Questions Answered by F. Paul Maloof

Q: Do I have to sign a termination agreement on my current lease if my roommate decides not to renew but I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 15, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
Either tenant has the right to remain in the Premises until the end of the Lease's Term, even of one co-tenant gives notice of an early termination. I suspect the lease states that both tenants are jointly and severally liable for the payment of rent until the end of the Lease's Term. You need to provide written notice to the PM that you do not intend to terminate the Premises until the end of the Lease's Term, and keep a copy for your records. Any showing of the Premises without advanced...

Q: I bought a car, gave part of the $ then & rest with taxes & lady hold the title! Ex roommate went & paid the rest &

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 15, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
I do not handle cases that involve the title to a vehicle. Sorry.

Q: What are my tenant rights if a landlord is forcing me to pay rent only through certified check only?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 9, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
If the lease you signed has a provision that allows the landlord to require certified funds after previous late payments, the contract's terms are binding on you. Yo uh should demand a copy of the written lease as signed by tenant and landlord.

Q: When is the signed rental lease starts from? From the date of signing the lease. Or from the date of taking position?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 5, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
The lease you signed should have on the document the date that the lease term begins and the date the lease terms ends. If the end of the lease term is 4/29/19, that is binding on you, the tenant, and you must vacate the premises, unless the landlord grants you an extension.

Q: bed bug responsibility. Ive lived in place 6 months and bed bugs are terrible there prior to me moving in.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 5, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
You may want to call the Office of Building Code Enforcement of the city/county in which the premises is located and make a formal complaint about the bed bugs. They should send out an inspector regarding your complaint.

Q: I traded my car for a motorcycle that ended up being stolen, can I sue that person

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 5, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
I am not clear on why you would sue that person.

Q: A furniture company put a lein on my account for an eleven year old debt

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 27, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
You can file a dispute with the Court where the lien was filed and challenge the lien.

Q: How can we hold the landlord responsible for not having a secured wooden shelf that came down on our child?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 22, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
In Virginia, the general rule is that when the Tenant takes possession of the premises, the Tenant is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the premises, such as the shelf. This provision for maintenance and repairs should be contained in the written lease, if you signed one.

Q: Can my landlord terminate due to a lease violation?

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 22, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
You should document the situation and your position in a written statement to your Landlord. If you do not vacate the premises voluntarily, the Landlord will have to file an Unlawful Detainer with the Court to seek a court order for possession. You can dispute the claims made in the Unlawful Detainer and attempt to persuade the Judge that you are correct and the Landlord is wrong

Q: Do I need to clean up trash and yard debris left behind by previous tenants? That's what my landlord wants me to do.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 21, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
Generally, the lease's provisions will address this issue. If you were not in possession of the premises when the debris occurred, you are not responsible for the removal of that debris.

Q: If a landlord in Va does not return your deposit back in the allowed 45 days what is the best course of action forward?

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 18, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
You can bring a lawsuit against the landlord for breach of the lease agreement but you have the burden of proof to persuade the judge that your claim should be decided in your favor. If you proceed on your own without an attorney, you may have problems with the proof.

Q: I own a trailer but rent a lot from a landlord. Whose responsibility is it to remove a hazardous tree?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 13, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
Generally in Virginia, if the lease for the land states that the Tenant is responsible for maintenance of the land, then the Tenant is responsible for the trees. If there is no mention of who is responsible for maintenance of the land, the tree is a fixture of the land and it generally is the landlord's responsibility to care for the trees. Each case will depend on the facts on a case by case basis.

Q: My landlord wants me to pay with an money order through the mail, is there other ways I can pay I don't feel comfortable

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 11, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
Generally, the written lease that you signed and the landlord signed will have a provision regarding what methods are acceptable for the payment of rent.

Q: What can a landlord sue you for after 4 years? We went to court in 2015 for rent and dmg. He won with some reduced.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 10, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
If you want to discuss your situation, call me on Monday after 2pm. 703-684-2000.

Paul Maloof

Q: Can a landlord contact us 8 months after we move out treating to sue us for damages?

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 10, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
If you had a written lease, there is a 5 year statute of limitations to bring a claim for damages. If you had an oral lease, it is a 3 year statute of limitations.

Q: I rented a place where landlord rents each bedroom out. Where kitchen area is a common area for all and no rental doc.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 7, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
This sounds like an oral rental agreement, which is allowed in Virginia. The Code of Virginia states that within 30 days after the tenant returns possession to the landlord (return of the keys), an itemization of the deductibles, which are from damages to the premises, from the security deposit must be given in writing to the tenant. Then, within 45 days after the tenant returns possession to the landlord, the net amount of the security deposit must be returned to the tenant. Generally, a...

Q: Can I sue landlord for overcharging me rent? I live in a senior citizen complex and was given a new lease in Virginia.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 7, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
You may certainly sue the landlord for overcharging you rent since this is a breach of contract claim. The rent amount that you are obligated to pay is reflected in your new lease contract. Anything over that amount is an overcharge.

Q: If I have a plumbing issue in a rental home, what can I do to make the landlord and management company fix it properly?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 7, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
With regard to sewage backup in the premises, you should call the Office of Housing Code Enforcement for the city or county in which the premises is located. Make a formal complaint and ask that an inspector come to the premises to see the sewage backup. If the inspector finds a violation of the housing code, he will issue a Notice of Violation to the Landlord and the Landlord will need to fix it or face further legal problems.

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