En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Legal Statutes: Virginia

UPDATED November 17, 2016

Back to Virginia overview

Chapter 13. Landlord and Tenant

back to top55-225.16. Early termination of rental agreements by victims of family abuse, sexual abuse, or criminal sexual assault

A. Any tenant who is a victim of (i) family abuse as defined by § 16.1-228, (ii) sexual abuse as defined by § 18.2-67.10, or (iii) other criminal sexual assault under Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 may terminate such tenant's obligations under a rental agreement under the following circumstances:

1. The victim has obtained an order of protection pursuant to § 16.1-279.1 and has given written notice of termination in accordance with subsection B during the period of the protective order or any extension thereof; or

2. A court has entered an order convicting a perpetrator of any crime of sexual assault under Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, sexual abuse as defined by § 18.2-67.10, or family abuse as defined by § 16.1-228 against the victim and the victim gives written notice of termination in accordance with subsection B. A victim may exercise a right of termination under this section to terminate a rental agreement in effect when the conviction order is entered and one subsequent rental agreement based upon the same conviction.

B. A tenant who qualifies to terminate obligations under a rental agreement pursuant to subsection A shall do so by serving on the landlord a written notice of termination to be effective on a date stated therein, such date to be not less than 30 days after the first date on which the next rental payment is due and payable after the date on which the written notice is given. When the tenant serves the termination notice on the landlord, the tenant shall also provide the landlord with a copy of (i) the order of protection issued or (ii) the conviction order.

C. The rent shall be payable at such time as would otherwise have been required by the terms of the rental agreement through the effective date of the termination as provided in subsection B.

D. The landlord may not charge any liquidated damages.

E. The victim's obligations as a tenant under § 55-225.4 shall continue through the effective date of the termination as provided in subsection B. Any co-tenants on the lease with the victim shall remain responsible for the rent for the balance of the term of the rental agreement. If the perpetrator is the remaining sole tenant obligated on the rental agreement, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and collect actual damages for such termination against the perpetrator.
Added by Acts 2013, c. 531.