How to Deal With a No-Lease Eviction In Virginia

By Teo Spengler ; Updated June 19, 2017
Eviction Notice

When you want to evict a tenant who is occupying the premises on a month-to-month basis, give the tenant a 30-day notice to quit, get a summons for unlawful detainer from the court, and appear at the hearing to argue the case. If you win, obtain a writ of possession and have the sheriff evict the tenants.

Virginia Eviction Notice

It's easier to evict a tenant occupying under a month-to-month tenancy than under a lease. You'll still have to walk through the many procedure steps the law requires. Under no circumstances should you take the matter into your own hands and lock the tenant out or toss out the tenant's property, since this is against the law.

Under the Virginia eviction laws, no-lease version, start the process with a 30-day notice to quit. As a Virginia landlord, you generally do not need to specify a reason to end a month-to-month tenancy. Arrange for the sheriff or some other third-party adult to hand the notice to the tenant. Have the person serving the notice sign a document called "proof of service," defining where and when the tenant was served.

Summons for Unlawful Detainer

At the end of the 30 days, the tenant should move out. If not, take the proof of service of the 30-day notice and go to the court. Ask for a summons for unlawful detainer. The court clerk assigns you a hearing date when both you and the tenant appear and testify.

If you win the hearing, the tenant has 10 days to appeal. Once that time is past, file a request for writ of possession. The court signs the writ and delivers it to the sheriff. The sheriff has 30 days to execute the eviction, and the tenant is entitled to 72 hours notice.

Eviction Process

Virginia law offers two types of evictions, the “24-hour lock change” and the “full eviction.” The 24-hour lock change eviction is less expensive and therefore more popular with landlords.

For this type of eviction, hire a locksmith to change all the outside door locks during the eviction. For the next 24 hours, do not enter the apartment other than to allow the tenant access to remove personal possessions. After 24 hours, you can dispose of any of the tenant’s remaining personal property.

In a "full eviction," you have to provide a locksmith. You also have to provide sufficient workers to remove all of the tenant's property off the premises and put it outside on the public right of way. Sometimes you have to provide a moving truck as well.

But full evictions also have some benefits. After a full eviction, you need have no further contact with the tenant, and you get immediate access to the property. Further, you do not have to wait 24 hours or allow the tenant access.

About the Author

Living in France and Northern California, Teo Spengler is an attorney, novelist and writer and has published thousands of articles about travel, gardening, business and law. Spengler holds a Master of Arts in creative writing from San Francisco State University and a Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley. She is currently a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in fiction.