Virginia Rent Relief Program set to end this summer

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(FILE)(WVIR)
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 2:44 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia Rent Relief Program could be shutting down as early as June. The program was responsible for keeping many in their homes throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is going to be an absolute surge in the amount of unlawful detainer for evictions that the court sees on its docket,” NBC29 Legal Analyst AC Rieman said Thursday, April7.

Right now, landlords have to provide proof they’ve applied for the Virginia Rent Relief Program. Once that ends, there will be less red tape for landlords.

“Now that they don’t have to do that, they are going to be absolutely enforcing the rights that they have because they don’t have as many obstacles to prove when they’re trying to get somebody out of the space that they occupy,” Rieman said.

Moriah Wilkins with the Legal Aid Justice Center says once the program ends, renters will be expected to pay the rent they owe or face eviction.

“A lot of the tenants have racked up thousands and thousands of dollars since more than two years ago,” Wilkins said. ‘They’re going want that money, and they’re going to get the tenant out as a way to either get the money slash get another tenant.”

She says if possible, it may be beneficial to set up a payment plan or move out plan with your landlord to avoid a court hearing, but if you do end up in court, there are some things you can do.

“At a minimum, please just show up to your court date, because a lot of those cases they rule in favor of the landlord without any other any further trial process,” Wilkins said.

“Maybe you couldn’t make rent payments this month, but are you set to start a new job within the next week or two that you could possibly get a continuance on your case, and have a little grace period so that you don’t end up without a roof over your head?” Rieman said.

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