I live in Va. I received a hand written “pay or quit” notice yesterday stuck in my door. This notice claims that we owe for May and June’s rent.

Our rental agreement states that our rent is due on the 16th of each month, that means June’s rent is not even due yet. I agree May’s rent is a couple of week’s late. Can they include this personal loan on this notice? It’s only a month old itself and it was never stipulated when it was to be paid back. We had a verbal agreement to get caught up by the end of June which was made just a few days ago. Is this handwritten notice legal? Can they proceed to get an “unlawful detainer” on Friday? What happens next? What are my options?

Asked on June 2, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

For non-payment of rent, the landlord must given you a written notice to either move out or pay the rent owed in 5 days (5-Day Notice). If this is the kind of notice you received, then the notice is legal.

If you can't pay the rent within 5 days, the landlord must file a suit for eviction (unlawful detainer) with the court in order to make you move out. You don't have to move out within the 5 days.

You must be served with notice of the court date. If you think the landlord is wrong about what you owe, then you argue your case to the judge. Make sure and bring all papers and other evidence that you need to support your case.


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