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Last Update July 21st, 2021
Virginia Eviction Notice Types
A legal eviction in VA can only be made for a number of legally acceptable reasons. This means that landlords must provide a valid basis along with the correct amount of days’ notice in order to comply with the legal eviction process within the state.
Not using the correct legal document, in this case, can lead to delays or even legal dismissal of the eviction, so it is important to choose the right type.
5-Day Notice to Quit (Non-Payment)
If a tenant doesn’t comply with the rental payment schedule, the landlord may present them with a 5-Day Notice to Quit. This obliges them to pay rent or quit within 120 hours.
If the tenant complies and pays the rent then the notice will be nullified. If they refuse to pay or vacate the property the landlord will be able to pursue the matter further through the courts.
30-Day Notice to Quit (Non-Compliance)
In the case of a lease violation, the landlord may issue a 30-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance. This will often give the tenant 21 days to correct the breach before they will be obliged to leave the property after 30 days have elapsed.
This kind of eviction notice can also be served unconditionally, thereby not giving the tenant a chance to correct the issue. This might happen if a serious health and safety violation has taken place.
30-Day Notice to Quit (Month-to-Month)
30 Day-Notice to Quit forms can be used to evict month-to-month tenants or those who are don’t have a fixed lease without providing any given cause. This allows the landlord to inform the tenant that they must vacate the property within 30 days or face a legal challenge.
Virginia Eviction Laws
Your Virginia eviction notice must follow the state’s rental property laws, in order to be valid.
There are a number of important requirements that are obligatory when proceeding with the eviction of a rental tenant.
An eviction in Virginia may only happen in the case of:
Nonpayment of rent: 5 days’ notice
Lease violations: 30 days’ notice (with 21 days to correct the issue)
Termination of a lease: 30 days’ notice
Criminal activity: Immediate termination
The notice itself must be delivered to the tenant as an official letter or form detailing the key information about the property and tenant. It must also clearly explain the reason the landlord wishes to terminate the lease and how long they have to comply.
Virginia Eviction Process
The Virginia eviction process must be followed precisely to ensure that the tenant is legally removed from the property. Therefore the landlord must take the correct steps and follow the right procedures, as detailed by VA’s state law. To correctly complete an eviction in Virginia, the landlord must do the following:
Step 1: The landlord must serve the tenant with a written statement giving a legally valid reason for the eviction and the correct amount of days’ notice for them to comply.
Step 2: If the tenant does not comply with the eviction notice the landlord can file an Unlawful Detainer complaint with a local court and a summons will be served.
Step 3: The tenant and landlord can make their case in court. The presiding judge can then decide whether the eviction can proceed or not.
Step 4: If the judge finds in the landlord’s favor and the tenant still refuses to vacate, the owner may process a Writ of Possession with the court clerk.
Step 5: When the Writ of Possession has been processed the landlord may file the document with the county sheriff. The tenant will then have 72 hours after being served to leave before being forcibly evicted.
FAQs About Virginia Eviction Notices
Before starting your eviction notice for real, it is wise to understand the ins and outs of these important legal documents. Read more about Virginia’s eviction notices in our FAQs below and learn how to use them effectively.
How to Evict Someone in Virginia?
To successfully evict a tenant in Virginia state, the landlord or property manager must serve a legally valid eviction notice. This must provide the correct number of days’ notice and a legitimate reason to evict. It can be served in person, to a family member, someone else living on the premises, or left in a conspicuous location.
If the tenant doesn’t comply and leave the property as instructed, the landlord will then have to petition a court. If the judge finds in their favor they will then be able to use a local marshal or sheriff to forcibly evict the tenant.
How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Virginia?
In many cases, a Virginia eviction can be completed in a couple of weeks. Once the eviction notice is served, the tenant will have between 5 - 30 days to vacate. If they comply, then the process will be over as soon as the notice period ends.
However, serving the eviction notice incorrectly can lead to delays in the process. Also, if the tenant refuses to vacate, eviction procedures can take somewhat longer. Going through the court process can take around a month depending on how busy the district or housing court system is at the time.
How to File an Eviction in Virginia?
If a tenant doesn’t comply after being served with a legally valid Virginia eviction notice it will be necessary to file an Unlawful Detainer case against them. To do this the landlord will need to visit their local courthouse and file the case with the clerk of the court and provide the following evidence:
A copy of the lease agreement
The eviction notice that has been served (including proof of service)
Proof of the violation such as photographs, police reports, or receipts
Any witnessing parties to the violations