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Virginia Rental Lease Agreement | Laws

A Virginia lease agreement is used to rent commercial or residential property to one (1) or more tenants. Each lease clearly indicates the tenant’s financial responsibilities during the contract term. This information will cover the monthly rent, the payment due date, utility fees, security deposit (if any), and the liabilities associated with failing to comply with the lease document. Due to the binding nature of the contract, the tenant should be certain they are financially capable of maintaining a lease before signing or submitting a security deposit.

Rental Application – Completed by lease candidates to disclose their personal information to the landlord as well as authorize a credit, criminal, and general background check.


Agreements: By Type (7)

Commercial Lease Agreement – Used to define the rental conditions when leasing commercial property to a business tenant.

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Laws: Title 55.1, Chapter 14 (Code of Virginia – Nonresidential Tenancies)

College Roommate Agreement – A contract between two (2) or more students that assigns responsibilities to each occupant and defines rules which must be obeyed while residing in a shared dwelling.

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Lease with Option to Purchase (Lease to Own) – Similar functionality to a standard lease but provides conditions under which the tenant may buy the property.

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Month to Month Lease Agreement (§ 55.1-1253) – A rental contract that permits a tenant to reside in a dwelling for a term of one (1) month. The agreement will renew on a monthly basis until either the tenant or landlord elects to terminate the lease by providing thirty (30) days’ notice.

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Roommate Agreement – Allows tenants and landlords of residential property to lease a vacant bedroom to a new tenant.

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Standard (1-year) Lease Agreement – A residential rental contract that lasts one (1) year and may not be terminated or altered prematurely unless stated otherwise in the agreement.

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Sublease Agreement – Tenants may use this document to assign rental rights to another individual for a specified period. Before signing, the initial tenant should check their lease to ensure that subletting is allowed.

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Landlord-Tenant Laws


Move-In Inspection (§ 55.1-1214) – Within five (5) days after the start of a residential tenancy, the landlord must provide the tenant with an itemized account of any damages existing in the dwelling. Alternatively, the landlord may adopt a policy that allows the tenant to complete the damage report, in which case the tenant’s copy shall be submitted to the landlord.

Mold (§ 55.1-1215) – Included in the move-in inspection report must be a disclosure indicating whether or not mold is visibly evident inside the rental unit.

Methamphetamine (§ 55.1-708) – If the property owner has actual knowledge that the premises was once used to manufacture methamphetamine, and the property has not since been cleaned in accordance with state guidelines, such information must be disclosed to the tenant.

Defective Drywall (§ 55.1-1218) – If a landlord is aware that a rental unit contains defective drywall, they must provide tenants with a written disclosure stating this information.

Property Located in Military Air Zone (§ 55.1-1217) – A landlord or owner of property located in a military air zone must provide prospective tenants with a disclosure informing them that the dwelling is located in an area that may experience significant noise or be prone to military accidents, or both.

Tourism Activity Zone (§ 55.1-707) – Owners of residential property located within a tourism activity zone must inform prospective tenants of such information and provide them with a summary of the possible circumstances that might affect their living conditions (e.g., parades, street closures, outdoor concerts).

Manager and Owner Information (§ 55.1-1216(A)) – Tenants must receive a written disclosure that states the name and address of the owner and anyone else permitted to act on the owner’s behalf.

Sale of Property (§ 55.1-1216(B)) – If a rental property has been sold, the landlord must notify the tenant of the sale and provide the name, address, and telephone number of the purchaser.

Demolition or Conversion to Condominium (§ 55.1-1216(C)) – If a property owner has submitted an application to convert a multi-family dwelling into a condominium or cooperative, or if within six (6) months the multi-family dwelling is planned to be demolished or otherwise receive substantial changes forcing the tenants to vacate, the landlord or owner must disclose this information in writing to prospective tenants.

Landlord’s Access

General Access (§ 55.1-1229(A)) – Twenty-four (24) hours’ notice must be given for routine maintenance that was not requested by the tenant. If the tenant requests repairs or maintenance, the landlord may enter without giving notice to the tenant.

Emergency Access (§ 55.1-1229(A)) – Landlords may enter without consent in the case of an emergency.


Grace Period (§ 55.1-1204(C)(5)) – Rent is considered late if not paid within the first five (5) days of the due date.

Maximum Fees ($) (§ 55.1-1204(A)) – No maximum, although ten percent (10%) or less of the monthly rent is typically accepted (see page 9 of the Guide to Virginia Landlord-Tenant Law).

Rent Increase Notice – Not mentioned in state statutes.

Security Deposits

Maximum Amount ($) (§ 55.1-1226(A)) – Landlords may not demand more than two (2) months’ rent.

Returning to Tenant (§ 55.1-1226(A)) – Security deposits must be returned within forty-five (45) days.

Interest Required? – Not mentioned in state statutes.

Separate Bank Account? – Not mentioned in state statutes.