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Title 55
PROPERTY AND CONVEYANCES.
 Chapter 13 - Landlord and Tenant

Grantees and assignees to have same rights against lessees as lessors, etc.:
A grantee or assignee of any land let to lease, or of the reversion thereof, and his heirs, personal representative or assigns shall enjoy against the lessee, his personal representative or assigns, the like advantage, by action or entry for any forfeiture or by action upon any covenant or promise in the lease, which the grantor, assignor or lessor, or his heirs, might have enjoyed. (Chap. 13,  55-217)
Lessees, etc., to have same rights against grantees, etc., as against lessors:
A lessee, his personal representative or assigns may have against a grantee or alienee of the reversion, or of any part thereof, his heirs or assigns, the like benefit of any condition, covenant or promise in the lease as he could have had against the lessors themselves and their heirs and assigns, except the benefit of any warranty, in deed or law. (Chap. 13, 55-218)
Appointment of resident agent by nonresident property owner; service of process, etc., on such agent or on Secretary of the Commonwealth :
Any nonresident person as the term "person" is defined in 55-248.4 of this title of this Commonwealth that owns and leases residential or commercial real property consisting of four or more units within a county or city in this Commonwealth shall have and continuously maintain an agent who is a resident and maintains a business office within this Commonwealth. Every lease executed by or on behalf of nonresident property owners regarding any such real property shall specifically designate such agent and the agent's office address for the purpose of service of any process, notice, order or demand required or permitted by law to be served upon such property owner.

Whenever any nonresident property owner fails to appoint or maintain an agent, as required herein, or whenever his agent cannot with reasonable diligence be found, then the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall be an agent of the nonresident property owner upon whom may be served any process, notice, order or demand. Service may be made on the Secretary or any of his staff at his office who shall forthwith cause it to be sent by registered or certified mail addressed to the property owner at his address as shown on the lease.

The name and office address of the agent appointed as provided herein shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the court in which deeds are recorded in the county or city wherein the property lies. Recordation shall be in the same book as certificates of fictitious names are recorded as provided by 59.1-74 for which the clerk shall be entitled to a fee of one dollar.

No nonresident property owner shall maintain an action in the courts of this Commonwealth concerning property for which a designation is required hereunder until such designation has been filed.  (Chap. 13, 55-218.1)
Apportionment on purchase of part of land by holder of rent, etc.:
When the holder of a rent shall purchase part of the land out of which the same issues, the rent shall be apportioned in like manner as if the land had come to him by descent; and when the holder of land, being part of land out of which a rent shall be issuing, shall purchase such rent or part thereof, the rent so purchased shall be apportioned as aforesaid. (Chap. 13, 55-219)
What powers to pass to grantee or devisee; when attornment unnecessary:
In conveyances or devises of rents in fee, with powers of distress and reentry, or either of them, such powers shall pass to the grantee or devisee without express words. A grant or devise of a rent, or of a reversion or remainder, shall be good and effectual without attornment of the tenant; but no tenant who, before notice of the grant, shall have paid the rent to the grantor shall suffer any damage thereby. (Chap. 13, 55-220)
Perfection of lien or interest in leases, rents and profits:
The recordation pursuant to 55-106, in the county or city in which the real property is located,of any deed, deed of trust or other instrument granting, transferring or assigning the interest of the grantor, transferor, assignor, pledgor or lessor in leases, rents or profits arising from the real property described in such deed, deed of trust or other instrument, shall fully perfect the interest of the grantee, transferee, pledgee or assignee as to the assignor and all third parties without the necessity of (i) furnishing notice to the assignor or lessee, (ii) obtaining possession of the real property, (iii) impounding the rents, (iv) securing the appointment of a receiver, or (v) taking any other affirmative action. The lessee is authorized to pay the assignor until the lessee receives written notification that rents due or to become due have been assigned and that payment is to be made to the assignee. This section shall apply to all instruments of record before, on or after July 1, 1992.  (Chap. 13, 55-220.1)
When attornment void:
The attornment of a tenant to any stranger shall be void, unless it be with the consent of the landlord of such tenant or pursuant to or in consequence of the judgment, order or decree of a court.  (Chap. 13, 55-221)
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 thirty days' notice in writing, prior to the end of the month, of his intention to terminate the same. However, 120 days' written notice is required if the termination is due to rehabilitation or a change in the use of all or any part of a building containing at least four residential units. Changes shall include but not be limited to conversion to hotel, motel, apartment hotel or other commercial use, planned unit development, 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 separate writing. (Chap. 13, 55-222)
55-222.1.  Repealed by Acts 1974, c. 680.
 

