Landlord - Tenant

Landlord - Tenant

Housing cases, such as eviction (also called unlawful detainer), are heard in the General District Court. There are some resources you may find helpful, whether you are a landlord or a tenant.

This is a very technical area of law with strict deadlines.

A little legal advice goes a long way, especially if a subsidized housing interest, such as a Section 8 Voucher, is involved. Be sure to visit Find a Lawyer and check with your local court for local resources.

The "Housing Law" section of VA Law Help 2 Go website offers three videos discussing:

Virginia Housing shares information on Renter Rights and Responsibilities, the Housing Choice Voucher Program, and other ways to be a successful renter.

Additional information about this topic is located at these websites:

Where can I find court forms for landlord and tenant actions?

Visit the Landlord and Tenant Forms page.

This listing of forms includes an online link to a self-help tool at the Virginia Legal Aid website. It fills out a form for tenants to have a landlord fix serious damage to the rental unit or home.


What is expungement?

Expungement is a process by which a record, or portion of a record, is officially erased or removed. If a judgment is entered in favor of the defendant in an eviction, or if it is dismissed or "non-suited", the defendant may petition the court for expungement. 


How do you expunge an eviction?

Court evictions are also known as unlawful detainers. To file a petition expunging an unlawful detainer, one of the following must have occurred: 

  1. The action is dismissed and 30 days have passed, or
  2. A voluntary nonsuit is taken and six-months have passed.

If you qualify, you can petition the court to expunge the unlawful detainer using a simple court form found here. A petition for expungement of unlawful detainer should include:

  1. The underlying case number.
  2. The city or county General District Court.
  3. Your name.
  4. The date the dismissal or nonsuit was entered.
  5. The name of the plaintiff in the unlawful detainer action.
  6. The address of the property that was the subject of the unlawful detainer action.
  7. Your mailing address. 

After July 1, 2024, qualifying unlawful detainers will be automatically expunged, but you can still use this information to expunge unlawful detainers that occurred before July 1, 2024.



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