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Questions Answered by F. Paul Maloof
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: If a tenant moved out of my property while still on lease, can he legally still bring anyone onto the property?

Tenant bought and moved into a home and out of leased house stating an "unspecified" safety risk. He then wants to hire an safety expert to see if he can prove he was right/find something in order to try to break the lease. Since he left the premise, does he have to state that he abandoned the... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 20, 2019

Generally in Virginia, when a tenant give the landlord notice that he is moving out because of a safety issue, the tenant has returned possession to the landlord and abandoned the property. Given those facts, the tenant has no right to have an third party enter the property for inspection... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law, Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Ex won't pay back security deposit refund that I paid.

So when my ex and I moved into an apartment together, I paid the $500 security deposit and we agreed that she wouldn't have to split it because I would get it back when we moved out. So when we move out, the apartment complex sends her the check by accident with both our names on it. She chased it... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 14, 2019

Your mosy likely recourse for success is to file a lawsuit, probably in Small Claims Court, if the amount is $5000 or less.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I took my landlord/neighbor to court and sue her over all our personal property being destroyed cause of rats?

We have been dealing with rats in our home for 3-4 months caused by the landlord/neighbor, they've had rats alot longer then us. I've had an professional exterminator out here several times and nothing they do helps get rid of them. The rats are running everywhere day & night, urinating and pooping... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 14, 2019

In Virginia, a neighbor who is not the actual landlord of the Complaintant has no standing to bring a lawsuit under landlord-tenant laws. You may have a claim under Tort law for negligence. I do not handle Tort law matters. You should contact a lawyer who is located in your city/county for a formal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can the landlord charge me a fee to repaint after I’ve moved with no damage to the walls?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 14, 2019

A charge to repaint the premises is generally stated in the lease to give the landlord that right. If the lease has that provision, then maybe the landlord has the right. If the lease is silent regarding that fee, the landlord does not have the right to charge that repainting fee.

Q: My previous jobs payroll company released my medical status with amount my consent. The code this 24-12-21.

I have documentation of the occurrence and now I am unemployed now do to the information being released.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 14, 2019

I do not handle employment payroll matters. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Our lease ends in May 2020 and our landlord is requiring us to renew now, in October. Can they do that?

Our lease is from July 2019 to May 2020. They have listed a $40/month increase if we renew by Oct. 15, 2019 and a $60/mo increase if we renew after Oct. 15. I'm new to Virginia and do not know if there is rent control or other regs that allow this. I've never had a landlord request a renewal 8... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 11, 2019

The date of the lease's renewal and the date for the written notice for renewal and for the rent increase must be stated in the written lease. It would be best for your to review your lease to see what provision addresses these topics because the lease is the contract on which your have rights.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Contracts for Virginia on
Q: What are the potential risks and liabilities a cleaning business can face?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 11, 2019

You question is too broad to give you a short answer. If you have a specific question I may be able to answer it.

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I signed my new lease 5 months ago and now the landlord is stating it was never signed and cannot be found.

I have been paying the new rent for months now and they are saying I have to sign a new lease. I have been here 3 years with no issues until I filed a complaint a month ago against my neighbor and now all of a sudden 5 months after I signed my lease they say I never signed it which is a lie. What... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 10, 2019

Your rights are to receive a copy of the lease that you signed on the date your signed it. If the landlord misplaced the originally signed lease, you should have a copy to provide them to demonstrate evidence of the signed lease. If you do not have a copy of that originally signed lease, that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: After 3 years my landlord is charging me for unpaid utilities and damage fees, is this legal?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 9, 2019

Generally in Virginia, the duty to pay the utility bills is that of the Tenant and is stated in the Residential Lease. A claim pursuant to a written agreement has a statute of limitations period in Virginia of 5 years. If the unpaid utility bills are 3 years in arrears, the landlord has a right to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a landlord raise your rent $200? Current rent is $825 month. Wants to raise it to $1025 month
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 8, 2019

Whether the landlord has a right to raise your rent will depend on what the lease provides. If there is a provision in the lease that allows the landlord to raise the rent at certain intervals, then the landlord has a right to do that. The tenant does not have to accept the increased rent and can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can an apartment maintenance person come to repair one thing but then roam around taking pictures of things unrelated.