Effect of failure of tenant to vacate premises at expiration of term:
A tenant from year to year, month to month, or other definite term, shall not, by his mere failure to vacate the premises upon the expiration of the lease, be held as tenant for another term when such failure is not due to his willfulness, negligence or other avoidable cause, but such tenant shall be liable to the lessor for use and occupation of the premises and also for any loss or damage sustained by the lessor because of such failure to surrender possession at the time stipulated. (Chap. 13, 55-223)
When tenant deserts premises, how landlord may enter, etc.:
If any tenant from whom rent is in arrear and unpaid shall desert the demised premises and leave the same uncultivated or unoccupied, without goods thereon subject to distress sufficient to satisfy the rent, the lessor or his agent may post a notice, in writing, upon a conspicuous part of the premises requiring the tenant to pay the rent, in the case of a monthly tenant within ten days, and in the case of a yearly tenant within one month from the date of such notice. If the same be not paid within the time specified in the notice, the lessor shall be entitled to possession of the premises and may enter thereon and the right of such tenant thereto shall thenceforth be at an end; but the landlord may recover the rent up to that time. (Chap. 13, 55-224)
Failure to pay certain rents after five days' notice forfeits right of possession:
If any tenant or lessee of premises in a city or town, or in any subdivision of suburban and other lands divided into building lots for residential purposes, or of premises anywhere used for residential purposes, and not for farming or agriculture, being in default in the payment of rent, shall so continue for five days after notice, in writing, requiring possession of the premises or the payment of rent, such tenant or lessee shall thereby forfeit his right to the possession. In such case the possession of the defendant may, at the option of the landlord or lessor, be deemed unlawful, and he may proceed to recover in the same manner provided by Article 13 ( 8.01-124 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 8.01. (Chap. 13, 55-225)
Recovery of possession limited:
A landlord may not recover or take possession of a residential dwelling unit by (i) willful diminution of services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of electric, gas, water or other essential service required to be supplied by the landlord under a rental agreement or (ii) refusal to permit the tenant access to the unit unless such refusal is pursuant to the execution of a writ of possession. (Chap. 13, 55-225.1)
Remedies for landlord's unlawful ouster, exclusion or diminution of service:
If a landlord unlawfully removes or excludes a tenant from residential premises or willfully diminishes services to a residential tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of gas, water or other essential service to the tenant, the tenant may recover possession and obtain an order requiring the resumption of any such interrupted utility service or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, recover the actual damages sustained by him and reasonable attorney's fees. If the rental agreement is terminated pursuant to this section, the landlord shall return all security given by such tenant. (Chap. 13, 55-225.2)
Buildings destroyed or lessee deprived of possession; covenant to pay rent or repair;
reduction of rent:
No covenant or promise by a lessee to pay the rent, or that he will keep or leave the premises in good repair, shall have the effect, if the buildings thereon be destroyed by fire or otherwise, in whole or in part, without fault or negligence on his part, or if he be deprived of the possession of the premises by the public enemy, of binding him to make such payment or repair or erect such buildings again, unless there be other words showing it to be the intent of the parties that he should be so bound. But in case of such destruction there shall be a reasonable reduction of the rent for such time as may elapse until there be again upon the premises buildings of as much value to the tenant for his purposes as what may have been so destroyed; and, in case of such deprivation of possession, a like reduction until possession of the premises be restored to him. (Chap. 13, 55-226)
Security systems for commercial rental property:
No landlord of a premises demised for commercial or business purposes shall unreasonably withhold or delay consent for the tenant to install anticrime warning devices or security systems within the demised premises. (Chap. 13, 55-226.1)
Submetering and energy allocation equipment:
A. Submetering equipment or energy allocation equipment, as defined in 56-245.2, may be used in an office building or shopping center if clearly stated in the rental agreement or lease for the individual rental unit. Such equipment may also be used in an apartment house if clearly stated in the rental agreements or leases for individual residential rental units. All submetering equipment and energy allocation equipment shall meet the requirements and standards established and enforced by the State Corporation Commission pursuant to 56-245.3.
B. If submetering or energy allocation equipment is used in any building, the owner, manager or operator of the building shall bill the tenant for electricity or natural gas for the same billing period as the electric or natural gas utility serving the building, unless the rental agreement or lease for the individual rental unit expressly permits otherwise.
C. Energy allocation equipment shall be tested periodically by the owner, operator or manager of the building. Upon the request by a tenant, the owner shall test the energy allocation equipment without charge. The test conducted without charge to the tenant shall not be conducted more frequently than once in a twenty-four-month period for the same tenant. The tenant or his designated representative may be present during the testing of the energy allocation equipment. A written report of the results of the test shall be made to the tenant within ten working days after the completion of the test.
D. The owner of any building shall maintain adequate records regarding submetering and energy allocation equipment and the bills rendered based on the operation of such equipment. A tenant may inspect and copy the records for his rental unit during reasonable business hours at a convenient location within the building. The owner of the building may impose and collect a reasonable charge for copying documents, reflecting the actual costs of materials and labor for copying, prior to providing copies of the records to the tenant.
E. Notwithstanding any enforcement action undertaken by the State Corporation Commission pursuant to its authority under 56-245.3, tenants and owners shall retain any private right of action resulting from any breach of the rental agreement or lease terms required by this section or 56-245.3 to the same extent as such actions may be maintained for breach of other terms of the rental agreement or lease.
F. As used in this section, "building" means all of the individual units served through the same utility-owned meter within an apartment house, office building or shopping center as defined in 56-245.2. (Chap. 13, 55-226.2)
Remedy for rent and for use and occupation:
Rent of every kind may be recovered by distress or action. A landlord may also, by action, recover, when the agreement is not by deed, a reasonable satisfaction for the use and occupation of lands. On the trial of such action, if any parol demise or any agreement not by deed whereon a certain rent was reserved shall appear in evidence, the plaintiff shall not therefor be nonsuited, but may use the same as evidence of the amount of his debt or damages. In any action for rent, or for such use and occupation, interest shall be allowed as on other contracts. (Chap. 13, 55-227)
Who may recover rent, etc.:
He to whom rent or compensation is due, whether he have the reversion or not, his personal representative or assignee may recover it as provided in 55-227, whatever be the estate of the person owning it, or though his estate or interest in the land be ended. And when the owner of real estate in fee, or holder of a term, yielding him rent, dies, the rent thereafter due shall be recoverable by such owner's heir or devisee, or such termholder's personal representative. And if the owner or holder alien or assign his estate or term, or the rent thereafter to fall due thereon, the alienee or assignee may recover such rent. (Chap. 13, 55-228)
Who liable for rent:
Rent may be recovered from the lessee or other person owing it, or his assignee, or the personal representative of either; but no assignee is to be liable for rent which became due before his interest began. Nothing herein shall impair or change the liability of heirs or devisees for rent, as for other debts of their ancestor or devisor. (Chap. 13, 55-229)
When and by whom distress made:
A distress action for rent may be brought within five years from the time the rent becomes due, and not afterwards, whether the lease is ended or not. The distress shall be made by a sheriff or high constable of the county or city wherein the premises yielding the rent, or some part thereof, may be, or the goods liable to distress may be found, under warrant from a judge or magistrate for the judicial district. Such warrant shall be founded upon a sworn petition of the person claiming the rent, or his agent, that (i) the petitioner believes the amount of money or other thing by which the rent is measured (to be specified in the petition in accordance with 55-231) is justly due to the claimant for rent reserved upon contract from the person of whom it is claimed, (ii) the petitioner alleges one or more of the grounds mentioned in 8.01-534 and sets forth in the petition specific facts in support of such allegation and (iii) the rent claimed is for rent due within five years from the
time that it becomes due. The petition shall also specify the amount of the rent claimed and request either levy or seizure of the affected property prior to trial. The plaintiff shall, at the time of suing out a distress, give bond in conformity with the provisions of 8.01-537.1. The plaintiff praying for a distress warrant shall, at the time that he files his petition, pay the proper costs, fees and taxes, and in the event of his failure to do so, the distress warrant shall not be issued.
(i) a form for requesting a hearing of exemption from levy or seizure, as provided in 8.01-546.1, and
(ii) a copy of the bond. The distress warrant may be issued or executed on any day, including a Saturday, Sunday or other legal holiday. Service shall be made in accordance with the methods described in 8.01-487.1. The provisions of 8.01-546.2 shall govern claims for exemption. The officer into whose hands the warrant is delivered shall levy or seize as directed in the warrant, except as may be otherwise provided by statute, the property found on the premises of the tenant as provided by 55-231. The officer shall return the warrant of distress to the court to which the warrant of distress is returnable by the return date unless otherwise notified by the court to make return by an earlier date.  (Chap. 13, 55-230)
Procedure for trial on warrant in distress:
The distress warrant shall contain a return date and be tried in the same manner as an action on a warrant as prescribed in 16.1-79 except that the case shall be returnable not more than thirty days from its date of issuance. The trial or hearing of the issues, except as otherwise provided, shall be the same, as near as may be, as in actions in personam. (Chap. 13, 55-230.1)
On what goods levied; to what extent goods liable; priorities between landlord and other lienors:
The distress may be levied on any goods of the lessee, or his assignee, or undertenant, found on the premises, or which may have been removed therefrom not more than thirty days. A levy within such thirty days shall have like effect as if the goods levied on had not been removed from the leased premises. If the goods of such lessee, assignee or undertenant, when carried on the premises, are subject to a lien, which is valid against his creditors, his interest only in such goods shall be liable to such distress. If any lien be created thereon while they are upon the leased premises, or within thirty days thereafter, they shall be liable to distress, but for not more than six months' rent if the premises are in a city or town, or in any subdivision of suburban and other lands divided into building lots for residential purposes, or of premises anywhere used for residential purposes, and not for farming, or agriculture, and for not more than twelve months' rent if the lands or premises are used for farming or agriculture whether it shall have accrued before or after the creation of the lien. No other goods shall be liable to distress than such as are declared to be so liable in this section, nor shall the goods of the undertenant be liable to a greater amount than such undertenant owed the tenant at the time the distress was levied. (Chap. 13, 55-231)
Procedure when distress levied and tenant unable to give forthcoming bond; what
defense may be made:
A. On affidavit by a tenant, whose property has been levied on under a warrant of distress, that
(i) he is unable to give the bond required in 8.01-526 and
(ii) he has a valid defense under subsection B of this section, or has the right to remove the action to the circuit court under 16.1-92, the officer levying the warrant shall permit the property to remain in the possession and at the risk of the tenant, and shall return the warrant forthwith, together with the affidavit, to the court to which such warrant is returnable. Thereupon the landlord, after ten days' notice in writing to the tenant, may make a motion before such court for a judgment for the amount of the rent and for a sale of the property levied on, as aforesaid. The tenant may make such defense as he is authorized to make, including defenses permitted under such subsection B to an action or motion on the bond when one is given, or he may remove the case to the circuit court under 16.1-92. Upon making such defense, or the removal of the case to the circuit court, the officer shall permit the property to remain in the possession of and at the risk of the tenant. However, if the amount in controversy is in excess of $1,000, removal to the circuit court shall be conditional upon the tenant's giving a forthcoming bond, with sufficient corporate or cash surety, in a penalty double the amount in controversy, with condition to pay any judgment rendered against the tenant, and all costs and damages which may accrue to the landlord as a result of any delay caused by such removal. If the property is perishable, or expensive to keep, the court, or the judge thereof in vacation, may order it to be sold, and on the final trial of the cause, the court shall dispose of the property, or proceeds of sale, according to the rights of the parties.
B. In an action or motion on a forthcoming bond, when it is taken under a distress warrant, the defendants may make defense on the ground that the distress was for rent not due in whole or in part, or was otherwise illegal. (Chap. 13, 55-232)
55-232.1.  Repealed by Acts 1993, c. 841.

Review of decision to issue ex parte order or process; claim of exemption:
Promptly after levy on the property or promptly after possession of the property is taken by the officer pursuant to an ex parte order, or after denial of an application to issue such order by a magistrate, upon application of either party, and after reasonable notice, a judge of the general district court having jurisdiction shall conduct a hearing to review the decision to issue the ex parte order or process. In the event the judge finds that the order or process should not have been issued, the court may dismiss the distraint or award actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees to the person whose property was taken, or both. The provisions of 8.01-546.2 shall govern claims for exemption. (Chap. 13, 55-232.2)
On what terms purchasers and lienors inferior to landlord may remove goods; certain liens not affected:
If, after the commencement of any tenancy, a lien be obtained or created by deed of trust, mortgage or otherwise upon the interest or property in goods on premises leased or rented of any person liable for the rent, or such goods be sold, the party having such lien, or the purchaser of such goods, may remove them from the premises on the following terms, and not otherwise, that is to say: On paying to the person entitled to the rent so much as is in arrear, and securing to him so much as to become due, what is so paid or secured not being more altogether than six months' rent if the premises are in a city or town, or in any subdivision of suburban and other lands divided into building lots for residential purposes, or of premises anywhere used for residential purposes, and not for farming or agriculture, and not being more altogether than twelve months' rent, if the lands or premises are used for farming or agriculture. If the goods be taken under legal process, the officer executing it shall, out of the proceeds of the goods, make such payment of what is in arrear; and as to what is to become due, he shall sell a sufficient portion of the goods on a credit till then, taking from the purchasers bonds, with good security, payable to the person so entitled, and delivering such bonds to him. If the goods be not taken under legal process, such payment and security shall be made and given before their removal. Neither this section nor 55-231 shall affect any lien for taxes, levies, or militia fines.

