Landlord/Tenant

Jarvis law Landlord Tenant

We represent landlords and tenants in the entire world of residential and commercial leasing, limited to the geography that starts in Manassas (Fairfax County), runs west on 66 to Front Royal, north to Winchester on 81, and points to the south in the Valley. Within that world we:

  • Advise on updated laws under the Virginia Realtor Landlord Tenant Act (“VRLTA”)—to adapt to the new world of COVID, Rent Relief Programs and fast-changing laws
  • Provide expert analysis to landlords and tenants on all actual and potential legal issues and troubles in both commercial and residential leases, with a focus on drafting and litigation
  • Draft basic lease templates for landlords operating under VRLTA, Section 8 and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (“LIHTC”) housing voucher programs
  • Take on landlords by filing tenant’s assertions and petitions for unlawful ousters under the VRLTA
  • Advise tenants and landlords on possible fair housing law violations
  • Draft reasonable accommodation requests on behalf of tenants facing discriminatory practices, and advise landlords on how to comply with fair housing laws

Why Jarvis Law?

Hiring a former legal aid attorney for landlord/tenant work is akin to hiring a former prosecutor to run your white-collar crime section in a law firm. At legal aid, we have one primary directive: find a way to delay and defend an eviction and keep a roof over a poor family’s head. When COVID hit, it became almost impossible to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent. Beginning in July 2022, that will be changing, but in the meantime, landlords in Northern Virginia, ranging from Manassas in Prince William County, Fairfax County, Leesburg, and the exurbs to the West (from Front Royal in Warren County to Winchester in Frederick County) have been taking advantage of a booming housing market to sell their rental assets and at times exit the rental business. Now that COVID and the funds distributed under are dissipating, we will find ourselves in an altered and much-changed rental world. Prices are up all over.

When it comes to residential leases, I prefer to work with landlords that comply with both the spirit and the letter of the VRLTA. I like to find ways to keep good tenants in their units and a way to work out disagreements or disputes without resorting to the eviction process. Sometimes, however, even the most compassionate and patient landlord needs help in court. We are happy to help in those situations. And we are comfortable in the world of commercial leases, where landlords and tenants are bound more by the terms they agree to than the laws that bind them.

When it comes to General District Court, I’m also comfortable. I know the judges very well in Front Royal, Winchester, Shenandoah, Clarke and Harrisonburg. I also know the courts and their systems in Prince William County (Manassas) and of course the right pen color to use in Fairfax–and perhaps even the correctly colored cover sheet (that only Fairfax uses).