Eviction Diversion

The Virginia Eviction Moratorium Ended September 7, 2020

YOU MUST NOW PAY YOUR RENT IF YOU CAN. If you have a loss of income or been impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, here are resources to help you.

The City of Richmond Voluntary Eviction Diversion Program (EDP) is for City of Richmond residents only. There are two ways to apply:

  1. Online: www.rvaevictions.org
  2. By phone: 1-833-663-8428, press 4, and leave a message.

In addition, The Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program is available for residents in the greater Richmond region including Charles City County, Chesterfield County, Goochland County, Hanover County, Henrico County, New Kent County, Powhatan County, and Richmond City. Call ACTS: 804-644-2401.

For those outside of the greater Richmond area, you can view this document to find your local program administrator.

There is another option through the CDC, that may give you some rent relief through December 31, 2020 for select individuals if you meet the strict guidelines. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a nationwide order halting all residential evictions for nonpayment of rent, under certain conditions, from September 4 through December 31, 2020.

CDC Guidelines:

  • Order issued to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Eviction means any action by a landlord, or person with a legal right to possession, to pursue eviction, get a possession judgment, get a Writ of Eviction, or remove or cause the removal of a tenant.
  • Moratorium only applies to a tenant who gives their landlord, or person with a legal right to possession, a declaration under penalty of perjury. A declaration is attached and is available for download here. The declaration must say:
    • Tenant has used best efforts to obtain all available government rent assistance.
      • Tenant is below income requirements:
        • Expects to earn no more than $99,000 ($198,000 if joint return) in 2020, or
        • Not required to report any income to IRS in 2019, or
        • Received stimulus check.
    • Tenant unable to pay rent due to income loss or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.
    • Tenant will use best efforts to make timely partial rent payments, taking into account other expenses which must be paid.
    • Tenant would become homeless or need to move into close quarters (double up) if evicted.
  • Each adult in the household on the lease must provide a separate declaration to the landlord.
  • Copies should be kept of all declarations. As with all notices from tenants to landlords, tenant has burden to prove notice given. In order of preference – first class mail, fax, email, text, hand delivery.
  • Declaration can be given to landlord at any time, up until the time a Sheriff has completed an eviction.
  • Some landlords may challenge the declaration. Tenants should keep written proof of all five elements of the declaration.
  • Signing declaration does not waive or give up defenses or claims against landlord.
  • Rent and other proper charges remain owed. If not paid by December 31, 2020, landlord may start eviction process.
  • Tenants still can be evicted for reasons other than nonpayment of rent. A landlord may look hard for some other reason to evict, so tenants should follow every lease term allowed by law.

 
If a landlord pursues eviction after receiving the tenant’s declaration, the tenant should seek legal help right away. For free help from legal aid, do an intake by calling 804-200-6046, or online at cvlas.org/apply-for-help-online.