For the purpose of this section and 55-231 a monthly or weekly tenancy shall not be construed as a new lease for every month or week of occupation of the premises by the tenant, but his tenancy shall be considered as a continuance of his original lease so long as he shall continue to occupy the property without making any new written lease. (Chap. 13, 55-233)
When goods of an undertenant may be removed from leased premises:
Section 55-233 is subject to the following limitations: An undertenant, or a purchaser from him, or a creditor holding a deed of trust, mortgage or other encumbrance created on his goods after they were carried on the leased premises, may remove the same upon payment of so much of the rent contracted to be paid by him as is in arrear, and securing the residue, not exceeding six months' rent, if the premises are in a city or town, or in any subdivision of suburban and other lands divided into building lots for residential purposes, or of premises anywhere used for residential purposes, and not for farming or agriculture, and for not more than twelve months' rent if the lands or premises are used for farming or agriculture; and if the goods be taken under legal process against him, the officer executing the same shall, out of the proceeds of his goods, make payment of so much of the rent as to which he is in arrear, and as to what is to become due from him shall sell sufficient of the goods upon credit until then, taking from the purchaser bonds with good security, payable to the party entitled to receive the same, and deliver them to him. (Chap. 13, 55-234)
When officer may enter by force to levy distress or attachment:
The officer having such distress warrant, or an attachment for rent, if there be need for it, may, in the daytime, break open and enter into any house or close in which there may be goods liable to the distress or attachment, and may, either in the day or night, break open and enter any house or close wherein there may be any goods so liable which have been fraudulently or clandestinely removed from the demised premises. He may also levy such distress warrant or attachment on property liable for the rent found in the personal possession of the party liable therefor. (Chap. 13, 55-235)
When distress not unlawful because of irregularity, etc.:
When distress shall be made for rent justly due and any irregularity or unlawful act shall be afterwards done by the party distraining, or his agent, the distress itself shall not be deemed to be unlawful, nor the party making it be therefore deemed a trespasser ab initio. The party aggrieved by such irregularity or unlawful act may, by action, recover full satisfaction for the special damage he shall have sustained thereby. (Chap. 13, 55-236)
Return of execution; process of sale thereunder:
The sheriff under writ of execution from the court after hearing and judgment for the landlord except when it is otherwise provided by law, shall make return on his execution as may be placed in his hands for collection and file the same, within ninety days after the same may have come to his hands, with the clerk of the court in which the case was heard. Upon the return of such execution such clerk shall preserve such execution in his office as is now provided as to other executions. If such return shall show that a levy has been made and that property levied on remains unsold, it shall be lawful for the clerk of the court in whose office such return is filed to issue a writ of venditioni exponas thereon just as if the return were upon writ of fieri facias. (Chap. 13, 55-237)
Remedy when rent is to be paid in other thing than money:
When goods are distrained or attached for rent reserved in a share of the crop, or in anything other than money, the claimant of the rent having given the tenant ten days' notice, or, if he be out of the county, having set up the notice in some conspicuous place on the premises, may apply to the court to which the attachment is returnable, or the circuit court of the county or the corporation court of the corporation in which the distress is made, to ascertain the value in money of the rent reserved, and to order a sale of the goods distrained or attached. The tenant may make the same defenses that he could to a motion on a forfeited forthcoming bond given for rent and may also contest the value of what was reserved for the rent. The court shall ascertain, either by its own judgment, or, if either party require it, by the verdict of a jury impaneled without the formality of pleading, the extent of the liability of the tenant for rent, and the value in money of such rent, and if the tenant has been served with notice shall enter judgment against him for the amount so ascertained. It shall also order the goods distrained or attached, or so much thereof as may be necessary, to be sold to pay the amount so ascertained. The officer charged with the execution of such warrant or attachment shall make return thereof to the clerk's office of the court, showing how he has executed the same. If the goods so directed to be sold prove insufficient to pay the amount of the rent so ascertained, an execution may be issued on the judgment as in case of other judgments, which may be levied on such property as would be leviable under an execution issued on a judgment in an action brought to recover the rent. (Chap. 13, 55-238)
Proceedings to establish right of reentry, and judgment therefor :
Any person who shall have a right of reentry into lands by reason of any rent issuing thereout being in arrear, or by reason of the breach of any covenant or condition, may serve a declaration in ejectment on the tenant in possession, when there shall be such tenant, or, if the possession be vacant, by affixing the declaration upon the chief door of any messuage, or at any other notorious place on the premises, and such service shall be in lieu of a demand and reentry; and upon proof to the court, by affidavit in case of judgment by default or upon proof on the trial, that the rent claimed was due and no sufficient distress was upon the premises, or that the covenant or condition was broken before the service of the declaration and that the plaintiff had power thereupon to reenter, he shall recover judgment and have execution for such lands. (Chap. 13, 55-239)
When defendant barred of relief:
Should the defendant, or other person for him, not pay the rent in arrear, with interest and costs, nor file a bill in equity for relief against such forfeiture, within twelve calendar months after execution executed, he shall be barred of all right, in law or equity, to be restored to such lands or tenements. (Chap. 13, 55-240)
How trustee or mortgagee relieved from the forfeiture:
Any mortgagee or trustee of such lands not in possession thereof may, within twelve calendar months after execution executed, pay the rent and all arrears, with interest and costs, or file in equity, for relief against such forfeiture; and thereupon may be relieved against it, on the same terms and conditions as the owner of such lands or tenements would be entitled to. (Chap. 13, 55-241)
How owner, etc., relieved in equity:
If the owner of such lands, or any person having right or claim thereto, shall, within the time aforesaid, file his bill for relief in any court of equity, he shall not have or continue any injunction against the proceedings at law on the ejectment, unless he shall, within thirty days next after a full and perfect answer filed by the plaintiff in ejectment, bring into court, or deposit in some bank within the Commonwealth to the credit of the cause, such money as the plaintiff in ejectment shall,in his answers, swear to be due and in arrear, over and above all just allowances and also the costs taxed in the suit, there to remain till the hearing of the cause, or to be paid out to the plaintiff on good security, subject to the decree of the court. And in case the bill shall be filed within the time aforesaid, and after execution executed, the plaintiff shall be accountable for no more than he shall, really and bona fide, without fraud, deceit, or willful neglect, make of the premises from the time of his entering into the actual possession thereof, and if it should be less than the rent payable, then the possession shall not be restored until the plaintiff be paid the sum which the money so made shall fall short of the rent for the time he so held the lands. (Chap. 13, 55-242)
How judgment of forfeiture prevented:
A. If any party having right or claim to such lands shall, at any time before the trial in such ejectment, or at or before the first court return date in an action of unlawful detainer seeking possession of a residential dwelling based upon a default in rent, pay or tender to the party entitled to such rent, or to his attorney in the cause, or pay into court, all the rent and arrears, along with any reasonable attorney's fees and late charges contracted for in a written rental agreement,interest and costs, all further proceedings in the ejectment or unlawful detainer shall cease. If the person claiming the land shall, upon bill filed as aforesaid, be relieved in equity, he shall hold the land as before the proceedings began, without a new lease or conveyance. If the parties dispute the amount of rent and other charges owed, the court shall take evidence on the issue and make orders for the tender, payment or refund of any appropriate amounts.

B. In cases of unlawful detainer, the tenant may invoke the rights granted by this section no more than one time during any twelve-month period of continuous residency in the rental dwelling unit. (Chap. 13, 55-243)
When suit for reentry brought.
In case the time for reentering be specified in the instrument creating the rent, covenant or condition, the proceedings in ejectment shall not be begun until such time shall have elapsed. (Chap. 13, 55-244)
Written act of reentry to be returned and recorded, and certificate thereof published:
When actual reentry is made, the party by or for whom the same is made shall return a written act of reentry, sworn to by the sheriff or other officer acting therein, to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or corporation court of the city wherein the lands or tenements are, who shall record the same in the deed book, and shall deliver to the party making the reentry a certificate setting forth the substance of such written act, and that the same had been left in his office to be recorded. Such certificate shall be published at least once a week for two months successively, in some newspaper published in or nearest to such county or corporation. Such publication shall be proved by affidavit to the satisfaction of the clerk, who shall note the fact in the margin of the record book against the record of the act of reentry, in the words "Publication made and proved according to law. A.B., Clerk"; and shall return the original act of reentry to the party entitled thereto. The written act of reentry, when recorded, and the record thereof, or a duly certified copy from such record, shall be evidence, in all cases, of the facts therein set forth. (Chap. 13, 55-245)
Fee of clerk:
The clerk shall be paid for recording, granting certificate, and noting publication, as aforesaid, the same fee as prescribed in subdivision A 2 of 17.1-275, and shall collect and account for the same tax upon every such act of reentry offered for record as shall then be levied by law upon deeds of conveyance. (Chap. 13, 55-246)
Who may recover rent or possession:
Notwithstanding any rule of court to the contrary, any person licensed under the provisions of 54.1-2106.1 or resident manager employed by such person, partnership, association or corporation may obtain a judgment (i) for possession in the general district court for the county or city wherein the premises, or part thereof, is situated or (ii) for rent or damages in any general district court where venue is proper under 8.01-259, against any defendant who fails to appear in person or by counsel and is in default if the person seeking such judgment had a contractual agreement with the landlord to manage the premises for which rent or possession is due. (Chap. 13, 55-246.1)
How person entitled, etc., to lands may be restored to his possession:
Should the person entitled to such lands at the time of reentry made, or having claim thereto, not pay or tender the rent and all arrears thereof, with interest and all reasonable expenses incurred about such reentry, within one year from the first day of publication as aforesaid, he shall be forever barred from all right in law or equity to the lands. In case any party having right shall pay or tender the rent and arrears, with interest and expenses as aforesaid, to the party making reentry, within the time aforementioned therefor, he shall be reinstated in his possession to hold as if the reentry had not been made. (Chap. 13, 55-247)
Limitation of suit, etc., against person in possession by reentry:
No person who, or who with his predecessor in title under whom he claims, shall have been possessed of lands by virtue of a reentry for the term of two years shall be disturbed therein by suit or otherwise for any defect of proceedings in such entry. (Chap. 13, 55-248)

Title 55
PROPERTY AND CONVEYANCES.
 Chapter 13.2 - Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
Short title.
This chapter may be cited as the "Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act." (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.2)

