Richmond landlord reacts to city’s eviction rate

Richmond

Richmond ranks number two in the country for high eviction rates, according to a study by Eviction Lab. The study showed over 6,000 evictions in 2016 for the city, an average rate of 17 evictions a day. 

8News spoke with a landlord from Richmond and a legal aid official about the high eviction rates in Richmond. 

Penn Pendleton, a Richmond landlord, spoke with 8News about Richmond’s eviction rate and the issues that he expects to continue. 

Pendleton has owned properties on Richmond’s East End, including apartments in Mosby Court, for the last 10 years. 

Pendelton told 8News that he has seen about 20 to 30 percent eviction rates in these properties. 

“There is no margin for error when you look at their income and their bills. If anything happens medical wise, some emergency comes up, it throws them off,” said Pendelton. 

Tenants that are three months behind on rent typically move out, according to Pendelton. 

Martin Wegbreit, of Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, believes an overhaul of state laws and clear court proceedings could help tenants. 

“They show up, wait in a long line. They are told they have to put their cell phone in the car or under a bush if they arrive by bus and that could cause them to be late…miss…court and have a default judgment against them,” Wegbreit told 8News.  

To cut the eviction rate numbers, Wegbreit suggests a diversion eviction program. 

“Landlord and tenant would meet with an attorney. Would see if payment arrangements would be worked. A win-win.” 

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