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 below disclosures are required for some or all residential lease agreements in Virginia.
|Landlord’s Name/Address||All Units|
|Move-In Checklist||All Units|
|Mold Disclosure||All Units with Visible Mold|
|Shared Utilities||Units with Shared Utility Meter|
|Demolition/Displacement||Units Undergoing Construction/Demolition|
|Military Air Installation||Units in a Noise/Accident Zone|
|Defective Drywall||Knowledge of Defective Drywall|
|Meth||Knowledge of Contamination in Unit|
|Lead Paint||All Units Prior to 1978|
Landlord’s Name & Address
Applicable to all rental units in Virginia.
Creates a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord. Landlords or any authorized individual to act on behalf of the property should provide contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease.
Additionally, the landlord and tenant may communicate important notices through electronic form if the lease agreement says so. The landlord and tenant should provide their email address in the lease agreement. (Va. Code § 55.1-1202)
Applicable to all rental units in Virginia.
Virginia requires that landlords provide a move-in checklist (usually alongside the lease) that outlines the inventory and condition of the property within five days of the tenant moving in. The tenant has five days from the production of the checklist to refute any damages listed.
Applicable to any unit with visible evidence of mold in Virginia.
In Virginia, landlords must disclose in the move-in checklist a written report of any visible evidence of mold in the rental unit. If the written report states that there is visible evidence of mold, the tenant may terminate the tenancy or enter the rental agreement in an “as is” condition with knowledge that there is mold present.
Shared Utility Arrangements
Applicable to any building with submetering or shared utility meters in Virginia.
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 multifamily dwelling unit where tenants will be displaced within six months from scheduled demolition, rehabilitation, or conversion of the property in Virginia.
If there are plans for tenants to be displaced from the property within six months of move-in due to demolition, rehabilitation, or conversion to an office, motel, hotel or planned unit development, this fact must be disclosed in the rental 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 due to military activity in Virginia.
When a dwelling unit is located nearby a military air installation that poses a risk for noise disturbances and/or accidents, this fact must be disclosed in a Virginia rental agreement. Noise zones and accident potential zones may change and will depend on the operational needs of the military. The official zoning map shall determine if there will be a risk for a military disturbance or accident. 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 in Virginia.
A Virginia landlord with knowledge of defective drywall which can pose a hazard to potential tenants must disclose this knowledge in the rental agreement.
Defective dry wall (or a similar building material which contains dried gypsum-based plaster) means that the material contains sulfur which is greater than 10 parts per million and is found in the People’s Republic of China’s manufactured products that were imported into the United States during 2004 and 2007. When this material is exposed to heat or humidity it releases hydrogen sulfide gases into the air and has been deemed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has a hazardous material.
The disclosure should be presented to the tenant before entering a rental 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 methamphetamine contamination in Virginia.
In Virginia, any knowledge relating to methamphetamine manufacturing on the property must be disclosed.
Only known information must be disclosed. A contaminated unit may not be rented out unless it has been decontaminated according to safety guidelines. The Board of Contractors, the Department of Environmental Quality and other relevant entities have established guidelines to certify that methamphetamine levels are at or below the post clean up target.
METHAMPHETAMINE DISCLOSURE. 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 Environmental Protection Agency (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 below lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Virginia law. These disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
|Optional Disclosure||How the Disclosure is Helpful|
|Asbestos||This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.|
|Bed Bugs||If the rental unit has a history of infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle a bed bug infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.|
|Late/Returned Check Fees||Landlords should disclose if they will charge a late fee or a returned check fee in the lease agreement. In Virginia rent is considered late if left unpaid on the fifth of the month. A late fee of no more than 10% of the monthly rent or 10% of the unpaid balance, whichever is less, can be collected. Virginia imposes a $50 limit on bounced checks.|
|Medical Marijuana Use||Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
|Non-Refundable Fees||A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.|
|Smoking||Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures
Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.
If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)
It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.