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Virginia Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Real estate contract with home inspection contingency addendum, but "for information purposes only"

I have a real estate contract where a buyer submitted an offer to buy my rental property. There is a home inspection contingency addendum, but the offer was written as "for information purposes only". Upon performing the inspection, there are some minor repairs required, and the buyers... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 13, 2021

It depends on what the clause says, doesn’t it? If the clause gave all the possible rights to walk away but the words “for information only” were added, we might say the information was to inform the walking away. If the walking away was eliminated, perhaps the default clause is in effect and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Lunsford v. King 132 Ga. App. 749 (1974) 209 S.E.2d 27 I do not understand the case, please help.

I am trying to brief this case, but I do not understand it. I feel like I am not reading English.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 6, 2021

So, you would like us to do your preparation for you? That will surely make you a valuable addition to someone's legal team some day ... if your professors or the bar don't catch up with you first.

Okay, I'm going to help, but not by giving you the answer. The case is short,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: what does the case means?

I do not understand the case. I have read it plenty of times. Please explain

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 5, 2021

Your question makes no sense: What case? In any event, this is what lawyers train to do. Retain one for a consult to review the case. An hour consult is not as daunting as a full retainer for litigation. Understand the decisions you are trying to make.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My Mother in law willed her home to all 6 of her children. Her eldest son died having only a wife no children. His wife

Just died in the middle of the sale of the home. My mother in laws will states that if any of her children that do not have children their part goes back to the other children. Can my sister in law will her part of inherited land that was willed to her husband from his mother to her sister or does... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 27, 2021

The exact timing matters and the exact wording of the will matters too. There is not enough information here to answer your question. You should schedule a consultation with a probate attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a church open a brewery to raise funds to purchase land?

Greetings. We are trying to start a church and at present do not have enough funds to purchase land/property on which to worship. Are we able to open and operate a brewery for the purpose of raising these funds (and later supporting ourselves, to help alleviate the burden of donating from... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 24, 2021

hehe, Let me see if I get this. You want to open a tax-exempt Church of the Boozin' Bro's so you and the assembled spiritual can brew beer the way God intended it: tax-free. And, even though the Whiskey Rebellion started off this great nation right here in good ol' Virginny,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: My sister is trying to sell her houses in PR. She hasn't stay in the house for almost 10 years and the houses was empty.

What are the % that she has to paid in taxes? They are asking 12 to 15% that sound a little bit too much to me. Apparently they asking this much because the house was empty and she never rented out.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 23, 2021

You need to consult with a real estate lawyer in PR. They will know or be able to check the tax rates and the exceptions. Asking in another state is a waste of time.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Title company never told us about ROW's found during their search. Can we sue after we have closed on the property?

We purchased land in VA in Feb 2021. We chose a closing company and they did a title search. They told us that everything looked good and that we could close on the property. (to me that means that nothing was wrong with the property). After we started construction, one of the neighbors informed... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 19, 2021

First, if you closed with a title company instead of a lawyer representing you, you may lack privity with the title agent. The agent represents the insurance company not you, and I’m unaware of a concept of malpractice for agents. The agent has duties to all sides to complete the transaction... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: What are the rights of a Home seller and their possessions still in the house after closing?

80% of my parents belongings are still in their house they just sold to their granddaughter. They don't have free access to it and were told to be out by the end of Aug. My parents are in their 70's. My dad is a Vet and receives disablity, has cancer and has 2 bad knees and back. My mom... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 9, 2021

This doesn't make much sense. They sold their home to their granddaughter and they are in it until the end of August but they don't have access to it. They are paying rent but there is no lease mentioned and they are living with you. I think you need a consultation to review the facts... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI, Employment Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: What comes out in discovery during a lawsuit?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 1, 2021

The answers to the interrogatories asked, the documents subject to a document request, the admissions that the parties make in response to requests, the oral answers to depositions of parties and witnesses, and the documents and things that are sought to be examined. What those things are is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I'm looking for a legal service to take on joint partnership in a fixit upper property. My partner is refusing to sell.

I bought a fixit upper property from an auction with a partner to fix the house and sell it. After remodeling the house, my partner rented the property for the last 5 years to 3rd. party and refused to sell nor give me my share of the rental income. The deed in both our names half and half.... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jul 26, 2021

If this property is in Virginia, the correct pleading is a Petition for Sale in Lieu of Partition, and, under Virginia law, the legal fees are paid off the top from the sale. As such, most attorneys will want some form of retainer to cover the initial fees, but those can be reimbursed at the end,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: If my old but current will says give my house to my kids, but I title the house jointly with my fiance, what happens?

