The COVID-19 Northern Virginia moratorium on evictions ends June 22nd. Statewide, landlords will need to decide if they are able to work with their tenants or if eviction is the only option. The process isn't overly complicated, but it does take time.
Read on to find out more about the eviction process in Northern Virginia and how to evict someone if you need to.
Why Evict Tenants?
You need a good reason to begin an eviction. Since lease agreements and situations tend to vary widely, the reason you want to evict your tenants might be different from another landlord.
Failure to Pay Rent
The most common reason to evict tenants is that they didn't pay the rent. In Northern Virginia, rent is considered late once the payment date stipulated in the lease agreement has passed.
In situations where there is no written lease agreement to follow, rent is considered due in Virginia on the first of the month. If rent goes unpaid until the 5th day it becomes late. At that point, you need to issue your tenant a 5-day notice to pay. If they do not pay within that timeframe, you may begin the eviction process.
Lease agreements vary, but both the tenant and the landlord are responsible for upholding the terms of the agreement at all times. If a lease violation occurs, you must give your tenants a 30-day notice to comply. The notice provides the tenants with 21 days to fix the problem. If they fail to do so, the remaining 9 days are left for them to move out.
To ensure your property remains in good shape, try your best to find responsible tenants.
No Lease Renewal
If a tenant doesn't renew their lease you are allowed to begin the eviction process the day after the lease ends. This usually happens when a landlord wants to end their business relationship with a tenant or when a tenant refuses to find another home.
Proceeding With Evictions
If you've ever wondered how to evict someone, the process is outlined below. It can take time to evict someone but following the law is crucial.
Filing the Lawsuit
Begin by filing an Unlawful Detainer at the circuit or general district court. Be very careful filling out the forms. A successful eviction rests entirely on properly filled out paperwork.
A summons and complaint must be served to the tenant no less than 10 days before the eviction hearing. The tenant is not obligated to respond; they need only show up for the hearing. If they fail to do so, the judge may rule in your favor outright.
Landlords need a good argument and solid evidence to show the judge. Be sure to have all relevant receipts, documents, witness statements, bank statements, etc. on hand.
The hearing occurs three to four weeks after you file the complaint.
Once you win the case, the court will issue you a Writ of Eviction 10 days later. If you fail to request one within 180 days of winning the case, you'll need to start the eviction process over. According to Virginia Law, the sheriff must deliver the writ from their office to the tenant 15 to 30 days after it is issued.
The tenant will then have 72 hours to vacate the property.
Property Management Made Easy
Evictions are a troublesome but necessary part of owning rental properties. As a property management company, we handle these issues and others for our clients on a daily basis.
Check out our blog to learn more about what we do and how we help make things easier on investors and landlords.