The Virginia General Assembly adopted sweeping changes to Virginia’s landlord tenant law. Among the many modifications involves the very law that governs landlord tenant law, which can be found in Title 55.1, Subtitle III (Rental Conveyances) in the Code of Virginia.
It used to be the case that Virginia’s Residential Landlord Tenant Act (“VRLTA”) governed landlord tenant law in cases in which the landlord owned and rented two or more rental units, or if the rental agreement contained a provision noting that the Act applies. If the rental agreement was one that the VRLTA did not apply, common law and basic contract law applied to its provisions. This meant that the law that governed the rental agreement was dependent upon how many units the landlord owned and rented.
The new law does not differentiate based on the number of units owned and rented by the landlord. Rather, the new landlord tenant law applies to occupancy in all single-family and multifamily dwelling units located within the Commonwealth. All landlord tenant law is now governed by one statute. Whether you’re a fan of the new law or not, consistency in its application is welcomed here in VA!
Of course there are always exceptions, and this statutory update is no exception. If the tenant pays no rent pursuant to a rental agreement, or the occupancy is under a contract of sale and the purchaser is the occupant (think rent-back agreements…), this new law does not apply.
If you are representing a client in Virginia who is renting a dwelling, or selling a dwelling that is currently leased to a tenant, call Highland Title at 703-723-3300 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys about the new updates to the VRTLA.