Will that directive be ignored and my fiance gains ownership as surviving owner? Or will the will override the title? I understand that I should have the two (title and will) in sync, but in the interim, what would happen upon my death?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jul 13, 2021

The two should be in synch, because having them inconsistent can be used to confess and delay proceedings when everyone needs certainty and dispatch. The inconsistency can be used as evidence that your testamentary intent was uncertain or that you were confused. Unless you can be proven... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I want to delete my late wife and add my fiancee to my Virginia house title. What is the simplest way?
Kevin M Rogers
Kevin M Rogers answered on Jul 13, 2021

I think that the easiest way to remove your late wife's name will be to quit claim the house to your fiancee. If your wife's "estate" was probated (or might still be in probate), you can quit claim the house to your fiancee as the executor of your late wife's estate. If... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: How do I go about putting a residence which is in Quit Claim into a Trust? My mother put residence in Quit Claim and

as both parents have past, the residence now comes to me and someone told me to put the residence in a Trust through my banking system. Is this correct? And how do I do this? The property is in Arlington, VA.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jul 3, 2021

The form of the title doesn't change the answer. Whether the quitclaim was recorded may matter. The short answer is that you need to transfer title to the trust by deed, and that isn't terribly difficult, but it may involve some expenses. Okay, let's break it down:

There are...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I signed a lease that was then signed and executed by the landlord. 8 days later the landlord informed me that the

previous tenant was on a month to month lease and had decided to not vacate, and was not planning to vacate anytime soon. They said the apartment is no longer available. I believe this is a violation of Virginia State Statute 55.1-1238 of the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act for failure... Read more »

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Jul 3, 2021

Yes, you are correct. The question for you is whether you are trying to terminate the agreement or enforce the agreement, so you can take possession. If you decide to hire a lawyer, I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Question on real estate fixtures and Law of Fixtures and how to interpret outdoor grill connected to natural gas pipe:

There is an outdoor grill that looks like a large portable grill on wheels and it has wheels, but the grill is connected to a natural gas pipe that was extended from the back of the house. The grill uses natural gas from the pipe as fuel for normal operation. The grill has been in the same spot for... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 29, 2021

In Virginia, a fixture is attached (i.e., bolted) to the ground and becomes an intricate part of the land. A grill which is movable is personal property, notwithstanding that it is attached to a gas line, and is thus not a fixture.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: How do I go about putting my wife on my deed?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jun 3, 2021

You record a deed, and, if you are wise, you discuss the transaction with a lawyer first.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: Would I be eligible to countersue for falsification of signatures on the purchase of a house

I bought a house with my partner (we are not married). She and I ended up separating.

I found out that she falsified signatures in the purchase of our house in 2018. Furthermore, in 2017 she left the property and did not pay any of the mortgages. Since that period I've made... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jun 3, 2021

You probably needed a lawyer when you made the agreement, and you certainly needed a lawyer when your partner in the house and you ended your social partnership. You also need a lawyer to interpret the agreement in light of the facts and the contributions of the parties. That consultation will be... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I was falsely accused of smoking in my apartment. What are my options?

I was falsely accused of smoking in my apartment when I am a non-smoker. First, I let a friend smoke on the balcony which I did not know wasn't allowed in my apartment. I apologized but was given a 21/30 to cure the smell (which of course there was no smell in my apartment), so I cured it... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 2, 2021

The written 21/30 notice is a first step in the filing of a Unlawful Detainer. The folks who are accessing you of the smoking have the burden of proof so you should go to court and deny their claim and put them to the test. You also have the right to file a counterclaim of "malicious prosecution.:

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: If a tenant's lease states that it may be auto-renewed if notice isn't given 60 days prior to the end of a lease...

Can the landlord opt to not renew the lease within 30 days of the end of the term? Or change the term to a month to month lease?

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

In Virginia, the automatic renewal provisions contained in a residential leas are binding on the tenant and the landlord. One party to the lease, such as the landlord, doe snot have the right to unilaterally change the lease to a month-to-month tenancy.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: If three people with undivided ownership in property disagree on who is allowed on the property, how is that resolved?

In the state of Virginia, three people own an undivided interest in a private road. Other members in the community have a deeded right to ingress and egress over the road. Two of the three owners want to prohibit community members from storing/parking on the road. There are community members... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on May 30, 2021

The answer probably depends on the deed language and possibly any other recorded agreements, and it might depend on long-term use and interpretation of that language, as well as possible claims of adverse possession. Basically, it the three owners or the owners of the rights of egress and access... Read more »

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