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.
Read More: How to Serve a Five Day Notice in Virginia
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 follow 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 will assign 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 has passed, 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.
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.
Read More: How to Evict Someone in Virginia
- Nolo: Virginia Notice Requirements to Terminate a Month-to-Month Tenancy
- Landlord Guidance: Navigating the Virginia Eviction
- Steven Kreiger Law: The Eviction Process in Virginia: A Guide for Landlords and Tenants
- Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
- Legal Beagle: How to Evict Someone in Virginia
- Legal Beagle: How to Serve a Five Day Notice in Virginia
- Legal Beagle: How to Stop Sheriff Evictions
- Legal Beagle: How to Evict a Month to Month Tenant
- You do not need to file for a Writ of Possession if the tenant has already moved out of the rental unit.
Teo Spengler earned a JD from U.C. Berkeley Law School. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an MA and an MFA in English/writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.