FACT SHEET: Payment Plan for Tenants Behind One Month’s Rent
Thursday, January 12th, 2023
Support HB1732 (Delegate Bennett-Parker)
All too often, families are evicted for relatively small amounts of unpaid rent that grow into large sums because of court costs and attorney’s fees. These evictions serve neither tenant nor landlord, as landlords incur extra expenses and work to first pursue an eviction in court and then bring in a new tenant, and evicted families are forced to double up with loved ones or worse.
According to court data analyzed by the RVA Eviction Lab at VCU, over 10,000 eviction judgments were entered in courts across Virginia during the third quarter of 2022.
- In both 2018 and 2019, 45% (44.8% in 2019) of the eviction judgments entered across Virginia were for amounts less than the statewide median gross rent ($1202 in 2018 and $1234 in 2019).
- In each of those years, approximately 35,000 eviction judgments were entered for amounts less than $1500.
HB1732 gives tenants more time to catch up on rent by requiring larger landlords to offer a payment plan to any tenant who:
- Owes no more than one month’s rent plus lawful late fees
- Has not entered into a payment plan at an earlier point in the lease
The payment plans will allow tenants six months to pay off their debt to the landlord in equal installments.
By providing a clear and manageable pathway for tenants to pay relatively small rent debts, and by keeping their debts low by avoiding the addition of court costs and attorneys’ fees, the payment plan required by HB1732 will actually make it more likely that landlords will collect their money.