Virginia Tenant Rights: What You Should Know

Virginia Tenant Rights: What You Should Know

Over 30% of Virginia residents are renters, making it essential that tenants are aware of their rights even when they don't have ownership in their homes. As a tenant, it is your responsibility to be educated on your rights and the responsibilities of a landlord.

As your living situation progresses, you will likely encounter some questions regarding each party's responsibilities and legal rights. Keep reading to learn more about Virginia tenant rights.

Foundation of A Rental Agreement 

It is vital to read the fine print when you are entering into a leasing agreement. Rent is typically the largest monthly expense that an individual incurs. 

The relationship between a landlord and tenant is based on mutual trust and a legally binding contract. This contractual binding is established when someone who owns a property, the landlord, leases it out for a set time. Based on your contract and state of residence, the legal obligations that come with this contract may vary. 

Required Disclosure Laws

In Virginia, it is required that landlords disclose specific information to tenants before entering into a contract. This must include specific information such as the condition of the home before move-in, the identity of people authorized to act on the landlord's behalf, and any evidence of mold. 

Deposit Limit and Return 

Under Virginia law, a landlord can only charge a security deposit for two months' rent or damage insurance.

This protection helped to ensure that landlords do not abuse the power they receive from being in a position of ownership. These laws also ensure that a deposit will be returned within 45 days of the tenant leaving the premises.  

Bounced Checks and Rent Rules 

Bad checks are not always a true indicator of someone's inability to pay their rent. When a tenant's check for rent bounces they have five days to fulfill their payment or move. After this time, landlords can proceed with filing an eviction.

Your landlord can place a financial penalty for a bad check. This financial fee can not exceed fifty dollars. If your landlord attempts to charge you more they would violate Va. Code Ann. § 55.1-1200.

Contract Termination and Eviction Rules 

To evict a tenant, your landlord must give you a termination notice. This gives you time and notice before being removed from your home. As a tenant, you may live in a constant fear that your landlord may terminate your contact and evict you.

In Virginia, the tenant can approach this situation with a bit of ownership. If your landlord opts to file for eviction they must give you 30 days' notice to move out before filing. 

Know Your Virginia Tenant Rights 

Feeling secure in your housing contract should be a basic right. It is easy to be abused by a lack of information when it comes to these legal matters. It is beneficial that any renter is well versed in Virginia tenant rights. 

Connect with us to learn more about property management and how can take an active role in your home, even without ownership. 

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