I got a call from a first-time investor who had rented his townhome in Herndon Virginia 20171 to a young couple. Recently they found out through a neighbor their townhome was subleased to other people including living room was rented to an individual. As a landlord what he can do? What are his/her rights and process to terminate this behavior as a Virginia Landlord?
I asked him how did he find the young couple who started with the lease term. He did not want to pay a Realtor. The rental market was strong. Hence, he had placed an advertisement on various website and found this couple who had a strong income and working for a big company nearby.
Next, I had asked him if he had them sign a lease? He did (smart!). He had downloaded a copy of the lease from search engine and had these folks sign. After reviewing the lease that was signed it turned out to be a very generic version. Nothing specific to Virginia Landlord Tenant Act (VRLTA) but basic things like they will pay rent and maintain the property in a healthy condition.
In this scenario, the best way to handle this is to hire a real estate attorney. Since the lease did not have a coverage for sub-leasing term.
However, if he had hired a Realtor and he/she had created a Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act (VRLTA) lease it would have clear terms where we do not allow subleasing the property. Worst case scenario if the tenant wants to sub-lease they will have to seak landlords approval. If the tenant is caught sub-leasing without Landlord approval it will be a breach of the lease term. The biggest concern I have is the liability and if the insurance company will cover if there are major damages occurred due to sub-leasing of the home.
If you are a landlord in the Northern Virginia area hire a professional to help you with the renting a home. It could be a real estate agent or a real estate attorney.