Virginia Deposit: VRTLA lease then renewed with Common Law

6 Replies

Hey Bigger Pockets community. I'm hoping that this question I have might find some helpful input here. Here goes:

I recently moved out of a townhome I rented in Alexandria VA - I lived there for 4 years (under two 2-year leases). The first lease was under VRLTA, which has clear reqs about holding a deposit, move-in inspection, etc. The second lease was under Common Law (no reqs that VRLTA imposes).

The deposit is being debited for bogus items and no interest is granted. The property manager did not do a move in inspection containing signatures from he and I, so there doesn't seem to be a legal basis for any of the deposit debits (note: contractors came in and out of unit during turnover and could easily have done the items that were listed).

My question is essentially this:  being that VRLTA was governing the lease when the deposit was received, is the deposit subject to that even though the second lease was under Common Law?

Thanks!

In my experience, the lease that you last signed is the governing lease because the 1st 2-yr lease ended when the term was completed. Was there a move-in inspection signed four years ago?

If no move-in inspection, then you're probably out of luck in terms of the condition. The move-in inspection is meant to protect your deposit against stuff like this. You may need to bring this up with an attorney.

If Im not mistaken, Virginia does not require interest on deposits since 2014.

@Jonny R. - In this instance it doesn’t really matter what law you follow.  You are liable for damages you created that are not considered wear and tear.  The PMs responsibility was to give you a means (usually a form) to document the move-in condition.  You had 5 days from move-in to document any damage you wanted to.  If you didn’t, it will be your word against his. If one of you has photos of condition before you moved in, that party will have an advantage. Your option is to file a Warrent in Debt and let a Judge decide. Make sure you sue the correct party.  Look at your lease.  Your landlord should be named as the owner of the property, and not the PM. Some PMs name themselves or their firms as the landlord (not proper in my opinion), in which case you should sue them.