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Landlords in Virginia may soon face hefty fine if they unlawfully evict tenants

Under a new executive order, landlords have to give tenants 30 days’ notice of their intent to...
Under a new executive order, landlords have to give tenants 30 days’ notice of their intent to evict due to nonpayment of rent, Gov. Andy Beshear said.(WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Feb. 23, 2021 at 4:43 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -Landlords in Virginia may soon face a hefty fine if they unlawfully evict a tenant.

57h District Delegate Sally Hudson (D) says the current penalty for changing the locks, cutting off heat or electricity, and forcing a tenant out of their home is low.

She proposed a bill that would levy a $ 5,000 fine or four month’s rent on any landlord who tries such tactics.

“The goal is to make it high enough so that no one ever do it. Our goal is not to punish the landlord. We’re trying to deter them from breaking the law in the first place. We want to make sure that everyone has full incentive to use the courts,” Hudson said.

The bill is heading towards a conference committee where the Senate and House will iron out details.

Saturday, February 27, is the last day of the special session of the General Assembly.

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