If I signed a lease that is not in accord with state law, does the lease supercede the law?

UPDATED: Dec 15, 2011

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If I signed a lease that is not in accord with state law, does the lease supercede the law?

Our lease is written that our landlord can take $200 from our security deposit for late payments of rent that she says happened 2 times. Va law says that if a landlord is going to take anything from the security deposit, they must let us know within 30 days of any incident. The lease my daughter signed says that we basically signed away any legal rights and she can take it at any time for any reason. She says that the lease supersedes the tenant law of my state. Is this true?

Asked on December 15, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Good question. My understanding is that the written lease between a landlord and the tenant controls the obligations owed to each absent conflicting state law. From what you have written, the provision of the written lease that you have written about is in violation of Virginia law on the subject of debits from one's security deposit.

My opinion is that if the landlord intends to debit anything from your daughter's security deposit she needs to be put on notice of this within 30 days of the incident where the landlord claims there is a basis to debit the security deposit.

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