Recently I went to court for tenant who actually always pays rent on-time (if not early) but is the dirtiest, messiest, hoarding tenant I've ever had. To make things worse, he lives in a shared living situation with 2 other families, one is a single individual but the other is a single mother of 2. Anyway, I attempted to evict him for noncompliance with rentals agreement and tenant to main dwelling unit. My lease and notice to quit were seemingly fine and I had more than a plethora of pictures of him leaving food out, fruit flies all over the place, and nothing but trash in his room (this guy is retired but doesn't have a bed nor is there any space on the floor of his room, how or where he sleeps is still a mystery to me). I even had another tenant as a witness to testify the grotesque living conditions...
But I lost...
Apparently there's a Virginia code that if an individual continues paying rent, that the landlord waives his right to continue eviction unless there's a rent with reservation clause in the notice to quit. Has anyone ever heard of that and what would the verbiage be to put that in the notice to quit?
Also, any tips on writing a full proof notice of non-renewal of lease and can you serve your tenant that notice "too early"?
Any input would help!
Does your lease have a clause in it about keeping the place clean? If you serve the non-renewal too early, you can risk them damaging the unit, but in this case I doubt it would matter. Other option is cash for keys, offer him money to get him out early.
@Theresa Harris I have this in my lease:
NOISE/WASTE: The Tenant(s) agrees not to commit waste on the premises, maintain, or permit to be maintained, a nuisance thereon, or use, or permit the premises to be used, in an unlawful manner. The Tenant(s) further agrees to abide by any and all local, county, and State noise ordinances.
I think that means keep the place clean.
I think he thinks my place is a jackpot and what I thought were benefits during initial interviews ended up being disasters but that's my own fault, giving too much credit to someone who graduated Harvard, collects 2 pensions and SS, offered to pay and is paying for a garage spot but doesn't even own a vehicle, oh well
Anyway, are you familiar with the rent with reservation clause or what the clause needs to read in the notice to quit in order to accept rent and continue with the eviction process?
Wow, I have rentals in VA and this is good to know. Well hopefully your non-lease renewal pans out ok.
@Adanna Davis Thanks! I heard MOST of Virginia is generally impartial to landlord-tenants but Northern Virginia, specifically Fairfax County and Loudoun County, are very TENANT FRIENDLY.
As a result, I think I will pay a lawyer to draft my nonrenewal lease letter to cover ALL my bases hopefully and not risk a day more than I have to with this terrible tenant.
It used to be that we had to include Received with Reservation on the receipt for any payment we received after receiving possession -in order to preserve our right of possession. Now long as we tell the tenant in our 5 day letter that we will reserve the right of possession upon taking any future payments, we don't have to write it on every receipt. The Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act is a really easy read. I highly recommend you invest the hour or less to read it if you are landlording in VA.
@Patti Robertson Is putting the language "We will reserve the right of possession upon taking any future payments." anywhere on the notice sufficient for court purposes? My issue with my tenant wasn't pay related so doesn't that need to be a 21/30 letter not a 5 day letter? Thank you for the recommendation for me to read the VRLTA, I will attempt to read it but since English is my second language, I was hoping to ask specific questions here instead of having to read the whole VRLTA to answer a single question.
@Kevin C Lin - Yes, that language sounds acceptable. You can include it in a 5 day or 21 day letter.