If you’re a landlord seeking to evict a tenant, use a Virginia (VA) eviction notice to begin the process. Your eviction notice must be written according to Virginia state law, and give your tenant the legally required amount of time to respond or move out.
In Virginia, eviction lawsuits are governed by Title 8.01, Chapter 3, Article 13 of the Code of Virginia.
Virginia Eviction Notices by Type
Download a free eviction notice customized for Virginia state law below in MS Word (.docx) or Adobe PDF format.
30-Day Lease Termination: Use this notice to let a tenant know that you’re ending a lease, and that they must prepare to leave your property. In Virginia, landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice to move out if they’re on a month-to-month lease.
30-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they’ve broken the terms of your lease. In Virginia, landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice before the eviction process begins if the lease violation is incurable. In that time, tenants must move out or risk being forcibly evicted by a court order.
21-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they’ve broken the terms of your lease. In Virginia, landlords must give tenants 21 days’ notice before the eviction process begins if the lease violation is curable. In that time, tenants have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem and continue with the lease.
5-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they haven’t paid rent on time. In Virginia, landlords must give tenants five days to pay rent before the eviction process can proceed in court.
If you wish to send a letter simply reminding your tenant that rent is late (without threat of eviction), use a late rent notice.
Eviction Laws & Requirements
- Eviction Lawsuit: Unlawful entry and detainer (§ 8.01-124 – 8.01-130)
- Grace Period for Rent Payment: 5 days unless otherwise stated in the lease agreement. (§ 55.1-1204(C)(4))
- Late or Non-Rent Payment Notice: 5 days (§ 55.1-1245(F))
- Notice of Non-Compliance: 30 days (§ 55.1-1245(A))
- Lease Termination (Month-to-Month): 30 days (§ 55.1-1253(A))
What is the Eviction Process in Virginia?
Here are the seven steps you must take to evict a tenant in Virginia:
Step 1: Deliver the eviction notice
To start the eviction process, a Virginia landlord must give the tenant the appropriate eviction notice, depending on the reason for eviction.
Step 2: Wait for the tenant to act
If the tenant fixes (“cures”) the problem (if given the option), or moves out within the required timeframe, then no further action is necessary.
Step 3: File the initial court documents
If the tenant refutes the eviction notice or fails to cure the breach(es), the landlord may file a lawsuit with the General District Court – Civil Division. To do so, the landlord must file an Unlawful Detainer action. Once the court receives the document, it will set a hearing date within 30 days.
Step 5: Tenant shows up at the hearing
Once the hearing date has been scheduled, the tenant or their legal representative must show up at the hearing.
Step 6: File a Writ of Possession
If the tenant doesn’t show up or if the court rules in favor of the landlord, the landlord can then file a Writ of Possession and get help from the local sheriff to remove the tenant.
Step 7: Evict the tenant
If the court grants the Writ of Possession, the sheriff will help the landlord remove the tenant from the premises.
Related Court Forms
Summon for Unlawful Detainer (Form DC-421): This form outlines why the landlord is filing a lawsuit against the tenant, and provides information about how the tenant must respond once sued. The form must be filed by the landlord at the General District Court in the county where the property is located.
Request for Writ of Possession (Form DC-469): If the landlord wins an eviction lawsuit, the landlord can file this document to request a court to forcibly evict the tenant from the premises. The court will issue the writ to the sheriff’s office, and a sheriff will then remove the tenant from the landlord’s property. The tenant will have seventy-two (72) hours to leave on their own before being forced out by the sheriff.
Eviction Information for Virginia Landlords and Tenants
Here are some landlord- and tenant-specific resources for Virginia residents to help both parties go through the eviction process smoothly:
Eviction Information for Landlords
If an eviction is not legally served, a tenant may not be removed from a property. As a landlord, the eviction notice must:
- Explain the curable and incurable reasons for evicting a tenant
- Include the date the eviction notice was created
- Provide the tenant with the number of days they have to cure the breach/es or move out
- Be served through proper legal channels
Read the Basic Virginia Landlord-Tenant Law provided by VALegalAid.org for more information on your rights as a landlord in Virginia. If you’re uncertain about your rights and the processes for legally removing a tenant, please consult a lawyer to ensure every eviction action you take complies with state law.
Eviction Information for Tenants
As a resident of Virginia, you have legal protections under the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA). Tenants have the right to:
- Receive documentation (the eviction notice) prior to being evicted from a property
- A certain number of days to address the violation and remedy it (unless the violation is incurable)
- Appeal to the court when an eviction notice has been issued by the landlord
To understand your rights as a tenant in the state of Virginia and the various aspects of landlord-tenant relationships, read Your Rights as a Tenant by Virginia Legal Aid Society. These resources will teach you more about lease agreements, security deposits, receipts for rent payment, repairs and maintenance, terminating or ending your tenancy, breaches of lease, and evictions in Virginia.
For free legal information, visit www.vlas.org or call 1-866-LeglAid (534-5243). Or if you’re uncertain about how to proceed with the eviction process in Virginia, please consult a lawyer to ensure your rights as a tenant are protected.