Dealing With Landlord-Tenant Disputes In VAThis article will cover:

  • Common Causes of Landlord-Tenant Disputes.
  • Strategies for Avoiding Landlord-Tenant Disputes.
  • Resolving Landlord-Tenant Disputes, mediation, and court action.

Who Do You Represent In A Landlord Tenant Issue In Virginia?

In a landlord-tenant issue in Virginia, I have experience representing both parties involved.

What Are Some Of The Causes Of Disputes In This Area?

  • Non-payment of rent by tenants is the most common dispute in this area.
    • Tenants may choose to withhold rent for various reasons, including a loss of employment or other financial hardships. When rent payments become consistently overdue, landlords may take action to evict the tenant and rent the property to someone else.
  • Less frequently, disputes in larger buildings with multiple leased properties can result from issues with excessive noise from neighbors, leading to potential eviction for violation of noise policies
  • Rarely, cases of property damage such as vermin infestations may prompt either the landlord or tenant to seek termination of the lease due to unlivable conditions

What Steps Can Be Taken To Avoid A Landlord-Tenant Dispute?

  • From the tenant’s perspective: ensure rent is paid on time to avoid a 30-day notice to pay or quit from the landlord.
  • From the landlord’s perspective: have a comprehensive lease that includes the necessary provisions to evict in case of a dispute.
  • The most important factor in any landlord-tenant dispute is the lease agreement, as the entire transaction is governed by the contract.

Is It Advisable For A Tenant To Withhold Rent If They Are Suing Their Landlord For Something Not Being Fixed In Their Apartment That They’ve Reported Several Times?

No, withholding rent is not an appropriate response. According to Virginia law, tenants are required to pay rent. Withholding rent is a violation of these statutes. Instead, a tenant can file an action with the General District Court, stating the issue and demanding the landlord fix it.

The tenant can then pay the rent to the court, and the court will hear both the landlord’s and the tenant’s cases. If the issue is found to be valid, the court may order the rent money to be used to fix the problem. Failure to pay rent to the court can result in eviction proceedings against the tenant.

When Should I Seek Help From An Attorney In Settling A Landlord-Tenant Dispute?

It is recommended to seek the help of an attorney before entering into a lease agreement. Having an attorney review the lease and discuss potential problem areas can provide a better understanding of the agreement and allow for any necessary modifications to be made.

However, if a landlord-tenant dispute arises, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible. If a tenant receives a notice to pay or quit, they have a limited time to pay the rent and redeem their lease. Holding back rent without paying it to the court is not recommended and can result in eviction. In these cases, it is important to exercise the right of redemption by paying the rent to the court and seeking legal help to resolve the issue, such as fixing a non-working water heater.

What Resources Are Available If We Cannot Resolve A Dispute, Will We Have To Go To Court? Or Is Mediation An Option?

If a resolution cannot be reached, court action may become necessary. However, mediation may be a viable option, depending on the provisions of the lease agreement. Many lease agreements with larger companies often include a clause for mediation, but in the absence of such a clause, the dispute may need to be settled by a judge.

For more information on Dealing With Landlord-Tenant Disputes In VA, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (703) 775-1678 today.


Attorney Mark Madigan is a seasoned and reasoned North Virginia attorney in Springfield who is deeply familiar with the nuances and conflicts of landlord and tenant law. Attorney Madigan aims to help both landlords and tenants stay up to date on their legal obligations and understand their conflict resolution options.

Whether you are a property owner or a renter, keep up to date on the latest developments in Virginia landlord and tenant law by connecting with Madigan and Scott Inc.

Call Us Now To Get Your Case Reviewed (703) 775-1678

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