Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Virginia Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: How can a company garnish my wages twice?

I moved out of a apartment complex 6 years ago because they had bed bugs and would only do one apartment at a time and the bed bugs will travel,

So 4 years later they garnish my wages for $700+ now they are garnishing me again for the same amount they took my $799 deposit when I moved.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on May 6, 2021

In Virginia, the law that effects the garnishment of wages and/or bank account has a set period of 180 days before the matter goes to court. If the full amount of the judgment is not satisfied by the initial garnishment, the judgment creditor has the right to file a second garnishment to seek the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My fiancé signed a lease of a trailer in a mobile home park but are now finding issues that we had no knowledge of.

We just found out the air ducts in our home are pulled out of place and two rooms are not getting the air (it’s literally just pouring AC out under the home), and many other small things that weren’t noticeably to the eye during a walkthrough

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 28, 2021

Your course of action is to call the Office of Housing Code Enforcement for the city/county in which the premises is located and make a formal Complaint.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: My husband and I divorced in March 2019. In Sep 2019 he passed away. Prior to his death he had signed a pocket deed.

Giving the property to me. The mortgage for the property was in his name. What happens if I stop making mortgage payments. My name is not on the mortgage, but is on the deed.

Thank you,

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Apr 16, 2021

If there is a valid mortgage lien on the property and the loan isn't paid, the lender will foreclose its equity. If you were not on title and of record before the mortgage recording, their claim would be unaffected by you. You might be entitled to the excess after foreclosure, if there is any,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I'm thinking of buying the property that I currently rent. It us a multi family unit w/ month to month lease.

I would like to remodel it into a single family home. Am I allowed to terminate the lease of the 2nd family after my loan is approved? Since it is an FHA 203k loan what are my options during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Apr 11, 2021

The lease is a binding contract. You need to review that lease carefully for its termination provisions, and then you need to check both state and local landlord-tenant law about tenant rights. There are three specific areas to research: 1) whether the tenant has a right to holdover, which often... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: If a co-signer dies, what happens to the loan?
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Apr 10, 2021

The loan is still in force - the other individual will still be responsible for payment. It is also possible that the estate of the person who died will have to pay it - and in turn could require the other borrower to repay the estate. Every case like this is different and a lawyer should be... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I filed for bankruptcy in TN in 2012 in TN. We bought a house in 2017 (in VA) with only my husband name on the deed.

I want to add my name on the deed now. Will my old collectors be able to put a lien on my house now? How do I know for sure that all the debts were wiped completely off with the bankruptcy?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Apr 7, 2021

If you listed all your "old collectors"/creditors names and addresses on your prior bankruptcy schedules filed with the court, and the bankruptcy court has entered its Order of general discharge, then you're good/safe, and if any of your old discharged unsecured creditors attempt in... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Jointly own land with brother he passed do I become sole owner?

Dad passed no wife my brother and I jointly inherited his 5 acres he had no will when I was 19 and he was 16. I got married at 20 he got married as well he passed in car accident do I become sole owner?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Apr 4, 2021

The answer depends on the title on the land, but I doubt that you are using the term “jointly” correctly. If you were in title as joint tenants with right of survivorship (JTWROS), often called “joint tenants,” then you came into title alone (at least in Virginia) upon his demise. But, if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: So even though it was an email and not a physical letter? And there isn’t 31 days in April. Only 30. So what about that?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Apr 1, 2021

Email is considered by the courts as written notice, especially if the lease provides for such notices to be sent by email. As long as the date of the notice was the day before the ;last day of the month, the termination date the the last day of the following month.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: My old landlord sold my house I’m living in to a rental company in February but my lease didn’t expire until March 31st

I was told I had to pay the new rental company March rent since they now own the house. However, the new rental company sent me an email saying I have 30 days to vacate because they are not renewing my lease. They said I have until April 31st to move out completely. Since my lease ended March 31st... Read more »

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

In Virginia, the owner/landlord of a property which is rented to a tenant has the right to sell the property to another party. The new owner is obligated to respect the current lease until the lease term ends. Based on what you stated, your lease's term ended on March 31, 2021 and the lease... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can you stay at the house of a relative if they don't want you to? Isn't that illegal?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 29, 2021

Maybe. I need more information. Is the person staying a spouse? Is it a dependent child? Even if there is no duty of support, criminal law only becomes involved if there is a crime, such as breaking and entering or trespass, so calling the tenancy illegal stretches the common meaning of illegality.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I withhold security deposit as penalty for early lease termination?

