Supreme Court of Virginia Action on Evictions
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Posted by: Tommy Herbert
June 22nd Update:
On June 22nd, the Supreme Court of Virginia amended their most recent order and will now allow evictions on matters unrelated to nonpayment of rent to move forward. Read the Supreme Court ruling here.
June 9th (Original Post):
The Supreme Court of Virginia has now suspended and continued all Unlawful Detainer (UD) actions and issuances of Writs of Eviction. This moratorium on evictions will last until June 28 as it stands but could be extended. You can read their full order here.
The Court’s rationale is that this moratorium is to provide time for the rollout of a statewide rent relief program by Governor Northam, and mitigate the public health risks associated with citizens being unhoused during a pandemic. That program, while still in the planning stages, should be available in coming weeks according to the Governor.
These developments represent a mixed bag for VAMA members. VAMA has consistently been a proponent of local and statewide rent relief programs to help keep people stably housed throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and while we are happy to see such a program coming to life, we are concerned about the halting of all eviction proceedings as a result. While most evictions occur over simple non-payment of rent, housing providers often need the eviction process to address unhealthy conditions created by a resident that could affect others or recurring criminal activity in a community.
VAMA will keep members up to date on what measures are being taken and what the rent relief program will look like as those details become available. We will also communicate our concerns to the Administration and the Supreme Court of Virginia regarding the complete stoppage of all UD proceedings, versus a more targeted approach that protects housing providers’ abilities to address situations that affect health, safety, and livability in their communities.