I was only given four days to consider a rent increase.

Jack Coleman

New Member
My name is John Coleman Jr and I live with my mother who is a senior citizen. We are both on disability and she has retirement income but this means our income is severely limited. We live in (ADDRESS REDACTED TO PRTECT YOUR PRIVACY) and have for 7 years since 2017.

As I understand it these units are either income assisted or low income. Every year we have to recertify when we sign our yearly lease to find out whether we qualify to live here or not (I believe it's for some kind of credit or federal assistance. Every year our manager comes and gets us to start the recertification process. This year we got a notice on our door telling us we had failed to recertify and that we had ten days to do so or we would have vacate.

The letter was dated five days previous and it has been four days since. The letter also told us we would be getting a rent increase of 100 dollars per month meaning an increase of an extra 1200$ per year for us. When we told our manager we needed time to consider whether we were going to sign or not she said she couldn't give us any because she had waited until the literal last day to recertify us.

When we asked if we could recertify and sign the lease separately so we could have time to consider the rent increase she told us to couldn't and that we had to do them togethe or we would be evicted. This effectively gave us four days to consider whether or not we could afford to pay our new rent. What little research I was able to do online said we're typically supposed to be given reasonable amount time to consider a rent incresse. I personally do not consider 4 days reasonable. My question is are they within legality and if not do we have any legal recourse?
My question is are they within legality and if not do we have any legal recourse?

You start by reviewing your existing lease.

If the lease speaks to a time limited notice period, that governs how much time you're allowed.

If the lease is SILENT on the matter, your limited time argument, minus a VA state law commenting on the matter, would fail.

However, VA state law seems supportive of your comment, based entirely upon the landlord's rent increase.

However, your tenancy is rented upon certain contingencies regarding your combined incomes being below a certain ceiling.

You might wish to speak to a Legal Aid Service,or the agency that underwrites your "income based" tenancy.

I personally do not consider 4 days reasonable.

The landlord doesn't care, or isn't bothered by your personal opinion, especially if it isn't based on the law or the lease.

§ 55.1-1302. Term of rental agreement; renewal; security deposits.
A. A landlord shall offer all current and prospective year-round residents a rental agreement with a rental period of not less than one year. Such offer shall contain the same terms and conditions as are offered with shorter term leases, except that rental discounts may be offered by a landlord to residents who enter into a rental agreement for a period of not less than one year.

B. Upon the expiration of a rental agreement, the agreement shall be automatically renewed for a term of one year with the same terms unless the landlord provides written notice to the tenant of any change in the terms of the agreement at least 60 days prior to the expiration date. In the case of an automatic renewal of a rental agreement for a year-round resident, the security deposit initially furnished by the tenant shall not be increased by the landlord, nor shall an additional security deposit be required.

C. Except as limited by subsection B, the provisions of § 55.1-1226 shall govern the terms and conditions of security deposits for rental agreements under this chapter.

1992, c. 709, § 55-248.42:1; 1999, c. 513; 2000, c. 41; 2019, c. 712.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

§ 55.1-1302. Term of rental agreement; renewal; security deposits