Possession ruling; the Writ of Possession concerning evictions are court orders authorizing the Sheriff to remove a person from a premise, effectively returning possession to the landlord. Typically, the court will not issue a Writ of Possession until the appeal period is exhausted. The appeal period to fight an eviction under VA tenant rights is ten calendar days. 

Every tenant in the United States possesses the legal right to reside in a rental space unless and until the landlord follows the legal process for evictions. The process for evictions depends on whether the tenant’s rental house is covered by the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Acts. Listed below are some frequently asked questions attached to VA tenant rights as it pertains to evictions:

What kind of eviction notice will my landlord give me?

• No matter the reason, Virginia landlords must provide you with a written notice in order to start the eviction process. That being said under VA tenant rights, you do not have to move just because a Virginia landlord provided you with a written eviction notice?

Is an Oral Notice Sufficient for a Virginia Eviction?

• No, Virginia Tenant Rights make it so a landlord’s oral notice is not sufficient to start the eviction process or force a removal. Oral notices—according to VA tenant rights–should not allow the landlord to start the eviction process and you will not need to move just because a landlord has provided you with an oral notice

What Type of Notice will my Landlord give me in a non-payment matter?

• If a Virginia landlord wants you out for failing to pay rent, the landlord is required—according to Virginia tenants’ rights—to provide you with a written notice to either move or pay rent in 5 days. If you pay the rent in 5 days you can maintain living in your space. If you fail to make payment within this time, the landlord will begin the eviction process by filing the matter with the General District Court. Evictions—to be finalized under VA tenant rights—require the inclusion of the state’s court system.