Purposes of chapter.
The purposes of this chapter are to simplify, clarify, modernize and revise the law governing the rental of dwelling units and the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants; to encourage landlords and tenants to maintain and improve the quality of housing; and to establish a single body of law relating to landlord and tenant relations throughout the Commonwealth; provided, however,that nothing in this chapter shall prohibit a county, city or town from establishing a commission, reconciliatory in nature only, or designating an existing agency, which upon mutual agreement of the parties may mediate conflicts which may arise out of the application of this chapter, nor shall anything herein be deemed to prohibit an ordinance designed to effect compliance with local property maintenance codes. This chapter shall supersede all other local, county, or municipal ordinances or regulations concerning landlord and tenant relations and the leasing of residential property. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.3)

Applicability of chapter.
This chapter shall apply to all rental agreements entered into on or after July 1, 1974, which are not exempted pursuant to 55-248.5. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.3:1)

Definitions.
When used in this chapter, unless expressly stated otherwise:
"Action" means recoupment, counterclaim, set off, or other civil suit and any other proceeding in which rights are determined, including without limitation actions for possession, rent, unlawful detainer, unlawful entry, and distress for rent.
"Application fee" means any deposit of money, however denominated, including all money intended to be used as a security deposit under a rental agreement, or property, which is paid by a tenant to a landlord, lessor, or agent of a landlord for the purpose of being considered as a tenant for a dwelling unit.
"Assignment" means the transfer by any tenant of all interests created by a rental agreement.
"Building or housing code" means any law, ordinance or governmental regulation concerning fitness for habitation, or the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use or appearance of any structure or that part of a structure that is used as a home, residence or sleeping place by one person who maintains a household or by two or more persons who maintain a common household.
"Dwelling unit" means a structure or part of a structure that is used as a home or residence by one or more persons who maintain a household, including, but not limited to, a manufactured home.
"Facility" means something that is built, constructed, installed or established to perform some particular function.
"Good faith" means honesty in fact in the conduct of the transaction concerned.
"Guest or invitee" means a person, other than the tenant or person authorized by the landlord to occupy the premises, who has the permission of the tenant to visit but not to occupy the premises.
"Landlord" means the owner, lessor or sublessor of the dwelling unit or the building of which such dwelling unit is a part. "Landlord" also includes a managing agent of the premises who fails to disclose the name of such owner, lessor or sublessor. Such managing agent shall be subject to the provisions of 16.1-88.03.
"Managing agent" means a person authorized by the landlord to act on behalf of the landlord under a management agreement.
"Natural person," wherever the chapter refers to an owner as a "natural person," includes co-owners who are natural persons, either as tenants in common, joint tenants, tenants in partnership, tenants by the entirety, trustees or beneficiaries of a trust, general partnerships, limited liability partnerships, registered limited liability partnerships or limited liability companies, or any lawful combination of natural persons permitted by law.
"Organization" means a corporation, government, governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any combination thereof, and any other legal or commercial entity.
"Owner" means one or more persons, jointly or severally, in whom is vested:
1. All or part of the legal title to the property, or
2. All or part of the beneficial ownership and a right to present use and enjoyment of the premises,and the term includes a mortgagee in possession.
"Person" means any individual, group of individuals, corporation, partnership,  business trust,association or other legal entity, or any combination thereof.
"Premises" means a dwelling unit and the structure of which it is a part and facilities and appurtenances therein and grounds, areas and facilities held out for the use of tenants generally or whose use is promised to the tenant.
"Rent" means all money or property, other than a security deposit, owed to the landlord under the rental agreement.
"Rental agreement" means all agreements, written or oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted under 55-248.17 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises.
"Roomer" means a person occupying a dwelling unit that lacks a major bathroom or kitchen facility, in a structure where one or more major facilities are used in common by occupants of the dwelling unit and other dwelling units. Major facility in the case of a bathroom means toilet, and either a bath or shower, and in the case of a kitchen means refrigerator, stove or sink.
"Security deposit" means any deposit of money or property, whether termed security deposit or "prepaid rent," however denominated, which is furnished by a tenant to a landlord to secure the performance of any part of a written or oral rental agreement, as a security for damages to the leased premises, or as a pet deposit. However, such money or property shall be deemed an application fee until the effective date of the rental agreement.
"Single-family residence" means a structure, other than a multi-family residential structure, maintained and used as a single dwelling unit or any dwelling unit which has direct access to a street or thoroughfare and shares neither heating facilities, hot water equipment nor any other essential facility or service with any other dwelling unit.
"Sublease" means the transfer by any tenant of any but not all interests created by a rental agreement.
"Tenant" means a person entitled under a rental agreement to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others and shall include roomer.
"Utility" means a service such as light, power, electricity, gas, or water provided by a public service corporation.  (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.4)

Exemptions; exception to exemption.
A. Except as specifically made applicable by 55-248.21:1, the following conditions are not governed by this chapter:
1. Residence at a public or private institution, if incidental to detention or the provision of medical, geriatric, educational, counseling, religious or similar services;
2. Occupancy under a contract of sale of a dwelling unit or the property of which it is a part, if the occupant is the purchaser or a person who succeeds to his interest;
3. Occupancy by a member of a fraternal or social organization in the portion of a structure operated for the benefit of the organization;
4. Occupancy in a hotel, motel, vacation cottage, boardinghouse or similar lodging held out for transients, unless let continuously to one occupant for more than thirty days, including occupancy in a lodging subject to taxation as provided in 58.1-3819;
5. Occupancy by an employee of a landlord whose right to occupancy is conditioned upon employment in and about the premises or an ex-employee whose occupancy continues less than sixty days;
6. Occupancy by an owner of a condominium unit or a holder of a proprietary lease in a cooperative;
7. Occupancy under a rental agreement covering premises used by the occupant primarily in connection with business, commercial or agricultural purposes;
8. Occupancy in a public housing unit or other housing unit subject to regulation by the Department of Housing and Urban Development where such regulation is inconsistent with this chapter;
9. Occupancy by a tenant who pays no rent; and
10. Occupancy in single-family residences where the owner(s) are natural persons or their estates who own in their own name no more than ten single-family residences subject to a rental agreement; or in the case of condominium units or single-family residences located in any city or in any county having either the urban county executive form or county manager plan of government, no more than four.
B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the landlord may specifically provide for the applicability of the provisions of this chapter in the rental agreement. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.5)
Notice.
A. A person shall be deemed to have notice of a fact if he has actual knowledge of it; he has received a notice or notification of it; or, from all the facts and circumstances known to him at the time in question he has reason to know that it exists.

B. A person "notifies" or "gives" a notice or notification to another by taking steps reasonably calculated to inform another person whether or not the other person actually comes to know of it. A person "receives" a notice or notification when it:
1. Comes to his attention;

2. Is served upon the recipient by regular mail, postage prepaid, and there is sufficient proof of mailing which may be either a United States postal certificate of mailing or a certificate of service confirming such mailing prepared by the sender; or

3. Is served upon the recipient by hand delivery in accordance with Chapter 8 ( 8.01-285 et seq.) of Title 8.01, which provides for personal or substituted service, with the exception that the sender, whether landlord, tenant or sender's agent, may serve notices hereunder, when the sender retains a certificate of mailing prepared by him.
C. In the case of the landlord, notice is served on the landlord at his place of business where the rental agreement was made, or at any place held out by the landlord as the place for receipt of the communication.

D. In the case of the tenant, notice is served at the tenant's last known place of residence, which may be the dwelling unit.

E. Notice, knowledge or a notice or notification received by an organization is effective for a particular transaction from the time it is brought to the attention of the person conducting that transaction, or from the time it would have been brought to his attention if the organization had exercised reasonable diligence.

F. No notice of termination of tenancy served upon a tenant by a public housing authority organized under the Housing Authorities Law ( 36-1 et seq.) of Title 36 shall be effective unless it contains on its first page, in type no smaller or less legible than that otherwise used in the body of the notice, the name, address and telephone number of the legal services program, if any, serving the jurisdiction wherein the premises are located. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.6)
Application fees.
Any landlord may require an application fee. If the applicant fails to rent the unit applied for and the application fee exceeds twenty dollars, the landlord shall refund to the applicant within twenty days after the applicant's failure to rent the unit or the landlord's rejection of the application all sums in excess of the landlord's actual expenses and damages together with an itemized list of said expenses and damages. If, however, the application fee or deposit was made by cash, certified check, cashier's check, or postal money order, such refund shall be made within ten days of the applicant's failure to rent the unit if the failure to rent is due to the landlord's rejection of the application. If the landlord fails to comply with this section, the applicant may recover as damages suffered by him that portion of the fee wrongfully withheld and reasonable attorney's fees. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.6:1)

Terms and conditions of rental agreement; copy for tenant.
A. A landlord and tenant may include in a rental agreement, terms and conditions not prohibited by this chapter or other rule of law, including rent, charges for late payment of rent, term of the agreement and other provisions governing the rights and obligations of the parties.

B. In the absence of a rental agreement, the tenant shall pay as rent the fair rental value for the use and occupancy of the dwelling unit.

C. Rent shall be payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the place designated by the landlord and periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one month or less and otherwise in equal installments at the beginning of each month.

D. Unless the rental agreement fixes a definite term, the tenancy shall be week to week in case of a roomer who pays weekly rent, and in all other cases month to month.

E. If the rental agreement contains any provision whereby the landlord may approve or disapprove a sublessee or assignee of the tenant, the landlord shall within ten business days of receipt by him of the written application of the prospective sublessee or assignee on a form to be provided by the landlord, approve or disapprove the sublessee or assignee. Failure of the landlord to act within ten business days shall be deemed evidence of his approval.

F. A copy of any written rental agreement signed by both the tenant and the landlord shall be provided to the tenant within one month of the effective date of the written rental agreement. The failure of the landlord to deliver such a rental agreement shall not affect the validity of the agreement.

