Eviction Protection in Northern Virginia: 3 Things You Should Know

Eviction Protection in Northern Virginia: 3 Things You Should Know

Are you a tenant in northern Virginia concerned about eviction protection?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread economic hardship that made paying the rent a lot more difficult. To stave off a flood of evictions, state governments have put in place a variety of protections for renters. 

If you've been served an eviction notice or fear you will in the future, then read on to learn three important tips to keep in mind.

Landlords Must Offer Payment Plans

Landlords who own more than four rental properties must offer renters eviction protection in the form of payment plans.

For this to work, however, renters must sign statements declaring they have experienced COVID-19 hardships. With that in hand, the payment plan is required to last for six months. 

Alongside that, landlords must notify tenants of the Rent Relief Program (more on that below) and, if need be, help them apply for it.

If a payment plan is agreed upon, then the landlord gives up the ability to evict a tenant for nonpayment. 

For landlords with fewer than four properties, a payment plan isn't required. However, they must issue a 14-day notice and provide help with rent relief. 

Rent Relief Programs Can Help

Although the nationwide CDC eviction protection has stopped, Virginia still has the Rent Relief Program in effect.

The RRP helps renters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing rent assistance that doesn't need to be repaid. This applies to rent payments stretching back to April 1, 2020, and continuing forward to June 20, 2022. 

Priority is given to tenants who make less than 50% of the median income. However, tenants that have had trouble finding work or keeping up with mountain expenses (childcare, healthcare, food, utilities, etc.) can apply as well. 

Landlords Must Evict Properly

There is a well-defined legal structure for how to evict tenants in Virginia. However, not all tenants are lawfully evicted. That's why knowing the correct procedure is so important.  

First, any eviction that ends before lease renewal must come with a cause.

Most often, those causes are related to illegal activities, late payments, or damage to the property. Usually, a landlord or property management company is willing to negotiate a bit. For example, a tenant can start a payment plan or pay to fix the damage. 

Second, landlords have to write down any eviction notices. A spoken eviction doesn't hold up in a court of law. 

Third, landlords are not legally allowed to remove tenants. Only law enforcement can do that. 

If landlords violate this procedure in any way, then tenants can fight their eviction.  

Eviction Protection in Northern Virginia

If you're a tenant in northern Virginia, then paying attention to payment plans, rent relief programs, and proper eviction procedures is a great way to ensure eviction protection. 

Are you looking for other tenant services? If so, HomeRiver Group Northern Virginia is here to help. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you find the best place to rent. 

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