Frequently Asked Questions
We receive many questions from current and prospective clients regarding Virginia's property management laws. The information below may assist you when navigating the process of buying and selling, renting, or leasing a property. However, since every landlord-tenant situation is unique, we encourage you to contact us at 804-353-5163 for guidance with your particular circumstances.
- What is the Virginia Residential Landlord And Tenant Act (VRLTA)?
- How do I know if my lease is governed by the VRLTA?
- How can I find out more about the VRLTA and how it affects my unique situation?
- Why do I need an attorney to represent my interests in court?
- What can I do if my tenant breaks the lease?
- What can I do if my landlord breaks the lease?
- My tenant owes rent, but I am not sure if he/she is still in the property.
- May I enter my property to perform routine maintenance?
- My tenant’s lease is over, and he/she has not vacated the property. May I just disconnect the utilities?
About Godwin-Jones & Price, P.C.
- Why should I choose your firm for my landlord-tenant issues?
- What types of customers do you serve?
- What is your fee structure?
- How do I arrange for a consultation with you?
What is the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA)?
Known as the VRLTA and passed in 1974, the Act provides a comprehensive set of rules which govern the entire landlord-tenant relationship, from application to move-out. You can learn more about the VRLTA and how it affects you on the Virginia Commonwealth web site.
How do I know if my lease is governed by the VRLTA?
Coverage under the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is based on the landlord's status. Many are automatically covered, but any landlord can opt in. We recommend that your lease be governed by the VRLTA.
How can I find out more about the VRLTA and how it affects my unique situation?
To help you fully understand your rights and obligations, we offer interactive training sessions for landlords and property managers on different aspects of the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Please contact us at 804-353-5163 or e-mail us for more information or to schedule a training session.
Why do I need an attorney to represent me in court?
The VRLTA offers many strategic benefits that help you manage your property effectively. A lawyer with an experienced VRLTA practice can implement these legal procedures, whereas a non-lawyer cannot take advantage of these strategies. Also, court procedures such as making motions and questioning witnesses, can only be conducted by a licensed attorney.
What can I do if my tenant breaks the lease?
If a landlord feels that his/her tenant has broken the lease, either by non-payment of rent or otherwise, the landlord generally serves a notice of default and, after the waiting period, the landlord may file a Summons for Unlawful Detainer.
What can I do if my landlord breaks the lease?
If a tenant feels that his/her landlord has broken the lease, the tenant serves a notice on the landlord and, after the waiting period to cure the breach, the tenant may pay his rent to the court escrow account and file a Tenant’s Assertion.
My tenant’s lease is over, and he/she has not vacated the property. May I just disconnect the utilities?
A landlord cannot force a tenant to vacate by decreasing services. However, the VRLTA provides landlords a remedy to obtain damages and remove holdover tenants.
About Godwin-Jones & Price, P.C.
Why should I choose your firm for my landlord-tenant issues?
We challenge you to find a more helpful, knowledgeable, or supportive law firm to serve as your advocate in landlord-tenant legal matters. We have decades of experience helping landlords, property managers, and leasing companies in situations like yours, and our professional staff helps you confidently navigate through these processes.
What types of customers do you serve?
Our satisfied clients throughout Central Virginia are a diverse group, ranging from individuals renting single-family homes to national property groups with Central Virginia apartment communities. Over the years, we have kept our women-owned law office small and personable, ensuring individualized attention and reliable communications no matter the size of your case.
What is your fee structure?
Our fees vary depending on the type of service requested. We work hard to keep our rates competitive. For information regarding fees for your particular legal situation, please contact us to arrange an initial consultation.