Before evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent in Virginia, landlords are required to serve a "Five Day Notice to Pay or Quit.” This letter serves as an official notice to tenants that they must pay the complete rent owed within the time period specified, or else face eviction. The notice should include the total amount of rent owed, names and addresses of both tenant and landlord, and the date the rent is due. Virginia has specific rules on how to serve the notice.
Create or complete a “Five Day Notice to Pay or Quit.” You can find templates online or type one up yourself. Be sure that the notice includes everyone that is listed on the lease. Make copies of the notice for your records.
Send the notice via United Stated Postal Service. You are not required to send it by certified mail under Virginia law unless you stated so in the lease. It is still a good idea to send it certified with delivery confirmation since the five days do not begin until after your tenant receives the notice. Keep a copy of the receipt that proves your tenant received the notice.
Deliver the notice in person. The sheriff’s department in your Virginia county will nail the notice to your tenant’s door for a small fee. Contact your local sheriff’s department to have an officer deliver the notice.
Wait for the five days before beginning the eviction proceedings. Once you are sure that your tenant received the notice, you must wait five days, excluding Sundays, before filing a lawsuit. If your tenant pays the entire amount of rent in this time, you are not allowed to proceed with the eviction.
- Code of Virginia: 55-248.31 Noncompliance with Rental Agreement; Monetary Penalty
- Arlington Virginia Department of Community Planning Housing and Development: Eviction Process
- Eviction Resources: Eviction in Virginia
- Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development; Tenant Landlord Handbook; 2002
- Enotes: Landlord/Tenant Rights
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