News Story (Virginia)
WVTF (local NPR, VA)
March 26, 2019
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Tags: Housing: Eviction, Housing: Landlord-Tenant
Organizations mentioned/involved: Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC)
It’s a legislative success story. Reporting from the New York Times brought attention to Virginia’s eviction crisis, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers responded. In just a single year, the General Assembly passed a suite of legislation to bring clarity to the eviction process and give renters a second chance.
The goal is to keep renters from being evicted in the first place, while still making sure landlords get paid. One new law gives renters extra time to try to pay late rent, another makes it cheaper for them to appeal an eviction case.
One unique situation tackled by lawmakers, when there’s no lease in writing. Christie Marra, an attorney with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, says landlords can take advantage of tenants that way.
“Especially in the more rural communities, where things are – from what my legal aid attorneys out in those communities say – often done with a handshake still,” Marra says. “So this will hopefully change that.”