G. No unilateral change in the terms of a rental agreement by a landlord or tenant shall be valid unless (i) notice of the change is given in accordance with the terms of the rental agreement or as otherwise required by law and (ii) both parties consent in writing to the change. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.7)
Effect of unsigned or undelivered rental agreement.
If the landlord does not sign and deliver a written rental agreement signed and delivered to him by the tenant, acceptance of rent without reservation by the landlord gives the rental agreement the same effect as if it had been signed and delivered by the landlord. If the tenant does not sign and deliver a written rental agreement signed and delivered to him by the landlord, acceptance of possession or payment of rent without reservation gives the rental agreement the same effect as if it had been signed and delivered by the tenant. If a rental agreement, given effect by the operation of this section, provides for a term longer than one year, it is effective for only one year. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.8)

Prohibited provisions in rental agreements.
A. A rental agreement shall not contain provisions that the tenant:
1. Agrees to waive or forego rights or remedies under this chapter;
2. Agrees to waive or forego rights or remedies pertaining to the 120-day conversion or rehabilitation notice required in the Condominium Act ( 55-79.39 et seq.), the Virginia Real Estate Cooperative Act ( 55-424 et seq.) or Chapter 13 ( 55-217 et seq.) of this title;
3. Authorizes any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement;
4. Agrees to pay the landlord's attorney's fees except as provided in this chapter;
5. Agrees to the exculpation or limitation of any liability of the landlord to the tenant arising under law or to indemnify the landlord for that liability or the costs connected therewith; or
6. Agrees as a condition of tenancy in public housing to a prohibition or restriction of any lawful possession of a firearm within individual dwelling units unless required by federal law or regulation.
B. A provision prohibited by subsection A included in a rental agreement is unenforceable. If a landlord brings an action to enforce any of the prohibited provisions, the tenant may recover actual damages sustained by him and reasonable attorney's fees. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.9)
Confidentiality of tenant records.
No landlord or managing agent shall release financial information about a tenant or prospective tenant, other than a tenant's rent payment record and the amount of the tenant's periodic rental payment, to a third party without the prior written consent of the tenant or prospective tenant. However, a contract purchaser of property subject to a rental agreement may inspect all information pertaining to tenants or prospective tenants in the possession of the landlord without the necessity of obtaining a tenant's consent.

In all other circumstances, all information in the possession of the landlord pertaining to tenants or prospective tenants shall be deemed confidential and made available only with a tenant's or prospective tenant's prior written consent or upon service on the landlord of a subpoena for the production of records. Nothing in this section, however, shall preclude a landlord from releasing information pertaining to a tenant or prospective tenant in the event of an emergency.

This section shall not apply where the tenant is in default of the payment provisions of the rental agreement. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.9:1)

Landlord and tenant remedies for abuse of access.
If the tenant refuses to allow lawful access, the landlord may obtain injunctive relief to compel access, or terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the landlord may recover actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees. If the landlord makes an unlawful entry or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful but which have the effect of unreasonably harassing the tenant, the tenant may obtain injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of the conduct, or terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the tenant may recover actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.10:1)

Inspection of premises.
The landlord shall, within five days after occupancy of a dwelling unit, submit a written report to the tenant, for his safekeeping, itemizing damages to the dwelling unit existing at the time of occupancy, which record shall be deemed correct unless the tenant objects thereto in writing within five days after receipt thereof. The landlord may adopt a written policy allowing the tenant to prepare the written report of the move-in inspection, in which case the tenant shall submit a copy to the landlord, which record shall be deemed correct unless the landlord objects thereto in writing within five days after receipt thereof. Such written policy adopted by the landlord may also provide for the landlord and the tenant to prepare the written report of the move-in inspection jointly, in which case both the landlord and the tenant shall sign the written report and receive a copy thereof, at which time the inspection record shall be deemed correct. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.11:1)
Disclosure.
A. The landlord or any person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on his behalf shall disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy the name and address of:
1. The person or persons authorized to manage the premises; and

2. An owner of the premises or any other person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner,for the purposes of service of process and receiving and receipting for notices and demands.
B. In the event of the sale of the premises, the landlord shall notify the tenant of such sale and disclose to the tenant the name and address of the purchaser and a telephone number at which such purchaser can be located.
C. If an application for registration of the rental property as a condominium or cooperative has been filed with the Real Estate Board, or if there is within six months an existing plan for tenant displacement resulting from (i) demolition or substantial rehabilitation of the property or (ii) conversion of the rental property to office, hotel or motel use or planned unit development, then the landlord or any person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on his behalf shall disclose that information in writing to any prospective tenant.
D. The information required to be furnished by this section shall be kept current and this section extends to and is enforceable against any successor landlord or owner. A person who fails to comply with this section becomes an agent of each person who is a landlord for the purposes of service of process and receiving and receipting for notices and demands. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.12)
Landlord to maintain fit premises.
A. The landlord shall:
1. Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;

2. Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;

3. Keep all common areas shared by two or more dwelling units of the premises in a clean and structurally safe condition;

4. Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him;

5. Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences, in common areas, for the collection, storage, and removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the
occupancy of two or more dwelling units and arrange for the removal of same; and

6. Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable air conditioning if provided and heat in season except where the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat, air conditioning or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant or supplied by a direct public utility connection.
B. If the duty imposed by subdivision 1 of subsection A is greater than any duty imposed by any other subdivision of that subsection, the landlord's duty shall be determined by reference to subdivision 1.

C. The landlord and tenant may agree in writing that the tenant perform the landlord's duties specified in subdivisions 3, 5 and 6 of subsection A and also specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations and remodeling, but only if the transaction is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord, and if the agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of the landlord to other tenants in the premises. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.13)
Landlord to provide locks and peepholes.
The governing body of any county, city or town may require by ordinance that any landlord who rents five or more dwelling units in any one building shall install:
1. Dead-bolt locks which meet the requirements of the Uniform Statewide Building Code ( 36-97 et seq.) for new multi-family construction and peepholes in any exterior swinging entrance door to any such unit; however, any door having a glass panel shall not require a peephole.

2. Manufacturer's locks which meet the requirements of the Uniform Statewide Building Code and removable metal pins or charlie bars in accordance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code on
exterior sliding glass doors located in a building at any level or levels designated in the ordinance.
3. Locking devices which meet the requirements of the Uniform Statewide Building Code on all exterior windows.
Any ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall further provide that any landlord subject to the ordinance shall have a reasonable time as determined by the governing body in which to comply with the requirements of the ordinance. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.13:1)

(Effective until July 1, 2001) Access of tenant to cable, satellite and other television facilities.
No landlord shall demand or accept payment of any fee, charge or other thing of value from any provider of cable television service, satellite master antenna television service, direct broadcast satellite television service, subscription television service or service of any other television programming system in exchange for giving the tenants of such landlord access to such service; and no landlord shall demand or accept any such payment from any tenants in exchange therefor unless the landlord is itself the provider of the service. Nor shall any landlord discriminate in rental charges between tenants who receive any such service and those who do not. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit a landlord from requiring that the provider of such service and the tenant bear the entire cost of the installation, operation or removal of the facilities incident thereto, or prohibit a landlord from demanding or accepting reasonable indemnity or security for any damages caused by such installation, operation or removal. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.13:2)

(Effective July 1, 2001) Access of tenant to cable, satellite and other television
facilities
No landlord shall demand or accept payment of any fee, charge or other thing of value from any provider of cable television service, satellite master antenna television service, direct broadcast satellite television service, subscription television service or service of any other television programming system in exchange for merely granting a television service provider access to the landlord's tenants or giving the tenants of such landlord access to such service. A landlord may be compensated by such television service provider for the use and occupancy of the landlord's property and for any services rendered to that provider by the landlord in amounts reasonably related to the values of that property and those services rendered, including without limitation, physical occupation of the property, services provided to the provider by the landlord, costs imposed on the landlord, and benefits obtained by the provider.

No landlord shall demand or accept any such payment from any tenants in exchange therefor unless the landlord is itself the provider of the service. Nor shall any landlord discriminate in rental charges between tenants who receive any such service and those who do not. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit a landlord from requiring that the provider of such service and the tenant bear the entire cost of the installation, operation or removal of the facilities incident thereto, or prohibit a landlord from demanding or accepting reasonable indemnity or security for any damages caused by such installation, operation or removal. (Chap. 13, 55-248.13:2)

Notice to tenants for pesticide use.
A. The landlord shall give written notice to the tenant no less than forty-eight hours prior to his application of a pesticide in the tenant's dwelling unit unless the tenant agrees to a shorter notification period. If a tenant requests the application of the pesticide, the forty-eight-hour notice is not required. Tenants who have concerns about specific pesticides shall notify the landlord in writing no less than twenty-four hours before the scheduled pesticide application.

