Herndon, VA asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia

Q: I purchased the house from my landlord. Now that we've closed on the property, she's asking for the remaining rent ...

... for the last few weeks. The sale had "no inspection" contingency. However, in this time period and before closing, one of the appliances broke down (home warranty company confirmed) and I purchased the exact same model as replacement before closing. Legally can I deduct this from the remaining rent amount?

1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Start with the purchase contract. Did it include a functioning appliance such as the one you replaced? Next, review the lease. Who was responsible for the appliance? Next, back to the purchase & sale agreement. Was there an integration clause and did the unpaid rent pass to the new owner upon closing? A proper review of the contracts is essential for reaching a conclusion, but you also need to review the HUD-1 or ALTA. RESPA requires all financial issues to be revealed in advance of closing. Was the unpaid rent shown on the HUD-1.

Depending on the amount claimed, you might want to pay a real estate lawyer to review the package before this devolves into much more serious litigation.

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