The Virginia residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) outlines the conditions agreed upon by a landlord and tenant for the residential use of real estate. The contract will include the length of the agreement (”term”), the payment amount (”rent”), and the obligations of the tenant while leasing the property.
Virginia Lease Agreement Disclosures
The following disclosures are required for all residential lease agreements in Virginia.
- Landlord’s Name & Address – for all rental units in Virginia.
- Move-In Checklist (PDF) – for all rental units in Virginia.
- Shared Utility Arrangements (PDF) – for any rental unit sharing a master utility meter or submetering.
- Tenant Displacement Notice (PDF) – for any rental unit where a tenant will be displaced from as a result of construction or demolition within 6 months of beginning tenancy.
- Military Air Installation Disclosure (PDF) – for any rental unit which falls into a noise or accident potential zone.
- Defective Drywall Disclosure (PDF) – for any rental unit where the landlord has actual knowledge of defective drywall.
- Methamphetamine Contamination Disclosure (PDF) – for any property where the landlord has knowledge of possible contamination.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure (PDF) – for rental units built prior to 1978.
There are also a number of optional disclosures and addendums that help reduce future conflicts and/or legal liability in Virginia.
Landlord’s Name & Address
Applicable to all rental units in Virginia.
So that future legal notices and demands sent by the tenant can be properly delivered to the landlord, the name and address of either the landlord or the person authorized to act on the landlord’s behalf must be disclosed up-front (commonly done so in the lease agreement) .
Applicable to all rental units.
Virginia requires that landlords provide a move-in checklist (usually alongside the lease) that outlines the inventory and condition of the property within 5 days of the tenant moving in. The tenant has 5 days from the production of the checklist to refute any damages listed or they accept them .
As part of the move-in checklist, the landlord must also disclose any mold that is present in the building .
Shared Utility Arrangements
Applicable to any building with submetering or shared utility meters.
It is legally required that landlords in Virginia disclose the specifics of how utilities are split between multiple tenants and common areas. Options include charging by square footage of the property, the number of tenants, or any other method of the landlord’s choosing. The landlord may also charge a service or convenience fee, as long as it is disclosed in the lease .
UTILITIES: This rental unit shares the following utilities with another unit or common area:
[ ] Electricity
[ ] Water
[ ] Gas
[ ] Sewage
[ ] Other:________
This lease uses the following method for calculating utility charges between Tenant(s):
[ ] Home Square Footage
[ ] Number of Tenants
[ ] Even Split Between Tenants
[ ] Other:___________________________________________________________
Tenant agrees to pay the monthly utility charge to Landlord, plus a $__ service charge as part of each month’s rental payment.
Demolition or Displacement Notice
Applicable to any property where tenants will be displaced within 6 months from scheduled demolition, rehabilitation, or conversion of the property.
If there are plans for tenants to be displaced from the property within 6 months of move-in due to demolition, rehabilitation, or conversion, this fact must be disclosed in the lease agreement .
DISPLACEMENT NOTICE. This property is scheduled to undergo demolition or construction that will displace tenants within 6 months.
Military Air Installation Disclosure
Applicable to any rental unit which falls into a noise or accident potential zone.
When a dwelling unit is located nearby a military air installation that poses a risk for noise disturbances or accidents, this fact must be disclosed in a Virginia lease agreement. The disclosure should specify the specific zone the property falls within on a zoning map and the risks faced .
MILITARY AIR INSTALLATION DISCLOSURE. This property is located within a:
[ ] Noise Zone
[ ] Accident Potential Zone
…as indicated by the local municipality’s official zoning map.
Defective Drywall Disclosure
Applicable to any rental unit where the landlord has actual knowledge of defective drywall.
A Virginia landlord with knowledge of defective drywall which can pose a hazard to potential tenants must disclose this knowledge in the lease agreement .
DEFECTIVE DRYWALL. This property contains defective drywall as defined by VA Code § 36-156.1.
Methamphetamine Contamination Disclosure
Applicable to any property where the landlord has knowledge of possible contamination.
In Virginia, disclosure of any knowledge relating to methamphetamine manufacturing that occurred previously on the property must be disclosed . Only known information has to be disclosed, and a contaminated unit may not be rented out unless it has been decontaminated according to safety guidelines.
Methamphetamine contamination can be dangerous to Tenant(s) in high concentrations, presenting health concerns through absorption of the materials in the air.
[ ] Has been found to be contaminated above safe levels and is in the process of decontamination.
[ ] Has been found to be contaminated, but falls within safe levels after tests were conducted.
[ ] Has no suspicion of contamination
Lead Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.
It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Virginia to:
- Fill out and attach this lead based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Virginia law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
- Medical Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where medical marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. Virginia law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke so as to not interfere with other tenants.
- Late and Returned Check Fees – it is recommended that landlords disclose in the lease any late fees or returned (bounced) check fees that they intend to charge. Virginia does not limit how high these fees can be, but they should be considered reasonable (often no more than 10% of rent) and reflect the actual expenses incurred by the landlord as a result of a late payment. They must also be charged only after the agreed upon due date for rent, dictated in the lease.
- Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to establish an understanding of the current status of bed bugs at the property in case of a future infestation and to provide information on the protocol for handling one.
- Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units in buildings built prior to 1981 (which are considered at-risk for asbestos), it is recommended to establish an understanding of any prior knowledge on the existence of asbestos on the property.