B. In addition, the landlord shall post notice of all pesticide applications in or upon the premises, excluding the dwelling units. Such notice shall consist of conspicuous signs placed in or upon such premises where the pesticide will be applied at least forty-eight hours prior to the application. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.13:3)
Limitation of liability.
Unless otherwise agreed, a landlord who conveys premises that include a dwelling unit subject to a rental agreement in a good faith sale to a bona fide purchaser is relieved of liability under the rental agreement and this chapter as to events occurring subsequent to notice to the tenant of the conveyance. Unless otherwise agreed, a managing agent of premises that include a dwelling unit is relieved of liability under the rental agreement and this chapter as to events occurring after written notice to the tenant of the termination of his management. (Chap. 13, 55-248.14)

Tenancy at will; effect of notice of change of terms or provisions of tenancy.
A notice of any change by a landlord or tenant in any terms or provisions of a tenancy at will shall constitute a notice to vacate the premises, and such notice of change shall be given in accordance with the terms of the rental agreement, if any, or as otherwise required by law. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.15)

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 thirty 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 thirty-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 thirty 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 thirty days prior to the termination of the rental agreement. 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 thirty-day period. If notice is given as prescribed in this paragraph, the landlord shall have an additional fifteen-day period to provide an itemization of the damages and the cost of repair. If the landlord willfully fails to comply with this section or if the landlord fails t o return any security deposit and interest required to be paid to the tenant under this chapter, the tenant may recover such security deposit due him together with actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees. 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 one percentage point 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 thirteen 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 seventy-two 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. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.15:1)

Tenant to maintain dwelling unit.
A. In addition to the provisions of the rental agreement, the tenant shall:
1. Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;

2. Keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses as
clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit;

3. Remove from his dwelling unit all ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste in a clean and safe manner and in the appropriate receptacles provided by the landlord pursuant to 55-248.13, if such disposal is on the premises;

4. Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits;

5. Use in a reasonable manner all utilities and all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises;

6. Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or permit any person to do so whether known by the tenant or not;

7. Not remove or tamper with a properly functioning smoke detector, including removing any working batteries, so as to render the smoke detector inoperative;

8. Be responsible for his conduct and the conduct of other persons on the premises with his consent whether known by the tenant or not, to ensure that his neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of the premises will not be disturbed; and

9. Abide by all reasonable rules and regulations imposed by the landlord pursuant to 55-248.17
B. If the duty imposed by subdivision 1 of subsection A is greater than any duty imposed by any other subdivision of that subsection, the tenant's duty shall be determined by reference to subdivision 1. (Chap. 13.2. 55-248.16)
Rules and regulations.
A. A landlord, from time to time, may adopt rules or regulations, however described, concerning the tenants' use and occupancy of the premises. Any such rule or regulation is enforceable against the tenant only if:
1. Its purpose is to promote the convenience, safety or welfare of the tenants in the premises, preserve the landlord's property from abusive use or make a fair distribution of services and
facilities held out for the tenants generally;

2. It is reasonably related to the purpose for which it is adopted;

3. It applies to all tenants in the premises in a fair manner;

4. It is sufficiently explicit in its prohibition, direction or limitation of the tenant's conduct to fairly inform him of what he must or must not do to comply;

5. It is not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord; and

6. The tenant has been provided with a copy of the rules and regulations or changes thereto at the time he enters into the rental agreement or when they are adopted.
B. A rule or regulation adopted, changed, or provided to the tenant after the tenant enters into the rental agreement shall be enforceable against the tenant if reasonable notice of its adoption or change has been given to the tenant and it does not work a substantial modification of his bargain. If a rule or regulation is adopted or changed after the tenant enters into the rental agreement that does work a substantial modification of his bargain, it shall not be valid unless the tenant consents to it in writing.

C. Any court enforcing this chapter shall consider violations of the reasonable rules and regulations imposed under this section as a breach of the rental agreement and grant the landlord appropriate relief. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.17)
Access; consent.
A. The tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter into the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen or contractors. The landlord may enter the dwelling unit without consent of the tenant in case of emergency. The landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant. Except in case of emergency or if it is impractical to do so, the landlord shall give the tenant reasonable notice of his intent to enter and may enter only at reasonable times.

B. The landlord has no other right to access except by court order or that permitted by 55-248.32 and 55-248.33 or if the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises.

C. The tenant may install, within the dwelling unit, new burglary prevention, including chain latch devices approved by the landlord, and fire detection devices that the tenant may believe necessary to ensure his safety, provided:
1. Installation does no permanent damage to any part of the dwelling unit.

2. A duplicate of all keys and instructions of how to operate all devices are given to the landlord

3. Upon termination of the tenancy the tenant shall, upon request of the landlord, remove all such devices and repair all damages. (Chap. 13, 55-248.18)
Use and occupancy by tenant.
Unless otherwise agreed, the tenant shall occupy his dwelling unit only as a residence. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.19)

Tenant to surrender possession of dwelling unit.
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. (Chap. 13, 55-248.20)

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 thirty days after receipt of the notice if such breach is not remedied in twenty-one 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 that thirty days after receipt of the notice.

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 thirty 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. If the landlord's noncompliance is willful the tenant may recover reasonable attorney's fees. 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.  (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.21)

Early termination of rental agreement by military personnel.
A. Any member of the armed forces of the United States or a member of the Virginia National Guard serving on full-time duty or as a Civil Service technician with a National Guard unit may, through the procedure detailed in subsection B, terminate his rental agreement if the member (i) has received permanent change of station orders to depart thirty-five miles or more (radius) from the location of the dwelling unit; (ii) has received temporary duty orders in excess of three months' duration to depart thirty-five miles or more (radius) from the location of the dwelling unit; (iii) is discharged or released from active duty with the armed forces of the United States or from his full-time duty or technician status with the Virginia National Guard; or (iv) is ordered to report to government-supplied quarters resulting in the forfeiture of basic allowance for quarters.

B. Tenants who qualify to terminate a rental agreement pursuant to subsection A shall do so by serving on the landlord a written notice of termination to be effective on a date stated therein, said date to be not less than thirty days after receipt of the notice. The termination date shall be no more than sixty days prior to the date of departure necessary to comply with the official orders or any supplemental instructions for interim training or duty prior to the transfer. Prior to the termination date, the tenant shall furnish the landlord with a copy of the official notification of the orders or a signed letter, confirming the orders, from the tenant's commanding officer. The final rent shall be prorated to the date of termination and shall be payable at such time as would have otherwise been required by the terms of the rental agreement, together with any liquidated damages due pursuant to subsection C.

C. In consideration of early termination of the rental agreement the landlord may require that the tenant pay to the landlord liquidated damages in an amount no greater than:
1. One month's rent if the tenant has completed less than six months of the tenancy as of the effective date of termination, or

2. One-half of one month's rent if the tenant has completed at least six but less than twelve months of the tenancy as of the effective date of termination.
D. Nothing in this section shall affect the tenant's obligations established by 55-248.16.

E. The exemption provided in subdivision 10 of subsection A of 55-248.5 shall not apply to this section. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.21:1)
Failure to deliver possession.
If the landlord willfully fails to deliver possession of the dwelling unit to the tenant, rent abates until possession is delivered and the tenant may (i) terminate the rental agreement upon at least five days' written notice to the landlord and upon termination, the landlord shall return all prepaid rent and security deposits; or (ii) demand performance of the rental agreement by the landlord. If the tenant elects, he may file an action for possession of the dwelling unit against the landlord or any person wrongfully in possession and recover the damages sustained by him. If a person's failure to deliver possession is willful and not in good faith, an aggrieved person may recover from that person the actual damages sustained by him and reasonable attorney's fees. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.22)

Wrongful failure to supply heat, water, hot water or essential services.
A. If contrary to the rental agreement or provisions of this chapter the landlord willfully or negligently fails to supply heat, running water, hot water, electricity, gas or other essential service, the tenant must serve a written notice on the landlord specifying the breach, if acting under this section and, in such event, and after a reasonable time allowed the landlord to correct such breach, may:
1. Recover damages based upon the diminution in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit; or

2. Procure reasonable substitute housing during the period of the landlord's noncompliance, in which case the tenant is excused from paying rent for the period of the landlord's noncompliance,as determined by the court.
B. If the tenant proceeds under this section, he shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees; however, he may not proceed under 55-248.21 as to that breach. The rights of the tenant under this section shall not arise until he has given written notice to the landlord; however, no rights arise if the condition was 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. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.23)
Fire or casualty damage.
If the dwelling unit or premises are damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty to an extent that enjoyment of the dwelling unit is substantially impaired, the tenant may immediately vacate the premises and within fourteen days thereafter, serve on the landlord a written notice of his intention to terminate the rental agreement, in which case the rental agreement terminates as of the date of vacating; or if continued occupancy is lawful, 55-226 shall apply. If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all security deposits in accordance with 55-248.15:1. Accounting for rent in the event of termination or apportionment shall be made as of the date of the casualty. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.24)

Landlord's noncompliance as defense to action for possession for nonpayment of rent.
A. In an action for possession based upon nonpayment of rent or in an action for rent by a landlord when the tenant is in possession, the tenant may assert as a defense that there exists upon the leased premises, a condition which constitutes or will constitute, a fire hazard or a serious threat to the life, health or safety of occupants thereof, including but not limited to a lack of heat or running water or of light or of electricity or adequate sewage disposal facilities or an infestation of rodents, or a condition which constitutes material noncompliance on the part of the landlord with the rental agreement or provisions of law. The assertion of any defense provided for in this section shall be conditioned upon the following:
1. Prior to the commencement of the action for rent or possession, the landlord or his agent was served a written notice of the aforesaid condition or conditions by the tenant or was notified by a violation or condemnation notice from an appropriate state or municipal agency, but that the landlord has refused, or having a reasonable opportunity to do so, has failed to remedy the same. For the purposes of this subsection, what period of time shall be deemed to be unreasonable delay is left to the discretion of the court except that there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a period in excess of thirty days from receipt of the notification by the landlord is unreasonable; and

2. The tenant, if in possession, has paid into court the amount of rent found by the court to be due and unpaid, to be held by the court pending the issuance of an order under subsection C.
B. It shall be a sufficient answer to such a defense provided for in this section if the landlord establishes the conditions alleged in the defense do not in fact exist; or such conditions have been removed or remedied; or such conditions have been caused by the tenant or members of the family of such tenant or of his or their guests; or the tenant has unreasonably refused entry to the landlord to the premises for the purposes of correcting such conditions.