My tenants are diplomats. They were scheduled to move in April 1st and stay for a few years. They signed lease, paid 1st months rent and deposit. They informed me that they are being recalled to their country and can only stay one month. I may not be able to enforce the lease due to immunity... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 18, 2021

You may also be able to enforce the lease, though you cannot do it the normal way. I cannot help you if the tenant works for the European Union Delegation to the United States, since I represent them in real estate, but it can be done correctly. You may also account to the diplomat in the normal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Is it legal in VA for a real estate listing to claim more bedrooms than the property septic is approved for?
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Mar 13, 2021

If the agent HAS KNOWLEDGE that the house has more bedrooms than the septic rating, then it could be an issue.

HOWEVER, no agents that I know (including one of the top five in my area) look at the septic certification before the listing. Agents rely on what the seller tells them (and they...
Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Person was evicted from my home but he has given all of his property to his girlfriend living with me. What can I do?

This man was just evicted from my home but he left all of his belongings with his girlfriend who still lives as my house. She states I can't get rid of it though because it now belongs to her. These belongings now take up 3 of my rooms and I can't take it anymore. Please help!

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Mar 8, 2021

If you're not able to resolve the issue with the girlfriend or former tenant, you may have to evict the girlfriend as well. I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help. Good luck.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: in a bank foreclosed property sale does the bank have to provide a property survey

does the bank have to provide a survey of a property under Va law

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 6, 2021

To whom? Why? How will it be used? If you are the foreclosed party, you lost your rights to the property at the foreclosure. If you are the bidder, foreclosure sales are usually "as is" with all risks to the bidder. With all the extra foreclosures soon to be on the market, banks may find... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can it be argued that even if 2 people are on the deed of a house, the one who pays the mortgage is entitled to more?

This would involve a married couple

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Mar 3, 2021

Nope - unless a divorce court judge sees it differently.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Are my grandmothers nieces and nephews entitled to land that was owned by my great grandmother but never deeded ?

My grandmother had a mobile home on property that my great grandmother purchased. My great grandmother passed without a will but my grandmother has since paid the taxes on the property up to date. My grandmother had 7 siblings and only 4 are left which are all on board with a quit to claim deed in... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Feb 25, 2021

The lawyer you talked to is correct. The interests of children of your great-grandmother goes to THEIR children on their death. I suggest you get deeds for whatever shares you can, then approach the others for their shares. This can be very complicated and time consuming. And you absolutely need... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Currently I live in a rental apartment of which my lease will auto renewal on March14th, 2021. A new property owner just

Took over the property of which I just received a notice that they are raising my rent 300.00 starting March 1st. Can they do this legally?

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Feb 25, 2021

It depends on the exact terms in the lease. Most leases that 'auto-renew' (1) state that the renewal will be for a specific period (such as a year, but some are 'auto-renewing' only month-to-month) and (2) have a 'notice' requirement that if either the landlord or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Wife has RTO notarized contract on home from step dad. He was diagnosed with cancer and has days. Is contract good stil?

They had a contract notarized and we’ve made every monthly payment on time and have receipts. Her stepdad was sick and went to hospital and diagnosed with cancer and told he had days to live. My question is in the state of Virginia will that contract still be good? We’ve put so much money into... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Feb 21, 2021

In Virginia, generally when a person signs a contract that person must be competent and have capacity. This will require testimony from witnesses. It may be subject to a Court case to test the validity and enforceability of the contract that you referenced.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do this violate the implied warranty of habitability:

If there is a person constantly entering an apartment building without any tenants permission and management will not do anything about, leading to many tenants feeling unsafe, does it violate the implied warranty of habitability? More specifically, a person has been practically living in the entry... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Feb 11, 2021

The person who is entering the premises without permission is trespassing. This is not an issue of a breach of the warranty of habitability. A tenant does not have the right to withhold rent for such an issue.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: In VA, can a brokerage agreement for property mgt have a fee for terminating at end of contract instead of auto renewal.

With VA Law 54.1-2137. Commencement and termination of brokerage relationships, it would seem that is situation would not be a definite termination date as there are consequences if the owner does not renew.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Feb 10, 2021

This is a contractual issue. See VA Code Section 54.1-2137(B)(2).

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.