5 Important FAQs for Virginia Landlords

Virginia landlords and tenants may be subject to the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA) codified in Chapter 13, Title 55 of the Virginia Code. As a Virginia landlord, you may automatically be subject to the VRLTA.

Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act Basics The VRLTA does not cover all landlords and tenants. To understand if the VRLTA applies to your individual situation, you should quickly review the Frequently Asked Questions page published by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the agency with administrative oversight responsibilities. This agency provides consumers with a ton of great information. You can access the FAQs page here.

Separate Requirements for Fairfax County, Virginia Landlords

As a landlord renting a home in Fairfax County, Virginia, you may also be subject to separate Fairfax County Code requirements. Fairfax County has adopted the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. Five Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Virginia Landlords

Based on my experience, these are the top five questions and answers for Virginia landlords, including Fairfax County landlords.

Question No. 1: Do I have to accept partial rent payments from a tenant?

Answer: Typically, Virginia landlords never have to accept partial rent payments. If your tenant refuses to pay or cannot pay the full amount, you can give her a notice to “Pay or Quit.” This notice allows you to seek eviction if she fails to tender full payment by a certain date.

Question No. 2: One of my tenants has a problem with his roommate. She would like to terminate her lease and move out, but her roommate would like to stay. Can she do this?

Answer: Your lease should address this. As tenants in common, each roommate should have signed your lease and is bound by the terms of your lease agreement. Each is separately responsible for paying your rent. If you want to help your tenant, you can ask her to find a suitable replacement tenant for a subletting arrangement. However, this decision should be yours entirely.

Question No. 3: Can I increase a tenant’s monthly rent payment?

Answer: Yes, but only with written notice and only if you can do so after your original lease expires.

Question No. 4: Do I have to extend a tenant’s lease beyond the original lease term?

Answer: No. You do not have to extend your lease. If your tenant refuses to leave at the end of the lease term, you can sue him for remaining as a “holdover.”

Question No. 5: Does my tenant have to clean my rental home when moving out?

Answer: Yes. However, the typical standard is your tenant has to restore your home to broom clean condition. If you want her to repaint or steam clean your carpets, you need to state such in your lease. Generally, your tenant’s obligation is to restore your home to its original condition before you rented it to her, minus reasonable wear and tear.

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