C. The court shall make findings of fact upon any defense raised under this section or the answer to any defense and, thereafter, shall pass such order as may be required including any one or more of the following:
1. An order to set-off to the tenant as determined by the court in such amount as may be equitable to represent the existence of any condition set forth in subsection A which is found by the court to exist;

2. Terminate the rental agreement or order surrender of the premises to the landlord; or

3. Refer any matter before the court to the proper state or municipal agency for investigation and report and grant a continuance of the action or complaint pending receipt of such investigation and report. When such a continuance is granted, the tenant shall deposit with the court any rents which will become due during the period of continuance, to be held by the court pending its further order or in its discretion the court may use such funds to pay a mortgage on the property in order to stay a foreclosure, to pay a creditor to prevent or satisfy a bill to enforce a mechanic's or materialman's lien, or to remedy any condition set forth in subsection A which is found by the court to exist.
D. If it appears that the tenant has raised a defense under this section in bad faith or has caused the violation or has unreasonably refused entry to the landlord for the purpose of correcting the condition giving rise to the violation, the court, in its discretion, may impose upon the tenant the reasonable costs of the landlord, including court costs, the costs of repair where the court finds the tenant has caused the violation, and reasonable attorney's fees. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.25)
Rent escrow required for continuance of tenant's case.
A. Where a landlord has filed an unlawful detainer action seeking possession of the premises as provided by this chapter and the tenant seeks to obtain a continuance of the action or to set it for a contested trial, the court shall, upon request of the landlord, order the tenant to pay an amount equal to the rent that is due as of the initial court date into the court escrow account prior to granting the tenant's request for a delayed court date. However, if the tenant asserts a good faith defense, and the court so finds, the court shall not require the rent to be escrowed. If the landlord requests a continuance, or to set the case for a contested trial, the court shall not require the rent to be escrowed.

B. If the court finds that the tenant has not asserted a good faith defense, the tenant shall be required to pay an amount determined by the court to be proper into the court escrow account in order for the case to be continued or set for contested trial. To meet the ends of justice, however, the court may grant the tenant a continuance of no more than one week to make full payment of the court-ordered amount into the court escrow account. If the tenant fails to pay the entire amount ordered, the court shall, upon request of the landlord, enter judgment for the landlord and enter an order of possession of the premises.

C. The court shall further order that should the tenant fail to pay future rents due under the rental agreement into the court escrow account, the court shall, upon the request of the landlord, enter judgment for the landlord and enter an order of possession of the premises.

D. Upon motion of the landlord, the court may disburse the moneys held in the court escrow account to the landlord for payment of his mortgage or other expenses relating to the dwelling unit. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.25:1)
Tenant's remedies for landlord's unlawful ouster, exclusion or diminution of service.
If the landlord unlawfully removes or excludes the tenant from the premises or willfully diminishes services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of gas, water or other essential service to the tenant, the tenant may recover possession or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, recover the actual damages sustained by him and a reasonable attorney's fee. If the rental agreement is terminated the landlord shall return all of the security deposit in accordance with 55-248.15:1. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.26)

Tenant's assertion; rent escrow.
A. The tenant may assert that there exists upon the leased premises, a condition or conditions which constitute a material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or with provisions of law, or which if not promptly corrected, will constitute a fire hazard or serious threat to the life, health or safety of occupants thereof, including but not limited to, a lack of heat or hot or cold running water, except if the tenant is responsible for payment of the utility charge and where the lack of such heat or hot or cold running water is the direct result of the tenant's failure to pay the utility charge; or of light, electricity or adequate sewage disposal facilities; or an infestation of rodents, except if the property is a one-family dwelling; or of the existence of paint containing lead pigment on surfaces within the dwelling, provided that the landlord has notice of such paint. The tenant may file such an assertion in a general district court wherein the premises are located by a declaration setting forth such assertion and asking for one or more forms of relief as provided for in subsection C.

B. Prior to the granting of any relief, the tenant shall show to the satisfaction of the court that:
1. Prior to the commencement of the action the landlord was served a written notice by the tenant of the conditions described in subsection A, or was notified of such conditions by a violation or condemnation notice from an appropriate state or municipal agency, and that the landlord has refused, or having a reasonable opportunity to do so, has failed to remedy the same. For the purposes of this subsection, what period of time shall be deemed to be unreasonable delay is left to the discretion of the court except that there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a period in excess of thirty days from receipt of the notification by the landlord is unreasonable;

2. The tenant has paid into court the amount of rent called for under the rental agreement, within five days of the date due thereunder, unless or until such amount is modified by subsequent order of the court under this chapter; and

3. The tenant has not received more than three termination notices, or civil warrants or a combination thereof, from the landlord in accordance with 55-248.31 for rent due and unpaid in the year immediately prior to the initiation of the action by the tenant or by the landlord. If the tenant has lived on the premises six months or less and has received two termination notices, or civil warrants or a combination thereof, for rent due and unpaid, the tenant shall not be entitled to make an assertion against the landlord as provided in subsection A. It shall be sufficient answer or rejoinder to such a declaration if the landlord establishes to the satisfaction of the court that the conditions alleged by the tenant do not in fact exist, or such conditions have been removed or remedied, or such conditions have been caused by the tenant or members of his family or his or their invitees or licensees, or the tenant has unreasonably refused entry to the landlord to the premises for the purpose of correcting such conditions.
C. Any court shall make findings of fact on the issues before it and shall issue any order that may be required. Such an order may include, but is not limited to, any one or more of the following:
1. Terminating the rental agreement or ordering the premises surrendered to the landlord;

2. Ordering all moneys already accumulated in escrow disbursed to the landlord or to the tenant in accordance with this chapter;

3. Ordering that the escrow be continued until the conditions causing the complaint are remedied;

4. Ordering that the amount of rent, whether paid into the escrow account or paid to the landlord, be abated as determined by the court in such an amount as may be equitable to represent the existence of the condition or conditions found by the court to exist. In all cases where the court deems that the tenant is entitled to relief under this chapter, the burden shall be upon the landlord to show cause why there should not be an abatement of rent;

5. Ordering any amount of moneys accumulated in escrow disbursed to the tenant where the landlord refuses to make repairs after a reasonable time or to the landlord or to a contractor
chosen by the landlord in order to make repairs or to otherwise remedy the condition. In either case, the court shall in its order insure that moneys thus disbursed will be in fact used for the purpose of making repairs or effecting a remedy;

6. Referring any matter before the court to the proper state or municipal agency for investigation and report and granting a continuance of the action or complaint pending receipt of such investigation and report. When such a continuance is granted, the tenant shall deposit with the court rents within five days of date due under the rental agreement, subject to any abatement under this section, which become due during the period of the continuance, to be held by the court pending its further order;

7. In its discretion, ordering escrow funds disbursed to pay a mortgage on the property in order to stay a foreclosure;

8. In its discretion, ordering escrow funds disbursed to pay a creditor to prevent or satisfy a bill to enforce a mechanic's or materialman's lien.  Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection, where an escrow account is established by the court and the condition or conditions are not fully remedied within six months of the establishment of such account, and the landlord has not made reasonable attempts to remedy the condition, the court shall award all moneys accumulated in escrow to the tenant. In such event, the escrow shall not be terminated, but shall begin upon a new six-month period with the same result if, at the end thereof, the condition or conditions have not been remedied.

D. The initial hearing on the tenant's assertion filed pursuant to subsection A shall be held within fifteen calendar days from the date of service of process on the landlord as authorized by 55-248.12, except that the court shall order an earlier hearing where emergency conditions are alleged to exist upon the premises, such as failure of heat in winter, lack of adequate sewage facilities or any other condition which constitutes an immediate threat to the health or safety of the inhabitants of the leased premises. The court, on motion of either party or on its own motion, may hold hearings subsequent to the initial proceeding in order to further determine the rights and obligations of the parties. Distribution of escrow moneys may only occur by order of the court after a hearing of which both parties are given notice as required by law or upon motion of both the landlord and tenant or upon certification by the appropriate inspector that the work required by the court to be done has been satisfactorily completed. If the tenant proceeds under this subsection, he may not proceed under any other section of this article as to that breach. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.27)
Noncompliance with rental agreement.
Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or a violation of 55-248.16 materially affecting health and safety, the landlord may serve a written notice on the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and stating that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than thirty days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in twenty-one days, and that the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice. If the breach is remediable by repairs or the payment of damages or otherwise and the tenant adequately remedies the breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the rental agreement shall not terminate. If the tenant commits a breach which is not remediable, the landlord may serve a written notice on the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and stating that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than thirty days after receipt of the notice. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained elsewhere in this chapter, when a breach of the tenant's obligations under this chapter or the rental agreement involves or constitutes a criminal or a willful act, which is not remediable and which poses a threat to health or safety, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement immediately and proceed to obtain possession of the premises. The initial hearing on the landlord's action for immediate possession of the premises shall be held within fifteen calendar days from the date of service on the tenant; however, the court shall order an earlier hearing when emergency conditions are alleged to exist upon the premises which constitute an immediate threat to the health or safety of the other tenants. After the initial hearing, if the matter is scheduled for a subsequent hearing or for a contested trial, the court, to the extent practicable, shall order that the matter be given priority on the court's docket. Such subsequent hearing or contested trial shall be heard no later than thirty days from the date of service on the tenant. During the interim period between the date of the initial hearing and the date of any subsequent hearing or contested trial, the court may afford any further remedy or relief as is necessary to protect the interests of parties to the proceeding or the interests of any other tenant residing on the premises.

