Most landlords have some rules they’d like their tenants to follow, and indeed, these rules may also include rules from a condo association or a homeowners association, which would be included by reference. A common practice, and one that is recommended, is to provide a list of rules to your tenants. Many lease agreements will just incorporate those rules into the body of the lease agreement.

So, what happens if a landlord wants to adopt a new rule, once the lease has started? In this case, the landlord should provide reasonable notice of the new rule to his tenants, and the adoption of that rule cannot change the agreement in such a way that it alters the spirit of the original lease agreement.

Behavior of Guests

Proper adherence to rules and regulations is not just the responsibility of the tenant; guests and invitees of the tenant must also comply. In all cases the tenant is responsible for the behavior of their guests and invitees, and the landlord has some remedies for guests who do not comply with the terms of the rental agreement, a local ordinance, or a state or federal law.

Per Virginia Code § 55-248.31:01, the landlord may bar a guest or invitee of the tenant from the premises after written notice served personally upon the guest or invitee. The notice must pertain to conduct on the landlord’s property where the premises is located and which violates the terms and conditions of the rental agreement, a local ordinance, or a state or federal law. In addition, a copy of the notice must be given to the tenant. The notice must describe the conduct of the guest or invitee. If necessary, the landlord can take it a step further by applying to the magistrate for a warrant for trespass, provided that the guest or invitee has been served with a notice. So, the bottom line is make sure your tenants understand your rules and regulations and their responsibility for the behavior of their guests.