What Are the Virginia Tenant Laws for Eviction? A Guide

What Are the Virginia Tenant Laws for Eviction? A Guide

Failure to pay rent, violating rules, and committing a crime are reasons to evict a tenant. However, some tenants refuse to leave and continue to create problems in the property.

Tenant laws state your rights and responsibilities in the contract. It also protects your relationship with the tenant and your property. If you live in Virginia, you may notice that tenant laws follow different standards compared to other states.

Read on to learn more about Virginia tenant laws for eviction.

1. Issuance of Notice

The landlord needs to end the rental contract to evict the tenant. With this, you or your property manager need to issue a notice to your tenant. There are specific types of orders you can issue in different situations.

If a tenant fails to pay rent, give them a five-day notice. The tenant has 5 days to pay, or else they need to move out.

You can issue a thirty-day notice when the tenant violated the rules in the agreement. The tenant can fix the problem within 21 days if it’s a minor issue. Grave violations, such as damaging the unit, require a 30-day notice.

2. Filing a Lawsuit

A landlord can't force evict a tenant. Following the Virginia tenant laws, only a law enforcement officer can evict a tenant. With this, you can file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant when they fail to perform.

Ask for a summons to your local district court. The court should set the trial 21-30 days after filing the complaint. A law enforcement officer will serve the complaint to the tenant 10 days before the hearing.

3. Proceed to Trial

Gather evidence proving the negligence of the tenant before you head to the trial. Prepare a copy of the agreement, rent payment records, and other documents to prove your claim. The district judge ruling the case will review your arguments.

However, the hearing can last longer if the tenant appeals. It’s a tenant's right to defend themselves. You can find out more of these on the Virginia landlord-tenant act.

4. Writ of Eviction

You need to request the writ of eviction if the trial conclusion is in your favor. It’s the final eviction notice for the tenant. You can only ask for the writ of eviction within 180 days, or you must go through the eviction process again.

A law enforcement officer will deliver the warrant to the tenant within 30 days after receiving it. The tenant has 72 hours to leave the unit. The officer will force them to move out when they fail to do so.

5. Possession Removal

It’s typical for tenants to leave things when they move out. Landlords need to include the 24-hour policy in the notice. This document states that the landlord can remove these items after 24 hours.

The 10-day notice is applicable when you didn’t include a possession removal statement. The tenant has 10 days to claim their belongings. You can dispose of or sell the items when not claimed within the given days.

Make it a practice to conduct a screening for your tenants to avoid these situations.

Virginia Tenant Laws for Eviction

It’s vital to know the Virginia tenant laws you need to follow. It lets you know the steps to take to evict a tenant. The tenant laws include the conditions need to meet before issuing a notice.

If you have more queries on the Virginia landlord-tenant act, contact us here!

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