If you are a landlord in Virginia, you might be wondering how your rights and responsibilities compare to those of your tenants. Here's an overview of Virginia landlord tenant laws that may help you navigate any disputes with your tenant. These laws outline your responsibilities as a property owner, as well as those of your tenants. They also cover security deposits, evictions, and repairs that landlords should do before renting out their properties.
Landlord's Right To Entry
If you're a landlord and want to enter your tenant's home, you have the right to do so. However, there are specific rules that must be followed in order to access the premises legally.
The first step is to give written notice at least 24 hours before entering the property. This can be done by either mailing or hand-delivering an official letter informing them of your intent and providing them with an exact date/time frame when they can expect you on site.
If no response is received within three days after sending this letter (or if no notice was given), landlords may enter without further information as long as they provide 24 hours advance notice before entering again in future visits.
Landlords may enter dwelling units only for maintenance purposes, such as repairs or inspections, emergencies, or when there are reasonable grounds to believe that:
- The tenant has abandoned or surrendered possession of the rental property (i.e., left without paying rent)
- There is an imminent threat to other tenants' health and safety due to illegal activity occurring inside
- When there is an emergency such as a fire or flood
When Tenants Can Sue For A Breach Of A Warranty Of Habitability
When a tenant is renting an apartment or house, the landlord is responsible for keeping the premises in good condition. This includes making sure that the unit is safe and habitable. If any problems with your unit make living unsafe or uncomfortable, you should report them to your landlord immediately.
If you cannot live in your home because of something like mold or water damage that has gone untreated by your landlord, then you may have a case against them under Virginia law.
When Can A Tenant Withhold Rent?
A tenant can withhold rent if the landlord fails to perform certain duties. Virginia law requires that landlords provide their tenants with certain maintenance and repair services, such as fixing broken windows and providing working locks on doors. If a landlord fails to perform these duties within a reasonable amount of time after being notified of the need for repairs, then a tenant may be able to withhold payment until they receive adequate compensation for their trouble.
Virginia Code Providing Notice To End Tenancy
In order to end a tenancy, you must provide your tenant with written notice. The amount of time you must give depends on the type of lease agreement you have. If you're using a month-to-month lease, Virginia Code requires that you give 30 days' notice before terminating it. If it's an annual lease that has gone through its term without being renewed or terminated early by either party, Virginia Code requires 60 days' notice before terminating it (this includes leases lasting more than one year).
Virginia Laws On Late Fees, Termination Fees And NSF Fees
- In Virginia, landlords must allow a reasonable grace period for receiving rent payments. If your tenant misses the deadline to pay their rent, you cannot immediately evict them for nonpayment. The exact amount of time varies depending on whether it's their first or second late payment within 12 months
- The landlord is also required by law to give written notice before any fees or penalties can be charged against the tenant's security deposit. This means that even if damages done during your tenant's stay at your property were not caused by them (such as broken windows), you still cannot charge them for those repairs unless there was an agreement made beforehand about what would happen if such damage occurred.