Your lease or rental agreement should spell out your landlord’s key rent rules, including:
State laws in Virginia cover several of these rent-related issues, including the amount of notice a landlord must provide to increase rent under a month-to-month tenancy, and how much time a tenant has to pay rent or move before a landlord can file for eviction.
Rent is legally due on the date specified in your lease or rental agreement (usually the first of the month). If you don’t pay rent when it is due, the landlord may begin charging you a late fee. Virginia state law regarding late fees is found at Va. Code Ann. § 55.1-1204 (2020).
Under Virginia law, landlords may charge a bounced check fee, but it must not be more than $50
Virginia landlords must typically provide 30 days' notice to change the rent or another term of the tenancy. (Va. Code Ann. §§ 55.1-1204, 55.1-1253 (2020).) However, the landlord and tenant may agree on a different notice period in the rental agreement. Keep in mind that if you have a long-term lease, the landlord may not increase the rent until the lease ends and a new tenancy begins—unless the lease itself provides for an increase.
Virginia landlords may not raise the rent in a discriminatory manner—for example, only for members of a certain race. Also, Virginia landlords may not use a rent increase in retaliation against you for exercising a legal right—for example, in response to your legitimate complaint to a local housing agency about a broken heater.
States set specific rules and procedures for ending a tenancy when a tenant has not paid the rent. Virginia landlords must give tenants at least five days in which to pay the rent or move. If the tenant does neither, the landlord can file for eviction. (Va. Code Ann. §§ 55.1-1245, 55.1-1250 (2020).)
For an overview of tenant rights when it comes to paying rent under Virginia landlord-tenant law, read the Virginia Landlord-Tenant Handbook (October 1, 2019).
For state rent rules and procedures on issues such as raising rent, see Va. Code Ann. § 55.1-1204 (2020).
For Virginia laws on termination for nonpayment of rent, see Va. Code Ann. §§ 55.1-1245, 55.1-1250 (2020).
See the Laws and Legal Research section of Nolo for advice on finding and reading statutes and court decisions.