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Questions Answered by F. Paul Maloof
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Who decides if who is responsible for the atty fee if I sign the lease the judge or landlord
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 24, 2021

In Virginia, only a judge has the authority and the power to award attorney's fees that would be made part of an Order and/or a Judgment.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: In a lease agreement can the property management ask the tenant to be responsible for their legal fees
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 24, 2021

In all contract matters, including a residential lease, the landlord or its agent, such as the property management, can require that the tenant will be for the landlord's attorney's fees if there is a dispute or otherwise.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can the co-deed holder to my home evict me? Both our names are on the deed.
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 22, 2021

Unless the co-deed title owner is the landlord on a written residential lease for the premises, that party does not have a right to seek and eviction of any occupants in the premises. In addition, there is a moratorium that current exists in Virginia for evictions of residential premises.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can my apartment complex charge for liability and an additional monthly trash (trash compactor)?

The building has changed management companies in March and we have noticed these recurring monthly charges for "BH Liability" & "Monthly Trash".

There is nothing in our lease that talks about a $12 liability charge. We are required by lease to have our own renters... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 20, 2021

In Virginia, a lease is a contract that cannot be modified by a unilateral act by one party, unless all parties to the lease agree in writing to the modifications, which would include additional charges that were not contained in the original lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: As a landlord in VA, can I use the info on the state's public website for general district courts to deny an application

The state's website, www.courts.state.va.us provides info on cases held in general district courts in every city/county in VA. I used the info to deny a rental application based on unlawful detainers found under his name within the last 5 years, where the plaintiffs, (NOT the applicant!) were... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 19, 2021

If the denial of the tenant's application is based on facts and not on discrimination, then you are allowed to assert a denial.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: A section of my lease: "Disparaging Statements" of any kind are prohibited by residents.

"statements or communication, which defames the owner, employee, or management of rental unit... may be subject to action for defamation by person who suffers injury or loss as a result of defamatory statement."

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 19, 2021

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives every American the right of freedom of speech, which is an indispensable asset to American democracy. The right to express a unique point of view allows every American to exchange new ideas and to hear different interpretations of the truth. A... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My landlord did not give house keys upon move in and will not until second month. Can I change the locks for my safety?

Me and my roommates moved in on Friday April 16. Our landlord has not given us house keys and says he will not until the second month. I’m not sure about the laws but I feel like that is illegal. Our lease says we cannot change the locks without permission from the landlord and he will not give... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 19, 2021

Under the Virginia Code, the Landlord has a duty to maintain the premises in a fit condition. If there is no AC and there is a major plumbing leak, you should contact the Office of Housing Code Enforcement for the city/county in which the premises is located and make a formal complaint. An... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Civil Litigation, Employment Law and Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: What are the different ways an attorney finds out information about a case through discovery?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 16, 2021

Request for Admissions, Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can landlord refuse to renew my lease at this time rent is paid on time each month and its difficult to find a place now
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 15, 2021

A landlord has the right to not agree to renew a lease. This is a contractual relationship and not a civil rights matter, unless the refusal is based on some issue of discrimination. .

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Landlord is harassing us every month with material non-compliance notices when we have receipts to prove we’ve paid rent

Over the course of two years while staying at Southern Stove Lofts, there have been several Material Non-Compliance notices filed against myself and roommates. Each time, we collect our money order receipts and bring them to the leasing office to prove that we did in fact pay rent. To which they... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 12, 2021

The party (you in this matter) who files the claim in court has the burden of proof to persuade the judge by a preponderance of the evidence that your claim is valid, based on Virginia law and what the landlord did is a violation of Virginia law. Without knowing your matter or what evidence and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I live in Virginia and I want to evict someone from my house. They have no lease agreement and do not pay rent.
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 9, 2021

There is a moratorium on evictions until July 31, 2021. No one can legally evict anyone who is an occupant or lessee in possession of the premises until the moratorium ends.

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: What steps should I take involving a leased car that has not been paid for, and purchaser is keeping car from me?

