Landlord-Tenant Dispute Attorneys in Fairfax
Committed to Securing the Rights of Residents and Businesses in Fairfax
A person’s right to use and enjoy their property, to the full extent contemplated by the nature of their interest in the property, is important in both the real world and real estate law. Understandably, not everyone can be a landowner. However, those who are either unwilling or unable to purchase an ownership interest in real estate may enter into an agreement to lease a landowner’s property to obtain and exercise certain possessory rights. These arrangements are governed by the terms of the lease and the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, as appropriate.
Unfortunately, as a result of poorly-drafted leases and disagreements about the rights and responsibilities of the parties, lease arrangements do not always work as intended. Often, the issue involves a tenant’s failure to pay rent, as agreed, but more nuanced issues arise when there is a difference in opinion regarding maintenance responsibilities. If you are a party to a legal dispute between a landowner and one of their lessees, you should call Keithley Law, PLLC to consult one of our skilled landlord-tenant dispute attorneys in Fairfax about your case. Our legal team at Keithley Law, PLLC has decades of combined legal experience with various real estate matters, including disputes between a landlord and their tenants.
Call Keithley Law, PLLC at (703) 454-5147 to learn more about how our team of attorneys can help you.
Just Resolutions for Landlord-Tenant Disputes
A typical lease grants limited property rights to a lessee in exchange for their promise to pay rents. Leases can come in different “shapes and sizes,” so to speak. Leases can vary with respect to the length of time for which a landlord grants a tenant the exclusive right to possess and use the property (typically a year) and the conditions that will terminate the tenant’s leasehold rights (the expiration of a fixed lease term or violation of the lease).
A residential lease implies certain warranties regarding the property’s habitability, and these tenant protections can be found in the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, among other sources, including housing codes. Commercial leases can involve any number of conditions relevant to all aspects of the tenant’s leasehold interests in the property and are less heavily regulated than residential leases. However, when a landlord-tenant dispute arises, it is best for the parties to find a quick solution to their conflict to minimize the ensuing damages that either or both of them might sustain.
The legal team at Keithley Law, PLLC is committed to providing comprehensive counsel regarding the following landlord-tenant issues:
- Breach of rental agreement: A party’s breach of a lease agreement may trigger legal remedies, including an order returning possession of a property to the landlord and a judgment for unpaid rent or damages to the rental unit.
- Tenant’s Assertion Litigation: The tenant’s assertion is the tenant’s primary remedy, under the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, and, under certain circumstances, allows a tenant to pay rent directly to the court, as opposed to the landlord, until disputes regarding maintenance and repairs are resolved.
- Indemnification for tortious damage to property: Many lease agreements contain a provision that requires a tenant to indemnify the landlord from liability in the event the tenant’s negligence causes damage to nearby property.
- Subletting rights and limitations: Residential lease agreements limit or completely restrict the tenant’s right to further rent the property to others.
- Building code compliance and violations: Residential and commercial properties must comply with applicable safety and building code regulations. Violations may result in penalties and can sometimes excuse the other party’s failure to pay rent, among other contractual obligations.
- Habitability issues: The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act imposes an implied warranty of habitability for residential properties used for rental purposes. Breach of this implied warranty may serve as the basis for a claim of constructive eviction, which can relieve a tenant of further obligation under a lease based on the theory that the tenant is not receiving the benefits associated with adequate housing.
- Eviction and unlawful detainer: The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act establishes specific procedures to terminate a tenant’s interests in the rental property. Compliance with these procedures is crucial to successfully evict a tenant and dispossess them of their rights to the rental property, and cases are often dismissed based on technical issues with notice and service, among other issues.
Don’t Wait – Call the Legal Team at Keithley Law, PLLC Today
Whether you are a residential or commercial landowner or lessee, your rights as a party to a lease agreement deserve adamant protection and staunch advocacy. At Keithley Law, PLLC, our attorneys have the necessary skill and sophisticated knowledge of landlord-tenant laws to help ensure you reach a fair and reasonable solution to your legal issues. You can count on us to provide personalized legal solutions backed by decades of combined legal experience practicing landlord-tenant law.