Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Virginia


I have a 22 item list of repairs needed in my rental townhome. I spoke w/ the agent/landlord on several occassions regarding these repairs. I have also faxed the list to him on several occassions. I have been in this unit since 12/23/03. It was agreed that the workers would be able to make the necessary repairs around me. To date, none of the repairs have been made. Prince William County General District Court referred me to leagal services. Legal services referred me to the Housing law attorneys because I my income is too high for me to acquire their assistance. Housing Law has a $35 appointment fee. I have electrical and plumbing repairs. I do not know which way to turn.

Asked on 2/27/04, 5:36 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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Re: Slumlord

If your lease is under the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act(VRLTA), you should be able to assert what's called a rent escrow account at the Prince William Co. General District Court whereby you would pay into this account the amount of your monthly rent until there is a sum sufficient to cover the amount of the repairs which the landlord is obligated to make under the terms of your current lease.

Then, when you have obtained the court's permission, you can utilize these funds in the escrow account for the purpose of paying a local contractor to carryout the needed repairs.

You would, however, be very well advised to first give the landlord notice of your intent to assert the rent escrow via certified letter, return receipt requested(making sure that you retain a copy for your records).

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Answered on 2/27/04, 6:34 pm

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