I recently found out that the apartment maintenance man came to fix the dish washer but had went into my master bedroom where I had the bed room door closed but my nanny cam on and he went through my medication and check and bills and also took pictures of all sorts of rare strange things. Would... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 7, 2019

If the maintenance person, as you described, was expressly permitted to only be in one part of the Premises and not any other part of the Premises, and that maintenance person entered yurt bedroom without authority, that maintenance person committed a trespass. You can bring a claim in General... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Is there any regulations that dictate what repairs/updates to the rental property should/must to occur between tenants?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 1, 2019

In Virginia, there are no such regulations.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: 2015 civil trial, 3 parties subpoenaed 3 X by opposing side for Depositions & documents they failed to turn over. I need

Turns out I need documents more than anyone . Council for opposing side said she believed they were in her control , ability to produce them and that she had the ability to compel the answers , and would be contacting the lawyer who advised her . Never happened . Can I legally obtain the documents... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 24, 2019

If the trial took place in 2015, it is most likely that the judgment is now final and no further discovery would be permitted. You may want to seek a formal opinion from an attorney who can review the entire case and the issues of the case and render a formal written opinion to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: I have a disturbed woman posting false statements about me calling me a whore and using my business name.

This woman has also sent emails indicating that she wonders how much money I have and she wants to find out. In the post she says I have been married 5 or 6 times and broken up marriages every time. That I take men for money. Could I get a protective order?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 22, 2019

I do not handle protective order matters. Sorry.

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 »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 19, 2019

A verbal notification does not conform to the notice requirements of the Virginia Code. The 30 day notice to terminate the month-to-month tenancy that is given to the landlord must be in writing.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I received a 5day pay or quit notice on the 4th (VA) On the morning of 9th, the property mgr. began legal process and

is now charging legal fees, additional months rent. I paid the full amount due on the evening of the 9th through a drop box. Was legal proceedings filed prematurely? Shouldn’t I have 5 full days from the date I was served? Thank you!

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 18, 2019

I would need to review all the documents in order the give an answer. However, you may have a defense to a lawsuit if the suit is filed maturely. You should get a formal opinion from a lawyer to protect yourself.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: Can I sue my children's mother for never giving me and them financial support and putting them through emotional damage?

Mother having them and me have to go through unnecessary struggle financially and emotionally.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 17, 2019

I do not handle domestic relations cases. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can we cash a short security deposit check and still sue?

The check is short by over a thousand dollars, no itemized list and their own "math" is off. We want to sue them for the difference. Can we send a dispute letter and cash this check?(we suspect they do not have the full amount to give)

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 16, 2019

You may deposit the check in your checking account but you should mark on the back and just above your signature "accepted in partial satisfaction of security deposit refund- not an accord and satisfaction."

By writing that on the back of the check and making a copy of the front and back...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Does a landlord have to abide by the month to month lease also.

Such as the lease says any drug use or excessive drinking will be emidiatly evicted. If the landlord is allowing this to go on is he breaking the lease

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 14, 2019

Generally in Virginia, inaction by the landlord does not constitute a breach of a residential lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Signed lease, only paid reservation fee, never moved in & want to cancel, landlord says we need to pay until new tenancy

Only paid non-refundable reservation fee and non-refundable application fee. We never got keys, took possession of property, never paid any rent or security deposit. Called within 24 hours to let them know we don’t want to move in. Lease states, “first months rent & deposit due before... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 13, 2019

The landlord is certainly "able" to take action against you and that may be a lawsuit. Whether the landlord succeeds in its claims, by lawsuit or otherwise, will depend on the Landlord proving by the preponderance of the evidence that he has a valid and enforceable claim for damages. You may have... Read more »

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