content="Landlord Duties in Evicting a Tenant in Virginia. Tenant Rights" >
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Duties of the Virginia Landlord in Evictions

Arrive on time. The Deputy will wait about ten (10) minutes if the landlord is running late. However, after ten (10) minutes the Deputy will leave the scene. Communication is key here. Let the Sheriff's Office know if there is an emergency situation. The Deputy will try to work with the landlord but he will not wait any longer than ten (10) minutes if we have not heard from the landlord.

Do not enter the property before the deputy arrives. Entering before the Deputy arrives will result in the Sheriff canceling the Writ and no performance of the eviction. This is done to ensure both the landlord's safety and the safety of the Deputy, but moreover, to limit liability to the Sheriff and the landlord by false accusations made by disgruntled tenants. If the landlord starts moving property out before the Deputy arrives, he cannot ensure the eviction has been done in a lawful manner and will back out, stating the landlord has taken action without the assistance of the Sheriff.

Any knowledge the landlord has about the tenant is helpful to the Deputy. It is important for the Sheriff to know if the tenant may have any weapons in the dwelling, or if the tenant has been arrested for assault, or believed to be dealing drugs. Incidental information, such as inoperative cars, pets, waterbeds, and juveniles left alone is important because they can prolong the eviction and may necessitate additional preparation by the landlord, the Sheriff, or animal control. If the landlord knows the tenant has changed the locks, the landlord may want to have a locksmith available at the appointed time.

The landlord must supply sufficient personnel (movers) to allow speedy removal of the property. The deputy, at his discretion, can postpone the eviction for lack of sufficient personnel. If the eviction is postponed for lack of sufficient personnel, the landlord will be required to pay additional fees for the service of the new 72 hours notice. We usually recommend at least three (3) to five (5) people depending upon the amount of property inside. It is the landlord's responsibility to remove the property. The Deputy is there only to maintain peace and to protect the public from harmful objects.

While the Code of Virginia does not require the landlord to change the locks after completion of the eviction, the landlord may want to consider doing so. 

Trailer Evictions:

If the Trailer Owner is Landlord but not the lot owner:

Where the landlord requesting the eviction is not the lot owner where the trailer sits, the tenant will be treated as though they were renting an apartment, thus all personal property inside the trailer will be moved to the nearest public right of way.

If the Landlord Evicting is Lot Owner but Not Trailer Owner:

This is a complicated issue. Please contact the Sheriff's Office for detailed instructions and considerations.

To The Tenant

On the day of the eviction, all property will be placed along the nearest public right of way. Should the tenant leave any pets, they may be recovered through the Local Department's Animal Control Division. If the tenant cannot be present when the eviction takes place, the tenant may want to have someone whom they can trust be there to protect their property. The Sheriff or Deputy can only ensure the safety of the tenant's property while he is there. Once the Deputy leaves, they are no longer responsible for the property.

In the event there are children home at the time of the eviction without an adult, the Local Department of Social Services will be called if the tenants cannot make arrangements for supervised shelter of the children

Disclaimer: The law is constantly changing and there may be times when the information on this web site will not be current. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. This information is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject and is not a substitute for advice from an attorney.


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