A review of when attorneys fees are allowed in Virginia landlord/tenant actions
One of the most important issues in deciding whether to retain an attorney is whether or not you might be able to obtain an award for attorneys fees if you win your case. It is also an important part of how your attorney structures the fee agreement for your landlord/tenant action. If attorneys fees are available and you have a reasonable case, a contingency fee might be appropriate.
Tenants can obtain attorneys fees if successful on the following actions:
- For willful violation of the rules regarding security deposits (mandatory)
- For willful failure to deliver possession of the unit, if the failure is not in good faith
- Failure to provide essential utility services (heat, water, electricity, or gas) (mandatory)
- For the landlord's attempt to enforce prohibited provisions
- For the landlord's unlawful or unreasonable entry or for repeated demands for entry that amount to harassment
- For any unreasonable non-compliance with the rental agreement or the Virginia landlord/tenant act (mandatory)
Landlords can obtain attorneys fees if successful on the following actions:
- For the tenant's refusal to allow reasonable access to the unit
- For the tenant's failure to properly vacate the property after termination of the agreement
- For the tenant's improper defense to an eviction proceeding
- For non-compliance with the rental agreement or the Virginia landlord/tenant act
Gregory Bean is a landlord/tenant attorney in Williamsburg and Newport News, Virginia
www.collinshyman.com - 757-645-0827
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