Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances
7/9/2020

Chapter 14. Nonresidential Tenancies.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 55.1-1400. Applicability; right to terminate tenant.

A. As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning, "nonresidential tenancy" means the rental of any real estate for purposes other than residential use, including business, industrial, or agricultural purposes.

B. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all nonresidential tenancies. The lease or rental agreement controls the landlord-tenant relationship unless such lease or rental agreement is silent, in which case the provisions of this chapter apply. The right to evict a tenant whose right of possession has been terminated in any commercial or other nonresidential tenancy under this chapter may be effectuated by self-help eviction without further legal process so long as such eviction does not incite a breach of the peace. However, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to preclude termination of any commercial or other nonresidential tenancy by the filing of an unlawful detainer action, entry of an order of possession, and eviction pursuant to § 55.1-1416.

Code 1919, § 5512; Code 1950, § 55-217; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1401. Appointment of resident agent by nonresident property owner; service of process, etc., on such agent or on Secretary of the Commonwealth.

A. As used in this section, "nonresident property owner" means any nonresident individual or group of individuals who owns and leases commercial real property within a county or city in the Commonwealth.

B. Every nonresident property owner shall appoint and continuously maintain an agent who (i) if such agent is an individual, is a resident of the Commonwealth, or if such agent is a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other entity, is authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth and (ii) maintains a business office within the 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 nonresident property owner.

C. Whenever any nonresident property owner fails to appoint or maintain an agent, as required in this section, 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 of the Commonwealth or any of his staff at his office who shall forthwith cause it to be sent by registered or certified mail addressed to the nonresident property owner at his address as shown on the official tax records maintained by the locality where the property is located.

D. The name and office address of the agent appointed as provided in this section shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the court in which deeds are recorded in the county or city in which 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 $10.

E. No nonresident property owner shall maintain an action in the courts of the Commonwealth concerning property for which a designation is required by this section until such designation has been filed.

1973, c. 301, § 55-218.1; 1987, c. 360; 2006, c. 318; 2008, c. 119; 2019, cc. 365, 712.

§ 55.1-1402. Apportionment on purchase of part of land by holder of rent.

When the holder of a rent purchases part of the land out of which the rent issues, such rent shall be apportioned in like manner as if the land had come to him by descent, and when the holder of land that is part of land out of which rent issues purchases such rent or part of it, the rent so purchased shall be apportioned as in like manner as if the land had come to him by descent.

Code 1919, § 5547; Code 1950, § 55-219; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1403. Perfection of lien or interest in leases, rents, and profits.

The recordation pursuant to § 55.1-600, 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, assignee, or pledgee 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.

1992, c. 67, § 55-220.1; 1993, c. 427; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1404. Energy submetering, energy allocation equipment, sewer and water submetering equipment, ratio utility billings systems; local government fees.

A. As used in this section:

"Building" means all of the individual units served through the same utility-owned meter within a building that is used as a nonresidential tenancy, including a building used as an office building or shopping center as those terms are defined in § 56-245.2.

"Campground" means the same as that term is defined in § 35.1-1.

"Campsite" means the same as that term is defined in § 35.1-1.

"Energy allocation equipment" means the same as that term is defined in § 56-245.2.

"Energy submetering equipment" has the same meaning ascribed to "submetering equipment" in § 56-245.2.

"Local government fees" means any local government charges or fees assessed against a building or campground, including stormwater, recycling, trash collection, elevator testing, or fire or life safety testing.

"Ratio utility billing system" means a program that utilizes a mathematical formula for allocating, among the tenants in a building or campground, the actual or anticipated water, sewer, electrical, oil, or natural gas billings billed to the building or campground owner from a third-party provider of the utility service. Permitted allocation methods may include formulas based on square footage, occupancy, number of bedrooms, or some other specific method agreed to by the building or campground owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease.

"Water and sewer submetering equipment" means equipment used to measure actual water or sewer usage in any nonresidential rental unit, as defined in § 56-245.2, when such equipment is not owned or controlled by the utility or other provider of water or sewer service that provides service to the building in which the nonresidential rental unit is located or campground where the campsite is located.

