Between September and December alone, there were over 11,000 eviction judgments in the state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently extended the pandemic-inspired nationwide eviction moratorium—but, according to the Washington Post, that hasn't stopped evictions in the state of Virginia.
Attorney Palmer Heenan, with the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, told the Washington Post, "I think a lot of tenants say, ‘Oh there’s a moratorium, that means they can’t evict me right now,’ but the reality is far more complicated. Almost 11,700 actual eviction judgments were made across Virginia just between September 2020 and December 2020. That goes to show you the efficacy of this."
The CDC moratorium only applies to failure-to-pay-rent cases—and some landlords are using that as a loophole.
Heenan said, "We’re seeing more and more landlords finding other reasons to evict someone. Landlords are saying, ‘Well, you may be behind on rent, but I’m filing for eviction because of the noise complaint.'"
That's a particular shame since Virginia's rent relief program means the failure-to-pay-rent cases that landlords are trying to work around could potentially be resolved for both landlord and renter.
Heenan explained, "The Virginia rental relief program has gotten better and better and faster and faster at getting money to landlords. I have a tenant who we were able to go to the rental relief program and get her fully current on the rent. But they are still facing eviction because the landlord now is saying he is not going to renew her lease."
Still, loopholes and all, there are a few things you can do if you're looking at a potential eviction. First, know your rights as a tenant during this time. Second, fill out the official CDC moratorium declaration form. Third, bring it to your landlord. And while you're at it, do check when your lease expires—and try to keep the noise down.
If you're afraid you may be facing potential eviction, contact the Eviction Legal Helpline.
What are your thoughts about the eviction loopholes? Let us know in the comments.