‘Apply for rent relief’: Governor signs bill extending eviction protections in Virginia
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As the CDC eviction moratorium has been extended until October 2021, Governor Ralph Northam signed a budget bill extending eviction protection until June 30, 2022.
“The law is clarified - it strengthens and it restores something that worked for the first six months of 2021,” said Marty Wegbreit with the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society. “We had a rent relief program as early as July of last year. Even though we had this program for the first six months with state money, and then the federal money, it still takes time to get the word out.”
According to the new eviction protections in Virginia:
Landlords may take no action to get possession or evict for nonpayment of rent – if the household has had financial hardship directly or indirectly due to COVID-19 – unless the landlord:
- Gives tenant a 14-day nonpayment notice informing tenant about the Rent Relief Program (RRP), and
- During the 14-day period, applies for RRP on the tenant’s behalf unless tenant pays in full, enters a payment plan, or tenant already has applied for RRP
Landlords and tenants can apply for relief. Landlords are not able to evict tenants unless:
- Tenant is found not eligible for RRP
- Tenant refuses to cooperate with RRP application
- RRP not approved in writing within 45 days of a completed application
- For any subsequent application, RRP not approved in writing within 14 days of a completed application, or RRP runs out of money
- If a tenant is complying with a written payment plan, landlord may take no action to get possession or evict for nonpayment of rent
The Virginia Rent Relief Program has paid out more than $311 million to over 48,000 households since its inception in July of 2020. The Commonwealth is distributing $524 million in federal Emergency Rental Assistance funding through the Virginia Rent Relief Program. Landlords are able to get paid directly up to 18 months in back rent. Wegbreit says if payments go as far back as April 2020 the can get paid as far forward as September 2021.
Basic Eligibility Requirements:
• Household income at or below 80% Area Median Income
• Rent amount at or below 150% Fair Market Rent
• Loss of income related directly or indirectly to COVID-19, or increase in expenses related directly or indirectly to COVID-19
1. Rental Agreement (valid lease or alternative lease documentation)
2. Tenant/Landlord Ledger
3. Tenant Income Documentation
4. Landlord’s Virginia W-9
5. RRP Landlord/Tenant Agreement
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