B. Energy submetering equipment, energy allocation equipment, water and sewer submetering equipment, or a ratio utility billing system may be used in a building or campground if clearly stated in the rental agreement or lease for the leased premises. All energy 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.

C. If energy submetering equipment, water and sewer submetering equipment, or energy allocation equipment is used in any building or campground, the owner, manager, or operator of the building or campground shall bill the tenant for electricity, oil, natural gas, or water and sewer for the same billing period as the utility serving the building or campground, unless the rental agreement or lease expressly provides otherwise. The owner, manager, or operator of the building or campground may charge and collect from the tenant additional service charges, including monthly billing fees, account set-up fees, or account move-out fees, to cover the actual costs of administrative expenses and billing charged to the building or campground owner, manager, or operator by a third-party provider of such services, provided that such charges are agreed to by the building or campground owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease. The building or campground owner may require the tenant to pay a late charge of up to $5 if the tenant fails to make payment when due, which shall not be less than 15 days following the date of mailing or delivery of the bill sent pursuant to this section.

D. If a ratio utility billing system is used in any building or campground, in lieu of increasing the rent, the owner, manager, or operator of the building or campground may employ such a program that utilizes a mathematical formula for allocating, among the tenants in a building or campground, the actual or anticipated water, sewer, electrical, oil, or natural gas billings billed to the building or campground owner from a third-party provider of the utility service. The owner, manager, or operator of the building or campground may charge and collect from the tenant additional service charges, including monthly billing fees, account set-up fees, or account move-out fees, to cover the actual costs of administrative expenses and billings charged to the building or campground owner, manager, or operator by a third-party provider of such services, provided that such charges are agreed to by the building or campground owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease. The building or campground owner may require the tenant to pay a late charge of up to $5 if the tenant fails to make payment when due, which shall not be less than 15 days following the date of mailing or delivery of the bill sent pursuant to this section.

E. Energy allocation equipment shall be tested periodically by the owner, manager, or operator of the building or campground. 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 24-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 10 working days after the completion of the test.

F. The owner of any building or campground shall maintain adequate records regarding energy submetering equipment, water and sewer submetering equipment, energy allocation equipment, or a ratio utility billing system. A tenant may inspect and copy the records for the leased premises during reasonable business hours at a convenient location within the building or campground. The owner of the building or campground 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.

G. 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, if applicable, to the same extent as such actions may be maintained for breach of other terms of the rental agreement or lease under this chapter, if applicable. The use of energy submetering equipment, water and sewer submetering equipment, energy allocation equipment, or a ratio utility billing system is not within the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services under Chapter 56 (§ 3.2-5600 et seq.) of Title 3.2.

H. In lieu of increasing the rent, the owner, manager, or operator of a building or campground may employ a program that utilizes a mathematical formula for allocating the actual or anticipated local government fees billed to the building or campground owner among the tenants in such building or campground if clearly stated in the rental agreement or lease for the leased premises. Permitted allocation methods may include formulas based upon square footage, occupancy, number of bedrooms, or some other specific method agreed to by the building or campground owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease. Such owner, manager, or operator of a building or campground may also charge and collect from each tenant additional service charges, including monthly billing fees, account set-up fees, or account move-out fees, to cover the actual costs of administrative expenses for administration of such a program.

I. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an owner, manager, or operator of a building or campground from including water, sewer, electrical, natural gas, oil, or other utilities in the amount of rent as specified in the rental agreement or lease.

1992, c. 766, § 55-226.2; 2003, c. 355; 2005, c. 278; 2010, c. 550; 2012, c. 338; 2014, c. 501; 2015, c. 596; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1405. Transfer of deposits upon purchase.

