Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; landlord's noncompliance as defense to action. (SB284)

Introduced By

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; landlord's noncompliance as defense to action for possession for nonpayment of rent. Removes the requirement that a tenant, if in possession of a dwelling unit, must pay for the court to hold the amount of rent found to be due and unpaid pending the issuance of an order pursuant to an action by the landlord for possession based upon nonpayment of rent where the tenant has asserted a defense that there exists upon the leased premises a condition that constitutes, or will constitute, a fire hazard or a serious threat to the life, health, or safety of the occupant of the dwelling unit. The bill provides that (i) a tenant may assert such a defense if, prior to the commencement of the action for rent or possession, the landlord or his agent had notice of the condition, was given a reasonable opportunity to remedy the condition, and failed to do so and (ii) while the period of time that is deemed to be a unreasonable delay is left to the court, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a period in excess of 14 days, changed from 30 days in current law, from receipt of the notification by the landlord is reasonable. Finally, the bill clarifies that not only may the court issue an order that reduces rent by an equitable amount in consideration of the existence of an allowable condition asserted by the tenant, but the court may also refer any matter before it to the proper state or local agency for investigation and report and continue the action or complaint pending completion of such investigation and receipt of the report. Current law allows the court to terminate the rental agreement or order the surrender of the premises to the landlord or require the tenant to deposit with the court any rents that will become due during the period of continuance while the state or local agency investigates. Read the Bill »


01/11/2022: Awaiting a Vote in the General Laws and Technology Committee


01/11/2022Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/12/22 22101199D
01/11/2022Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
02/09/2022Senate committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
02/09/2022Continued to 2023 in General Laws and Technology (12-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)

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