Virginia Termination for Nonpayment of Rent and Other Rent Rules

Learn Virginia rent rules, including notice landlords must give tenants to raise the rent or end the tenancy for nonpayment of rent.

Your lease or rental agreement should spell out your landlord's key rent rules, including:

  • the amount of rent (there are no limits to how much a landlord can charge in Virginia since there are no communities with rent control in the state)
  • where rent is due (such as by mail to the landlord's business address)
  • when rent is due (including what happens if the rent due date falls on a weekend date or holiday)
  • how rent should be paid (usually check, money order, cash, and/or credit card)
  • the amount of notice landlords must provide to increase rent
  • the amount of any extra fee if your rent check bounces, and
  • the consequences of paying rent late, including late fees and termination of the tenancy.

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.

Virginia Rules on Late Fees

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).

Virginia Rules on Service Fees for Bounced Checks

Under Virginia law, landlords may charge a bounced check fee, but it must not be more than $50

Notice Virginia Landlords Must Give Tenants to Increase Rent

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.

Rent Increases as Retaliation or Discrimination

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.

Virginia State Laws on Termination for Nonpayment of Rent

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).)

Virginia Guide to Tenant Rights

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).

Virginia State Laws on Termination for Nonpayment of Rent and Other Rent-Related Issues

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.

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