Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances
Chapter 12. Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
10/22/2021

Article 5. Landlord Remedies.

§ 55.1-1245. (Effective until July 1, 2022) Noncompliance with rental agreement; monetary penalty.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or a violation of § 55.1-1227 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 30 days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in 21 days and that the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice.

B. 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.

C. If the tenant commits a breach that 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 30 days after receipt of the notice. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, when a breach of the tenant's obligations under this chapter or the rental agreement involves or constitutes a criminal or a willful act that is not remediable and that poses a threat to health or safety, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement immediately and proceed to obtain possession of the premises. For purposes of this subsection, any illegal drug activity involving a controlled substance, as used or defined by the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.), or any activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety, by the tenant, an authorized occupant, or a guest or invitee of the tenant shall constitute an immediate nonremediable violation for which the landlord may proceed to terminate the tenancy without the necessity of waiting for a conviction of any criminal offense that may arise out of the same actions. In order to obtain an order of possession from a court of competent jurisdiction terminating the tenancy for illegal drug activity or for any other activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety, the landlord shall prove any such violations by a preponderance of the evidence. However, where the illegal drug activity or any activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety is engaged in by an authorized occupant or a guest or invitee of the tenant, the tenant shall be presumed to have knowledge of such activities unless the presumption is rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence. The initial hearing on the landlord's action for immediate possession of the premises shall be held within 15 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 that 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 30 calendar 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. Failure by the court to hold either of the hearings within the time limits set out in this section shall not be a basis for dismissal of the case.

D. If the tenant is a victim of family abuse as defined in § 16.1-228 that occurred in the dwelling unit or on the premises and the perpetrator is barred from the dwelling unit pursuant to § 55.1-1246 on the basis of information provided by the tenant to the landlord, or by a protective order from a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to § 16.1-253.1 or 16.1-279.1 or subsection B of § 20-103, the lease shall not terminate solely due to an act of family abuse against the tenant. However, these provisions shall not be applicable if (i) the tenant fails to provide written documentation corroborating the tenant's status as a victim of family abuse and the exclusion from the dwelling unit of the perpetrator no later than 21 days from the alleged offense or (ii) the perpetrator returns to the dwelling unit or the premises, in violation of a bar notice, and the tenant fails to promptly notify the landlord within 24 hours that the perpetrator has returned to the dwelling unit or the premises, unless the tenant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the tenant had no actual knowledge that the perpetrator violated the bar notice, or it was not possible for the tenant to notify the landlord within 24 hours, in which case the tenant shall promptly notify the landlord, but in no event later than seven days. If the provisions of this subsection are not applicable, the tenant shall remain responsible for the acts of the other co-tenants, authorized occupants, or guests or invitees pursuant to § 55.1-1227 and is subject to termination of the tenancy pursuant to the lease and this chapter.

E. If the tenant has been served with a prior written notice that 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 30 days after receipt of the notice.

F. For a landlord who owns four or fewer rental dwelling units, if rent is unpaid when due, and the tenant fails to pay rent within 14 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 14-day period, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and proceed to obtain possession of the premises as provided in § 55.1-1251.

For a landlord who owns more than four rental dwelling units or more than a 10 percent interest in more than four rental dwelling units, whether individually or through a business entity, in the Commonwealth, if rent is unpaid when due, the landlord shall serve upon the tenant a written notice informing the tenant of the total amount due and owed. The written notice shall also offer the tenant a payment plan under which the tenant shall be required to pay the total amount due and owed in equal monthly installments over a period of the lesser of six months or the time remaining under the rental agreement. The total amount due and owed under a payment plan shall not include any late fees, and no late fees shall be assessed during any time period in which a tenant is making timely payments under a payment plan. This notice shall also inform the tenant that if the tenant fails to either pay the total amount due and owed or enter into the payment plan offered, or an alternative payment arrangement acceptable to the landlord, within 14 days of receiving the written notice from the landlord, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and proceed to obtain possession of the premises as provided in § 55.1-1251. If the tenant fails to pay in full or enter into a payment plan with the landlord within 14 days of when the notice is served on him, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and proceed to obtain possession of the premises as provided in § 55.1-1251. If the tenant enters into a payment plan and after the plan becomes effective, fails to pay any installment required by the plan within 14 days of its due date, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and proceed to obtain possession of the premises as provided in § 55.1-1251, provided that he has sent the tenant a new notice advising the tenant that the rental agreement will terminate unless the tenant pays the total amount due and owed as stated on the notice within 14 days of receipt. The option of entering into a payment plan or alternative payment arrangement pursuant to this subsection may only be utilized once during the time period of the rental agreement. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude a tenant from availing himself of any other rights or remedies available to him under the law, nor shall the tenant's eligibility to participate or participation in any rent relief program offered by a nonprofit organization or under the provisions of any federal, state, or local law, regulation, or action prohibit the tenant from taking advantage of the provisions of this subsection.

