How Do I Tell a Tenant in Virginia the Lease Will Not Be Renewed?
Under Virginia law, either party may terminate a rental agreement which is for a term of a year or more by giving written notice to the other at least three months prior to the termination date; if the tenancy is month-to-month, 30 days' notice is required. However, the rental agreement may require a longer period of notice.
At the termination of the term of tenancy, whether by expiration of the rental agreement or by reason of default by the tenant, the tenant shall promptly vacate the premises, removing all items of personal property and leaving the premises in good and clean order, reasonable wear and tear excepted. If the tenant fails to vacate, the landlord may bring an action for possession and damages, including reasonable attorney's fees.
Review the terms of your lease carefully to ensure compliance with regard to notice of termination. If a security deposit was made, an itemized statement must also be provided.
Please see the following VA statutes to determine applicability:
§ 55-222. Notice to terminate a tenancy; on whom served; when necessary. —
A tenancy from year to year may be terminated by either party giving
three months' notice, in writing, prior to the end of any year of the
tenancy, of his intention to terminate the same. A tenancy from month to
month may be terminated by either party giving 30 days' notice in
writing, prior to the next rent due date, of his intention to terminate
the same. In addition to the termination rights set forth above, and
notwithstanding the terms of the lease, the landlord may terminate the
lease due to rehabilitation or a change in the use of all or any part of
a building containing at least four residential units, upon 120 days'
prior written notice to the tenant. Changes shall include but not be
limited to conversion to hotel, motel, apartment hotel or other
commercial use, planned unit development, substantial rehabilitation,
demolition or sale to a contract purchaser requiring an empty building.
This 120-day notice requirement shall not be waived; however, a period of
less than 120 days may be agreed upon by both the landlord and tenant in
a written agreement separate from the rental agreement or lease executed
after such notice is given and applicable only to the 120-day notice
period. When such notice is to the tenant it may be served upon him or
upon anyone holding under him the leased premises, or any part thereof.
When it is by the tenant it may be served upon anyone who, at the time,
owns the premises in whole or in part, or the agent of such owner, or
according to the common law. This section shall not apply when, by
special agreement, no notice is to be given; nor shall notice be necessary
from or to a tenant whose term is to end at a certain time.
The written notice required by this section to terminate a tenancy
shall not be contained in the rental agreement or lease, but shall be a
§ 55-248.15:1. Security deposits. —
A. A landlord may not demand or receive a security deposit, however
denominated, in an amount or value in excess of two months' periodic
rent. Upon termination of the tenancy, such security deposit, whether it
is property or money, plus any accrued interest thereon, held by the
landlord as security as hereinafter provided may be applied solely by the
landlord (i) to the payment of accrued rent and including the reasonable
charges for late payment of rent specified in the rental agreement; (ii)
to the payment of the amount of damages which the landlord has suffered
by reason of the tenant's noncompliance with § 55-248.16, less reasonable
wear and tear; or (iii) to other damages or charges as provided in the
rental agreement. The security deposit, any accrued interest and any
deductions, damages and charges shall be itemized by the landlord in a
written notice given to the tenant, together with any amount due the
tenant within 45 days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of
Nothing in this section shall be construed by a court of law or
otherwise as entitling the tenant, upon the termination of the tenancy,
to an immediate credit against the tenant's delinquent rent account in
the amount of the security deposit. The landlord shall apply the security
deposit in accordance with this section within the 45-day time period.
The landlord shall notify the tenant in writing of any deductions
provided by this subsection to be made from the tenant's security deposit
during the course of the tenancy. Such notification shall be made within
30 days of the date of the determination of the deduction and shall
itemize the reasons in the same manner as provided in subsection B. Such
notification shall not be required for deductions made less than 30 days
prior to the termination of the rental agreement. If the landlord
willfully fails to comply with this section, the court shall order the
return of the security deposit and interest thereon to the tenant,
together with actual damages and reasonable attorneys' fees, unless the
tenant owes rent to the landlord, in which case, the court shall order an
amount equal to the security deposit and interest thereon credited
against the rent due to the landlord. In the event that damages to the
premises exceed the amount of the security deposit and require the
services of a third party contractor, the landlord shall give written
notice to the tenant advising him of that fact within the 45-day period.
If notice is given as prescribed in this paragraph, the landlord shall
have an additional 15-day period to provide an itemization of the damages
and the cost of repair. This section shall not preclude the landlord or
tenant from recovering other damages to which he may be entitled under
this chapter. The holder of the landlord's interest in the premises at
the time of the termination of the tenancy, regardless of how the
interest is acquired or transferred, is bound by this section and shall
be required to return any security deposit received by the original
landlord and any accrued interest that is duly owed to the tenant,
whether or not such security deposit is transferred with the landlord's
interest by law or equity, regardless of any contractual agreements
between the original landlord and his successors in interest.
B. The landlord shall:
1. Accrue interest at an annual rate equal to four percentage points
below the Federal Reserve Board discount rate as of January 1 of each
year on all property or money held as a security deposit. However, no
interest shall be due and payable unless the security deposit has been
held by the landlord for a period exceeding 13 months after the effective
date of the rental agreement or after the effective date of any prior
written or oral rental agreements with the same tenant, for continuous
occupancy of the same dwelling unit, such security deposit earning
interest which begins accruing from the effective date of the rental
agreement, and such interest shall be paid only upon termination of the
tenancy, delivery of possession and return of the security deposit as
provided in subsection A;
2. Maintain and itemize records for each tenant of all deductions from
security deposits provided for under this section which the landlord has
made by reason of a tenant's noncompliance with § 55-248.16 during the
preceding two years; and
3. Permit a tenant or his authorized agent or attorney to inspect such
tenant's records of deductions at any time during normal business hours.
C. Upon request by the landlord to a tenant to vacate, or within five
days after receipt of notice by the landlord of the tenant's intent to
vacate, the landlord shall make reasonable efforts to advise the tenant
of the tenant's right to be present at the landlord's inspection of the
dwelling unit for the purpose of determining the amount of security
deposit to be returned. If the tenant desires to be present when the
landlord makes the inspection, he shall so advise the landlord in writing
who, in turn, shall notify the tenant of the time and date of the
inspection, which must be made within 72 hours of delivery of
possession. Upon completion of the inspection attended by the tenant, the
landlord shall furnish the tenant with an itemized list of damages to the
dwelling unit known to exist at the time of the inspection.
D. If the tenant has any assignee or sublessee, the landlord shall be
entitled to hold a security deposit from only one party in compliance
with the provisions of this section.