As unpleasant a subject as Virginia eviction is, as a tenant, it is wise to know the laws before you find yourself in a lawsuit with your landlord. Knowing the steps, you can prepare yourself against unfair and unlawful practices in Virginia eviction by your landlord.
A landlord must give you a Notice of Default or Termination before a landlord can proceed with the Virginia eviction process. For unpaid rent this is usually a five-day notice. For other reasons for Virginia eviction a thirty-day warning is given. If the landlord then decides to sue you, you will be served a summons for Unlawful Detainer which will tell you the date and time of the court hearing, and in what district court it will be held. If you plan on a defense, you do not want to miss this court date. If you think you can pay the rent and/or fees that the landlord is suing you for before the court date, this would be in your best interest. If you have paid it before the court date you may avert a judgement against you. However, the judge could still award judgement for possession to the landlord, who would then proceed with the Virginia eviction process. See the Virginia landlord tenant act.
If the judgement is for the landlord to take possession you will be given ten days to appeal the judgement. You must file your appeal with the court, along with paying whatever unpaid rent and fees that the judge declared in his ruling. The landlord, if given the right of possession, will likely file a writ of Virginia eviction with the court, which gives the county sheriff instructions on when and where to serve the eviction. When the sheriff serves you with the writ of eviction, it will have the date and the time of the Virginia eviction, which is typically 72 hours before the sheriff will return to remove you from the premises. Prior to this event, if you can pay the unpaid rent and fees that the judge ordered you to pay, you may able to remain in the premises to avoid Virginia eviction by the sheriff. This option is only open for about two days, and if you have not sought legal advice from an attorney by this time, you may find retaining an attorney the best course of action.
Unless the landlord or the court revokes the Virginia eviction notice, the sheriff will be back within 72 hours to remove you from the premises. This is why it is always best to seek legal counsel as soon as a problem arises with a landlord. Whether it be late rent payments, or other violations of the lease, an attorney can help you understand your lease and the various clauses within, as well as stop Virginia eviction with a settled or negotiated agreement with the landlord or their agents. The wisest rule would be to retain an attorney as soon as you feel a landlord is considering serving you with any court summons, or when you receive a summons. The Mughal Law Firm is experienced in Virginia eviction matters and can assist you in every stage of the process.
You should also view the following articles for further information. Unlawful Detainer