Hello. I live in a house. A recent sewage backup caused damage to my possessions. The landlord refuses to fix the sewage problem and told me I have 12 days to vacate the property. I am on a month to month lease, have a family, and basically it is going to be impossible to find a new place within the next week due to the holidays and the required finances. The damage is over $10,000 (Pipes corroded and needed replaced from the septic) so I can't just pay it and deduct from rents. Rental agreement (Was annual and turned month-to-month) after the first year), states the landlord is indemnified from any damages to my property due to their (the landlord's) negligence. Is this legal? I thought there was a 30 day requirement? I was not served any court papers, just sent an email basically saying I need to leave before January 1. Please help
Wow - welcome to ornery landlord on steroids! I doubt that the clause is enforceable, but you will really need a lawyer to argue that. The avvo find a lawyer feature is helpful. Landlord also cannot evict you without following the Virginia statutes! Sorry to hear you are in this mess (literally). Be sure to document the damage and get all the documents that show the costs of your items (receipts, etc.). Good luck!
Answers to questions are meant to be general information that an asker can use to further understand a situation and do NOT create an attorney-client relationship. This forum can help non-lawyers learn something they can use if and when they retain a lawyer outside the context of this site.
Mr. Paulin is correct - Virginia law does not favor landlords shielding themselves from liability over something in their control. And that you can only be evicted by order of a court - and unless it's an emergency you have to be given a minimum of 30 days notice, to the end of the next rental period which appears to be January 31. Also, DO NOT 'withhold' January rent, but pay it to the General District Court using the 'tenant assertion' - Here is an outline I prepared about Tenant Assertions in Virginia: https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/tenant-assertion-in-virginia - NOTE: the laws have been reorganized since I wrote that outline so any code section references are out of date.
Answers provided are general in nature and usually based on Virginia law. If I answer something posted from another state I'm probably out on a limb. Reliance on any answer...
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