The following is not to be considered legal advice. It is recommended that owners of rental property obtain a copy of the applicable law (Code of Virginia 55-248.2-55-248.40) The Code of Virginia (COV) is available in libraries and on the internet and is updated each July 1. Seek the advice of an attorney if necessary.
- To begin the process the landlord must give written notice to the tenant advising the tenant that he is in violation of the lease. If the violation is failure to pay rent, notice must be served on the tenant giving the tenant 14 days to pay or be subject to termination of the lease or eviction. All other eviction reasons are 30 days.
- If the violation has not been corrected, the landlord may obtain a Summons for Unlawful Detainer from the clerk of the General District Court requesting a judgment for the right to evict and for money owed. It must be served by the Sheriff or a process server at least 10 days before the court date and a copy must be mailed by the landlord to the tenant (also 10 days prior).
- On the court date, present to the judge the lease, copy of the notice and the rent ledger. (Copies may be left with the court)
- If judgment is granted, the landlord may obtain a writ of possession from the clerk after 10 days from the judgment date unless the court grants the right to "immediate possession".
- Upon receiving the writ, contact the Winchester City Sheriff's Office to set a date for the eviction.
- On the date of the eviction, the Sheriff supervises the process and keeps it peaceful. The landlord is responsible for locking out the tenant, or removing the tenant's property (and should bring persons, boxes, bags, etc. to do so). Or, in either case the tenant has the right to collect his personal property within 24 hours of the eviction. (If the tenant is locked out, the landlord must provide reasonable access to the tenant. This is not meant to imply that the tenant has 24 hours moving time, but has a 24 hour period to schedule a time convenient for the landlord to grant access to the property).
TAKE NOTE of the following:
A) Upon receiving a "Writ of Eviction" even in the case of a Court Granted "Immediate possession", the property owner must wait 10 days for the appeal right to expire before you can request the Sheriff's Office serve a vacate notice. After waiting the 10 days the Sheriff's Office may now serve the vacate notice advising the tenant of the date and time of the eviction. The Sheriff's Office must give the tenant a minimum 72 hour notice from the service of the vacate notice and the time of the eviction.
B) If the eviction is delayed for any reason, an additional minimum 72 hour notice must be given.
C) The Sheriff's Office will reschedule evictions when the weather is bad or temperatures are extremely low.
D) If the landlord is going to proceed with a "set-out" on the day of the eviction, the landlord must provide staff to do so. If the Deputy feels that there is not adequate staff to conduct a "set-out" in a reasonable amount of time, the Deputy will reschedule the eviction.