The housing market is bracing for a wave of evictions now that a national moratorium has expired, but D.C. region tenants can still expect some protection through local jurisdictions.
The District extended its public emergency through early October, and Maryland courts won’t start hearing cases on failure to pay rent until late August. The Virginia Supreme Court on Friday extended its own moratorium on evictions through Sept. 7.
How evictions work varies in the D.C. area, according to LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze.
“In D.C., you definitely have to go through the judicial process. In Maryland though, the landlord can just file a case without giving the tenant any kind of grace period. And in Virginia, there is a five-day notice to pay the rent or leave before the landlord can file a case,” Kapfidze said.
Being evicted is devastating, and the burden on a tenant can get worse even after it takes place. An eviction itself doesn’t show up on credit reports, but potential landlords will know, making it difficult to be approved for a new lease application somewhere else.
“If the landlord ends up sending the money that you owe to a collections agency, it is the collections agency that shows up on a credit report,” Kapfidze said.
“The actual eviction itself is not something that appears on a credit report, but there are specialized reports that landlords use that would show that you’ve had an eviction.”
Unpaid rent is also not a good situation for many landlords, especially small, mom-and-pop owners who count on that rental income to pay their own expenses. And many small landlords now face losing their mortgage forbearance protections.
There are many assistance programs for renters facing potential eviction, such as the District Department of Human Services’ Emergency Rental Assistance Program, as well as similar programs in Maryland and Virginia, and several nonprofits that offer emergency assistance to qualified renters falling behind.
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