As a renter, understanding the rental agreement laws in Virginia is crucial to protect your rights and ensure a smooth leasing experience. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
1. Security deposit: Virginia law limits the security deposit to two months` rent. Landlords are required to return the deposit within 45 days of the lease ending, unless there is damage beyond normal wear and tear.
2. Rent increases: Virginia law does not regulate how much landlords can increase rent, but they are required to give tenants written notice of any increases at least 30 days in advance.
3. Lease termination: Both landlords and tenants are required to give written notice of their intention to terminate the lease. The notice must be given at least 30 days before the lease ends, or 7 days in case of non-payment of rent.
4. Repairs and maintenance: Landlords are responsible for keeping the rental unit in a habitable condition, and must make repairs promptly upon receiving notice from the tenant. Tenants cannot withhold rent for repairs, but they can file a complaint with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development if repairs are not made in a timely manner.
5. Discrimination: Virginia law prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, familial status, or disability.
6. Late fees: Landlords can charge late fees for rent payments, but the fee must be stated in the lease agreement and cannot exceed 10% of the monthly rent.
7. Evictions: Virginia law requires landlords to provide written notice to tenants before filing for eviction. Tenants have the right to contest the eviction in court.
It is important to thoroughly read and understand your rental agreement before signing it. If you have any questions or concerns, consult with a lawyer or a tenant advocacy group. By knowing your rights and responsibilities under Virginia rental agreement laws, you can protect yourself and have a positive renting experience.