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Virginia Real Estate Law Questions & 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.

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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 »

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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).

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Divorce and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: In order for an attorney to pass the bar exam, is it safe to say they need to know a little bit of everything?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Feb 7, 2021

Preparation for the Bar exam does not involve knowing a little bit of everything. It involves knowing a lot of some things, and it is exceptionally wise to find out which things from a very expensive preparation course that requires intense concentration and memorization of huge amount of state law... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: In Virginia, can an owner of several lots develop a recorded easement that crosses over multiple the lots he owns?

I currently have a situation where a single person owned several lots and the single owner of the lots developed an easement over all lots that he owned for access in lieu of the approved unconstructed access road.

To my understanding, easements give you the right to do something on... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Feb 5, 2021

You need a decent title search and survey to evaluate these facts, but if you are asking whether a property owner can create recorded easements on his property before selling it, that is exactly what every developer does. You can't create an easement on someone else's property.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: If a spouse dies, can the husband or wife sell the home and collect all the proceeds if both names are on the deed?
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Feb 4, 2021

I'm restating your question:

1) Husband and wife own real estate.

2) the deed to husband and wife conveyed the property and included EITHER of the following two phrases: "Husband and Wife as Tenants by the Entirety", OR "H & W as Joint Tenants with right...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I sue or break my lease if my landlord won't remediate black mold which I have a reaction to?

I found the mold after removing a fireplace cover to the fireplace, which isn't functional and leaked. The leaks have since been repaired.

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

The first action you should take is to call the Office of Housing Code Enforcement for the city/county where the premises is located and make a formal Complaint about the mold. They should send out an inspector who will issue a Notice of Violation of mold is found and is harmful to health and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I have a check from my fathers IRA. He had passed away back in October. The company Meryl Lynch issued the check out to

So the check with the bank name that is now closed under my father and my name. it does state "F/B/O fathers name IRA and acct#****. but the bank won't even accept the check and create an estate account. This is the second check that was issued from them and they cant get it right.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jan 28, 2021

I don't know whether there is enough money involved to make it worthwhile, but I think a simple one-hour consult would straighten things out. It sounds to me like the brokerage hasn't explained that the funds are not part of the probate estate, so they don't belong in an estate... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I need case remedies for wv code 37-6a-5
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 27, 2021

You must consult with a lawyer in West Virginia. I am not one. Sorry. I am licensed in Virginia and Maryland

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3 Answers | Asked in Products Liability, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I bought a place, rented it for a few months, lease is up, she is late but won't go. I need to move in my place

I bought a place but was renting and couldn't get out of my lease so rented for a few months with a lease. I had her lease end when my lease is up so i could move into the place i bought.

She won't leave and is always late with rent, What can i do? I have no where to live as... Read more »

Elizabeth Crego
Elizabeth Crego answered on Jan 27, 2021

I think there are some details that need to be considered before determining what you can do. You said your lease is up, but it's unclear as to whether the lease for the property you own is up. If it is not, you will have to wait until the end of the lease period unless she fails to pay rent... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can you be sued by your neighbors for not mowing grass?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jan 17, 2021

Usually, grass height regulations are either at the county or city ordinance level or in the home owner association rules, declarations, or bylaws. Whether the ordinance or rule has a private right of action depends of the language of that ordinance or rule. Unless there is some rule you are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Live in bldg with 11 other tenants. Maintenance man enters & steals when we're out. Mgmt defended him. Any advice?

I spoke with mgmt last month & was told to invest in security cameras. Most people here are low income & like myself, can't afford to replace items taken, let alone invest in security cameras. Maintenance man is a convicted felon (murder & robbery charges). He has shown up to... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 13, 2021

You may want to call the police and make a report.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I live in West Virginia. I made an offer on a home. The seller verbally accepted.

Earnest money was provided and a closing date set already. Now the seller is entertaining offers outside the real estate company

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jan 11, 2021

You may want to review this with a West Virginia lawyer, but the Statute of Frauds came to all of the United States from well back before the foundation of the United States, and contracts in land must be in writing. Oral agreements are a nullity. The question might be whether something was passed... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: What happens if an executor steals money from an estate?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jan 10, 2021

The executor must file an inventory and an account. Anything that isn't accounted will come into question. If you suspect a greater problem, you should communicate with the estate's attorney or with the Commissioner of Accounts.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I'm in Partition Lawsuit. I signed the Deed of Trust, BUT not the note. Am I liable for unpaid note?

I signed Deed of Trust to let Bank know I was aware that the property is collateral for loan, but banker told me that I'm not liable to pay off remaining unpaid portion of note (to sell the property) BECAUSE I'm NOT ON THE NOTE itself.

If opponent refuse to pay, then what? The... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Dec 21, 2020

It looks like you do not understand the Partition Suit. If there is a Court ordered Sale then the Court will pay alot of expenses and the secured debt against the property prior to the net proceeds being divided amongst the former owners. That is even though you do not owe on the note, the land... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Good evening, I recently divorced my spouse and want to have his name removed from my mortgage loan. Is that possible?

My home is located in Virginia Beach

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Dec 16, 2020

That's something that should have been resolved in the divorce settlement. You'll need to refinance, assuming you can carry the house on your income, including alimony, alone.

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