Tenant Evictions in Fairfax, Virginia: A Guide for Landlords

Tenant Evictions in Fairfax, Virginia: A Guide for Landlords

In the year between October 2022 and November 2023, there were over 136,000 eviction filings - 466 per day.

As a Fairfax landlord, you never want to have to evict a tenant. Sadly, some tenants give you no other choice when their behavior puts your investment property at risk. Still, evictions should be a last resort since the eviction process can be long and daunting.

Today, we'll help you understand this process and how to go about it the right way. Keep reading and you'll be able to deal with tenant eviction efficiently and with minimal stress.

Learn Virginia's Eviction Laws

The eviction process differs slightly from state to state. In Virginia, as in other states, you must have a valid reason for evicting a tenant. The most common reasons for eviction in Virginia are nonpayment of rent, property damage, and other lease violations.

Each eviction reason is served with a specific notice. It's important to send the correct notice to your tenant. Doing it incorrectly can elongate the process and potentially render it unsuccessful.

So, for nonpayment of rent, you send the tenant a five-day nonpayment notice that gives them a final five days to pay their rent before you file an official eviction. Lease violations are served with a 30-day notice to comply that gives them 21 days to fix the issue and a further nine days to vacate the property if they fail to do so.

Sending Notice to Your Tenant

Being familiar with the law will allow you to treat the situation with care. Before you send an official notice, it's always good to try and reason with your tenant. If they can't pay rent on time, for example, try to figure out why this is and what you can do to help.

Offering the tenant an olive branch gives them one last chance to change before you engage in the eviction process. Being lenient will also reflect well on you in an eviction hearing.

If your outreach goes ignored, you can proceed with the official eviction notice. Wait the allotted amount of time and if nothing changes, you're free to file the eviction papers at the local courthouse.

Preparing for Eviction Court

Once you file the eviction, both parties will be given a date to attend the eviction hearing. Your tenant may attempt to fight the eviction, so it's important to gather as much evidence of their wrongdoing as possible.

Bring photographic proof of damage, bank statements showing repair costs, and proof of correspondence with your tenant. The more you can bolster your case, the more straightforward the process will be.

Should your case be successful, the tenant will be given a final date that they must vacate the property. Failing to do so can result in forcible removal by the local authorities.

How Property Management Can Help With Evictions

Even when done correctly, evictions are the main cause of landlord stress in America. If you don't have it in you to confront your delinquent tenant, hiring a property manager is the answer.

PMI of Fairfax is one of the top property managers in Virginia, offering comprehensive management services that include tenant screening and eviction protection. Contact us today to learn more about what we do and how we can help.