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Tenant Responsibilities to Landlords in Virginia

In Virginia, the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act (Va.Code§ 55-248.16.) outlines the responsibilities of Tenants to their landlord and to the property they lease. The Act says:

“A. In addition to the provisions of the rental agreement, the tenant shall:

  1. Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety; 2. Keep that part of the dwelling unit and the part of the premises that he occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit;

  2. Keep that part of the dwelling unit and the part of the premises that he occupies free from insects and pests, as those terms are defined in § 3.2-3900, and to promptly notify the landlord of the existence of any insects or pests;

  3. Remove from his dwelling unit all ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste in a clean and safe manner and in the appropriate receptacles provided by the landlord pursuant to § 55-258.13, if such disposal is on the premises;

  4. Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits;

  5. Use in a reasonable manner all utilities and all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises, and keep all utility services paid for by the tenant to the utility service provider or its agent on at all times during the term of the rental agreement;

  6. Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or permit any person to do so whether known by the tenant or not;

  7. Not remove or tamper with a properly functioning smoke detector installed by the landlord, including removing any working batteries, so as to render the detector inoperative and shall maintain the smoke detector in accordance with the uniform set of standards for maintenance of smoke detectors established in the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.);

  8. Not remove or tamper with a properly functioning carbon monoxide detector, including removing any working batteries, so as to render the carbon monoxide detector inoperative;

  9. Use reasonable efforts to maintain the dwelling unit and any other part of the premises that he occupies in such a condition as to prevent accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold, and to promptly notify the landlord in writing of any moisture accumulation that occurs or of any visible evidence of mold discovered by the tenant.

  10. Not paint or disturb painted surfaces or make alterations in the dwelling unit without the prior written approval of the landlord provided (i) the dwelling unit was constructed prior to 1978 and therefore requires the landlord to provide the tenant with lead-based paint disclosures and (ii) the landlord has provided the tenant with such disclosures and the rental agreement provides that the tenant is required to obtain the landlord's prior written approval before painting, disturbing painted surfaces or making alterations in the dwelling unit;

  11. Be responsible for his conduct and the conduct of other persons on the premises with his consent whether known by the tenant or not, to ensure that his neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of the premises will not be disturbed; and

  12. Abide by all reasonable rules and regulations imposed by the landlord pursuant to § 55-248.17.

B. If the duty imposed by subdivision 1 of subsection A is greater than any duty imposed by any other subdivision of that subsection, the tenant's duty shall be determined by reference to subdivision 1."

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