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Virginia Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My father's will left me 36 acres of land. It was owed jointly with mom. She sold 5 acres of it without my knowledge?

Dad wanted me & my brother to be co-trustees. My mother redid the trust and named my brother & herself as co-trustees. They tried to keep Dad's will out of my hands. I finally got a copy from her lawyer. Seems fishy to me.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 27, 2020

If the land was held by entireties with his wife, and if he predeceased her, it wasn’t his to give in his will. The land passed outside of probate to the survivor. Nevertheless, there are confusing references to trusts, and trusts imply inter vivos grants prior to demise or special titling of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Consumer Law for Virginia on
Q: Are there any charges I can file against a lawn care provider who hasn't completed the services?

I prepaid for biweekly lawn care 3 weeks ago. He came out the same day and mowed 1/3 of my yard, then claimed his belt broke and he would return the next day. He has never come back, providing a multitude of excuses. I have asked for my money back several times, to which he always says he will be... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 26, 2020

In Virginia, the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney generally files charges in criminal matters, not individuals. With regard to your reported facts, you may have a right to file a civil lawsuit for breach of contract, called a Warrant in Debt, in the General District Court for the county/city in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: Paying customer at restaurant refused access to bathroom for 5yo because adult didn’t have a mask. They physically blocd

We were eating in their outdoor dining area. My 5 year old said she needed to use the restroom. Got halfway to the bathroom inside when the barkeeper said I had to have a mask on. Customer at the bar didn’t have a mask on. I pointed this fact out, and the barkeeper said he had a drink so he... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 25, 2020

I regret that I do not handle matters where a patron in a restaurant is blocked from the bathroom. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My landlord has made me store everything he owns in his mobile home while I have rented it, refusing to empty it for me

after I asked him to do so in order for me to move my household items in. Does that change anything?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 25, 2020

Probably does not. Off for the weekend. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: So in other words, if I'm late on rent I only have 5 days to pay or I have to move out. Is that correct?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 25, 2020

It depends on what the landlord does.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I have a month to month agreement with nothing in writing with my landlord and he wants me gone in 2 weeks for unpaid

rent, doesn't he have to give me 21 days to leave, 30 days after a notice? Can he sue without a written agreement?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 25, 2020

In Virginia, an oral agreement for a month-to-month residential lease is valid and enforceable. To terminate the month-to-month lease, either the landlord or the tenant must give the other a written 30 day notice. However, if the tenant has not paid rent when it is due, the tenant is in breach of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Father passed away 10 years ago was married at the time of death but since she has remarried is she entitled to estate

My sister was the holder of the will. I was told she lost the will which we all knew how he wanted the estate to be left to his children. Since she lost the will the court suggested we do a estate transfer. If we do the estate transfer it not only will go to his children but the now ex wife since... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 25, 2020

The remarriage is irrelevant. The theft of the Will by the sister is a felony, but it must be proven. After all, storing the Will with one of the heirs or beneficiaries was just plain stupid. The widow is entitled to her intestate succession or her spousal share (often called dower) rights, which... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I be blocked from a private road to a property I want to buy if there is not a deeded easement for the road to it?

I am interested in buying a property that does not have a deeded access. There is a private road connecting it to a county road. The listing agent says that road cannot legally be blocked, denying me access to the property. If this is true I want to buy the land. When I was shopping for a... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 23, 2020

The answer is in insurance not at law. The legal answer could get tied up in a astoundingly expensive trial on the existence of an easement by estoppel. You should draft the contract so that it is contingent on the insurability of legal access and egress, and you should run not walk to the exit if... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Virginia on
Q: How can UVA require me to work OT without it being in our policy manual and HR knowing nothing about "Pink Star Days"?

I work for UVA Medical Center and our department just implemented a new program called "Pink Star Days". These are day that I am required to be "On Call" from midnight until 7am, without pay and is overtime when called in.

The UVA HR dept does not have information on... Read more »

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Sep 23, 2020

Your employer is free to implement new policies, including on-call requirements, without prior warning and without a written department policy. You must be paid for time spent actually performing work if you are called in.

However, whether the entire on-call shift must be paid depends on...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Is this VA real estate contract of purchase enforceable?

