The Virginia Rental Lease Agreements are a set of legal forms, allowing a property owner or manager to temporarily cede control of their property to another party. If you wish to sell or lease property in Virginia, you will need a Real Estate Broker License. In addition, if you wish to sell or lease property that is part of a Community Association in Virginia, you will need a Common Interest Community Manager License.
While the most common type of lease is a One Year Lease, this page covers a variety of different kind of leases, from more temporary residential leases to commercial leases and subleases. Each of these leases is different, and will contain unique conditions and clauses based on the property and what it is intended to be used for. As such, all leases should be read carefully, and both landlord and tenant should be aware of any local or state laws that may pertain to their lease.
Form Description Types
Virginia Rental Laws
Laws are pursuant to Virginia Code Annotated, Title 55, Chapter 13.
Most landlords will wish to charge a security deposit, to pay for any reasonable wear and tear on the property. In Virginia, a landlord can charge a maximum of two (2) months rent for a security deposit. Under state law, the landlord must return the deposit within forty five (45) days after the tenant has moved out. If the tenant wishes, they have the right to be present for the final inspection of the property.
In addition, if the landlord holds the security deposit for more than thirteen (13) months, they must pay interest on the deposit to the tenant. The interest must be equal to 4% percent below the Federal Reserve Board’s Discount Rate.
Regardless of the type or length of the lease, how much rent is, when it is due (typically the first of the month) and what forms are acceptable will be spelled out in the lease. There are no rent controlled areas in Virginia, so there is no legal limit to how much a landlord can charge for rent. If the tenant fails to pay the rent on time and in full, they may accrue a late fee. There is no limit, in Virginia, to how much a landlord can charge for a late fee, but a late fee policy must be spelled out in the lease.
In a Month to Month Lease, a landlord must give the tenant thirty (30) days written notice before increasing or decreasing the rent. In a One Year Lease the rent may not be altered in any way, unless a provision in the lease itself allows for an increase.
In a One Year or longer Lease, if the tenant violates the lease in such a way that it can be remedied (such as failing to pay rent, or acquiring a forbidden pet), then the landlord can serve them with written notice of their violation and give them twenty one (21) days to remedy it. If they do not, the landlord must give them an additional nine (9) days to move out before filing for eviction.
If the violation is not remediable, is the tenants second or more offense or is a threat to the health and safety of the other tenants in the property, the landlord can file an Unconditional Quit Notice. The landlord must then give the tenant thirty (30) days to move out before filing for eviction.
In the case of a Month to Month Lease, the landlord can simply serve the tenant with written notice of the termination of their lease and give them thirty (30) days to move out before filing for eviction. Once the landlord has waited the appropriate amount of time (depending on the reason for terminating the lease) they must go to the local court and have a hearing where they file for an Eviction Notice.
Until a tenant has been served with an eviction notice, the landlord cannot alter the locks, tamper with utilities, install a deadbolt or otherwise attempt to force the tenant out of the property.
In Virginia, the following groups are protected from housing discrimination:
- age (55 years or older) race, color, national origin, sex, religion, family status, physical or mental disability
- please note than sexual orientation and gender identity are not covered
Landlord’s Right to Enter
Unless it is an emergency situation, a landlord in Virginia is required to give the tenant twenty four (24) hours notice before entering the property for inspection or repair.