G. If a check for rent is delivered to the landlord drawn on an account with insufficient funds, or if an electronic funds transfer has been rejected because of insufficient funds or a stop-payment order has been placed in bad faith by the authorizing party, 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, certified check, or a completed electronic funds transfer within the five-day period, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and proceed to obtain possession of the premises as provided in § 55.1-1251. Nothing shall be construed to prevent a landlord from seeking an award of costs or attorney fees under § 8.01-27.1 or civil recovery under § 8.01-27.2, as a part of other damages requested on the unlawful detainer filed pursuant to § 8.01-126, provided that the landlord has given notice in accordance with § 55.1-1202, which notice may be included in the five-day termination notice provided in accordance with this section.

H. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the landlord may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for any noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or § 55.1-1227. In the event of a breach of the rental agreement or noncompliance by the tenant, the landlord shall be entitled to recover from the tenant the following, regardless of whether a lawsuit is filed or an order is obtained from a court: (i) rent due and owing as contracted for in the rental agreement, (ii) other charges and fees as contracted for in the rental agreement, (iii) late charges contracted for in the rental agreement, (iv) reasonable attorney fees as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law, (v) costs of the proceeding as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law only if court action has been filed, and (vi) damages to the dwelling unit or premises as contracted for in the rental agreement.

I. In a case where a lawsuit is pending before the court upon a breach of the rental agreement or noncompliance by the tenant and the landlord prevails, the court shall award a money judgment to the landlord and against the tenant for the relief requested, which may include the following: (i) rent due and owing as of the court date as contracted for in the rental agreement; (ii) other charges and fees as contracted for in the rental agreement; (iii) late charges contracted for in the rental agreement; (iv) reasonable attorney fees as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law, unless in any such action the tenant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the tenant's failure to pay rent or vacate was reasonable; (v) costs of the proceeding as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law; and (vi) damages to the dwelling unit or premises.

J. 1. A landlord who owns more than four rental dwelling units or more than a 10 percent interest in more than four rental dwelling units, whether individually or through a business entity, in the Commonwealth, shall not take any adverse action, as defined in 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(k), against an applicant for tenancy based solely on payment history or an eviction for nonpayment of rent that occurred during the period beginning on March 12, 2020, and ending 30 days after the expiration or revocation of any state of emergency declared by the Governor elated to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. If such a landlord denies an applicant for tenancy, then the landlord shall provide to the applicant written notice of the denial and of the applicant's right to assert that his failure to qualify was based upon payment history or an eviction based on nonpayment of rent that occurred during the period beginning on March 12, 2020, and ending 30 days after the expiration or revocation of any state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The written notice of denial shall include the statewide legal aid telephone number and website address and shall inform the applicant that he must assert his right to challenge the denial within seven days of the postmark date. If the landlord does not receive a response from the applicant within seven days of the postmark date, the landlord may proceed. If, in addition to the written notice, the landlord provides notice to the applicant by electronic or telephonic means using an email address, telephone number, or other contact information provided by the applicant informing the applicant of his denial and right to assert that his failure to qualify was based upon payment history or an eviction based on nonpayment of rent that occurred during the period beginning on March 12, 2020, and ending 30 days after the expiration or revocation of any state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the tenant does not make such assertion that the failure to qualify was the result of such payment history or eviction prior to the close of business on the next business day, the landlord may proceed. The landlord must be able to validate the date and time that any communication sent by electronic or telephonic means was sent to the applicant. If a landlord does receive a response from the applicant asserting such a right, and the landlord relied upon a consumer or tenant screening report, the landlord shall make a good faith effort to contact the generator of the report to ascertain whether such determination was due solely to the applicant for tenancy's payment history or an eviction for nonpayment that occurred during the period beginning on March 12, 2020, and ending 30 days after the expiration or revocation of any state of emergency declared by the Governor related to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the landlord does not receive a response from the generator of the report within three business days of requesting the information, the landlord may proceed with using the information from the report without additional action.

3. If such a landlord does not comply with the provisions of this subsection, the applicant for tenancy may recover statutory damages of $1,000, along with attorney fees.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.31; 1978, c. 378; 1980, c. 502; 1982, c. 260; 1984, c. 78; 1987, c. 387; 1988, c. 62; 1989, c. 301; 1995, c. 580; 2000, c. 760; 2003, c. 363; 2004, c. 232; 2005, cc. 808, 883; 2006, cc. 628, 717; 2007, c. 273; 2008, c. 489; 2013, c. 563; 2014, c. 813; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 46, 47.

§ 55.1-1245. (Effective from July 1, 2022, until the later of July 1, 2028, or seven years after the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency expires) Noncompliance with rental agreement; monetary penalty.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or a violation of § 55.1-1227 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 30 days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in 21 days and that the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice.

