How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Virginia

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There’s no legal limit to how much your landlord can raise rent in Virginia, but there are regulations on when and how often, depending on the type of lease. 
Renters across the country face increased rent rates in response to changing housing markets. But, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, these rent hikes can feel undeserved or even aggressive—and if you're one of the thousands in Virginia facing the same problem, you're not alone. 
Looking for answers and solutions? Here to break down rent control laws in your state is Jerry, the car and renters insurance super app that can help you save. Read on to uncover the legalities of raising rent in the Old Dominion, from knowing when your landlord is illegally raising rent to what you can do to save on renters insurance. 
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How much can a landlord raise rent in Virginia?

Virginia landlords can raise your rent by any amount upon renewal of your lease term or with adequate notice. 
That’s right—in Virginia, there’s no legal limit on how much your landlord can increase your rent. And they're not the only state—several states don't regulate rent increases, although some cities and counties implement their own local ordinances.  
Although there are no official regulations on rent increases in the state, that doesn’t mean your landlord is likely to raise your rent an extravagant amount. Sure, your landlord could ask for $2,000 next month instead of just $1,000, but it’s ultimately in their best interest to maintain the rent at a fair market price to avoid losing tenants. While the fair market value is at an all-time high right now, any increase you receive hopefully won't be higher than the current average. 

How much notice does a landlord need to give before they raise the rent?

Generally speaking, Virginia landlords need to provide at least 30 days' notice before increasing a tenant’s rent. However, the exact period of prior notice varies somewhat depending on the term of your lease: 
  • For week-to-week lease terms, 7 days' notice is required
  • For month-to-month lease terms, 30 days' notice is required
  • For 1-year (fixed-term) leases, landlords must wait until the current lease term has expired and a new tenancy begins before increasing the rent
Notice of a raise in rent must be submitted to the tenant in writing by the landlord within the specified period before the new rent rate can be applied. 

When is it illegal to raise rent in Virginia?

There are some circumstances under which it may be illegal for landlords to raise rent in Virginia. In these cases, a tenant can take up legal action against their landlord: 
  • Raising rent in retaliation against a tenant who exercised their tenancy rights, such as making a good faith complaint to the landlord regarding the property.
  • Raising rent on a discriminatory basis, including based on sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, or family status. 

How to respond to a rent increase

There are a few different ways to respond if your landlord increases your rent in Virginia. One option is always to accept the higher rent and begin paying it when your new lease comes into effect. If you’re not in the position to accommodate the increase, however, you have a few other options: 
  • If you believe the landlord illegally raised your rent, seek legal advice or hire a lawyer and take legal action. 
  • If the landlord did not provide you adequate notice of the rent increase, seek legal advice and file a lawsuit against the property owner. 
  • If you can't afford the higher rent, you can speak with your landlord and try to negotiate a lower rate.
  • If the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your ability to afford a higher rent, seek resources and assistance through your local emergency rental assistance program (ERAP).

How to save money to deal with a rent hike

No matter your course of action, responding to a rent hike can feel stressful. That’s why Jerry makes saving on auto and renters insurance hassle-free. In less than a minute, Jerry can find you personalized quotes from 55+ name-brand insurance providers. How?
All you have to do is download the app, answer a handful of questions (which takes approximately 45 seconds) and watch as Jerry pulls you quotes customized to your coverage needs. Shop and compare rates side-by-side, manage and adjust your policy—all from the convenience of your phone! Jerry makes it easy by handling the phone calls and paperwork, and we’ll never reach out unless you ask us to! 
With Jerry users saving on average $800+ a year on insurance, it’s no wonder Jerry is rated the no. 1 insurance app. 
Jerry let me customize my preferred auto and renters insurance so that I saved $100. I never even considered looking into Travelers but now they’re my policyholders! This app rocks.” —Jaime A., satisfied Jerry user
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FAQs

Technically, yes. So long as your landlord provides adequate notice, it is legal for them to raise your rent. If you find yourself financially limited as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, your local emergency rental assistance program or the Virginia Rent Relief Program.
Between March 2021 and March 2022, the average rent in Virginia increased by over 14%.

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