The current owner of nonresidential rental property shall transfer any security deposits and any accrued interest on the deposits in his possession to the new owner at the time of the transfer of the rental property. If the current owner has entered into a written property management agreement with a managing agent in accordance with the provisions of subsection E of § 54.1-2135, the current owner shall give written notice to the managing agent requesting payment of such security deposits to the current owner prior to settlement with the new owner. Upon receipt of the written notice, the managing agent shall transfer the security deposits to the current owner and provide written notice to each tenant that his security deposit has been transferred to the new owner in accordance with this section.

1984, c. 281, § 55-507; 2017, cc. 63, 402; 2019, c. 712.

Article 2. Assignments.

§ 55.1-1406. Grantees and assignees have same rights against lessees as lessors.

A grantee or assignee of any land leased, or of the reversion thereof, and his heirs, personal representative, or assigns, shall enjoy against the lessee, and his heirs, 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 that the grantor, assignor, or lessor, or his heirs, might have enjoyed.

2017, c. 730, § 55-217.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1407. Lessees have same rights against grantees as against lessors.

A lessee, his personal representative, or his assigns may have against a grantee or alienee of the reversion, or of any part of such reversion, his heirs, or his assigns the like benefit of any condition, covenant, or promise in the lease as he could have had against the lessor himself and his heirs and assigns, except the benefit of any warranty, in deed or law.

Code 1919, § 5513; Code 1950, § 55-218; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1408. 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, is good and effectual without attornment of the tenant, but no tenant who, before notice of the grant, paid the rent to the grantor shall suffer any damage as a result of such payment.

Code 1919, § 5514; Code 1950, § 55-220; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1409. When attornment void.

The attornment of a tenant to any stranger is void, unless it is with the consent of the landlord of such tenant or pursuant to or in consequence of the judgment or order of a court.

Code 1919, § 5515; Code 1950, § 55-221; 2019, c. 712.

Article 3. Landlord Obligations.

§ 55.1-1410. Notice to terminate a tenancy in nonresidential rental property; notice of change in use of multifamily residential building.

A. A year-to-year tenancy in a nonresidential rental property 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 month-to-month tenancy may be terminated by either party giving 30 days' notice in writing, prior to the next rent due date, of his intention to terminate the same, unless the rental agreement provides for a different notice period. Written notice of termination shall be given in accordance with this chapter or the lease agreement.

B. In addition to the termination rights set forth in subsection A, and notwithstanding the terms of the lease, the landlord may terminate a lease agreement in a multifamily residential building due to rehabilitation or a change in the use of all or any part of such building that contains at least four residential units, upon 120 days' prior written notice to the tenant. Changes in use shall include conversion to hotel, motel, apartment hotel, or other commercial use, planned unit development, substantial rehabilitation, demolition, or sale to a contract purchaser requiring an empty building. This 120-day notice requirement shall not be waived except in the case of a month-to-month tenancy, which may be terminated by the landlord by giving the tenant 30 days' written notice prior to the next rent due date of the landlord's intention to terminate the tenancy.

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.

Code 1919, § 5516; Code 1950, § 55-222; 1981, c. 155; 1986, c. 428; 1987, c. 473; 2004, c. 123; 2007, c. 634; 2013, c. 563; 2015, c. 596; 2017, c. 730; 2018, c. 221; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1411. Nonresidential buildings destroyed or lessee deprived of possession; covenant to pay rent or repair; reduction of rent.

No covenant or promise by a lessee of nonresidential property to pay the rent, or that he will keep or leave the premises in good repair, shall have the effect, if the buildings on the premises are destroyed by fire or otherwise, in whole or in part, without fault or negligence on his part, or if he is 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 are 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 are 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 is restored to him.

Code 1919, § 5180; Code 1950, § 55-226; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1412. Security systems for nonresidential rental property.

No landlord of a premises used for nonresidential purposes shall unreasonably withhold or delay consent for the tenant to install security systems within such premises.

1981, c. 81, § 55-226.1; 2019, c. 712.

Article 4. Landlord Remedies.

§ 55.1-1413. Effect of failure of tenant in nonresidential rental property to vacate premises at expiration of term.

