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State Landlord -Tenant Law

While the federal housing statutes provide a solid framework for the Landlord Tenant relationships, most states adopted their own landlord/tenant laws. Furthermore, different localities have established landlord-tenant commissions to enforce these laws and may be helpful in obtaining information pertaining to that particular locality.

Virginia Landlord-Tenant Law

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA), Sections 55-248.2 through 55-248.40 of the Code of Virginia, establishes the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants in the Commonwealth. Only the courts can enforce those rights and responsibilities.

The VRLTA handbook, as published by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, contains additional information and a copy of the law.

However, different cities and counties in Virginia have their own landlord-tenant commission or similar office. Please contact those offices directly for additional information that may be specific to your locality.

Maryland Landlord-Tenant Law

The Annotated Code of Maryland, Sections 8-101 to 8-604 govern the Real Property in general and Landlord and Tenant law in particular. Sections 4-401(4), (6) (i) (ii), (7) (i) (ii) establish an exclusive jurisdiction of District Court over landlord-tenant actions. Article 83B of Sections 2-801 to 2-907 provides for Elderly rental housing & rental allowance programs. Federal lower income housing assistance "sec. 8" and Designated housing for elderly and disabled families are covered by 42 U.S.C. § 1437 (f) and (e).

Many of the county, city and town codes have landlord-tenant laws. These also should be consulted for the appropriate jurisdiction.

Enforcement procedures and penalties in the Maryland law are also similar to those in federal law. The Maryland Human Relations Commission is empowered to enforce this law. The commission may help to resolve disputes, conduct investigations, hold hearings, issue orders, award damages and civil penalties and seek the help of the court to enforce its orders.

Washington, D.C.

The Annotated Code of District of Columbia Sections 42-3201 to -3610 and Municipal regulations Title 14 Sections 300 to 311 regulate the landlord – tenant relationships that arise in Washington DC.

The District of Columbia Housing Code (DCHC) is enforced by the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs' Housing Regulation Administration (HRA).