The New Best Evidence Rule in Unlawful Detainer Matters

Written by: Mazin Elias On July 1, 2012 the newly adopted language to section 8.01-126 of the Virginia Code was put into effect with the addition of subsection (B) which creates an alternative to the requirement that a landlord submit an original lease into evidence in an unlawful detainer matter.

Under 8.01-126(B), a landlord in an unlawful detainer matter may admit a photocopy or an electronic print out of a lease into evidence provided the landlord submits an affidavit that the copy is a true copy of the original lease.
This new provision shows the General Assembly attempt to keep up with the ever changing of the rental industry and further shows that the General Assembly understands the burdensome impact the original lease requirement placed on some Virginia landlords.