There are few relationships that can go sour faster than that of a landlord and tenant. Fortunately, the law provides for remedies and relief for both landlords and tenants.
One of the most important documents in the landlord and tenant relationship is a lease. However, in order for a lease to be enforceable it must contain the necessary covenants and language to make it binding upon both the landlord and the tenant. A well-thought-out lease will contain information including rent amounts, due date and any grace periods offered. Leases generally contain other information including any actions the tenant is prohibited from taking including putting nails in walls, having pets or sub-leasing. Rather than using a standard lease, a landlord should consider working with an attorney who can help you draft a lease that will protect your interests in your property. If your tenants are working under a prior lease, I can also review the existing lease and help you determine if the lease sufficiently protects your interests. Conversely, if a landlord fails to perform in accordance with the lease or the law, I can assist you in protecting your rights as a tenant under the lease.
Breach of Contract/Breach of Lease
When a tenant has violated their lease either by having another person living in the unit, causing damage to the property or not paying rent on time, these violations can be very costly to landlords. I can help you recover financially. I can help hold your tenant accountable for the breach, particularly if the tenant vacated the premises without proper notice.
When a tenant fails to meet their obligations to pay rent in a timely manner, landlords must follow a specific legal process beginning with a notice to cure the deficiency. If the tenant pays the back rent, the tenant may have the right to remain in the property. Otherwise, I can help you secure a summons for unlawful detainer to ensure they are not living in the property rent-free. This is the first step in the eviction process and one of the most important because it must be done properly to protect your rights.
As a tenant in Virginia, you have rights as soon as you move into the property. Whether or not your lease is governed by the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, let me fight for your rights when your landlord fails to comply with the lease or the law.
If you are a landlord and are facing issues with a tenant, or if you are a tenant having an issue with your landlord, contact me at (804) 358-2909 or email me for a case review.