My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.
A landlord must make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to maintain a dwelling in fit and habitable condition. The landlord must:
1) Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times, air conditioning (where installed) and reasonable heat in season.
2) Maintain in good and safe working order all electrical, heating, plumbing, sanitation, ventilation, air conditioning, and other facilities (including those required by any state or local housing or health code) and appliances supplied, or required to be supplied, by the landlord.
3) Keep all common areas clean and in structurally safe condition and provide and maintain appropriate waste receptacles in common areas shared by two or more dwelling units.
4) Provide and maintain in common areas appropriate receptacles for collection, storage, and removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste within the expected range when two or more dwelling units dispose of trash there.
5) Maintain premises to prevent the accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold.
6) Comply with requirements of applicable building, housing, health, and fire codes. (Landlords must also comply with local zoning ordinances limiting the number of occupants in a dwelling unit.)
A landlord may be liable for the tenant’s actual damages caused by the landlord’s failure to perform these responsibilities.
If you did not have access to your property then you landlord could not charge you rent and you should get a refund but it sounds like you will need to take the landlord to small claims court. See link for Virginia landlord/tenant handbook for your rights:
During the tenancy the tenant must be given written notification of any deductions which will be made from a security deposit. The deductions must be itemized and sent to a tenant within 30 days of the deduction unless the deductions occur less than 30 days prior to the termination of the rental agreement.
A landlord may withhold money from a security deposit for the collection of unpaid rent (including late fees) and damages caused by a tenant beyond reasonable wear and tear. A dwelling must be left clean and free of all items belonging to the tenant. Any cleaning costs that are made necessary by the conditions the tenant left behind may be deducted from the security deposit. Any evidence of the condition before and after you moved in would be very helpful, especially visual evidence. It will be difficult for you landlord to withhold your deposit based on the information you have given considering the property was not fit and in livable condition. You should retain a local Virginia landlord/tenant attorney (see martindale.com or lawyers.com and search for your area) to enforce your rights in this situation.
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