Business Law Insights

A new law enacted by the General Assembly will require landlords to provide prospective tenants with a statement of their rights and responsibilities under the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. The “Tenant Bill of Rights” will be posted on the Department of Housing and Community Development website, and shall be signed by the parties to a written rental agreement. The Bill of Rights will include, among other things, an explanation of (i) the landlord's responsibility to maintain the dwelling unit in a fit and habitable condition, (ii) the tenant's right to request repairs and other corrective action by the landlord to ensure such condition, and (iii) the tenant's right (a) to terminate the lease, (b) to be compensated for damages, (c) to withhold or defer rent, and (d) to make an assertion of material noncompliance before a court. Further, the landlord shall provide a copy of any written rental agreement and the signed Tenant Bill of Rights form to the tenant within one month of the effective date of the rental agreement. The law becomes effective July 1, 2020, therefore it does not apply to rental agreements already in effect.

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