How to Deal With a No-Lease Eviction In Virginia

By Tiffany Garden
Virginia no lease evictions may require additional evidence at the hearing.
Trees in Rosslyn, Virginia image by dwight9592 from

An oral lease agreement in Virginia is considered a legally binding agreement establishing the landlord and tenant relationship. Oral leases in Virginia have a term that equals the time period for one rent payment. This puts most oral agreements in Virginia on a month-to-month tenancy basis. The eviction process is the same as in a normal eviction situation but proving specific lease terms can be more difficult.

Establish grounds for lease termination. Since you do not have a written agreement with the tenant, it can be difficult to base eviction reasons based on specific lease clauses in the oral agreement, if one is determined to exist.

Serve the tenant with a written notice of termination. For nonpayment of rent, tenants receive a 5-day notice to pay rent or leave. Lease violations cover lease terms established by the landlord and tenant laws of Virginia, and any lease terms that you feel you will be able to prove in court. Lease violations other than nonpayment of rent and ending a month-to-month tenancy require a 30-day notice of termination.

File an Unlawful Detainer action in Virginia civil court. This form is a petition to receive possession of the rental unit. The forms are filed with the court clerk.

Serve your tenant with the summons. A summons can only be served by a process server, either by hand delivery, posting on the property or certified mail. The court clerk can instruct you on where to find a process server and how to fill out the proof of service form.

Attend the hearing and bring evidence to support your eviction cause. It is not difficult to prove the rent owed in nonpayment cases, as you can support the rental payment with invoices. Lease violations for verbal lease terms are a more difficult situation and may require witnesses pulled from your other tenants.

File a Writ of Possession with the court clerk 10 days after the case is ruled in your favor. In Virginia, the appeal period is 10 days so you'll need to wait that long before filing the Writ. The Writ authorizes the sheriff to evict a tenant and his belongings. The sheriff is the only person who can physically evict a tenant and his belongings. The landlord may accompany the sheriff and change the locks, but not physically evict the tenant.