Williamsburg Newport News Landlord/Tenant Attorneys

Real Estate Litigation Attorneys Newport News WilliamsburgThe attorneys at Collins & Hyman PLC have years of litigation experience and have the tools to represent you in a variety of landlord tenant matters.  Our Williamsburg Newport News Landlord/Tenant Attorneys have experience representing both landlords and tenants, so no matter what your situation, we can help you analyze your options and determine the best legal strategy.

The best strategy to resolve a landlord tenant issue is to address it prior to litigation.  The applicable laws often require specific steps to be taken before a tenant or a landlord can take legal action.  Our Williamsburg Newport News Landlord/Tenant Attorneys understand the intricacies of the Virginia landlord tenant laws and can help advise you on the steps you need to take to resolve the matter.  If you are a landlord, we can assist you in determining your duties under the contract and how you can protect your property from a non-compliant tenant.  If you are a tenant, we can work through the situation to help you know what you should do to have the best chance of staying in your home.

Landlord Services:

  • Drafting residential lease agreements
  • Preparing and delivering notices of breach
  • Evictions
  • Obtaining post-tenancy judgments
  • Collecting on post-tenancy judgments
  • Security deposit disputes

Tenant Services:

  • Lease review and negotiation
  • Protecting tenant’s rights
  • Landlord breaches and tenant’s assertions
  • Resolving notice of breach and eviction disputes
  • Security deposit disputes
  • Eviction and litigation defense

Consultations Available

We have convenient locations in Williamsburg and Newport News. Many times we can develop a strategy right over the phone.

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Or you can call today to set up an appointment with one of our Williamsburg Newport News Landlord/Tenant Attorneys – 757-645-0827

Below are a list of frequently asked questions with answers provided by our Williamsburg Newport News Landlord/Tenant Attorneys.  Many of the questions link to additional helpful content.

FAQs: Tenants

A dispute with between a landlord and tenant regarding return of a security deposit can be frustrating.  Landlords and tenants each have specific responsibilities, guided both by the laws of Virginia and the rental agreement.  The best way to prevent a dispute at the end of the tenancy is to protect yourself at the outset by documenting damage and taking photographs.  After a tenancy is terminated, the landlord must return to the tenant the security deposit, subtracting any damage cause by the tenant beyond reasonable wear and tear.  There are specific steps the landlord and tenant must take in distributing the deposit.  If the damage exceeds the deposit, the landlord can demand additional payment and, if unpaid, take the tenant to court.  Likewise, if a landlord fails to properly return a deposit, the tenant can ask the Court for assistance.

For more detailed information read our full article here: Virginia Security Deposit Laws.

Call today for a consultation – 757-645-0827. You can also visit our contact page to get in touch with us online.

There are two types of eviction notices you might get, one for non-payment of rent and one for breach of the contract. If you obtain a notice for non-payment of rent, it will usually be what is called a “5-day notice to pay or quit.” Things move fast with these notices, so you need to move fast, too. If you failed to pay rent on time, you need to pay rent immediately. If you don’t pay within the 5 days, your landlord can start eviction proceedings immediately. Even if you pay rent after the 5 days, your landlord can still work to evict you and, if you don’t voluntarily vacate, you may be stuck with additional attorney’s fees and costs.

If you obtain a 5-day notice and you believe you have paid rent, then you need to give written notice to your landlord immediately explaining that you have paid rent and asking that your landlord withdraw the notice in writing. For a small fee, our attorneys can draft this correspondence for you and promptly get it to your landlord in order to preserve your tenant rights.

If you obtain an eviction notice for a breach of contract, it means that either the landlord has sent you a prior notice of breach that you did not correct or the landlord believes you have committed a breach that is “non-remediable.” A non-remediable breach is one that cannot be corrected by the tenant. This could include permanent damage to the property or commission of certain crimes. If you get a notice of eviction for a breach and you do not agree that you breached the contract, you need to act immediately to engage with the landlord to resolve the issue. It’s always cheaper and easier to resolve the issue before the landlord brings a lawsuit to evict you.

For more information, see our full article on evictions for breach: When can a landlord in Virginia terminate a lease when I am still paying rent?

If you receive a notice of eviction, our Williamsburg Newport News Landlord/Tenant Attorneys can help you evaluate your case and determine if you have defenses. Many times, for a small fee, our attorneys can draft a letter on your behalf that could avoid the headache of being sued for eviction. If you do get sued, our attorneys are prepared to help you stay in your home.

Call today for a consultation – 757-645-0827. You can also visit our contact page to get in touch with us online.

A notice of breach is a written statement from the landlord explaining some breach that you are committing and a request to remedy the problem or face termination of the contract. The notice will usually give you a specific date to fix the problem. For most breaches, the tenant must correct within 21 days or the landlord can terminate the contract within 30 days from the notice. Afterward, you may obtain a notice for eviction for failure to remedy the breach.

If you receive a notice of breach and you believe you have breached the contract, you need to act promptly to remedy the problem. Make careful documentation of the efforts you take to correct the issue. Provide written notice to the landlord when you have fixed the problem, and include copies of any documents that prove you did so. Make sure you document how and when you sent the notice.