The VA Real Estate Contract of Purchase was submitted to Seller on Friday, Seller's agent responded by text on Saturday to Buyer's agent that the offer had been accepted (no changes to terms). Seller's agent stated he would obtain Seller signature and send agreement to Buyer's... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 22, 2020

There certainly is a decent legal argument that the contract was concluded, but you would have the burden of proving that the acceptance was by an authorized agent of the seller and that the acceptance was unconditional. Those will be factual questions, which means a trial. That is not an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: How it going my name is mr Allen and I am writing bc I live in a family owned home and family member trying to evict me

Grandparents died and left it to the family, my mom is trying to dictate and kick me and my fiancé and kids out and I told her she has no authority her name isn’t on the deed and it’s a family home. She went and made a homemade eviction notice giving us 30 days

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 22, 2020

There is no such thing at law as a "family owned home." The property is owned by some one or some specifically named individuals. If the property was not deeded or willed to the next generation, then it passed by intestacy. Sometimes, it is difficult after a hundred years or so,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: How would I go about a home sale if we are buying a house from a friend without Realtors?

An acquaintance let us know that hey would like to sell their house and move. We are buying connected property already. She has not listed it. Can someone tell me in simple terms, how this would need to be handled legally in Virginia? Also, we would be buying it outright in cash. Thank you.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 22, 2020

If you already have your price and don't need marketing services or advice on pricing and market analysis, you don't need a real estate agent. A lawyer will be much cheaper. Even cheaper is a new development I've been trying of employing a real estate agent in my office to handle... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Internet Law for Virginia on
Q: Is is illegal to start a website that is created to allow users to publicly shame people based on certain situations?

This is strictly a conceptual idea and I have no intention of moving forward with this idea unless I understand the legalities.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 21, 2020

A Virginia attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for two weeks. Until you are able to consult with a Virginia attorney, something more likely than any penal code violation would probably be civil liability for defamation. If the users post content that is harmful to someone's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: If my sister takes power of attorney, over my father health etc, does she has controlled over the real estate home in PR

He is hospitalize VA, she is his aid care taker. She wants POA because he is married.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 20, 2020

This is not a DIY situation. You need a lawyer. But, the specific answer to your question is that a power of attorney expires when the principal (your father) dies. Sometimes, the attorney-in-fact (your sister) has the power to make financial transactions during your father's life using the... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I need to know specific closing information if I'm buying a house in Virginia from out of state

I live in New Jersey and I'm buying a house cash in Virginia. We are not using a buyer's agent. We were told we needed to have a real estate lawyer or a title company when the paperwork was signed. I'm trying to find out if the title company needs to be in Virginia or if I can use... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 19, 2020

The title agent must be licensed in Virginia, and you would be foolish to use a title agent who was not also acting as your lawyer. That will be more expensive than having a non-lawyer title agent. It will be a little more expensive than using a title agent who is a lawyer acting as a title agent.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Question: my lease is currently a month to month lease, can my landlord end my lease right now?

It is my opinion, that the landlord is doing this, because I am behind on my rent, but no notices requesting the rent have been sent to me by the landlord. But either way, Can landlord force me to move out by ending my monthly lease with 30 or 60 days notice? And if I refuse to move, does landlord... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 18, 2020

In Virginia, either the landlord or the tenant has the right to terminate a month-to-month lease by giving the other party a written 30 day notice of the lease's termination. No reason for the termination is needed to be given. If the tenant does not vacate the premises after the lease is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I rent in VA. My home stays at a humidity of 60-65%. Is there anything I can do to make my landlord fix that?

I have a dehumidifier to try and pull moisture from the house. I discovered mold under my kitchen sink, which I reported. I have not been contacted to resolve the issue in three days. My electric bill is $40-60 more than last year each month.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 18, 2020

The obligation to repair the level of humidity in a residential premises will depend on what is stated in the lease as to whether the landlord or the tenant bears that maintenance obligation. If you think it is a serious issue that causes the mold, you should call the office of Housing Code... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Who would be responsible for cleaning of clothes that have come in contact with mold, tenant or landlord?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Sep 18, 2020

This is a question of fact and not of law. The answer depends on who was the cause of the mold and how that causation can be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: Can I sue for defamation?

A coworker has falsely accused me of having sexual relations with a married coworker at work. This coworker went to administration and told human relations. These accusations are false.

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Sep 17, 2020

Yes. You need to find out what was said specifically to HR, but if it's as black and white as you described, then I think you would have a viable. If you decide to hire an attorney, I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Business Formation and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Hi..i am in VA. made a payment 2 days late. Can any type of late fee be imposed?

I let the company know VA has 10 day grace period. They changed the 'late fee' wording to 'payroll system fee'.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 17, 2020

A Virginia attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for three weeks. As a general matter, it could depend on the company's terms, and whether their revision is merely a change of terminology for the same thing. The most economical and reliable way to find out could be to... Read more »

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