What to do if I have a tenant who refuses to leave though lease is up?

I have a tenant renting my house. The lease expires in 30 days. I have sold the house. He says he won’t move out for 30-60 days after the lease ends. He has not violated any terms of the lease yet. Can I file for eviction now or do I have to wait until he has stayed beyond the lease term to file? Other suggestions?

Asked on July 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you cannot file for eviction until the term of the lease expires (except as per below), since regardless of his expressed intent, he is still entitled to possession of the premises at this time.

You could only file earlier if he gives you good cause to do so--e.g. nonpayment of rent; grossly negligently or willfully damaging your property; etc.

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