If you receive a notice of breach that you believe is incorrect, you need to act promptly to engage your landlord to correct the problem. For a modest fee, our attorneys can help draft correspondence that could save you a lot of worry in the future. The letter could help you avoid litigation and could resolve the situation outright.

There may be times when you never obtain a notice of breach, but do receive an eviction notice for a breach of contract. This means the landlord believes you have committed a breach that is “non-remediable.” A non-remediable breach is one that cannot be corrected by the tenant. This could include permanent damage to the property or commission of certain crimes. If you get a notice of eviction for a breach and you do not agree that you breached the contract, you need to act immediately to engage with the landlord to resolve the issue. It’s always cheaper and easier to resolve the issue before the landlord brings a lawsuit to evict you.

For more information, see our full article on evictions for breach: When can a landlord in Virginia terminate a lease when I am still paying rent?

If you receive a notice of breach or eviction, our Williamsburg Newport News Landlord/Tenant Attorneys can help you evaluate your case and determine if you have defenses. Many times, for a small fee, our attorneys can draft a letter on your behalf that could avoid the headache of being sued for eviction. If you do get sued, our attorneys are prepared to help you stay in your home.

Call today for a free consultation – 757-645-0827. You can also visit our contact page to get in touch with us online.

Hiring an attorney is an important decision. Whether or not it is worth the money to do so depends on the circumstances.  There are three essential questions any tenant or landlord should ask when determining whether or not to hire an attorney: (1) Am I being sued? (2) Do I want to be proactive? and (3) How much money could I lose? Answering these questions will help you understand whether or not it is worth the money to hire an attorney.

For more information on how to answer these three questions, read our full article here: Should I hire an attorney in my Virginia landlord/tenant dispute?

Call today for a consultation – 757-645-0827. You can also visit our contact page to get in touch with us online.

All tenants have rights and responsibilities laid out in the lease agreement. However, tenants also have rights and responsibilities according to Virginia Law. Virginia has two statutes that govern residential lease agreements. The most common law is the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act (VRLTA). This law applies to tenants in apartment complexes. It also covers tenants in single-family homes where the landlord rents more than two properties in Virginia. If you live in a single-family home, it’s not always clear if the VRLTA applies. Prior to renting or during you tenancy, you should ask your landlord or the management company for more information. Sometimes your contract will specifically apply the VRLTA regardless of the situation.

Virginia also has the Virginia Landlord Tenant Act (VLTA) that applies to commercial properties and residential properties falling outside the VRLTA. The rights and remedies under the VLTA are different and more limited than the VRLTA.

It is important to understand what laws and contract provisions apply in order to determine what rights you have. This is especially important when you are being sued by your landlord or you have received a notice of breach or eviction. Our Williamsburg/Newport News Landlord Tenant attorneys are experienced in analyzing which rules apply and helping you understand what your rights and remedies are.

Call today for a consultation – 757-645-0827. You can also visit our contact page to get in touch with us online.

Landlords can breach contracts just like tenants. These breaches could be a failure to properly maintain the property, failure to provide proper notice prior to inspection, or a myriad of other potential issues. The landlord’s duties and responsibilities are set forth in the lease agreement and in Virginia law. If a tenant believes the landlord has committed a significant breach of the contract or the law, it can proceed with a “tenant’s assertion.” This is a lawsuit brought by the tenant in order to determine if the landlord is indeed in breach of the contract.

The law requires that the tenant try to resolve the situation prior to filing a tenant’s assertion. The tenant must give written notice of the problem and give the landlord a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem. The time a tenant must wait to file a tenant’s assertion depends on the nature of the breach. The more likely the breach is to threaten the health and welfare of the tenant, the less time the landlord should have to fix the problem. At most, the landlord has thirty days to fix the problem.

After a tenant’s assertion is filed, the tenant pays rent into the Court. If, after a trial on the matter, the Court agrees with the tenant, the Court can order that some or all of the rent be returned to the tenant.   The Court can also terminate the rental agreement if the tenant requests and award attorney’s fees and costs.

A tenant’s assertion can be a useful tool for a tenant to protect their rights. Often times, even the threat of a tenant’s assertion can compel the landlord to take remedial action. For a modest fee, our attorneys can help analyze your case and draft the appropriate notice to the landlord to help you set up a successful tenant’s assertion. Our Williamsburg/Newport News Landlord Tenant Attorneys are also prepared to help you prepare and file a tenant’s assertion and prosecute the action through trial.

Call today for a consultation – 757-645-0827. You can also visit our contact page to get in touch with us online.

FAQs: Landlords

If a tenant fails to pay rent, they are in breach of the lease agreement as well as the the Virginia landlord/tenants laws.  The Virginia code requires a 5-day notice to pay prior to a tenant taking actions to evict a tenant.  The lease agreement may provide for additional time.  The notice must explain that payment must be paid within five days of the notice or the lease agreement will terminate.  If a tenant fails to pay the rent within the five days, the landlord can bring an action for unlawful detainer in Virginia General District Court, where the Court can award immediate possession and damages.  The Court can also delay a determination of damages until after the tenant has vacated the property.

