Virginia Security Deposit Limits and Deadlines

A breakdown of Virginia landlord-tenant laws on security deposits.

Most residential leases and rental agreements in Virginia require a security deposit. This is a dollar amount, usually one month's rent, that's intended to cover damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear, and to cushion the financial blow if a tenant skips out early on the lease without paying. Here’s a summary of Virginia landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits.

Does Virginia law limit how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit?

Yes. Under Virginia landlord-tenant laws, a landlord may charge a tenant the equivalent of two months' rent for the security deposit.

To learn more about steps that tenants can take to protect their security deposit after they've paid it, check out Nolo's article Protect Your Security Deposit When You Move In.

What about when a tenant moves out? What is the deadline in Virginia for returning a security deposit?

Under Virginia law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within 45 days after the tenant has moved out. The tenant has the right to be present at the final inspection. The lease can provide for expedited processing and specify an administrative fee for such processing, which will apply only if tenant requests it with a separate written document.

Learn more about tenants' rights and landlords' obligations when it comes to the return of the security deposit in Nolo's chart Cleaning and Repairs a Landlord Can Deduct from a Security Deposit and Nolo's article Get Your Security Deposit Back.

Are there any exceptions to Virginia security deposit rules?

Yes. Single-family residences are excempt where the owner(s) are natural persons or their estates who own in their own name no more than two single-family residents subject to a rental agreement

Where can I look up Virginia law on security deposits?

If you want to go right to the source and look up Virginia law on security deposits -- or if you're writing a letter to your landlord or tenant and want to cite the applicable law -- the relevant statute(s) can be found at Virginia Code Annotated § 55-248.15:1. To access your state law, check out the Library of Congress’s legal research site.

Updated: November 2017

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