B. 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.

C. If the tenant commits a breach that 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 30 days after receipt of the notice. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, when a breach of the tenant's obligations under this chapter or the rental agreement involves or constitutes a criminal or a willful act that is not remediable and that poses a threat to health or safety, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement immediately and proceed to obtain possession of the premises. For purposes of this subsection, any illegal drug activity involving a controlled substance, as used or defined by the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.), or any activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety, by the tenant, an authorized occupant, or a guest or invitee of the tenant shall constitute an immediate nonremediable violation for which the landlord may proceed to terminate the tenancy without the necessity of waiting for a conviction of any criminal offense that may arise out of the same actions. In order to obtain an order of possession from a court of competent jurisdiction terminating the tenancy for illegal drug activity or for any other activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety, the landlord shall prove any such violations by a preponderance of the evidence. However, where the illegal drug activity or any activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety is engaged in by an authorized occupant or a guest or invitee of the tenant, the tenant shall be presumed to have knowledge of such activities unless the presumption is rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence. The initial hearing on the landlord's action for immediate possession of the premises shall be held within 15 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 that 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 30 calendar 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. Failure by the court to hold either of the hearings within the time limits set out in this section shall not be a basis for dismissal of the case.

D. If the tenant is a victim of family abuse as defined in § 16.1-228 that occurred in the dwelling unit or on the premises and the perpetrator is barred from the dwelling unit pursuant to § 55.1-1246 on the basis of information provided by the tenant to the landlord, or by a protective order from a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to § 16.1-253.1 or 16.1-279.1 or subsection B of § 20-103, the lease shall not terminate solely due to an act of family abuse against the tenant. However, these provisions shall not be applicable if (i) the tenant fails to provide written documentation corroborating the tenant's status as a victim of family abuse and the exclusion from the dwelling unit of the perpetrator no later than 21 days from the alleged offense or (ii) the perpetrator returns to the dwelling unit or the premises, in violation of a bar notice, and the tenant fails to promptly notify the landlord within 24 hours that the perpetrator has returned to the dwelling unit or the premises, unless the tenant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the tenant had no actual knowledge that the perpetrator violated the bar notice, or it was not possible for the tenant to notify the landlord within 24 hours, in which case the tenant shall promptly notify the landlord, but in no event later than seven days. If the provisions of this subsection are not applicable, the tenant shall remain responsible for the acts of the other co-tenants, authorized occupants, or guests or invitees pursuant to § 55.1-1227 and is subject to termination of the tenancy pursuant to the lease and this chapter.

E. If the tenant has been served with a prior written notice that 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 30 days after receipt of the notice.

F. 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 § 55.1-1251. If a check for rent is delivered to the landlord drawn on an account with insufficient funds, or if an electronic funds transfer has been rejected because of insufficient funds or a stop-payment order has been placed in bad faith by the authorizing party, 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, certified check, or a completed electronic funds transfer within the five-day period, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and proceed to obtain possession of the premises as provided in § 55.1-1251. Nothing shall be construed to prevent a landlord from seeking an award of costs or attorney fees under § 8.01-27.1 or civil recovery under § 8.01-27.2, as a part of other damages requested on the unlawful detainer filed pursuant to § 8.01-126, provided that the landlord has given notice in accordance with § 55.1-1202, which notice may be included in the five-day termination notice provided in accordance with this section.

G. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the landlord may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for any noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or § 55.1-1227. In the event of a breach of the rental agreement or noncompliance by the tenant, the landlord shall be entitled to recover from the tenant the following, regardless of whether a lawsuit is filed or an order is obtained from a court: (i) rent due and owing as contracted for in the rental agreement, (ii) other charges and fees as contracted for in the rental agreement, (iii) late charges contracted for in the rental agreement, (iv) reasonable attorney fees as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law, (v) costs of the proceeding as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law only if court action has been filed, and (vi) damages to the dwelling unit or premises as contracted for in the rental agreement.

H. In a case where a lawsuit is pending before the court upon a breach of the rental agreement or noncompliance by the tenant and the landlord prevails, the court shall award a money judgment to the landlord and against the tenant for the relief requested, which may include the following: (i) rent due and owing as of the court date as contracted for in the rental agreement; (ii) other charges and fees as contracted for in the rental agreement; (iii) late charges contracted for in the rental agreement; (iv) reasonable attorney fees as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law, unless in any such action the tenant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the tenant's failure to pay rent or vacate was reasonable; (v) costs of the proceeding as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law; and (vi) damages to the dwelling unit or premises.