Filing an unlawful detainer requires special attention to detail and insurance that the proper procedure is followed.  Many times, a landlord can obtain default judgment against the tenant, but only if the landlord follows all of the steps correctly.  Our Williamsburg/Newport News Landlord Tenant Attorneys are prepared to help you protect your investment and get noncompliant tenants out of your property.

Call today for a consultation – 757-645-0827. You can also visit our contact page to get in touch with us online.

The Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act provides a mechanism for landlords to address a tenant’s breach of the lease agreement or the Act. A “material noncompliance” by the tenant with the rental agreement, or a violation of the Act “materially” affecting health and safety, triggers the landlord’s rights. The word “material” is a legal phrase that usually means “significant” or “substantial”. Whether a violation is “material” is usually a matter of interpretation and likely requires a judge to review all of the facts.

Should the landlord determine that there is a material noncompliance, she can send written notice to the tenant stating the acts constituting the noncompliance and telling the tenant that the agreement will terminate in 30 days if the breach is not remedied in 21 days. If the tenant fixes the problem within the time period, then the rental agreement remains in place.

For more information, read the full article: When can a landlord in Virginia terminate a lease when I am still paying rent?

Having a non-compliant tenant can be frustrating.  Our Williamsburg/Newport News Landlord Tenant Attorneys are prepared to help when a tenant fails to comply with the laws and the lease agreement.

Call today for a consultation – 757-645-0827. You can also visit our contact page to get in touch with us online.

The Virginia landlord/tenant act provides rules for how, when, and in what amount landlords must return security deposits. If a landlord makes a deduction against the security deposit during the tenancy, the landlord must provide written notification of the deduction within 30 days. Within 45 days of you leaving the property after your lease if over, the landlord must send the tenant a list of any deductions, damages, or charges along with any amount of the remaining deposit. The landlord is required to advise the tenant of his/her right to a walkthrough. However, the tenant must request in writing if he/she wants to be present.

Upon completion of the inspection, the landlord must provide the tenant an itemized list of damages. If the amount for the repair of damages beyond reasonable wear and tear exceeds the deposit amount, the landlord must let the tenant know within the 45 day period.  Afterward, the landlord has an additional 15 days to provide an itemization of damages and cost of repair.

For more information, read the full article: Virginia Security Deposit Laws

Navigating the complex rules regarding security deposits can be difficult.  Our Williamsburg/Newport News Landlord Tenant Attorneys are prepared to help you ensure you follow the proper procedures in handling security deposits.

Call today for a consultation – 757-645-0827. You can also visit our contact page to get in touch with us online.

Unfortunately, tenants often leave rentals in disrepair when vacating the property.  Luckily, Virginia law has established remedies for landlord to recoup costs caused by the negligence of tenants.  Upon termination of the tenancy, the landlord may apply the deposit to unpaid rent, late charges, and payment for damages caused by the tenant apart from reasonable wear and tear.  If damages exceed that amount, the landlord should provide the tenant an itemized list of damages and any amount due beyond the security deposit.  The landlord should demand payment within a set period of time.

If the tenant fails to make payment, the landlord can file a warrant in debt in Virginia General District Court seeking damages.  The toughest part about filing a warrant in debt is making sure you have a good address to serve the former tenant.  Thus, always ensure that you have a good forwarding address prior to the tenant vacating.  Once you file a warrant in debt, the Court will determine whether or not your damages are reasonable and can proceed to enter judgment against the former tenant.  Then, you can utilize Virginia’s judgment collection laws to get your  money back.

Hiring a lawyer can take the stress out of obtaining a post-tenancy judgment.  Our Williamsburg/Newport News Landlord Tenant Attorneys are here to help.

Call today for a consultation – 757-645-0827. You can also visit our contact page to get in touch with us online.

If a tenant fails to pay rent or comply with the laws of the lease agreement, the landlord can bring an action for unlawful detainer in Virginia General District Court, where the Court can award immediate possession and damages.  The Court can also delay a determination of damages until after the tenant has vacated the property.

Before filing an unlawful detainer action, the landlord must ensure he has complied with all of the necessary notice requirements.  This means properly providing information pursuant to Virginia law and the lease agreement to the tenant.  Different breaches require different information and different timing of notices.  Failing to include even one piece of information can be fatal to an unlawful detainer action.

Filing the unlawful detainer action itself requires special attention to detail and insurance that the proper procedure is followed.  Many times, a landlord can obtain default judgment against the tenant, but only if the landlord follows all of the steps correctly.  Our Williamsburg/Newport News Landlord Tenant Attorneys are prepared to help you protect your investment and get noncompliant tenants out of your property.

Call today for a consultation – 757-645-0827. You can also visit our contact page to get in touch with us online.

Landlord Tenant Articles

Virginia Security Deposit Laws

When can a landlord in Virginia terminate a lease when I am still paying rent?

Attorney’s Fees in a Virginia Landlord-Tenant Action

Should I hire an attorney in my Virginia landlord/tenant dispute?

External Links

Call today – 757-645-0827. You can also visit our contact page to get in touch with us online.

Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act