Written by attorney Rixon Charles Rafter III

Virginia Landlords and Tenants Exempt from the VA Residential Landlord Tenant Act

The Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act (Va. Code § 55-248.5.) Outlines those who are exempt from the provisions of the VRLTA.

"A. Except as specifically made applicable by § 55-248.21:1, the following conditions are

not governed by this chapter:

  1. Residence at a public or private institution, if incidental to detention or the provision of

medical, geriatric, educational, counseling, religious or similar services;

  1. Occupancy under a contract of sale of a dwelling unit or the property of which it is a

part, if the occupant is the purchaser or a person who succeeds to his interest;

  1. Occupancy by a member of a fraternal or social organization in the portion of a

structure operated for the benefit of the organization;

  1. Occupancy in a hotel, motel, vacation cottage, boardinghouse or similar lodging held

out for transients, unless let continuously to one occupant for more than thirty days,

including occupancy in a lodging subject to taxation as provided in § 58.1-3819;

  1. Occupancy by an employee of a landlord whose right to occupancy is conditioned

upon employment in and about the premises or an ex-employee whose occupancy

continues less than sixty days;

  1. Occupancy by an owner of a condominium unit or a holder of a proprietary lease in a


  1. Occupancy under a rental agreement covering premises used by the occupant primarily

in connection with business, commercial or agricultural purposes;

  1. Occupancy in a public housing unit or other housing unit subject to regulation by the

Department of Housing and Urban Development where such regulation is inconsistent

with this chapter;

  1. Occupancy by a tenant who pays no rent; and

  2. Occupancy in single-family residences where the owner(s) are natural persons or their

estates, who own in their own name, no more than ten single-family residences subject to

a rental agreement; or in the case of condominium units or single-family residences

located in any city or in any county having either the urban county executive form or

county manager plan of government, no more than four.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the landlord may specifically provide

for the applicability of the provisions of this chapter in the rental agreement."

It is important to understand that not every landlord-tenant relationship is governed by the VRLTA--in some cases the lease agreement will control and unless it directly conflicts with another Virginia Statute.

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