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Landlord Responsibility to Deliver the Premises in Virginia

Frequently, tenants are dismayed to find their landlord cannot provide the possession on the day the lease was to have begun. Tenants should know that the landlord is required to delver possession on the date promised.

The Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant act provides that If the landlord willfully fails to deliver possession of the dwelling unit to the tenant, rent abates until possession is delivered and the tenant may (i) terminate the rental agreement upon at least five days' written notice to the landlord and upon termination, the landlord shall return all prepaid rent and security deposits; or (ii) demand performance of the rental agreement by the landlord.

If the tenant elects, he may file an action for possession of the dwelling unit against the landlord or any person wrongfully in possession and recover the damages sustained by him.

If a person's failure to deliver possession is willful and not in good faith, an aggrieved person may recover from that person the actual damages sustained by him and reasonable attorney's fees.

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