The relationship between a landlord and tenant runs the gamut from smooth and positive to bumpy and contentious. Whether the scenario involves a residential or commercial tenant, a commercial landlord or a lone investor in real estate, a dispute is something that can lead to litigation. That’s why using the services of the Virginia Landlord-Tenant attorneys at our firm is an easy decision to make. Knowing a faster pace in such situations is needed, our legal team possesses the flexibility to address immediate issues that require a quick resolution.
Writing up a clear and unequivocal lease, whether it’s residential or commercial, is imperative to success when dealing with a breach on either side.Using Virginia common law will settle disputes between a tenant and the landlord of a smaller (or single) complex. Here, the conflict is usually resolved simply on the lease agreement terms.
However, such areas as multiple apartment complexes, Section 8 housing, vouchers for Housing Choice, public housing in general or anything that’s being subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development require landlords to follow the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA). This law decrees that the landlords must at least meet the minimum guidelines established.
Legal Protections Guaranteed by the VRLTA
Adoption of the VRLTA makes sure that both tenants and renters are protected legally from potential abuse of the law. Those rights include: both an application fee and security deposit that’s deemed fair, and an area that provides security (to an extent), as well as a residence considered both safe and decent.
In addition, the tenant and renter is guaranteed privacy and the right to be notified about the following situations: any increase in rent or service decreases; the application of any pesticides within their apartment; and any ownership or management changes or conversion for other uses of the property itself. Also, if eviction takes place, proper notice must be served.
Potential Conflict Areas
Evictions are just one problem that can lead to disputes between tenants and landlords. Some other issues relate to violations of a lease or a lease review itself, conflicts related to contracts or property, disputes over transactions or repairs done.
Legal Necessities for Landlords
A clear procedure exists within Virginia law relating to eviction that results in the landlord gaining possession of the property in question. The landlord must file an unlawful detainer summons against the tenant, then go to a hearing to gain possession by a court order. Success will allow the tenant to leave while also paying legal fees and court costs, as well as any damage claims or back rent that exists.
However, Virginia residential landlords are not allowed to turn off utilities, remove the front door or change the locks, actions known as self-help evictions. That’s why contacting the landlord-tenant dispute attorneys at our firm is so important, since they have a clear understanding of what legal protections exist under the VRLTA, and know that success in the courtroom can usually help enforce the obligations and rights of both tenants and landlords.
Limiting the Potential Damage
Avoiding the usual pitfalls that affect either side from the beginning can be alleviated by using an experienced Virginia landlord-tenant attorney from our firm. Using their extensive background in both drafting and assessing contracts, whether for existing landlords or tenants, guarantees that either party will have strong legal representation when it comes to areas such as property damage, unlawful detainer or discrimination related to the Fair Housing Act. Therefore, when the need arise for a veteran Virginia landlord or tenant attorney, make sure to contact our firm by calling or by scheduling a legal consultation online.