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Recent surveys and information showed that Virginia ranked very high in evictions when compared to the rest of the country. Since eviction is often the catalyst for homelessness, lawmakers worked hard to create new laws to help make the eviction process better for tenants while still allowing landlords to have some protection against deadbeat renters. According to CBS 19, there are seven changes landlords and tenants need to understand in the new rental laws.

 One law updates the right of redemption. This is when you can pay all back rent and fees to your landlord to bring your account current and stop an eviction. The law changes it so you have up to two days before the eviction to pay.

Another law affects the appeal rights of a tenant. If you wish to appeal, you will have to pay everything you owe and your current month’s rent to keep the appeal valid. Previously, you also had to pay all the rent you would owe up to the court date. Now, you just need to pay what you owe in back charges and keep your rent current.

One of the laws allows you to recoup attorney fees if you sue your landlord for not making repairs and the court rules in your favor. Also, a law makes written leases a requirement. If there is not one, then general state law takes place of any rental agreement.

If you are a landlord, you need to know about the writs of eviction change. You now have 180 days to use it or you lose it. This also allows you to better check into potential renters.

Unlawful detainer hearings also have a change. Cases must be heard within 30 days of filing. As a landlord, you must present the termination notice to the judge to get a possession order. Also, you have to amend them for additional money due after filing.

Finally, the new laws create an eviction diversion program. This is a pilot program to begin within only four counties. It helps set up payment plans and works with tenants to get current on rent to avoid eviction. The program starts in January 2020.

This information is for education and is not legal advice.