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Virginia Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can my landlord change previously agreed upon written rental price and terms after they notified me initially by mail?

My apartment was sold and they are planning a renovation of our kitchen and bathroom over the course of 1.5 months. I received mailed written notice that I had 30 days to choose one option:

1. Continue to rent apartment during rental at current rental price ($730) during renovations, sign... Read more »

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

In Virginia, one party to a written residential lease for a specific Term cannot unilaterally change the terms of the lease unless the other party to the lease agrees to the changes in a written document. Based on your reported facts, it appears that the landlord is attempting to change the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Virginia on
Q: I breached an NDA and I got a cease and desist, how can I save my business
Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Jul 28, 2021

It really depends on the content of the NDA and what you have done. Maybe it wasn't even a breach. You probably want to hire an attorney to review the NDA and the cease and desist letter. I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: Hi. My father recently passed away and myself and my sister are his heirs. There is no will. What do we do from here?

There are 2 properties in Puerto Rico in his name of which one shows his ex-wife listed. He divorced many years ago and to my knowledge there was a separation of their properties done. Where can we gain the knowledge of whether or not the property is indeed his ex wife's as well? Also, what... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jul 27, 2021

It very much matters where your father was domiciled when he passed. You should consult counsel licensed in that state. If the only assets are Virginia real estate, you might avoid formal probate, but, in all likelihood, you'll need a probate in Virginia and an ancillary probate in Puerto... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Virginia on
Q: If I represent myself on traffic charge and found guilty can I ask for an apeal to get a lawyer ?
Paula Hough
Paula Hough answered on Jul 27, 2021

Yes. You have 10 days from the date of your conviction to appeal your case to the Circuit Court. You can hire an attorney to represent you on that new court date.

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 Family Law for Virginia on
Q: I have 3 children give and under the age of 5, the father live over 1,000 miles away. Am I responsible for communication

Do I have to call him or does he need to call the kids since he left?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Jul 26, 2021

An important factor in custody and visitation disputes between fit parents is the propensity of each parent to allow the children to have a relationship with the other parent, in fact, ideally, to promote that relationship. Visitation is a privilege, not a responsibility. No one can make a parent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Who decides if who is responsible for the atty fee if I sign the lease the judge or landlord
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 24, 2021

In Virginia, only a judge has the authority and the power to award attorney's fees that would be made part of an Order and/or a Judgment.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: In a lease agreement can the property management ask the tenant to be responsible for their legal fees
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 24, 2021

In all contract matters, including a residential lease, the landlord or its agent, such as the property management, can require that the tenant will be for the landlord's attorney's fees if there is a dispute or otherwise.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can the co-deed holder to my home evict me? Both our names are on the deed.
Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Jul 22, 2021

No. If you're an owner, the co-owner cannot evict you (and you cannot evict the co-owner either). If you decide to hire an attorney to assist, I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Virginia on
Q: Hi, I have been subpeonaed as a witness for a case involving a woman driving erratically. Do I have to attend?

The court only convenes on Tuesdays, the one day a week I have an office rented and see most of my mental health clients. I can't switch the day and that is my money to live on, as well as my clients need their sessions. Is their an option like a recorded statement that I can legally request.

Paula Hough
Paula Hough answered on Jul 22, 2021

If you are subpoenaed, you are legally required to attend court. You may want to reach out to the Commonwealth's Attorney (prosecutor) in the jurisdiction where you have to go to Court. He or she may be able to help you avoid coming to court, or explain your options if you do not appear.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can my apartment complex charge for liability and an additional monthly trash (trash compactor)?

The building has changed management companies in March and we have noticed these recurring monthly charges for "BH Liability" & "Monthly Trash".

There is nothing in our lease that talks about a $12 liability charge. We are required by lease to have our own renters... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 20, 2021

In Virginia, a lease is a contract that cannot be modified by a unilateral act by one party, unless all parties to the lease agree in writing to the modifications, which would include additional charges that were not contained in the original lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: As a landlord in VA, can I use the info on the state's public website for general district courts to deny an application

The state's website, www.courts.state.va.us provides info on cases held in general district courts in every city/county in VA. I used the info to deny a rental application based on unlawful detainers found under his name within the last 5 years, where the plaintiffs, (NOT the applicant!) were... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 19, 2021

If the denial of the tenant's application is based on facts and not on discrimination, then you are allowed to assert a denial.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Virginia on
Q: Can the state pick a charge up on you if they dismissed the charges for a federal indictment
Bernard Crane
Bernard Crane answered on Jul 19, 2021

Generally, yes.

Different soverign, so double jeopary doesn't apply.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Health Care Law for Virginia on
Q: What can I do for a family member that is incarcerated and needs psychiatric care?
Bernard Crane
Bernard Crane answered on Jul 19, 2021

Where is he in the process? Is he pretrial, presentence, or serving a sentence?

If he is being held pretrial or presentence, talk to his attorney right away. The attorney will know what resources are available locally to help, and how to get the Pretrial Services Agency or the jail to do...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for Virginia on
Q: Hi. I was wondering during if I would go to jail for a second theft charge?

my last theft was from 3 years ago and all I had for this new theft charge was a necklace and nothing else.

Bernard Crane
Bernard Crane answered on Jul 19, 2021

Its almost impossible to answer this question in a vacuum. There are too many variables. You say your "LAST" theft charge. You didn't say your "only other" theft charge. If this is your third or more theft charge, there is a higher probaility of at least SOME jail time.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a judge add specific wording to a binding plea agreement?

We are in WV. My husband signed a binding plea agreement and one of the details was inpatient substance abuse treatment. While at the hearing, the prosecutor insisted on "long term" inpatient treatment, which was not in the original agreement. The judge subsequently added "long... Read more »

Bernard Crane
Bernard Crane answered on Jul 19, 2021

First off, "long term" treatment doesn't mean what it used to. Thirty years ago long term treatment was 1 1/2 to two years - or in some rare cases three years. As treatment got more expensive and more people started needingt it, it shrunk to one year, then 6 months, then 120 days,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: A section of my lease: "Disparaging Statements" of any kind are prohibited by residents.

"statements or communication, which defames the owner, employee, or management of rental unit... may be subject to action for defamation by person who suffers injury or loss as a result of defamatory statement."

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 19, 2021

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives every American the right of freedom of speech, which is an indispensable asset to American democracy. The right to express a unique point of view allows every American to exchange new ideas and to hear different interpretations of the truth. A... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My landlord did not give house keys upon move in and will not until second month. Can I change the locks for my safety?

Me and my roommates moved in on Friday April 16. Our landlord has not given us house keys and says he will not until the second month. I’m not sure about the laws but I feel like that is illegal. Our lease says we cannot change the locks without permission from the landlord and he will not give... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 19, 2021

Under the Virginia Code, the Landlord has a duty to maintain the premises in a fit condition. If there is no AC and there is a major plumbing leak, you should contact the Office of Housing Code Enforcement for the city/county in which the premises is located and make a formal complaint. An... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Civil Litigation, Employment Law and Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: What are the different ways an attorney finds out information about a case through discovery?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 16, 2021

Request for Admissions, Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can landlord refuse to renew my lease at this time rent is paid on time each month and its difficult to find a place now
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jul 15, 2021

A landlord has the right to not agree to renew a lease. This is a contractual relationship and not a civil rights matter, unless the refusal is based on some issue of discrimination. .

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