Sold a car to a former coworker in January 2021. A written agreement was signed stating she would make monthly payments until paid in full, and if she did not pay we would be picking up the car. She has not paid in 4 months, and she will not tell me where the car is located so we can pick it up. So... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 7, 2021

Step 1: Send the debtor a written demand letter.

Step 2: File a lawsuit in the court in the jurisdiction in which the debtor resides.

Step 3: Go to court and seek a judgment for the outstanding debt.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: One of two roommates has seemingly abandoned the property. The remaining tenant has been paying the rent faithfully.

The lease expires on August 31, 2021, but the remaining tenant would like a new lease effective August 1, 2021, with the roommate's name removed from the lease and the locks changed immediately. According to the remaining tenant, he has attempted to contact the roommate numerous times over the... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 4, 2021

1. Property that is left in the premises by a tenant who has vacated the premises is considered to be abandoned, and can be disposed of in a reasonable way.

2. If the landlord and the tenant agree to a written renewal of the lease before the end of the term, then it is a novation and is...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Virginia Property Law, Adult Dependent

We lease an apartment, our adult child listed as a dependent moved out for the first time and left books behind. Can those books be legally removed, donated, sold? Are we required to hold them for a particular period of time?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 1, 2021

Given the facts that you reported, it appears that the property of the person who moved out was abandoned. Property that is abandoned is no longer the property of the person who moved out and can be disposed of as you see fit.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a landlord in Virginia forbid the use of flushable wipes?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 30, 2021

To the best of my knowledge and belief, there is nothing in the Code of Virginia that gives the landlord a right to prohibit the use of flushable wipes and there is nothing in the Code of Virginia that restricts the landlord to forbid same. This prohibition may be made part of the written lease... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: How do I go about evicting a tenant that has not paid rent in 2 months
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 30, 2021

The moratorium on evictions has been extended to July 31, 2021. See the link: https://www.13newsnow.com/article/news/local/virginia/cdc-extends-eviction-moratorium-through-july-31/291-d39bbdbc-76d9-40dd-b313-f7b26f520a54

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do we have to pay until the new tenant moves in?

Our 12 month lease expires tomorrow, but requires 60 days of notice to terminate or goes month-to-month. We found a new place and gave notice to our current landlord on 5/26 that we were leaving. We acknowledged that it was not 60 days and asked if there was anything we could do to shorten that... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 29, 2021

Given your reported facts that you gave written 60 day notice on 5/26/2021 that you would vacate the premises within 60 days and that the premises was vacated by you sometime after 5/26/2021, and the landlord re-let the premises to begin on 7/23/2021, the landlord has, by his/her conduct, has... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Question on real estate fixtures and Law of Fixtures and how to interpret outdoor grill connected to natural gas pipe:

There is an outdoor grill that looks like a large portable grill on wheels and it has wheels, but the grill is connected to a natural gas pipe that was extended from the back of the house. The grill uses natural gas from the pipe as fuel for normal operation. The grill has been in the same spot for... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 29, 2021

In Virginia, a fixture is attached (i.e., bolted) to the ground and becomes an intricate part of the land. A grill which is movable is personal property, notwithstanding that it is attached to a gas line, and is thus not a fixture.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Elder Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Can a trustee legally represent a beneficiary in court and be her attorney? From any false accusations from her sibling

My question: Is a trustee (also an attorney) allowed to legally represent and defend a beneficiary in court and be her attorney if there are any possible future legal suits against this beneficiary from her litigious jealous sister? For example: for medical neglect? The trustee is NOW the new... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 25, 2021

I regret that I do not handle matters that involve Trusts and/or Trustees. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: I brought a used car 4 days ago the dealer has a no down payment back policy but my suv was showing transmission fail

What can I do to get my money back the engine

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 22, 2021

Your question is not clear from what you stated but if you are claiming that there is a consumer law issue, you should contact the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, Consumer Law Department in Richmond, VA and make a formal Complaint. They may take your case and prosecute your Complaint.

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