In May 2018 there was a significant update in Virginia law that may mean that you’re in a month-to-month lease.
In The Game Place v. Fredericksburg 35, a landlord sued a tenant for unpaid rent on a fifteen (15) year commercial lease. The landlord prevailed in the Circuit Court, but on appeal, the Supreme Court of Virginia reversed the decision, holding that the lease was unenforceable as a matter of law under the Statute of Conveyances because it was not signed under seal.
The Supreme Court ruled that a lease for a term in excess of five (5) years must, by statute, be by Deed of Lease and must be signed under seal under the common law, which requirements have not been changed by statute. This made the fifteen (15) year lease a month-to-month lease based on how often the tenant was paying rent, terminable by either side on thirty (30) days’ notice.
If you or your company are currently leasing commercial space for a term of five (5) years or more you should check to ensure that you’re in compliance with the Supreme Court of Virginia’s ruling in this case.