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Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Law

Landlord Tenant – Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act – Virginia

Related Virginia Legal Forms

Title 55
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)

Related Virginia Legal Forms

Inside Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Law