If the tenant has been served with a prior written notice which required the tenant to remedy a breach, and the tenant remedied such breach, where the tenant intentionally commits a subsequent breach of a like nature as the prior breach, the landlord may serve a written notice on the tenant 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 thirty days after receipt of the notice.

If rent is unpaid when due, and the tenant fails to pay rent within five days after written notice is served on him notifying the tenant of his nonpayment, and of the landlord's intention to terminate the rental agreement if the rent is not paid within the five-day period, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and proceed to obtain possession of the premises as provided in 55-248.35. If a check for rent is delivered to the landlord drawn on an account with insufficient funds and the tenant fails to pay rent within five days after written notice is served on him notifying the tenant of his nonpayment and of the landlord's intention to terminate the rental agreement if the rent is not paid by cash, cashier's check or certified check within the five-day period, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and proceed to obtain possession of the premises as provided in 55-248.35. Except as provided in this chapter, the landlord may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for any noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or 55-248.16. If the tenant's noncompliance is willful, the landlord may recover reasonable attorney's fees. Failure of the tenant either to pay the rent or to vacate the premises within five days after written notice of nonpayment given by the landlord shall be deemed willful noncompliance by the tenant, unless the failure to pay the rent or to vacate the premises is found by the court to be reasonable. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.31)

Barring guest or invitee of tenants.
A. A guest or invitee of a tenant may be barred from the premises by the landlord upon written notice served personally upon the guest or invitee of the tenant for conduct on the landlord's property where the premises are located which violates the terms and conditions of the rental agreement, a local ordinance, or a state or federal law. A copy of the notice must be served upon the tenant in accordance with this chapter. The notice shall describe the conduct of the guest or invitee which is the basis for the landlord's action.

B. In addition to the remedies against the tenant authorized by this chapter, a landlord may apply to the magistrate for a warrant for trespass, provided the guest or invitee has been served in accordance with subsection A.

C. The tenant may file a tenant's assertion, in accordance with 55-248.27, requesting that the general district court review the landlord's action to bar the guest or invitee. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.31:01)
Sheriffs authorized to serve certain notices; fees therefor.
The sheriff of any county or city, upon request, may deliver any notice to a tenant on behalf of a landlord or lessor under the provisions of 55-225 or 55-248.31. For this service, the sheriff shall be allowed a fee not to exceed twelve dollars. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.31:1)

Remedy by repair, etc.; emergencies.
If there is a violation by the tenant of 55-248.16 or the rental agreement materially affecting health and safety that can be remedied by repair, replacement of a damaged item or cleaning, and the tenant fails to comply within fourteen days after written notice by the landlord specifying the breach and requesting that the tenant remedy it within that period of time, the landlord may enter the premises, cause the work to be done in a workmanlike manner, and submit an itemized bill for the actual and reasonable cost or the fair and reasonable value thereof as rent on the next date when periodic rent is due, or if the rental agreement has terminated, for immediate payment.

In case of emergency the landlord may, as promptly as conditions require, enter the premises,cause the work to be done in a workmanlike manner, and submit an itemized bill for the actual and reasonable cost or the fair and reasonable value thereof as rent on the next date when periodic rent is due, or if the rental agreement has terminated, for immediate payment. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.32)

Remedies for absence, nonuse and abandonment.
If the rental agreement requires the tenant to give notice to the landlord of an anticipated extended absence in excess of seven days and the tenant fails to do so, the landlord may recover actual damages from the tenant. During any absence of the tenant in excess of seven days, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit at times reasonably necessary to protect his possessions and property. If the landlord rents an abandoned dwelling unit for a term beginning prior to the expiration of the rental agreement, it is deemed to be terminated as of the date the new tenancy begins. The rental agreement is deemed to be terminated by the landlord as of the date the landlord has notice of the abandonment if the landlord elects to accept the abandonment as a surrender. If the tenancy is from month to month or week to week, the term of the rental agreement for this purpose is deemed to be a month or week, as the case may be. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.33)

Waiver of landlord's right to terminate.
Unless the landlord accepts the rent with reservation, and gives a written notice to the tenant of such acceptance, acceptance of periodic rent payments with knowledge in fact of a material noncompliance by the tenant shall constitute a waiver of the landlord's right to terminate the rental agreement. Except as provided in 55-243, if the landlord has given the tenant written notice that the rent payments have been accepted with reservation, the landlord may accept full payment of all rent payments and still be entitled to receive an order of possession terminating the rental agreement. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.34)

Remedy after termination.
If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord may have a claim for possession and for rent and a separate claim for actual damages for breach of the rental agreement, reasonable attorney's fees as provided in 55-248.31, and the cost of service of any notice under 55-225 or 55-248.31 or process by a sheriff or private process server which cost shall not exceed the amount authorized by 55-248.31:1, which claims may be enforced, without limitation, by the institution of an action for unlawful entry or detainer. Actual damages for breach of the rental agreement may include a claim for such rent as would have accrued until the expiration of the term thereof or until a tenancy pursuant to a new rental agreement commences, whichever first occurs; provided that nothing herein contained shall diminish the duty of the landlord to mitigate actual damages for breach of the rental agreement. In obtaining post-possession judgments for actual damages as defined herein, the landlord shall not be required to seek a judgment for accelerated rent through the end of the term of the tenancy.

In any unlawful detainer action brought by the landlord, this section shall not be construed to prevent the landlord from being granted by the court a simultaneous judgment for money due and for possession of the premises without a credit for any security deposit. Upon the tenant vacating the premises either voluntarily or by a writ of possession, security deposits shall be credited to the tenants' account by the landlord in accordance with the requirements of 55-248.15:1. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.35)

Recovery of possession limited.
A landlord may not recover or take possession of the dwelling unit (i) by willful diminution of services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of electric, gas, water or other essential service required by the rental agreement or (ii) by refusal to permit the tenant access to the unit unless such refusal is pursuant to a court order for possession. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.36)

Periodic tenancy; holdover remedies.
The landlord or the tenant may terminate a week-to-week tenancy by serving a written notice on the other at least seven days prior to the next rent due date. The landlord or the tenant may terminate a month-to-month tenancy by serving a written notice on the other at least thirty days prior to the next rent due date. If the tenant remains in possession without the landlord's consent after expiration of the term of the rental agreement or its termination, the landlord may bring an action for possession and if the tenant's holdover is willful the landlord may also recover the actual damages by him and reasonable attorney's fees. If the landlord consents to the tenant's continued occupancy, 55-248.7 applies. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.37)
55-248.38.  Repealed by Acts 2000, c. 760, cl. 2.

Disposal of property abandoned by tenants.
If any items of personal property are left in the premises, or in any storage area provided by the landlord, after the rental agreement has terminated and delivery of possession has occurred, the landlord may consider such property to be abandoned. The landlord may dispose of the property so abandoned as the landlord sees fit or appropriate, provided he has given ten days' written notice to the tenant at the last known address of the tenant, address correction requested, as otherwise provided in this chapter. If the landlord received any funds from any sale of abandoned property as provided in this section, the landlord shall pay such funds to the account of the tenant and apply same to any amounts due the landlord by the tenant, including the reasonable costs incurred by the landlord in selling, storing or safekeeping such property. If any such funds are remaining after application, the remaining funds shall be treated as a security deposit under the provisions of 55-248.15:1. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable if the landlord has been granted a writ of possession for the premises in accordance with Title 8.01 and execution of such writ has been completed pursuant to 8.01-470. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.38:1)

Retaliatory conduct prohibited.
A. Except as provided in this section, or as otherwise provided by law, a landlord may not retaliate by increasing rent or decreasing services or by bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession or by causing a termination of the rental agreement pursuant to 55-222 or 55-248.37 after he has knowledge that: (i) the tenant has complained to a governmental agency charged with responsibility for enforcement of a building or housing code of a violation applicable to the premises materially affecting health or safety; or (ii) the tenant has made a complaint to or filed a suit against the landlord for a violation of any provision of this chapter; or (iii) the tenant has organized or become a member of a tenants' organization; or (iv) the tenant has testified in a court proceeding against the landlord. However, the provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to prevent the landlord from increasing rents to that charged on similar market rentals nor decreasing services that shall apply equally to all tenants.

B. If the landlord acts in violation of this section, the tenant is entitled to the applicable remedies provided for in this chapter, including recovery of actual damages, and may assert such retaliation as a defense in any action against him for possession. The burden of proving retaliatory intent shall be on the tenant.

C. Notwithstanding subsections A and B, a landlord may terminate the rental agreement pursuant to 55-222 or 55-248.37 and bring an action for possession if:
1. Violation of the applicable building or housing code was caused primarily by lack of reasonable care by the tenant or a member of his household or a person on the premises with his consent;

2. The tenant is in default in rent;

3. Compliance with the applicable building or housing code requires alteration, remodeling or demolition which would effectively deprive the tenant of use of the dwelling unit; or

4. The tenant is in default of a provision of the rental agreement materially affecting the health and safety of himself or others. The maintenance of the action provided herein does not release the landlord from liability under 55-248.15:1.
D. The landlord may also terminate the rental agreement pursuant to 55-222 or 55-248.37 for any other reason not prohibited by law unless the court finds that the primary reason for the
termination was retaliation. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.39)
Actions to enforce chapter.
Any person adversely affected by an act or omission prohibited under this chapter may institute an action for injunction and damages against the person responsible for such act or omission in the circuit court in the county or city in which such act or omission occurred. If the court finds that the defendant was responsible for such act or omission, it shall enjoin the defendant from continuance of such practice, and in its discretion award the plaintiff damages as herein provided. (Chap. 13.2, 55-248.40)                                                                

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