I. 1. A landlord who owns more than four rental dwelling units or more than a 10 percent interest in more than four rental dwelling units, whether individually or through a business entity, in the Commonwealth, shall not take any adverse action, as defined in 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(k), against an applicant for tenancy based solely on payment history or an eviction for nonpayment of rent that occurred during the period beginning on March 12, 2020, and ending 30 days after the expiration or revocation of any state of emergency declared by the Governor elated to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. If such a landlord denies an applicant for tenancy, then the landlord shall provide to the applicant written notice of the denial and of the applicant's right to assert that his failure to qualify was based upon payment history or an eviction based on nonpayment of rent that occurred during the period beginning on March 12, 2020, and ending 30 days after the expiration or revocation of any state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The written notice of denial shall include the statewide legal aid telephone number and website address and shall inform the applicant that he must assert his right to challenge the denial within seven days of the postmark date. If the landlord does not receive a response from the applicant within seven days of the postmark date, the landlord may proceed. If, in addition to the written notice, the landlord provides notice to the applicant by electronic or telephonic means using an email address, telephone number, or other contact information provided by the applicant informing the applicant of his denial and right to assert that his failure to qualify was based upon payment history or an eviction based on nonpayment of rent that occurred during the period beginning on March 12, 2020, and ending 30 days after the expiration or revocation of any state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the tenant does not make such assertion that the failure to qualify was the result of such payment history or eviction prior to the close of business on the next business day, the landlord may proceed. The landlord must be able to validate the date and time that any communication sent by electronic or telephonic means was sent to the applicant. If a landlord does receive a response from the applicant asserting such a right, and the landlord relied upon a consumer or tenant screening report, the landlord shall make a good faith effort to contact the generator of the report to ascertain whether such determination was due solely to the applicant for tenancy's payment history or an eviction for nonpayment that occurred during the period beginning on March 12, 2020, and ending 30 days after the expiration or revocation of any state of emergency declared by the Governor related to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the landlord does not receive a response from the generator of the report within three business days of requesting the information, the landlord may proceed with using the information from the report without additional action.

3. If such a landlord does not comply with the provisions of this subsection, the applicant for tenancy may recover statutory damages of $1,000, along with attorney fees.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.31; 1978, c. 378; 1980, c. 502; 1982, c. 260; 1984, c. 78; 1987, c. 387; 1988, c. 62; 1989, c. 301; 1995, c. 580; 2000, c. 760; 2003, c. 363; 2004, c. 232; 2005, cc. 808, 883; 2006, cc. 628, 717; 2007, c. 273; 2008, c. 489; 2013, c. 563; 2014, c. 813; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, c. 47.

§ 55.1-1245. (Effective the later of July 1, 2028, or 7 years after the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency expires) Noncompliance with rental agreement; monetary penalty.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or a violation of § 55.1-1227 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 30 days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in 21 days and that the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice.

B. 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.

C. If the tenant commits a breach that 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 30 days after receipt of the notice. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, when a breach of the tenant's obligations under this chapter or the rental agreement involves or constitutes a criminal or a willful act that is not remediable and that poses a threat to health or safety, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement immediately and proceed to obtain possession of the premises. For purposes of this subsection, any illegal drug activity involving a controlled substance, as used or defined by the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.), or any activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety, by the tenant, an authorized occupant, or a guest or invitee of the tenant shall constitute an immediate nonremediable violation for which the landlord may proceed to terminate the tenancy without the necessity of waiting for a conviction of any criminal offense that may arise out of the same actions. In order to obtain an order of possession from a court of competent jurisdiction terminating the tenancy for illegal drug activity or for any other activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety, the landlord shall prove any such violations by a preponderance of the evidence. However, where the illegal drug activity or any activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety is engaged in by an authorized occupant or a guest or invitee of the tenant, the tenant shall be presumed to have knowledge of such activities unless the presumption is rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence. The initial hearing on the landlord's action for immediate possession of the premises shall be held within 15 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 that 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 30 calendar 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. Failure by the court to hold either of the hearings within the time limits set out in this section shall not be a basis for dismissal of the case.

D. If the tenant is a victim of family abuse as defined in § 16.1-228 that occurred in the dwelling unit or on the premises and the perpetrator is barred from the dwelling unit pursuant to § 55.1-1246 on the basis of information provided by the tenant to the landlord, or by a protective order from a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to § 16.1-253.1 or 16.1-279.1 or subsection B of § 20-103, the lease shall not terminate solely due to an act of family abuse against the tenant. However, these provisions shall not be applicable if (i) the tenant fails to provide written documentation corroborating the tenant's status as a victim of family abuse and the exclusion from the dwelling unit of the perpetrator no later than 21 days from the alleged offense or (ii) the perpetrator returns to the dwelling unit or the premises, in violation of a bar notice, and the tenant fails to promptly notify the landlord within 24 hours that the perpetrator has returned to the dwelling unit or the premises, unless the tenant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the tenant had no actual knowledge that the perpetrator violated the bar notice, or it was not possible for the tenant to notify the landlord within 24 hours, in which case the tenant shall promptly notify the landlord, but in no event later than seven days. If the provisions of this subsection are not applicable, the tenant shall remain responsible for the acts of the other co-tenants, authorized occupants, or guests or invitees pursuant to § 55.1-1227 and is subject to termination of the tenancy pursuant to the lease and this chapter.

E. If the tenant has been served with a prior written notice that 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 30 days after receipt of the notice.

F. 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 § 55.1-1251. If a check for rent is delivered to the landlord drawn on an account with insufficient funds, or if an electronic funds transfer has been rejected because of insufficient funds or a stop-payment order has been placed in bad faith by the authorizing party, 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, certified check, or a completed electronic funds transfer within the five-day period, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and proceed to obtain possession of the premises as provided in § 55.1-1251. Nothing shall be construed to prevent a landlord from seeking an award of costs or attorney fees under § 8.01-27.1 or civil recovery under § 8.01-27.2, as a part of other damages requested on the unlawful detainer filed pursuant to § 8.01-126, provided that the landlord has given notice in accordance with § 55.1-1202, which notice may be included in the five-day termination notice provided in accordance with this section.

G. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the landlord may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for any noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or § 55.1-1227. In the event of a breach of the rental agreement or noncompliance by the tenant, the landlord shall be entitled to recover from the tenant the following, regardless of whether a lawsuit is filed or an order is obtained from a court: (i) rent due and owing as contracted for in the rental agreement, (ii) other charges and fees as contracted for in the rental agreement, (iii) late charges contracted for in the rental agreement, (iv) reasonable attorney fees as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law, (v) costs of the proceeding as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law only if court action has been filed, and (vi) damages to the dwelling unit or premises as contracted for in the rental agreement.

H. In a case where a lawsuit is pending before the court upon a breach of the rental agreement or noncompliance by the tenant and the landlord prevails, the court shall award a money judgment to the landlord and against the tenant for the relief requested, which may include the following: (i) rent due and owing as of the court date as contracted for in the rental agreement; (ii) other charges and fees as contracted for in the rental agreement; (iii) late charges contracted for in the rental agreement; (iv) reasonable attorney fees as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law, unless in any such action the tenant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the tenant's failure to pay rent or vacate was reasonable; (v) costs of the proceeding as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law; and (vi) damages to the dwelling unit or premises.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.31; 1978, c. 378; 1980, c. 502; 1982, c. 260; 1984, c. 78; 1987, c. 387; 1988, c. 62; 1989, c. 301; 1995, c. 580; 2000, c. 760; 2003, c. 363; 2004, c. 232; 2005, cc. 808, 883; 2006, cc. 628, 717; 2007, c. 273; 2008, c. 489; 2013, c. 563; 2014, c. 813; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1246. Barring guest or invitee of a tenant.

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 that violates the terms and conditions of the rental agreement, a local ordinance, or a state or federal law. A copy of the notice shall be served upon the tenant in accordance with this chapter. The notice shall describe the conduct of the guest or invitee that 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 that the guest or invitee has been served in accordance with subsection A.

C. The tenant may file a tenant's assertion, in accordance with § 55.1-1244, requesting that the general district court review the landlord's action to bar the guest or invitee.

1999, cc. 359, 390, § 55-248.31:01; 2000, c. 760; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1247. Sheriffs authorized to serve certain notices; fee for service.

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 § 55.1-1245 or 55.1-1415. For this service, the sheriff shall be allowed a fee not to exceed $12.

1981, c. 148, § 55-248.31:1; 1995, c. 51; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1248. Remedy by repair, etc.; emergencies.

If there is a violation by the tenant of § 55.1-1227 or the rental agreement materially affecting health and safety that can be remedied by repair, replacement of a damaged item, or cleaning, the landlord shall send a written notice to the tenant specifying the breach and stating that the landlord will enter the dwelling unit and perform the work in a workmanlike manner and submit an itemized bill for the actual and reasonable cost for such work to the tenant, which shall be due as rent on the next rent due date or, if the rental agreement has terminated, for immediate payment.

In case of emergency the landlord may, as promptly as conditions require, enter the dwelling unit, perform the work in a workmanlike manner, and submit an itemized bill for the actual and reasonable cost for such work to the tenant, which shall be due as rent on the next rent due date or, if the rental agreement has terminated, for immediate payment.

The landlord may perform the repair, replacement, or cleaning or may engage a third party to do so.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.32; 2000, c. 760; 2009, c. 663; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1249. 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. The rental agreement is deemed to be terminated by the landlord as of the date of abandonment by the tenant. If the landlord cannot determine whether the premises has been abandoned by the tenant, the landlord shall serve written notice on the tenant in accordance with § 55.1-1202 requiring the tenant to give written notice to the landlord within seven days that the tenant intends to remain in occupancy of the premises. If the tenant gives such written notice to the landlord, or if the landlord otherwise determines that the tenant remains in occupancy of the premises, the landlord shall not treat the premises as having been abandoned. Unless the landlord receives written notice from the tenant or otherwise determines that the tenant remains in occupancy of the premises, upon the expiration of seven days from the date of the landlord's notice to the tenant, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the premises has been abandoned by the tenant, and the rental agreement shall be deemed to terminate on that date. The landlord shall mitigate damages in accordance with § 55.1-1251.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.33; 2002, c. 761; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1250. Landlord's acceptance of rent with reservation; tenant's right of redemption.

