TMCNet:  BRIEF: Assembly OKs allowing abuse victims to end leases

[February 20, 2013]

BRIEF: Assembly OKs allowing abuse victims to end leases

RICHMOND, Feb 20, 2013 (The Virginian-Pilot - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Domestic abuse and sexual assault victims will be able to end their rental agreements early under a bill that passed the General Assembly today.

SB1004 allows a victim to terminate a rental agreement by presenting their landlord with either a protective order issued by a court or evidence of a criminal conviction against their attacker. They're required to provide at least 30 days' notice.

The bill also prohibits a landlord from charging liquidation damages in these cases.

The goal is to allow people who have suffered physical or sexual attacks to move, said Del. Charniele Herring, an Alexandria Democrat.

"This is about somebody trying to flee an abuser," she said.

The House approved the bill 88-11, sending it to Gov. Bob McDonnell's desk. The Senate approved it unanimously.

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