Va. Residential Landlord & Tenant Act; hearing on summons for unlawful detainer. (SB1438)

Introduced By

Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) with support from co-patron Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Provides that when a landlord as plaintiff requests that an initial hearing on a summons for unlawful detainer be set on a date later than 21 days from the filing of such summons, the initial hearing shall not be set on a date later than 30 days after the date of the filing. The bill further provides that an order of possession for the premises in an unlawful detainer action shall not be entered unless the landlord or the landlord's attorney or agent has presented a copy of a proper termination notice that the court admits into evidence. The bill allows a landlord to amend the amount alleged to be due and owing in an unlawful detainer action to request all amounts due and owing as of the date of a hearing on the action and to further amend such an amount to include additional amounts that become due and owing prior to the final disposition of a pending unlawful detainer action. The bill prohibits a landlord from filing a subsequent and additional unlawful detainer summons for such additional amounts. The bill also (i) requires a landlord to offer the tenant a written rental agreement and sets forth terms and conditions that will be applicable by operation of law if the landlord does not offer a written rental agreement; (ii) provides that a tenant is entitled to reasonable attorney fees when an action brought by a landlord to enforce the terms of a rental agreement is dismissed at the request of the tenant or tenant's attorney or judgment is entered in favor of the tenant; (iii) extends the "pay or quit" provision from five days to 14 days; (iv) prohibits a landlord from terminating a rental agreement solely because a tenant owes fees due to late payment of rent, provided that such tenant is current on all rental payments; and (v) extends the amount of time that a tenant may have an unlawful detainer dismissed to two days before a writ of eviction is delivered to be executed if the tenant pays all amounts claimed on the summons in unlawful detainer to the landlord, the landlord's attorney, or the court. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/08/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19102770D
01/08/2019Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
01/21/2019Committee substitute printed to LIS only 19105341D-S1
01/21/2019Passed by indefinitely in General Laws and Technology with letter (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)