Housing First. The rights of families and youth living in rental housing in Virginia. Christie Marra Staff Attorney in Housing, Family and Child Welfare Law Virginia Poverty Law Center Richmond, Virginia (804) 782-9430, x16 [email protected] Presenter Information.
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The rights of families and youth living in rental housing in Virginia
The landlord can only enter at reasonable times and with prior notice to the tenant (at least 24 hours)
A landlord cannot actually evict a tenant until he has taken the tenant to court and obtained a writ of possession
A landlord can terminate the lease and get an eviction order from the court if:
Before the lease can be terminated, the landlord must send the tenant a “five day pay or quit” notice
If a tenant obtains a written promise from a nonprofit or local government agency that the agency will pay the rent, late fees and any other amount sued for, the tenant can bring the written promise (called a “redemption tender”) to court and the case will be continued for 10 days.
There are two types of material breaches, remediable and non-remediable. Very few breaches are non-remediable.
If an act of family abuse is committed against a tenant AND the abuser has been barred by a preliminary or final protective order or by the landlord based on family abuse, the landlord cannot terminate the tenant’s lease because of the abuse
Written leases will state when they terminate. Many will automatically renew unless one party gives notice to the other that they want the lease to end.
A tenant with a final protective order for family abuse or conviction of her abuser for family abuse, sexual violence or sexual abuse can terminate her lease with advance written notice (30 DAYS BEFORE NEXT RENT IS DUE)
A security deposit is collected before move-in and cannot be more than two months’ rent
The Family Unification Program provides Housing Choice (Section 8) vouchers to:
1. Families for whom lack of adequate housing is likely to cause:
2. Youth between 18 and 21 who left foster care at 16 or older and lack adequate housing.How does the Family Unification Program fit in ?
1. Family Unification Program vouchers are grant funded through joint applications by the local public housing authority and the local child welfare agency. They are not available everywhere.
The following localities were awarded FUP vouchers between FY2008 and FY2010:
A tenant’s right to remain in subsidized housing depends on the type of housing she has:
“Good cause” generally is a serious lease violation (such as nonpayment of rent) or repeated minor lease violations.
Domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault cannot be treated as a lease violation by the survivor
All residential tenants have the right to file a Tenant’s Assertion in General District Court to ask the court to order the LL to make repairs, reduce the rent for the period of time the repairs aren’t made and/or terminate the lease