A. No landlord may accept full payment of rent, as well as any damages, money judgment, award of attorney fees, and court costs, and receive an order of possession from a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to an unlawful detainer action filed under Article 13 (§ 8.01-124 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 8.01 and proceed with eviction under § 55.1-1245, unless there are bases for the entry of an order of possession other than nonpayment of rent stated in the unlawful detainer action filed by the landlord. However, a landlord may accept partial payment of rent and other amounts owed by the tenant to the landlord and receive an order of possession from a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to an unlawful detainer action filed under Article 13 (§ 8.01-124 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 8.01 and proceed with eviction for nonpayment of rent under § 55.1-1245, provided that the landlord has stated in a written notice to the tenant that any and all amounts owed to the landlord by the tenant, including payment of any rent, damages, money judgment, award of attorney fees, and court costs, would be accepted with reservation and would not constitute a waiver of the landlord's right to evict the tenant from the dwelling unit. Such notice may be included in a written termination notice given by the landlord to the tenant in accordance with § 55.1-1245, and if so included, nothing herein shall be construed by a court of law or otherwise as requiring such landlord to give the tenant subsequent written notice. Such notice shall include the following language: "Any partial payment of rent made before or after a judgment of possession is ordered will not prevent your landlord from taking action to evict you. However, full payment of all amounts you owe the landlord, including all rent as contracted for in the rental agreement that is owed to the landlord as of the date payment is made, as well as any damages, money judgment, award of attorney fees, and court costs made at least 48 hours before the scheduled eviction will cause the eviction to be canceled, unless there are bases for the entry of an order of possession other than nonpayment of rent stated in the unlawful detainer action filed by the landlord." If the landlord elects to seek possession of the dwelling unit pursuant to § 8.01-126, the landlord shall provide a copy of this notice to the court for service to the tenant, along with the summons for unlawful detainer. If the dwelling unit is a public housing unit or other housing unit subject to regulation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, nothing in this section shall be construed to require that written notice be given to any public agency paying a portion of the rent under the rental agreement. If a landlord enters into a new written rental agreement with the tenant prior to eviction, an order of possession obtained prior to the entry of such new rental agreement is not enforceable. Notwithstanding the requirements of this section, a landlord with four or fewer rental dwelling units, or up to a 10 percent interest in four or fewer rental dwelling units, may limit a tenant's use of the right of redemption to once per lease period, provided that the landlord provides written notice of such limitation to the tenant.

B. The tenant may pay or present to the court a redemption tender for payment of all rent due and owing as of the return date, including late charges, attorney fees, and court costs, at or before the first return date on an action for unlawful detainer.

If the tenant presents a redemption tender to the court at the return date, the court shall continue the action for unlawful detainer for 10 days following the return date for payment to the landlord of all rent due and owing as of the return date, including late charges, attorney fees, and court costs, and dismiss the action upon such payment. Should the landlord not receive full payment of all rent due and owing as of the return date, including late charges, attorney fees, and court costs, within 10 days of the return date, the court shall, without further evidence, grant to the landlord judgment for all amounts due and immediate possession of the premises. For purposes of this section, "redemption tender" means a written commitment to pay all rent due and owing as of the return date, including late charges, attorney fees, and court costs, by a local government or nonprofit entity within 10 days of such return date.

C. In cases of unlawful detainer, a tenant, or any third party on behalf of a tenant, may pay the landlord or the landlord's attorney or pay into court all (i) rent due and owing as of the court date as contracted for in the rental agreement, (ii) other charges and fees as contracted for in the rental agreement, (iii) late charges contracted for in the rental agreement and as provided by law, (iv) reasonable attorney fees as contracted for in the rental agreement and as provided by law, and (v) costs of the proceeding as provided by law, at which time the unlawful detainer proceeding shall be dismissed, unless there are bases for the entry of an order of possession other than nonpayment of rent stated in the unlawful detainer action filed by the landlord.

D. If such payment has not been made as of the return date for the unlawful detainer, the tenant, or any third party on behalf of the tenant, may pay to the landlord, the landlord's attorney, or the court all amounts claimed on the summons in unlawful detainer, including current rent, damages, late charges, costs of court, any civil recovery, attorney fees, and sheriff fees, including the sheriff fees for service of the writ of eviction if payment is made after issuance of the writ, no less than 48 hours before the date and time scheduled by the officer to whom the writ of eviction has been delivered to be executed. Upon receipt of such payment, the landlord, or the landlord's attorney or managing agent, shall promptly notify the officer to whom the writ of eviction has been delivered to be executed that the execution of the writ of eviction shall be canceled. If the landlord has actual knowledge that the tenant has made such payment and willfully fails to provide such notification, such act may be deemed to be a violation of § 55.1-1243.1. In addition, the landlord shall transmit to the court a notice of satisfaction of any money judgment in accordance with § 8.01-454.

E. Upon receiving a written request from the tenant, the landlord, or the landlord's attorney or managing agent, shall provide to the tenant a written statement of all amounts owed by the tenant to the landlord so that the tenant may pay the exact amount necessary for the tenant to exercise his right of redemption pursuant to this section. Any payments made by the tenant shall be by cashier's check, certified check, or money order. A court shall not issue a writ of eviction on any judgment for possession that has expired or has been marked as satisfied.

2003, c. 427, § 55-248.34:1; 2006, c. 667; 2008, c. 489; 2010, c. 793; 2012, c. 788; 2013, c. 563; 2014, c. 813; 2018, cc. 220, 233; 2019, cc. 28, 43, 712; 2020, c. 1231; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 410.

§ 55.1-1251. 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 fees as provided in § 55.1-1245, and the cost of service of any notice under § 55.1-1245 or 55.1-1415 or process by a sheriff or private process server, which cost shall not exceed the amount authorized by § 55.1-1247, and such claims may be enforced, without limitation, by initiating an action for unlawful entry or detainer. Actual damages for breach of the rental agreement may include a claim for rent that would have accrued until the expiration of the term of the rental agreement or until a tenancy pursuant to a new rental agreement commences, whichever occurs first, provided that nothing contained in this section 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 in this section, the landlord shall not 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 eviction, security deposits shall be credited to the tenant's account by the landlord in accordance with the requirements of § 55.1-1226.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.35; 1981, c. 539; 1988, c. 68; 1989, c. 383; 1996, c. 326; 2000, c. 760; 2001, c. 524; 2019, cc. 180, 700, 712.

§ 55.1-1252. 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 an 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.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.36; 1978, c. 520; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1253. Periodic tenancy; holdover remedies.

A. 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 30 days prior to the next rent due date, unless the rental agreement provides for a different notice period. The landlord and the tenant may agree in writing to an early termination of a rental agreement. In the event that no such agreement is reached, the provisions of § 55.1-1251 shall control.

B. 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 may also recover actual damages, reasonable attorney fees, and court costs, unless the tenant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the failure of the tenant to vacate the dwelling unit as of the termination date was reasonable. The landlord may include in the rental agreement a reasonable liquidated damage penalty, not to exceed an amount equal to 150 percent of the per diem of the monthly rent, for each day the tenant remains in the dwelling unit after the termination date specified in the landlord's notice. However, if the dwelling unit is a public housing unit or other housing unit subject to regulation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, any liquidated damage penalty shall not exceed an amount equal to the per diem of the monthly rent set out in the lease agreement. If the landlord consents to the tenant's continued occupancy, § 55.1-1204 applies.

C. In the event of termination of a rental agreement where the tenant remains in possession with the agreement of the landlord either as a hold-over tenant or a month-to-month tenant and no new rental agreement is entered into, the terms of the terminated agreement shall remain in effect and govern the hold-over or month-to-month tenancy, except that the amount of rent shall be either as provided in the terminated rental agreement or the amount set forth in a written notice to the tenant, provided that such new rent amount shall not take effect until the next rent due date coming 30 days after the notice.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.37; 1977, c. 427; 1982, c. 260; 2004, c. 123; 2005, c. 805; 2009, c. 663; 2013, c. 563; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1254. Disposal of property abandoned by tenants.

If any items of personal property are left in the dwelling unit, the premises, or 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 that he has given (i) a termination notice to the tenant in accordance with this chapter, including a statement that any items of personal property left in the dwelling unit or the premises would be disposed of within the 24-hour period after termination; (ii) written notice to the tenant in accordance with § 55.1-1249, including a statement that any items of personal property left in the dwelling unit, the premises, or the storage area would be disposed of within the 24-hour period after expiration of the seven-day notice period; or (iii) a separate written notice to the tenant, including a statement that any items of personal property left in the dwelling unit, the premises, or the storage area would be disposed of within 24 hours after expiration of a 10-day period from the date such notice was given to the tenant. Any written notice to the tenant shall be given in accordance with § 55.1-1202. The tenant shall have the right to remove his personal property from the dwelling unit, the premises, or the storage area at reasonable times during the 24-hour period after termination or at such other reasonable times until the landlord has disposed of the remaining personal property of the tenant.

During the 24-hour period and until the landlord disposes of the remaining personal property of the tenant, the landlord shall not have any liability for the risk of loss for such personal property. If the landlord fails to allow reasonable access to the tenant to remove his personal property as provided in this section, the tenant shall have a right to injunctive or other relief as provided by law. 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 the funds 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 § 55.1-1226. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable if the landlord has been granted an order of possession for the premises in accordance with Title 8.01 and execution of a writ of eviction has been completed pursuant to § 8.01-470.

Nothing in this section shall affect the right of a landlord to enforce an inchoate or perfected lien of the landlord on the personal property of a tenant in a dwelling unit or on the premises leased to such tenant and the right of a landlord to distress, levy, and seize such personal property as otherwise provided by law.

1984, c. 741, § 55-248.38:1; 1995, c. 228; 1998, c. 461; 2000, c. 760; 2002, c. 762; 2013, c. 563; 2017, c. 730; 2019, cc. 180, 700, 712.

§ 55.1-1255. Authority of sheriffs to store and sell personal property removed from residential premises; recovery of possession by owner; disposition or sale.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 8.01-156, when personal property is removed from a dwelling unit, the premises, or any storage area provided by the landlord pursuant to an action of unlawful detainer or ejectment, or pursuant to any other action in which personal property is removed from the dwelling unit in order to restore the dwelling unit to the person entitled to such dwelling unit, the sheriff shall oversee the removal of such personal property to be placed into the public way. The tenant shall have the right to remove his personal property from the public way during the 24-hour period after eviction. Upon the expiration of the 24-hour period after eviction, the landlord shall remove, or dispose of, any such personal property remaining in the public way.

