You can still avoid eviction when the CDC's moratorium ends

Posted at 7:39 AM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 07:40:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- In just a few weeks some tenants may find themselves facing evictions due to the end of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) eviction moratorium on June 30.

However, housing experts told CBS 6 they don't expect that to be the case for many, as some state eviction protections will remain in place which could prevent you from losing your home.

Martin Wegbreit with Central Virginia legal Aid Society in Richmond said what will go away after June 30
is the landlord's requirement to apply for rent relief on behalf of the tenant, and the requirement to tell the tenant about the 14 day non-payment notice about the rent relief program.

"So, it will really shift the burden of applying for rent relief from the landlord to the tenant after June 30," Wegbreit said. "Nevertheless, rent relief money remains available, a lot of it three quarters of a billion dollars of it remains.​"

Wegbreit said in some cases, the landlord will still try to take the tenant to court for eviction and, if that happens, he advised not giving in because there are still options.

"In that situation, the tenant should apply for rent relief, should cooperate with rent relief, should ask the landlord to cooperate with rent relief," Wegbreit said. "And then finally, if the landlord is uncooperative, go to court and say to the judge, that the landlord is not being cooperative, and also get legal help, because we can make that case for them."

"We think most landlords can and will cooperate with this, even after June 30, because it's in the interest of both parties to cooperate. The landlord gets made whole, and the tenant gets to remain, and housing stability is increased," Wegbreit added. "And we avoid a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, with people being safely and securely housed."

More than $700 million is available in rent relief in Virginia, and Wegbreit said it's best that tenants apply for rent relief as soon as they can.

"The requirements are simple. You have to be below 80% of the area median income, which most tenants are, the rent has to be below 150% of fair market value. Most tenants rent is, and there's only like five pieces of paper that have to be submitted: income verification, rent ledger, a lease, the landlord's W-9," Wegbreit said. "And finally, an agreement signed by both parties that they're going to accept rent money."

To apply for rent relief, you can do so online or call at 703-962-1884.