The only way for a tenant to be evicted is through the court process. A landlord does not have the right to discard your possessions or illegal lock you out without first taking you to court.
The first step in the process is notification. Your landlord must notify you in writing of any breach in your lease.
- Five Day Notice: Your landlord or property management company must first issue you a 5-day notice if you are behind in rent. If you are not able to pay rent within the 5-day notification period, your landlord can start the eviction process (Va. Code Ann. § 55.1-1245F)
- Thirty Day Notice to Cure or Quit: If you have committed a lease violation that is remediable such as having an unauthorized pet, the landlord may issue you a 21/30 notice to mitigate and cure the offense. If the tenant has not mitigated the violation within the 21 days, the landlord can then move forward with filing the eviction lawsuit at the end of 30 days. Va. Code Ann. § 55.1-1245A .
- Thirty Day Unconditional Quit Notice: If you violate a lease or rental agreement and the violation cannot be remedied (such as causing major damage to the rental unit), then the landlord can give you a 30-day unconditional quit notice. The notice must specify the breach and state that you (tenant) must move at the end of the 30-day period, or the landlord will file an eviction lawsuit against you. Va. Code Ann. § 55.1-1245C .
- No Notice Necessary: The landlord is not required to give the tenant any kind of notice, if you commit a criminal or willful act that is not remediable and poses a threat to health or safety. This includes any illegal drug activity. The landlord can go straight to court and file an eviction lawsuit against you. Va. Code Ann. § 55.1-1245C