Blog

Arlington County Rental Laws: Property Management Guide

Arlington County Rental Laws Property Management Guide

A Complete Guide to Arlington County Rental Laws

Landlord and tenant laws in Arlington can be fairly complex; the laws depend on the number of rental properties you own, and get more complex the more you own. 

If you have three or more homes that you rent out to tenants, you’re required to follow the of the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

If you are renting out only one or two homes, you simply need to comply with the terms of your lease.

At Nomadic Real Estate, we help all of our owners comply with the landlord and tenant laws, regardless of how many rental properties you own. A few of those laws need a little more attention and knowledge to make sure you’re truly in compliance.

Security Deposits and Rent

There isn’t any rent control in Virginia or in Arlington. Landlords are permitted to charge whatever they want and whatever the market will bear. 

Rental increases can be in any amount, but may not be made during the course of the lease; you have to wait until the lease renewal. 

paying rent

However, security deposits have legal limits. In Arlington, you can’t charge more than the equivalent of two months’ rent. Most landlords charge an amount that equals one month. 

Two months can be prohibitive for many good tenants, and you don’t want to give them a reason not to choose your property when they’re looking for a rental home. 

You’ll need to return the security deposit within 45 days of the tenants moving out. To avoid disputes, make sure you document the condition of the home before the tenant moves in, and then use the same checklist and take the same photos after a tenant has moved out. 

This will help you document any damage that has been done and may justify the use of all or part of your tenant’s security deposit. 

Providing a Habitable Home

As a landlord, you’re legally required to provide a home that’s safe and habitable for tenants. If your tenant complains about a lack of heat in the winter or loses water, you need to respond and fix the issue right away. 

kitchen

If you don’t, you’re violating the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. The tenants are not legally permitted to withhold rent, but they can report you to the Code Enforcement Office. 

Once that happens, your property will undergo an inspection and potentially a fine if you are found to be in violation of the code. 

Respecting Privacy and Quiet Enjoyment 

Arlington landlords are required to provide 24 hours of notice before entering a property. Think about it – how would you like it if the repairman just showed up and expected you to let them in? Your tenants don’t like it any more than you would!

privacy

If you want to make repairs or conduct an inspection, you need to schedule these things at least a full day ahead of time.  

Fair Housing Laws and Requirements 

Arlington fair housing laws start with the federal Fair Housing Act. You can’t discriminate during the advertising, screening, or leasing process based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Familial Status
  • Disability 
  • Sex

Keep in mind that some of these issues may not seem like discrimination, but can be. For example, emotional support animals, or ESA’s, are protected under the Fair Housing Act. If a tenant has an ESA and can provide documentation, they must be allowed to stay in the building regardless of pet policies.

In Arlington, there’s an additional protected class based on Virginia’s fair Housing laws: the elderly. You can’t discriminate against a person who is 55 years or older. 

It’s easy to make a mistake if you don’t know the legal landscape in Arlington or statewide. If you’d like some help or have any questions, please contact us at Nomadic Real Estate

Find Out Why Our Clients Love Us

If this is your first time leasing your property or you’ve had a bad experience with other property managers, get in touch to schedule an initial consultation with us today. We will walk you through a personalized market analysis of your home and give you our professional recommendations of services needed. As always, our initial consults are always free, and in person. Reach out and get started today!

Discover The Nomadic Difference

Learn the true rental value of your property

Discover our white-glove property management services

Get a custom proposal to fit your unique needs and goals

*Property Owners Only
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Scroll to Top