The Governor's Budget Amendment HB7001 Eviction Moratorium
HB7001, enacted following expiration of the Governor's State of Emergency on June 30, 2021, provides that, beginning August 10, 2021 and continuing through June 30, 2022, no landlord shall terminate a residential tenancy, or take any action to obtain possession of a dwelling unit, for nonpayment of rent due to lost income or additional expenses resulting from the declared state of emergency, except as provided for in Section 16(a) of HB7001.
The full language of the Governor's Budget Amendment HB7001 can be viewed here.
New Procedures for Unlawful Entry and Detainer Cases
Effective August 10, 2021, the following procedures will apply:
All landlords filing new actions for unlawful entry and detainer will be required to provide, at the time of filing, a Cover Sheet for Filing Unlawful Detainer Actions, which sets forth the basis for filing the action. A copy of this Cover Sheet for Filing Unlawful Detainer Actions is available to all filers here. Copies of the cover sheet will also be available in the Civil Clerk’s office and in Courtroom 2A. This cover sheet is in addition to any required affidavits that are to be filed and/or served along with the unlawful detainer summons. No judgment will be entered on the claim unless there exists in the court file a Cover Sheet for Filing Unlawful Detainer Action prepared by the landlord and accompanied by supporting documents. It will streamline the proceedings if the Plaintiff provides sufficient copies of the coversheet and supporting documents to be served with the Unlawful Detainer Summons so the hearing is not delayed while the Defendant(s) are given the opportunity to review the landlord's stated basis for filing the claim.
Landlords seeking to move forward in court on suits already filed based on termination notices dated prior to July 1, 2021, will also be required to complete the Cover Sheet for Filing Unlawful Detainer Actions and present it, along with all supporting documents, in court at the time that judgment is sought.
Writs of Eviction
For any Writs of Eviction on judgments entered from July 1, 2021 through August 10, 2021, the revised Cover Sheet for Filing Unlawful Detainer Actions concerning compliance with HB7001 is required.
The Court continues to encourage landlords to follow the procedures set forth in Virginia Code Section 16.1-88 to eliminate the need for ex parte proof on the Return Date in the event of default. If the Plaintiff anticipates that additional sums for rent will be due as of the return date, those sums should also be set out in that affidavit.
During the period of Judicial Emergency, if the unlawful detainer summons is not filed and served with an affidavit, the Court will accept evidence in support of a default judgment in the form of a subsequent affidavit in lieu of live witness testimony. This affidavit should also reflect any additional sums for rent due as of the court date if those amounts will be sought.
During the period of Judicial Emergency, all affidavits for both new filings and existing filings may be submitted under electronic signature.
The Procedures outlined above are temporary procedures to be employed during this pandemic period.