RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Ralph Northam signed a legislative package aimed at reducing eviction rates in the Commonwealth.

The package of legislation includes House Bill 1898, 1445 and 1448. The bills provide additional opportunities for low-income Virginians to submit unpaid rent and fees prior to an eviction judgment.

Northam also signed House Bill 1922 and Senate Bill 1627 that help reduce the timeline for a tenant to receive a hearing in an eviction proceeding and reduce the number of legal actions a landlord may file in court against a tenant. 

The last set of bills in the legislative package, House Bill 2054 and Senate Bill 1676, require landlords to provide tenants with mutually-agreed upon written leases and set forth certain provisions that must be included in the written lease. 

“Increasing the quality, availability, and affordability of housing in our Commonwealth is critical to ensuring that all Virginians have an equal opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives,” said Governor Northam. “These measures establish important consumer protections, help to improve housing stability for vulnerable populations, and represent a fundamental step forward in addressing Virginia’s disproportionately high eviction rates. I thank the General Assembly for working together to pass these important bills, and I am proud to sign them into law.”

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All of the bills signed by Governor Northam are aimed at reducing the likelihood of an eviction. The policies were recommended by the Virginia Housing Commission.

The legislative package will take effect on July 1, 2019.

Several bills on the Governor's desk address the issue of eviction reduction and housing security, and he plans to act on those bills in the coming months.