Eviction protections are beginning to lift in the D.C. region. With so many people still out of work due to the pandemic, legal experts warn an “eviction tsunami” is coming in the months ahead. We have compiled the latest information as of July 1 about rent and evictions in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. You’ll also find resources if you need help paying your rent or navigating the eviction process. Some counties and cities may have additional protections or assistance programs, so be sure to check with yours.
Virginia’s eviction moratorium expired June 28, and cases are currently being heard in some courts. Gov. Ralph Northam sent a letter to general district court judges on June 25 urging them to delay eviction cases until July 20. News4 found many Northern Virginia judges are not honoring that request, although many of the cases being heard now were filed pre-pandemic.
Virginia lawmakers passed legislation that caps late fees at 10 percent of your monthly rent or the remaining balance, whichever is less. Another law allows tenants to receive a 60-day continuance of an eviction proceeding if they appear in court and show written evidence that they do not have income due to the pandemic.
On June 29, Northam launched the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program to help those facing eviction or foreclosure due to COVID-19. For the first few weeks of the program, priority is being given to households with gross incomes at or below 50 percent of area median income. You can read more about the program and eligibility requirements here.
If you live in Maryland and have fallen behind on your rent, there are some protections in place for you. Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order prohibiting evictions during the state of emergency and public health emergency if the tenant can show that they are suffering financial hardship due to COVID-19.
On June 26, Hogan announced the state would use $30 million from the CARES Act to help prevent evictions. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is deploying $20 million to local governments to help prevent evictions. The remaining $10 million will be used to cover back rent on state-financed rental units. The tenants will have their rental debt eliminated and will no longer be facing possible eviction.
Earlier in June, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced the creation of the COVID-19 Access to Justice Task Force. The task force is partnering with the Maryland Access to Justice Commission to develop resources for renters facing eviction and others who find themselves in the civil justice system. Read more about the task force here.
District of Columbia
There is an eviction moratorium in place in D.C. Landlords are prohibited from filing an eviction complaint during the public health emergency and for 60 days after. The public health emergency has been extended through July 24.
Other protections in place during the emergency include:
- Rent increases and late fees prohibited
- Landlords must develop a payment plan if you request one and can prove financial hardship due to the pandemic
- Landlords can’t report rent delinquencies to credit reporting bureaus for being on a payment plan
The Department of Housing and Community Development recently announced a housing assistance program. DC residents who earn between $21,200 and $77,600 may be eligible for this program. You can find all of the details here.
Check out this page for even more resources if you and your family are facing financial hardship: