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Questions Answered by Ross Cameron Hart
2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a tenant leave before 30 days after the tenant has given a verbal 30-day notice to their landlord? (Month-to-Month)

We have been at a residency for 7 years and have to leave on an emergency basis for our extened family. We warned landlord over a month before that we may be moving soon since he was a friend of ours. We verbally notified him on the 14th of Sept. and he then in returned gave us a written... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Sep 19, 2019

From your facts the landlord acknowledged your verbal notice but said it extends to the end of October (the next full rental period after you gave notice). The landlord is correct on the termination date of the lease.

You can leave whenever you want - simply you owe rent until the end of...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: In a Life Estate Will can siblings NOT design. to live in the house, move in w/o approval of those who were designated?

Should the sheriff be called if non-will-designated siblings try to move into the

House?

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Sep 2, 2019

Your question - including abbreviations - is too cryptic and lacks enough information for a complete answer. Restate with enough information (use "A", "B", "C" to designate individuals, such as "A" died and in her will . . . "

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do I have to allow an ESA as an owner of one SFH?

Tenant signed no-pet lease with two other co-tenants and all parents. I found out the tenant had a dog and served her with a notice to get rid of the dog within 10 days per the lease or she would be evicted. Tenant then provided a letter from a family nurse practitioner that she recommended a dog... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Aug 28, 2019

This will confirm your call to my office where you provided some additional information. I advised you to see a landlord tenant lawyer in your area and suggested you call rental firms and large apartment complexes to see who they use.

There are very few guidelines on 'emotional support...
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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: If your residence has a shared yard (such as a duplex) who is responsible for yard maintance?

Question as stated above.

Also, what is the legal requirement for a landlord replacing carpet between tenants?

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Aug 26, 2019

The lease, if it was properly written, should say who is responsible for what items as to lawn care and maintenance. If the duplex is side-by-side it should be easy to do one half; if it's an up/down then it becomes more interesting.

There is no legal requirement at all for a landlord to...
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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a Landlord ask a tenant to share the cost of water main repair (problem not caused by tenant)?

The water main feed pipe on the landlord's property in Fairfax County, Virginia, failed, leaking water in the yard, and running up the tenant's water bills. The landlord asked the tenant to "share" the cost of the repair. The tenant declined, and within 48 hours the landlord advised that he was... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Aug 23, 2019

Under your facts, no. But be prepared to defend yourself in Court. In fact, that the waterline broke may (POSSIBLY - IT IS BY NO MEANS CERTAIN) entitle you to a credit or refund from the landlord for the excess water bill you had to pay. It's not worth arguing over the refund unless he pushes... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do landlords need to make repairs to outside AC units if fan motor quit working

In state of virginia whose responsibility is it to make repairs to outside AC unit? The fan motor quit working and it cost me 300 to get it repair cause the landlord told I had too. Can I deduct 300 from the following months rent ?

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Aug 21, 2019

This may depend on the wording of your lease. Don't simply withhold rent - that causes other problems. Instead consider filing a 'tenant assertion' in General District Court and ask the court to have the landlord refund your money.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a homeowner selling a house turn down a home buyer's offer based on the type of lending they are using?

Homeowner turned downed my offer on their house citing they did not want to sell to someone using my type of lending (USDA). The purchase offer was submitted with a financing pre-approval letter from my mortgage lender dated the same date as my offer.

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Aug 15, 2019

Probably. A seller can turn down an offer tp purchase for just about any reason they want to, as long as it not a discrimination against a person in a protected class. Some lenders and loan programs impose requirements on sellers that they don't want to fool with - such as requiring discount... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: VIRGINIA. Son dies intestate. No administrator declared. Mom heir of succession. She dies in July with Will. Now what

My fiancé died intestate on June 8. No Administrator of his estate was filed and his mother was heir of succession. She died In late July before filing the affidavit of heirship on the house. Does the house now enter her estate and probate as she died with a will? Is the rest of his debt/assets... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Aug 15, 2019

I am sorry for your loss. I presume the unfortunate timing is that your fiance died first, followed by his mother. Assuming that fiance's father had also died (and was still married to fiance's mother at that time) then - absent a will by fiance - the mother would inherit all of her son's assets.... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Our mother died recently and some of her estate is in probate and they asked us if any of us have declared bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Record

Filed for Bankruptcy in Il: Reorganization (#1203036) Jan. 30, 2012

Bankruptcy Record

Filed for Bankruptcy in Ny: Liquidation (#0368257) Dec. 8, 2003

How do we find out if there are still creditors looking for payment? We are just interested, I... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Aug 10, 2019

It's a bit complicated: the relevant issues are that if someone dies and you are to inherit from them, your rights 'vest' (are established) at the time of death, not when the estate is distributed. If you file bankruptcy, normally only the assets you have as of the date of filing are considered... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Legal advice on purchaser wanting to terminate real estate purchase agreement. We have a binding contract.

