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Legal Information: Virginia

Housing Laws

December 4, 2020

Who is protected by this housing law?

This law protects a tenant who is the victim of family abuse, sexual abuse or any other criminal sexual assault (such as rape, sodomy and sexual battery) by allowing the tenant to terminate his/her tenancy obligations under the lease in certain circumstances.1  See Can I terminate my lease early? for more information.  (Note: You can read the definitions of all of the crimes that come under “criminal sexual assault” on the Virginia Legislative website.)

The law also protects a tenant or authorized occupant who has a final protective order due to family abuse or a court order as part of a divorce that gives him/her possession of the home and excludes one or more co-tenants or authorized occupants by allowing him/her to change the locks.2  See Can I change my locks? for more information.  

1 Va. Code § 55-225.16(A)
2 Va. Code § 55-225.5(A)