The Virginia rental application form allows a landlord to access information about tenants who have applied to rent a property. Prior to deciding on a lease, this form can help the landlord find past criminal history, rental history, and credit information.
Applicable Law in Virginia
Here are some state laws in Virginia about the application process that are important for landlords to know.
- Application Fee: Under Virginia law § 55.1-120 (C), an application fee may be non-refundable. It is limited to $50 not including actual out-of-pocket cost for any background checks. For public housing or HUD-related properties the limit is $32.
- Application Deposits: A landlord may also collect a refundable deposit when taking an application. This may be different from a security deposit. If the applicant does not rent the unit, the application deposit must be refunded within 20 days.
- Prepaid Rent: Under Virginia law § 55.1-1205, any rent paid to the landlord in advance must be deposited into a federally-insured banking institution within five days of receipt and held in a separate trust account until the rent is due.
- Security Deposits: There are no requirements in Virginia for how security deposits are held.
Fair Housing Laws in Virginia
The Virginia Fair Housing Office governs the state regulations regarding discrimination in housing. Virginia’s Fair Housing Law mirrors the federal guidelines that make it illegal to discriminate when renting housing on the basis of disability, family status, age, being elderly, national origin, religion, color, or race.
Everyone in all of the protected classes must be treated the same as any other person who is not in these categories. There is one exception allowed for age-restricted rental properties that are approved for senior-only living. They can legally refuse to accept people who are below a certain age (usually 55 or 62 years old) or families with children.
Certain groups do not have protected status under the state laws of Virginia; however, there may be local ordinances regarding these classes of people. The non-protected classes include smokers, income status, sexual orientation, and unmarried couples. Landlords should check with all county and municipal ordinances before making any discriminatory rules about these non-protected classes under the state’s laws.