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Virginia Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Settlement and possession laws?

We closed on our house at 6pm Friday so the documents won’t be recorded until Monday. We’re also still working on finalizing an escrow holdback agreement for repairs seller needs to pay for post closing. It’s now Saturday and the sellers are asking for keys and access back to the property. We... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Oct 19, 2019

You are the owner as of closing without regard to recordation, at least as to the seller, but what form of fantasy would lead you to close with an unfinished escrow agreement for repairs that aren't competed!? How are they to do the repairs? How are you to take occupancy? Who is responsible of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Hey question I my boyfriend and his mother all own a house split 3 ways. My boyfriend and I want to rent our rooms

This is legal even if she doesn’t want it correct cause we have the Majority 66% pull

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Oct 18, 2019

Co-tenancy isn’t majority rules unless the property is held by an entity like a corporation and the shareholders elect a board and president that orders sale. If the property is indivisible, like most homes, each owner has the right to occupy the whole, and each owner has the duty to contribute.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a HOA Charge you for not power washing a deck that is the Responsibility for them to keep Maintenance of everything.
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Oct 17, 2019

What do the Covenants say about that? Do they incorporate any other documents, like bylaws? Do they create a governance system? Is that governance consistent with your state and sometimes local law? Did that governing body get duly selected in accordance with the applicable rules? Were the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Virginia on
Q: Can someone presently be the nominee of a dead person? Do you turn into a nominee of their estate?

If someone is the nominee of a person when he/she is alive, does that person remain a nominee if the other individual dies or does that person become the owner of the dead person's property?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 17, 2019

If you are referring to the agent under a power of attorney, then the answer is no, the power of attorney automatically terminates upon the death of the principal. Also, agents under powers of attorney do not automatically inherit. Inheritance is determined by the decedent's will or, if the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: My realtor & broker refuses to take our property off the market after we told them to. Is this legal?

We wanted to get out of our contract but they declined that. So we decided to take the house off the market. They then told us the house would remain listed until the contract expired. Can they do yhis

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Oct 8, 2019

First you need to read the listing agreement you signed. Or consult a lawyer to review it and advise you of your obligations.

If you remove the property from the market, you may owe commissions and fees for early termination. And if they produce an offer that EXACTLY matches the terms...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: What happens to the estate if all individuals named in the will can’t be located?

Will in probate in Arkansas

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Oct 5, 2019

All of my states have a procedure for depositing the share of the missing heir into the registry of the Court. Consult a local lawyer or the probate clerk's office.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I break my lease if my apartment complex is being sold to a new company?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Oct 5, 2019

No. Unless the then-owners agree with you to terminate the lease early, your lease is not affected by their transaction. Of course, there may be tactics to secure that agreement, and a lawyer might help with that.

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can my neighbor invite a friend to live on his property in an RV?

It is being used as a full time residence.

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

Maybe, maybe not.

Two considerations: a) subdivision restrictions and b) zoning ordinances.

a) If you are in a subdivision with restrictions and covenants, there may be a prohibition in them. They will sometimes refer to it as 'temporary housing' or refer to campers, tents and...
Read more »

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 Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Difference between offer to purchase real property and purchase agreement in Virginia

Buyer and seller entered into vague offer to purchase property in April. No further word from buyer until seller sent letter in August, stating all offers/ contracts have been rescinded. Buyer then called with closing date, saying he'd sue for breach of contract. Is offer to purchase a valid... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 12, 2019

You need a lawyer to review the actual exchanges. If an offer was accepted, it is a contract from that moment on, and it follows its terms until completed or breached.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: How long does a seller have to remove personal items from the property after the sale is completed?

The seller returned several times a few weeks after the sale to take items from the mobile home yard and patio. Now, over a year after the sale, the seller returned to claim items in a outside shed. In the process,the previous owner cut off a lock on the shed and started to remove items. The... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 10, 2019

What's required is a contract review. In most sale of real estate contracts, there is a provision that items on the property except for a list in the contract convey to the buyer. If not, the common law of bailment probably applies, and the buyer became a gratuitous bailee of the goods. He may not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can someone sell a brick and mortar home but not the land it is built on?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 6, 2019

This is actually fairly common in parts of the United States. Baltimore has a long-standing tradition of selling houses that sit on land held by long-term lease. But, such situations can be quite complex. They can also be the basis for a fraud or a non-fraudulent misunderstanding that means you pay... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I have a nephew that has been living with me for the last 4 years -no rent, no lease, no monies given at all.

I have asked him to leave several times, but he has refused because he says he doesn't have the money. In Virginia would my nephew be considered a "Tenant at Sufferance" and could he be evicted without notice?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 4, 2019

I think your nephew would be considered as a "guest" or an "invitee" rather than a "tenant.' What ever way he is described, if you want him out of your premises, you will need to follow the requirements of Virginia law and eventually file an Unlawful Detainer to seek an Order of Possession that a... Read more »

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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1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a homeowner still sell the home that is in foreclosure and pay off the loan to the bank before the bank sells ?

The mortgage bank (Wells Fargo)will not allow any modified (smaller) payments, will not work out any forbearance plan until the total amount past due is paid first. The home just went into foreclosure. As homeowners can we still put the house for sale and pay off the bank loan before the house is... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 22, 2019

You need to get it sold before the foreclosure sale, and a lawyer can often get the bank to wait for a sale. If the mortgage is greater than the sale price, it is called a short sale, and that is also possible. You need to move on it responsibly now, but you do not need bank consent unless they... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Follow up, if there report is NOT, furnished, what recourse does the renter have for getting back security deposit, an
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Aug 20, 2019

Follow-up: If the Landlord failed to comply with the specified Virginia Code section regarding the move-in inspection, the tenant may have a right to go to court by filing a lawsuit and claim a breach of contract with a demand for the return of the security deposit as well as any other damages... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can an HOA Board ask its members to vote to kick seven properties in a section of the development out of the HOA?

The seven properties are geographically separate from the main part of the community. The Board to seeks to have them removed from the HOA, eliminating their responsibilities to the HOA (i.e., dues, covenants, by-laws, etc.), as well as the HOA responsibilities to them. Is this legal? What are... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 19, 2019

The only competent basis for reviewing that and getting to an answer is reviewing the bylaws of the HOA and the covenants on the properties. Generally, within the constraints of the bylaws, covenants, and state law, an HOA can alter the terms of the contract with the vote of the board or the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law, Real Estate Law and Business Law for Virginia on
Q: My mother passed away willing her home to my brothers. The will was notarized, but no witness on it. Is the Will valid?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Aug 18, 2019

I'm very sorry for your loss. Your question was probably overlooked all this time because it wasn't in the Probate or Estate Planning categories, where an attorney knowledgeable about wills might have seen it. 'Sorry for this inconvenience, but you could repost and include those categories, or you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: My husband was left his cousin's house in her will. Only heir.

She died very unexpectedly so after settling the estate in VA, my husband came to a gentleman's agreement to allow her second husband to live in the home and pay the taxes. It's been two years though and we feel we need to take possession of the home. We're afraid we've let too long lapse and it... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 18, 2019

You need a landlord and tenant or a real estate lawyer, and then you need to give proper notice to quit. If he doesn’t quit, the lawyer can take it from there. If your “lease” is enforceable because something is in writing, and you gave tenancy for the term of the tax payments, you may be... Read more »

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 »

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