A tenant from year-to-year, month-to-month, or other definite term in a nonresidential rental property 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.

Code 1919, § 5517; Code 1950, § 55-223; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1414. Abandonment of nonresidential rental property.

If any tenant from whom rent is owing and unpaid abandons a nonresidential rental property and leaves such premises unoccupied, and if the tenant's personal property that is subject to distress is not sufficient to satisfy the rent owed, the lessor or his agent may post a written notice on a conspicuous part of the premises requiring the tenant to pay the rent within 10 days from the date of such notice, in the case of a monthly tenant, or within one month from the date of such notice, in the case of a yearly tenant. If the owed rent is not paid within the time specified in the notice, the lessor shall be entitled to possession of the premises and may enter the premises, and the right of such tenant to possess the premises shall terminate, but the landlord may recover the rent up to such termination.

Code 1919, § 5518; Code 1950, § 55-224; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1415. Failure to pay certain rents after five days' notice forfeits right of possession.

If any tenant or lessee of nonresidential rental property who is in default in the payment of rent continues to be in default five days after receipt of written notice that requires possession of the premises or the payment of rent, such tenant or lessee forfeits his right to possession of the premises. 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 possession of the premises.

The right to evict a tenant whose right of possession has been terminated in any nonresidential tenancy under this chapter may be effectuated by self-help eviction without further legal process so long as such eviction does not incite a breach of the peace. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude termination of any nonresidential tenancy by the filing of an unlawful detainer action as provided by Article 13 (§ 8.01-124 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 8.01, entry of an order of possession, and eviction pursuant to § 55.1-1416.

Code 1919, § 5448; Code 1950, § 55-225; 2008, c. 489; 2018, c. 221; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1416. Authority of sheriffs to store and sell personal property removed from nonresidential premises; recovery of possession by owner; disposition or sale.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 8.01-156, when personal property is removed from any nonresidential rental property pursuant to an action of unlawful detainer or ejectment, or pursuant to any other action in which personal property is removed from the premises in order to restore such premises to the person entitled to such premises, 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 leased or rented premises. 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 from the premises 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 loss of 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 relief and such other relief as may be 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 such 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 security deposit under applicable law.

The notice posted by the sheriff 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 in the notice a copy of this statute attached to, or made a part of, this notice.

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 nonresidential premises leased to such tenant or the right of a landlord to distress, levy, and seize such personal property as otherwise provided by law.

2001, c. 222, § 55-237.1; 2006, cc. 91, 129; 2016, c. 744; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1417. 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 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.

Article 5. Miscellaneous Provisions.

§ 55.1-1418. 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 shall give the tenant 10 days' notice, and the claimant may then apply to the court to which the attachment is returnable, or the circuit court of the county or city 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 requires 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 return such warrant or attachment to the clerk's office of the court, showing how he has executed such warrant or attachment. 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.

Code 1919, § 5529; Code 1950, § 55-238; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1419. Proceedings to establish right of reentry; judgment.

Any person who has 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, if any, or, if the possession is vacant, by posting the declaration upon the front door of the building, or at any other notorious place on the premises, and such service shall be in lieu of a demand and reentry. 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 to reenter, he shall recover judgment and have execution for such lands.

Code 1919, § 5530; Code 1950, § 55-239; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1420. When defendant barred of relief.

Should the defendant to a proceeding filed pursuant to § 55.1-1419, or other person on his behalf, not pay the rent in arrear, with interest and costs, nor file a complaint for relief against such forfeiture, within 12 months after execution executed, he shall be barred of all right to be restored to such lands or tenements.

Code 1919, § 5531; Code 1950, § 55-240; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1421. How trustee or mortgagee relieved from the forfeiture.

Any mortgagee or trustee of lands subject to a proceeding filed pursuant to § 55.1-1419 may, within 12 months after execution executed, pay the rent and all arrears, with interest and costs, or file a complaint 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.

Code 1919, § 5532; Code 1950, § 55-241; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1422. How owner relieved in court.

