Virginia Tenant Rights in the Event of Foreclosure



As the law currently stands, Virginia offers little protection to tenants whose homes are foreclosed upon.

The only state statute that addresses the issue is VA Code §55-225.10 from the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act.

  • 55-225.10. Notice to tenant in event of foreclosure.

The statute deals primarily with the notice that landlords are required to give tenants if the rental property is in danger of foreclosure.  The only remedy that this statute provides the tenant is the right to terminate the lease and recover the security deposit if the landlord fails to abide by the notice provision.

Section C of the Virginia statute defers to Federal law to determine whether or not a compliant tenant may remain in possession of the property after foreclosure.  The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (or “PTFA ) was enacted by Congress in 2009.  It most cases it allowed those tenants who kept paying their rent to remain in the property for 90 days after the foreclosure.  The law was renewed in 2012, but it was allowed to expire on December 31, 2014.  Therefore the protections that the Virginia statute refers to, no longer exist.

Last year, several representatives proposed legislation that would bring back the PTFA.

Both S. 730 and H.R. 1354, would restore and make permanent the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.

In March 2015, these bills were referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the House Committee on Financial Services respectively.

The proposed legislation known as the Community Lender Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 1491) would also restore the PFTA.   This bill has more momentum than the others.  On October 28, 2015, hearings were held to debate the bill’s merits by the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection.

However, until one of these Federal bills is signed into law, Virginia law offers no specific protections to tenants whose homes fall into foreclosure.

If you have a question about Virginia Landlord-Tenant law please give the lawyers of Winslow & McCurry, PLLC a call at (804)423-1382.