Inspection has been done and accepted. Sewer has been pumped out and satisfied. Water well paid for a year. As far as we know everything on our end has been done. Appraisal has been done by purchaser but we do not know what the report is. Purchaser is obtaining a VA loan and has now asked to be... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Aug 4, 2019

This forum is designed and good for simple, general questions that will get you to the 'next step' for legal situations. Sometimes all people need is a simple answer. From the facts you’ve given, it seems that you need a lot more than an internet answer. Find and sit down with an experienced... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My landlord is asking for rent early. Its due on 1st latest the 5th. Can he legally do this?

He's leaving the country for vacation, and can't deposit the check after the 29th.

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jul 30, 2019

Can he ask for it? sure. Do you have to pay early? no. Will it hurt you to pay early? probably not.

And if you honor the request and need a favor in the future you're more likely to get it than if you don't agree to pay early.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Don't agree w/ proposed property distribution of dead parent. What happens if don’t sign Receipt 4 Personal Property?

Estate attorney is pressuring me to sign. Other beneficiary (also the Executor) likes the proposed distribution, so I’m the holdout. Jurisdiction is Fairfax, VA.

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jul 28, 2019

Is there a specific issue? Have they responded to it? Is it what the will (or law) provides?

If you don't sign, then (1) you'll have to hire a lawyer to represent you when (2) the executor files in court to have the judge declare exactly what is to be paid to you. Your expenses: your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a house be built on land to block the right of way & only access to another’s house, used for 100 years?

Family members used land as driveway to have access to their home. Portion of land bought by someone else now has home almost built land locking the house in back of it. Thought the land used as driveway by family members would be grandfathered in in Va. what is law? Does City have any... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jul 21, 2019

It is certainly suspicious, but there are not enough facts to be able to answer your question. This forum is designed and good for simple, general questions that will get you to the 'next step' for legal situations. Sometimes all people need is a simple answer. From the facts you’ve given, it... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: We rent in The state of VA and our AC has been out for 2 weeks in the middle of a heat index of 110 degrees. We pur

We purchased With our own money a portable unit for our bedroom and an window unit that have been on constantly for 2 weeks. We’ve spent close to $600 and have yet to receive our electricity bill. Our landlord lives in another state and had someone for her home warranty come out and give an... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jul 20, 2019

You have the right to file a Tenant Assertion - this forum doesn't allow the space required for me to describe the process, so here's an outline I posted on another forum Here is an outline I prepared about Tenant Assertions in Virginia:... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: If I sell my primary home that I have lived in for 6 years will I owe takes on the profits in the state of Virginia?

We are moving to South Carolina and want to wait for a while before buying a house. Also thinking of paying off some debt in the process.

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jul 19, 2019

You need to check with a tax specialist (such as a CPA) for an answer specific to your situation. With that understood, the general rule is that there is no tax due on the gain from sale of your primary residence (gain = price sold - amount paid to buy plus certain improvements). I believe the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: With no written notice from the new owners, do I have to vacate by that date?

It was added to the contract that I would be allowed to stay until mid-July, which I was just shown on July 7th via email. Previously the old owners had asked if I could be out by mid-July. I had replied that I would try but I would need to secure a new place, which has been difficult. I have had... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jul 10, 2019

Mr. Malouf is correct - the new owners inherited you as a tenant and you can remain for the remainder of your lease term or, assuming your rent is month-to-month, until you receive proper notice terminating your tenancy. If you are on a month-to-month, the notice has to include a full rental... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I've read online the fastest way to lose a lawsuit is to get caught lying in discovery! Is that accurate?
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jul 7, 2019

Nope - it's the second fastest way to lose. Lying on the witness stand in front of the judge/jury is the fastest.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: transferring a deed

I have been paying the taxes on property of deceased uncle and aunt since 2009.

I am the great nephew. All my great uncle brothers and Sisters are decease,

his wife was an only child. They have no children, I have been paying for maintenance since 2004.

I have reach out to... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jun 30, 2019

I've heard this story over and over for the past 45 years. The only way to fix this is to consider a Partition suit.

Three people – A, B, & C - own property, A wants their 1/3 share. (note: this procedure works no matter how many people own a share of the property; for this example...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: is it illegal for a real estate company to list a property on the MLS and then not allow prospective buyers to see it?
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jun 27, 2019

You asked a basic question but did not include any background leading up to the question. I have a very good friend who is a very good agent - sometimes the 'listing' has restrictions on showing; sometimes the listing is part of a very unfriendly divorce and the person in the property is not... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I sell my decease father house if I am the administrator without having my siblings sign the paperwork as well.

Because the mortgage company lawyer says my name is the only one on it.

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jun 19, 2019

What does your lawyer say? Don't have one? Get one for advice. Estate administration has a lot of traps that can cost the fiduciary (executor or administrator) money from their personal assets if handled wrong. In this case, while you gave very little information, you used the term... Read more »

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