Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 55. Property and Conveyances
Chapter 13.2. Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
4/25/2017

§ 55-248.18. Access; consent; correction of nonemergency conditions; relocation of tenant.

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. If, upon inspection of a dwelling unit during the term of a tenancy, the landlord determines 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 in accordance with § 55-248.32, the landlord may make such repairs and send the tenant an invoice for payment. If, upon inspection of the dwelling unit during the term of a tenancy, the landlord discovers a violation of the rental agreement, this chapter, or other applicable law, the landlord may send a written notice of termination pursuant to § 55-248.31. If the rental agreement so provides and if a tenant without reasonable justification declines to permit the landlord or managing agent to exhibit the dwelling unit for sale or lease, the landlord may recover damages, costs, and reasonable attorney fees against such tenant.

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 notice of his intent to enter and may enter only at reasonable times. Unless impractical to do so, the landlord shall give the tenant at least 24-hours' notice of routine maintenance to be performed that has not been requested by the tenant. If the tenant makes a request for maintenance, the landlord is not required to provide notice to the tenant.

B. Upon the sole determination by the landlord of the existence of a nonemergency property condition in the dwelling unit that requires the tenant to temporarily vacate the dwelling unit in order for the landlord to properly remedy such property condition, the landlord may, upon at least 30 days' written notice to the tenant, require the tenant to temporarily vacate the dwelling unit for a period not to exceed 30 days to a comparable dwelling unit, as selected by the landlord, and at no expense or cost to the tenant. The landlord and tenant may agree for the tenant to temporarily vacate the dwelling unit in less than 30 days. For purposes of this subsection, "nonemergency property condition" means (i) a condition in the dwelling unit that, in the determination of the landlord, is necessary for the landlord to remedy in order for the landlord to be in compliance with § 55-248.13; (ii) the condition does not need to be remedied within a 24-hour period, with any condition that needs to be remedied within 24 hours being defined as an "emergency condition"; and (iii) the condition can only be effectively remedied by the temporary relocation of the tenant pursuant to the provisions of this subsection.

The tenant shall continue to be responsible for payment of rent under the rental agreement during the period of any temporary relocation. The landlord shall pay all costs of repairs or remediation required to address the property condition. Refusal of the tenant to cooperate with a temporary relocation pursuant to this subsection shall be deemed a breach of the rental agreement, unless the tenant agrees to vacate the unit and terminate the rental agreement within the 30-day notice period. If the landlord properly remedies the nonemergency property condition within the 30-day period, nothing herein shall be construed to entitle the tenant to terminate the rental agreement. Further, nothing herein shall be construed to limit the landlord from taking legal action against the tenant for any noncompliance that occurs during the period of any temporary relocation pursuant to this section.

C. 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.

D. 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 be responsible for payment to the landlord for reasonable costs incurred for the removal of all such devices and repairs to all damaged areas.

E. Upon written request of the tenant, the landlord shall install a carbon monoxide alarm in the tenant's dwelling unit within 90 days of such request and may charge the tenant a reasonable fee to recover the costs of such installation. The landlord's installation of a carbon monoxide alarm shall be in compliance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code.

1974, c. 680; 1993, c. 634; 1995, c. 601; 1999, c. 65; 2000, c. 760; 2001, c. 524; 2004, c. 307; 2008, cc. 489, 617; 2009, c. 663; 2011, c. 766; 2014, c. 632; 2015, c. 596; 2016, c. 744.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.