On what grounds can a lardlord keep the security deposit?
The following are Virginia statutes:
Section 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 Section 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 possession.
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 Section 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.
§ 55-248.21. Noncompliance by landlord.
Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a material
noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or a
noncompliance with any provision of this chapter, materially affecting
health and safety, the tenant may serve a written notice on the landlord
specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and stating that
the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days
after receipt of the notice if such breach is not remedied in 21 days.
If the landlord commits a breach which is not remediable, the tenant
may serve a written notice on the landlord specifying the acts and
omissions constituting the breach, and stating that the rental agreement
will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days after receipt of the
If the landlord has been served with a prior written notice which
required the landlord to remedy a breach, and the landlord remedied such
breach, where the landlord intentionally commits a subsequent breach of a
like nature as the prior breach, the tenant may serve a written notice on
the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the
subsequent breach, make reference to the prior breach of a like nature,
and state that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less
than 30 days after receipt of the notice.
If the breach is remediable by repairs and the landlord adequately
remedies the breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the rental
agreement will not terminate. The tenant may not terminate for a
condition caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the
tenant, a member of his family or other person on the premises with his
consent whether known by the tenant or not. In addition, the tenant may
recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for noncompliance by the
landlord with the provisions of the rental agreement or of this chapter.
The tenant shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys' fees unless
the landlord proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the
landlord's actions were reasonable under the circumstances. If the rental
agreement is terminated due to the landlord's noncompliance, the landlord
shall return the security deposit in accordance with § 55-248.15:1.