Virginia Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: November 30, 2021 by Elizabeth Souza

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.

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Virginia Lease Agreement Disclosures

The following disclosures are required for all residential lease agreements in Virginia.

Disclosure Applicable to
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
Tenant 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

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.

Landlords, owners, or any individual authorized to manage the rental property must disclose their name and address so future legal notices and demands that are sent by the tenant can be properly delivered. This information is commonly provided in the rental agreement and shall be provided to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy.

Move-In Checklist

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 five days of the tenant moving in. The tenant has five days from the production of the checklist to refute any damages listed.

Download: Virginia Move-In Checklist Disclosure Form (PDF)

Mold Disclosure

Applicable to any unit with visible evidence of mold.

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.

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.

Download: Virginia Shared Utility Arrangement Disclosure Form (PDF)

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.

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.

Download: Virginia Tenant Displacement Disclosure Form (PDF)

Military Air Installation Disclosure

Applicable to any rental unit which falls into a noise or accident potential zone due to military activity.

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.

Download: Virginia Military Air Installation Disclosure Form (PDF)

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 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.

Download: Virginia Defective Drywall Disclosure Form (PDF)

Methamphetamine Contamination Disclosure

Applicable to any property where the landlord has knowledge of possible methamphetamine contamination.

In Virginia, disclosure of any knowledge relating to methamphetamine manufacturing that occurred previously on the property must be disclosed.

Only known information must be disclosed, and 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.

This property:
[ ] 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

Download: Virginia Methamphetamine Contamination Disclosure Form (PDF)

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:

Download: Virginia Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)

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 to not interfere with other tenants’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
  • 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. Rent is considered late if funds are not received five days after it is due.
  • Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to provide information on the protocol for handling a bed bug infestation. This addendum will notify the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention by promptly reporting any sign of infestation to the landlord.
  • Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1981, asbestos was a common building material. This disclosure will notify the tenant to take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers (i.e. no sanding, pounding, modifications or repairs, without the landlord’s consent). The disclosure will also notify the tenant of their obligation to immediately notify the landlord if any ceilings begin to deteriorate.