Landlord/Tenant Law

What Laws Protect Me As A Tenant In Virginia?

Two state laws govern tenant­landlord relationships in Virginia. These are the Virginia Residential Landlord & Tenant Act (VRLTA) and the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC). The VRLTA applies to all rental properties and agreements in Virginia where the landlord owns and rents more than four (i.e., five or more) dwelling units. Therefore, most condominium and single family house rentals are not governed by the VRLTA. This code is available in the reference section of most County libraries under Chapter 13.2 of the Code of Virginia. If your rental agreement is not governed by the VRLTA, your tenant`s/landlord`s rights and responsibilities are limited to what is written in the rental agreement. If you have no written rental agreement, you have practically no rights, protections, controls or limits over your rental situation. The VUSBA establishes the minimum standards for health and safety in all dwellings, whether occupied by an owner or tenant; and it applies even if the rental agreement is not governed by the VRLTA. This code covers such items as plumbing, electric, structure, space heat, hot water supply, appliances and equipment, and environmental conditions, both inside and out of the property. These standards determine the level of upkeep and maintenance required of the landlord or tenant, according to the rental agreement.