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What Is a Virginia Month-to-Month Lease Agreement?

A Virginia month-to-month lease agreement is a rental agreement between a landlord and tenant. This rental agreement must comply with Virginia landlord-tenant laws. Unlike a yearly lease agreement, this is a short-term lease agreement that technically only lasts for 30 days. It automatically renews at the beginning of each month. Because of this, the landlord and the renter may consider the lease agreement indefinite.

A short-term lease should include all of the same provisions as a yearly residential lease agreement such as the monthly rent amount, information about late fees, rent increase, pet policy, parking policy, occupancy, the due date for rent payment, whether the tenant is required to care for common areas, and subletting. It should also include information about eviction and the requirements of a written notice for lease termination.

What Laws Apply to Virginia Month-to-Month Lease Agreements?

Virginia landlord-tenant law governs month-to-month lease agreements (known as periodic tenancy). Virginia’s Residential Landlord and Tenancy Act, also referred to as the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, is found in Chapter 13.2 of the Virginia Code.

Under § 55-248.15:1, a landlord may not charge a security deposit that is greater than two month's rent. They may withhold some of the security deposit to cover unpaid monthly rent or for damage to the rental property. Other than that, the remainder of the security deposit must be returned to the tenant generally within 45 days after they move out as long as they left a forwarding address. The landlord must also keep a list of itemized deductions.

Landlords and property managers should review Virginia law before drafting a month-to-month rental agreement to ensure that they comply with all of the required notices.

Terminating a Virginia Month-to-Month Lease Agreement

Under § 55-248.37, a Virginia month-to-month tenancy is terminated by written notice. The party that is providing the written notice must serve it on the receiving party by giving them at least a 30-day notice unless the rental agreement specifies a different notice period.

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