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What are renters' legal rights in Virginia?

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Virginia has several laws, as of 2015, that protect the rights of renters, such as requiring that landlords disclose the condition of properties, limiting the amount landlords can charge as security deposits, allowing tenants to withhold rent under certain circumstances, and setting the conditions under which landlords can access rental properties, explains Nolo. Renters in Virginia are also protected by federal laws, such as those barring discrimination and protecting tenants from exposure to health hazards, such as lead-based paint.

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Landlords in Virginia must provide renters with the names of people authorized to act on the landlords' behalf, and must give disclosures regarding the presence of mold in properties, states Nolo. Landlords in Virginia cannot charge more than two months' rent for security deposits, and must return deposits within 45 days after tenants vacate properties. Tenants in Virginia can withhold their rent if landlords fail to make critical repairs to properties, such as to heaters.

Virginia law specifies that landlords provide a 24-hour notice to tenants before entering rental properties, unless tenants have requested their presence, such as for maintenance, according to Nolo. Renters are also protected from retaliation for filing complaints that have a legal basis, such as unsafe living conditions. If necessary, tenants can sue landlords in small claims court for return of security deposits.

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