RAINN Commends Governor Glenn Youngkin For Signing H.B. 764, to Allow Early Termination of Lease Agreements For Victims of Violence


RAINN Commends Governor Glenn Youngkin For Signing H.B. 764, to Allow Early Termination of Lease Agreements For Victims of Violence

Richmond, V.A. – RAINN released the following statement after Governor Glenn Youngkin signed H.B. 764. The bill modifies the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act to make it easier for victims of sexual abuse or criminal sexual assault to terminate a rental agreement early if they are no longer safe in that location, without a financial penalty.

“Our laws should provide victims every path to get to safety, including the ability to terminate a lease if they have a permanent protective order,” says Delegate Karrie Delaney (D- 9th District). “This law will reduce the economic barrier that many face when making the decision to flee.”

H.B. 764 allows a tenant who is a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence from a non-family member to terminate a lease once they have obtained a permanent protective order. Under current law, only a family abuse protective order or a conviction may allow a tenant to terminate a rental agreement. Expanding these protections will help victims of abusive non-family members, such as romantic partners or stalkers. The bill also shortens the amount of time that someone has to wait for a lease termination after submitting the protective order or notice so that survivors do not have to stay in dangerous homes longer than necessary.

“Survivors deserve to feel safe in their own homes, and H.B. 764 goes a long way in making that a reality,” says Zoey Brewer, policy and grassroots coordinator with RAINN. “We thank Delegate Karrie Delaney for her dedication to ensuring that survivors have avenues out of unsafe environments, and we commend Governor Youngkin for signing this bill into law.”

In 2022, 1,370,440 people were victims of intimate partner violence and 951,930 people were victims of domestic violence. Furthermore, 55% of all instances of sexual assault occur at or near a survivor's home. Survivors stay with their abusers for multiple reasons, including a lack of financial resources or an inability to find housing elsewhere. Homes should be a safe haven but survivors of domestic and sexual abuse may choose not to pursue lease termination due to the financial burden of breaking a lease.



RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, help organizations improve their sexual assault prevention and response programs, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, free, confidential help is available 24/7 by calling 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visiting Hotline.RAINN.org.

Erinn Robinson
Director of Media Relations

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