COVID rent protections, programs end in Virginia

There are concerns over a pending boost in evictions after several protections and programs for renters that began during the coronavirus pandemic ended in Virginia on Friday.

As of July 1, Virginia landlords now only have to give renter five days — instead of two weeks — to pay overdue rent.



And landlords are not required to offer tenants a payment plan.

This comes after Virginia’s Rent Relief program closed to new applications in May.

That program was mainly funded by federal stimulus grants, and it wound down because of limited funding and a recent rise in applications.

Now, Kathryn Howell and Ben Teresa, co-directors of the RVA Eviction Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University are worried the state could be in for a big increase in evictions.

“We don’t know how bad it’s going to be, but we know affordability will be as bad or worse as what we had at the start of the pandemic.” Howell said. “This will have ripple effects to evictions.”

She cited Richmond, where rents have “increased significantly.”

A report from Rent.com showed that rent spiked throughout the D.C.-area in the last year.

WTOP’s Matt Small contributed to this report.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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