May 2016

As of July 1, 2016, if you discover, through normal inspections that the tenant is violating the rental agreement in a way that materially affects health and safety, you can make repairs and charge the tenant for the cost.  Presently, the law provides that you have a right “to fix” problems relating to health and safety that are caused by the tenant and you have the right to charge the tenant for the “fix;” but there is no language as to how you discover that a problem exists.   So, now, you no longer have to wait for the tenant to tell you that there is a problem or for someone to complain. This added language is in House Bill 735 which will amend Virginia Code 55-248.18.

If you want to look at the existing law with the changes that will take place on July 1, go to  The changes are in italics.


The code sections dealing with inspections, tenants’ responsibilities for maintenance, and landlords’ rights to repair are: 55-248.16, 55-248.17, and 55-248.32.