Virginia, home of the Blue Ridge mountains, the Chesapeake Bay and beautiful Virginia Beach. Overall, Virginia is moderately landlord friendly. However, the pandemic has created a more tenant-friendly climate.
At a Glance:
Late Fees: Virginia does not have a stated late fee limit.
Security Deposit: Landlord may not collect more than the amount equal to two months rent.
Returned Payment Fee Limit: There are specific laws around NSF (insufficient funds) fees and they can be no more than $50.
Notice to Enter: State of Virginia requires 72 hours’ notice before entering for non-emergencies.
Application Fee/Late Fee/Returned Check Fee
Late Fee: In Virginia landlord tenant law, there is no stated limitations placed on the amount of a late fee that can be charged to the tenant. However, it must be specified in the lease and should not be an unreasonable amount.
Returned Payment Fees: In accordance with Virginia Code § 8.01-27.1., a landlord may charge a tenant interest from the date of the returned check in addition to a returned payment fee, plus a processing fee of no more than $50 for a returned check. If the landlord must take the tenant to court he/she may charge the tenant reasonable attorney fees. This law is the same for electronic transfers such as ACH deposits.
Virginia landlord tenant law limits the amount of security deposit to no more than 2 months rent.
Once the tenant vacates the rental property, the landlord must return the full amount within thirty days. If the tenant owes rent, other charges or has caused physical damages beyond normal wear and tear, the landlord may make deductions, and provide the tenant with a statement and any balance left, if applicable.
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The landlord is required to provide a habitable rental premises for tenants. If the tenant requests repairs, these must be made in a “reasonably timely” manner. Virginia law does not state an exact timeframe.
Right of Entry
Virginia’s laws for the steps the landlord must take for entry have been recently changed. Now the landlord must provide tenants at least 72 hours’ notice. It used to be 24 hours’ notice.
During a state of emergency, particularly based on a pandemic, tenants may provide written notice to the landlord that they do not want non-emergency maintenance conducted. If a tenant provides this notice, the landlord can only enter the home to conduct non-emergency maintenance once every six months.
Emergencies can be handled as usual.
Notice to End Lease
Year to year leases or Fixed term are as specified in the lease agreement. There are no written statutes providing a time frame.
Month to month leases would require at least three months notification.
Week to week, requires at least thirty days’ notice.
Non-Payment of Rent: When a tenant fails to pay rent, 5 days’ notice to pay or quit is needed.
**IMPORTANT** Until July 1, 2022, all landlords must provide tenants who fail to pay rent on time a 14-day “pay or quit” notice (read up on other lingering eviction rules and state eviction moratoriums here). There is more, landlords who own five or more rental dwelling units must allow the tenant to enroll into a payment arrangement to pay off the balance owed.
Other Violations: For violations other than non-payment of rent or illegal activity, the landlord must provide to the tenant a 30 Days’ Notice to Cure or Quit. If a tenant has already gotten a notice about the same violation, landlords do not have to provide any chance to the tenant to cure their behavior.
Illegal Activity: If a tenant commits or is involved in any illegal activity, the landlord can simply file for eviction with the court without providing advance notice to the tenant.
Read more about the eviction process in general if you have questions about it.
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