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)