If the owner of lands subject to a proceeding filed pursuant to § 55-1419, or any person having right or claim to such land, files within the appropriate time his complaint for relief, he shall not have or continue any injunction against the proceedings at law on the ejectment, unless, within 30 days following a full and perfect answer filed by the plaintiff in ejectment, he brings into court, or deposits in a bank within the Commonwealth to the credit of the cause, such money as the plaintiff in ejectment, in his answers, swears to be due and in arrear, over and above all just allowances and also the costs taxed in the action, there to remain until the hearing of the cause, or to be paid out to the plaintiff on good security, subject to the order of the court. If the complaint is filed within the appropriate time, and after execution executed, the plaintiff shall be accountable for no more than he, really and bona fide, without fraud, deceit, or willful neglect, makes of the premises from the time of his entering into the actual possession of the premises, and if it is less than the rent payable, then the possession shall not be restored until the plaintiff is paid the balance of the rent for the time he so held the lands.

Code 1919, § 5533; Code 1950, § 55-242; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1423. How judgment of forfeiture prevented.

If any party having right or claim to lands subject to a proceeding filed pursuant to § 55.1-1419, at any time before the trial in such ejectment, pays to the party entitled to such rent, or to his attorney, or pays into court, all the rent and arrears owed, along with any reasonable attorney fees and late charges contracted for in a written rental agreement, interest, and costs, all further proceedings in the ejectment shall cease. If the person claiming the land is relieved, he is entitled to hold the land in the same manner as he was prior to the commencement of the proceedings, 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.

Code 1919, § 5534; Code 1950, § 55-243; 1992, c. 427; 1998, c. 269; 2010, c. 793; 2012, c. 788; 2013, c. 563; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1424. When action for reentry brought.

Proceedings for ejectment shall not be initiated until the time for reentry of the premises specified in the rental agreement has lapsed.

Code 1919, § 5535; Code 1950, § 55-244; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1425. Written act of reentry to be returned and recorded and certificate of reentry published.

When actual reentry is made, the party by or for whom the reentry is made shall return a written act of reentry, sworn to by the sheriff or another authorized officer, to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which the lands or tenements are located. The clerk shall record the written act of reentry in the deed book and shall deliver to the party making the reentry a certificate setting forth the substance of such written act. Such certificate shall be published at least once a week for two months successively in a newspaper published in or nearest to such county or city. Such publication shall be proved by affidavit to the satisfaction of the clerk, who shall record such affidavit in the deed book. Such affidavit shall reference the book and page where the original written act of reentry was recorded. The clerk shall return the original act of reentry to the party entitled to it. The written act of reentry, when recorded, and the record of such written act, or a duly certified copy from such record, shall be evidence, in all cases, of the facts contained therein.

Code 1919, § 5536; Code 1950, § 55-245; 2014, c. 330; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1426. Fee of clerk.

The clerk shall be paid for recording, granting certificate, and noting publication, as required by § 55.1-1425, the fee 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 is levied by law upon deeds of conveyance.

Code 1919, § 5537; Code 1950, § 55-246; 1994, c. 432; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1427. How person entitled to lands may be restored to his possession.

If the person entitled to lands subject to a proceeding filed pursuant to § 55.1-1419 at the time of reentry made, or having claim to such lands, does not pay the rent and all arrears owed, with interest and all reasonable expenses incurred about such reentry, within one year from the first day of publication pursuant to § 55.1-1425, he shall be forever barred from all right to the lands. If any party who has the right of possession pays the rent and arrears owed, with interest and expenses pursuant to this section, to the party making reentry, within the required time, he shall be reinstated in his possession to hold as if the reentry had not been made.

Code 1919, § 5538; Code 1950, § 55-247; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1428. Limitation of action against person in possession by reentry.

No person who, or who with his predecessor in title under whom he claims, has possessed lands by virtue of a reentry for the term of two years shall be disturbed therein by action or otherwise for any defect of proceedings in such entry.

Code 1919, § 5539; Code 1950, § 55-248; 2019, c. 712.

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