Virginia Official Summons for Unlawful Detainer

Time to initial the eviction process? Landlords will need to complete this official Summons for an Unlawful Detainer for Virginia residents.

Document Last Modified: 10/5/2018

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State Specific Clauses

VA State Assist

§ 8.01-126. Summons for an Unlawful Detainer issued by magistrate, clerk or judge of a general district court:
In any case when possession of any house, land, or tenement is unlawfully detained by the person in possession thereof, the landlord, his agent, attorney, or other person, entitled to the possession may present to a magistrate, clerk or judge of a general district court a statement under oath of the facts which authorize the removal of the tenant or other person in possession, describing such premises; and thereupon such magistrate, clerk or judge of a general district court shall issue his summons against the person or persons named in such affidavit.

The process issued upon any such summons issued by a magistrate, clerk or judge may be served as provided in §§ 8.01-293 and 8.01-296 or § 8.01-299. When issued by a magistrate it may be returned to and the case heard and determined by the judge of a general district court.

After The Notice Has Been Served

After a tenant has been given the appropriate notice for the specific violation of their lease agreement, then the landlord can use the Official Summons for Unlawful Detainer. This form is used when the tenant has not complied with the demands of the notice to pay the amount of rent that was owed, cure the violation or leave the property in the given period of time.

This form is filed with the clerk of the General District Court with the appropriate fees. It initiates the formal legal eviction process and will result in a hearing. At this hearing the landlord and the tenant or representatives for both must be present for a decision to be made.

Reasons to Evict A Tenant

    The reasons that landlords have problems with their tenants vary, but can be remedied with the formal processes laid out by the law for eviction. A landlord can begin the process of evicting a tenant when the tenant has:
  • Not paid the amount of rent that is owed,
  • Taken part in illegal or criminal activity,
  • Had too many other residents staying at the property,
  • Had too many pets at the property,
  • Has not maintained the appropriate health and safety standards.

The Process

Even before using this form and beginning the formal process, landlords need to go through a few steps to ensure the tenant has been given the chance to cure their violation or leave the property.

    The process is as follows:
  • The landlord must give the tenant a notice that describes the violation, lays out the terms of curing the violation or vacating the property and provides a timeline.
  • The landlord must wait the prescribed period of time.
  • If the tenant has not complied with the demands of the notice then the landlord may file the Official Summons for Unlawful Detainer.
  • A hearing will be held that requires both parties or representatives of each to be present.
  • If a ruling is made in favor of the landlord then an eviction will take place forcibly with the help of local law enforcement.

More Information

Landlords can get the expert advice needed and insider tips from the experts at EZ Landlord Forms by going to: https://www.ezlandlordforms.com/articles/educational/4/move-out-and-eviction/

Landlords can also find more specific information about the laws and regulations for both parties by reading the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

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