Eviction Handbook

The material provided here is meant only as an example and a general overview of the eviction process. This information shall not be considered legal advice. Each situation is different and no one explanation can cover every situation. For specific information please consult the Code of Virginia, or for legal advice please consult an attorney.

The following is not to be considered legal advice. It is recommended that owners of rental property obtain a copy of the applicable law (for most landlords 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.

  1. 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 5 days to pay or be subject to termination of the lease or eviction.
  2. 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).
  3. 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)
  4. If the judgment is granted, the landlord may obtain a writ of eviction from the clerk after 10 days from the judgment date.
  5. Upon receiving the writ, the Sheriff sets a date for eviction and gives the tenant at least 72 hours notice.
  6. 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)
  7. If the eviction is delayed for any reason, an additional 72 hour notice must be given.