At the landlord's request, any personal property removed pursuant to this section shall be placed into a storage area designated by the landlord, which may be the dwelling unit. The tenant shall have the right to remove his personal property from the landlord's designated storage area at reasonable times during the 24 hours after eviction or at such other reasonable times until the landlord has disposed of the property as provided in this section. During that 24-hour period and until the landlord disposes of the remaining personal property of the tenant, the landlord and the sheriff shall not have any liability for the risk of loss for such personal property. If the landlord fails to allow reasonable access to the tenant to remove his personal property as provided in this section, the tenant shall have a right to injunctive or other relief as otherwise provided by law.

Any property remaining in the landlord's storage area upon the expiration of the 24-hour period after eviction may be disposed of by the landlord as the landlord sees fit or appropriate. If the landlord receives any funds from any sale of such remaining property, the landlord shall pay such funds to the account of the tenant and apply the funds to any amounts due the landlord by the tenant, including the reasonable costs incurred by the landlord in the eviction process described in this section or the reasonable costs incurred by the landlord in selling or storing such property. If any funds are remaining after application, the remaining funds shall be treated as a security deposit under the provisions of § 55.1-1226.

The notice posted by the sheriff with the writ of eviction setting the date and time of the eviction, pursuant to § 8.01-470, shall provide notice to the tenant of the rights afforded to tenants in this section and shall include a copy of this statute attached to, or made a part of, the notice.

2001, c. 222, § 55-248.38:2; 2006, c. 129; 2013, c. 563; 2019, cc. 180, 700, 712.

§ 55.1-1256. Disposal of property of deceased tenants.

A. If a tenant who is the sole tenant under a written rental agreement still residing in the dwelling unit dies, and there is no person authorized by order of the circuit court to handle probate matters for the deceased tenant, the landlord may dispose of the personal property left in the dwelling unit or upon the premises. However, the landlord shall give at least 10 days' written notice to (i) the person identified in the rental application, lease agreement, or other landlord document as the authorized person to contact in the event of the death or emergency of the tenant or (ii) the tenant in accordance with § 55.1-1202 if no such person is identified in the rental application, lease agreement, or other landlord document as the authorized contact person. The notice given under clause (i) or (ii) shall include a statement that any items of personal property left in the premises would be treated as abandoned property and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-1254, if not claimed within 10 days. Authorized occupants, or guests or invitees, are not allowed to occupy the dwelling unit after the death of the sole remaining tenant and shall vacate the dwelling unit prior to the end of the 10-day period.

B. The landlord may request that such authorized contact person provide reasonable proof of identification. Thereafter, the authorized contact person identified in the rental application, lease agreement, or other landlord document may (i) have access to the dwelling unit or the premises and to the tenant records maintained by the landlord and (ii) rightfully claim the personal property of the deceased tenant and otherwise handle the affairs of the deceased tenant with the landlord.

C. The rental agreement is deemed to be terminated by the landlord as of the date of death of the tenant who is the sole tenant under a written rental agreement still residing in the dwelling unit, and the landlord shall not be required to seek an order of possession from a court of competent jurisdiction. The estate of the tenant shall remain liable for actual damages under § 55.1-1251, and the landlord shall mitigate such damages.

2006, c. 820, § 55-248.38:3; 2010, c. 550; 2011, c. 766; 2014, c. 813; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1257. Who may recover rent or possession.

Notwithstanding any rule of court to the contrary, (i) any person licensed under the provisions of § 54.1-2106.1, (ii) any property manager or the managing agent of a landlord as defined in § 55.1-1200 pursuant to the written property management agreement, or (iii) any employee, who is authorized in writing by a corporate officer with the approval of the board of directors, or by a manager, a general partner, or a trustee, of a partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, professional corporation, professional limited liability company, registered limited liability partnership, registered limited liability limited partnership, business trust, or family trust to sign pleadings as the agent of the business entity may obtain a judgment (a) for possession in the general district court for the county or city in which the premises, or part thereof, is situated or (b) for rent or damages, including actual damages for breach of the rental agreement, or for final rent and damages under § 8.01-128, in any general district court where venue is proper under Chapter 5 (§ 8.01-257 et seq.) of Title 8.01, against any defendant if the person seeking such judgment had a contractual agreement with the landlord to manage the premises for which rent or possession is due and may prepare, execute, file, and have served on other parties in any general district court a warrant in debt, suggestion for summons in garnishment, garnishment summons, order of possession, writ of eviction, or writ of fieri facias arising out of a landlord-tenant relationship. However, the activities of any such person in court shall be limited by the provisions of § 16.1-88.03. However, nothing shall be construed as preventing a nonlawyer from requesting relief from the court as provided by law or statute when such nonlawyer is before the court on one of the actions specified herein.

1983, c. 8, § 55-246.1; 1989, c. 612; 1998, c. 452; 2003, cc. 665, 667; 2004, cc. 338, 365; 2010, c. 550; 2013, c. 563; 2015, c. 190; 2018, c. 221; 2019, cc. 180, 477, 700, 712.