Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances
Chapter 14. Nonresidential Tenancies

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.