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Virginia Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Contract to purchase real estate. Seller passed away.

I have a contract to purchase a residence and the seller passed away a week ago. Do I have any legal way to enforce this contract as her son is harassing me and saying the contract is void and that he is going up on the price etc.

Is the contact still legal and can I purchase for the... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Dec 4, 2020

I saw this question yesterday, but I passed on it because perhaps one of my colleagues had researched it. I’d have to review the contract and, perhaps, do a bit of research in the jurisdiction involved, but I believe that the binding contracts of a deceased person can be enforced as a claim in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: In Va if you have a contract to purchase a piece of land and the seller dies before it can be closed on. What options

The seller passed away after the contract was signed. We have been paying the mortgage payments for 7 years on her behalf.

Do we have any recourse to have the contract enforced.

Also what happens if the heirs refuse to honor the contract.

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Dec 3, 2020

There are several ways this can still happen, but you'll need a good experienced real estate lawyer to help. There is a statute that applies to pre-death contracts (64.2-523 - here: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title64.2/chapter5/section64.2-523/) but you really need the help of a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: do I have right to my parents house when I am the steps daughter to my dad real daughter to my mom
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Nov 27, 2020

There are at least three answers to this question depending on facts you didn't provide.

If step-dad and mom owned the property in survivorship and

1) Step-dad died first, then you will have an interest when your mom dies unless she left a will providing otherwise....
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: The roof in my condo had an opening in the flashing. It caused excess moisture and mold on bathroom. Is HOA responsible?

My HOA is already trying to claim I am responsible for repairs on the interior but their negligence caused the interior damage (estimate $2000). The HOA office manager also claims my bathroom ceiling should have a vent. But I bought the unit 13 years ago without one. They even tried to pretend... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Nov 25, 2020

The answer is contained in your HOA Bylaws and Covenants, and either you need to read them or you need to retain counsel to do so.

Building codes change over time, but the changes are only rarely retroactive. I'm not in the building trades, but I believe at one time in some places, a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a landlord keep a deposit without proof of damages? Can a landlord keep a deposit without damages present?

My landlord has been operating in nefarious ways. I am unsure she will return my deposit to me upon departure. We have only improved the home since arriving (landscaping, restoration cleaning, landscaping, painting, replaced damaged door handles, and chimney swept).

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 17, 2020

In Virginia, a Landlord is not authorized to keep a security deposit without providing the tenant with a written itemization of the damages to the premises. Proof of damages to the premises is essential to establish evidence for the claim of damages to the premises.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I have a tenant who is late on rent the last few months. I have given her time considering COVID situation. Options?

I have given her time as its pandemic situation. But she has not been responding to my texts or calls. I have asked her multiple times about rent but she is not responding and refusing to meet me or let me into the Property.

What are my options as a landlord?

Elizabeth Crego
Elizabeth Crego answered on Nov 17, 2020

You can proceed with giving her a 5 day pay or vacate notice, and then filing an Unlawful Detainer in court five days after she receives that notice. The Unlawful Detainer, if granted by a judge, gives you the right to file a Writ for Eviction, which is what the sheriff uses to evict her. There are... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Tenant is not picking up Phone calls and not responding to texts or emails asking for rent

Tenant has been late in paying rent last couple of months. She is not responding to my calls or texts, emails asking for rent. I even went and rang the bell but she wont open the door. The only text she responded was when I told that i would enter the property, she responded saying donot enter. No... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 16, 2020

In Virginia, when a tenant has been late paying rent, the landlord has the right to send by first class mail a written notice to the tenant for 5 day pay or quit. After the 5 days, the landlord has the right to file an Unlawful Detainer in court to seek the return of possession of the premises.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Are landlords of structures on communal land trusts exempt from VA standards of operation?

She demanded a deposit in june(less than two weeks after we moved ) and refused to produce a lease for us until September 23rd. She is now denying our having paid the deposit. She has repeatedly attempted to get duplicate rent and utility payments from us. She thinks she's exempt from va... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 16, 2020

In Virginia, there is no such exemption.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Is charging tenants $10/day starting the 2nd for late rent legal, or is she bound to the state regulation of 5 days?

She insists she is able to charge us that rate beginning the 2nd if she hasn't received the money order. She also recognizes that she can't charge us until the 5th but is comfortable accruing fines before the fifth and charging us on that date.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 16, 2020

In Virginia, a late fees is a matter of contract and provided for in the lease. The 5 days refers to the failure of the tenant to pay rent when due so the landlord is required to serve on the tenant a 5 day notice to pay or quit before the landlord has the right to demand possession of the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a landlord enter into a verbal agreement with tenants and upon changing their mind, charge tenants retroactively?

My landlord rented a house,wood shed, and small shack for the agreed upon rate. She then changed her mind, said the 4th structure is included in our rent, and we owe her rent for the prior 2 months on that space.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Nov 16, 2020

Any contract on land must be in writing. The verbal agreements are unenforceable anyway. It may take a while to remove you as squatters, because it appears that you have no lease but occupy of right.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: warrant in debt or unlawful detainer?

H

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 14, 2020

If you move out in 5 days, the landlord will file a Warrant in Debt since possession is not an issue.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: In response to your response. We were able to maintain the home because my brother was living in the home at the time

They entered the nursing home and is on disability therefore Medicaid can not include it as asset, as I stated he is not interested now in continuing to stay after dad passes I don't want to lose my parents home my question is IF he decides after our Father passes not to remain in the home and... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Nov 10, 2020

Yes. Taking over payments on a mortgage and/or taking over payments on taxes has no effect on title. You need to sit down for an hour with a lawyer to review all of the relevant facts and then negotiate a resolution that benefits the family best. An informal or aspirational plan as you've... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: My mother recently passed my father is still living in nursing home their will states my older brother is to be given t

The family home which he has moved into already the home still has a mortgage for 8 more years he is already struggling 6 months in to it if he walks away from it and my dad passes and I assume the home can my brother come and take it from me.

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Nov 10, 2020

There's a whole lot more to your problem than your brother moving into the home. What does the deed to your parents for the home say? Was the property in survivorship (tenants by the entirety)? Your father is in a nursing home; how is his care being paid? Is he on Medicaid? If so, he owns... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Are sandwich leases legal in VA? Where I act as landlord and rent/sell the property for the owner without a RE license?

If a landlord is having a tough time selling a property or doesn't know how. I want to be able to lease the property for two years and then sell it for the owner. Which is a lease to own. Once the house sells, I would take the profit from the buying price and give the owner what he/she wanted... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Nov 8, 2020

I believe that any real estate representation that is tied to a lease or purchase/sale transaction requires the party acting as the agent to be a licensed realtor. You may want to check with the Northern Virginia Realtors' Association located in Fairfax, VA

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Is an unrecorded survey valid for a new owner when the purchase agreement used the original deed and description?

The new survey was completed in 2015 and changed the lines significantly. Both parties signed the new survey. This new survey was not recorded by either party (the smaller property is surrounded by another very large property on 3 sides, with a road as the 4th side). Neither party changed their... Read more »

Shafeek Seddiq
Shafeek Seddiq answered on Nov 8, 2020

I assume the subject property is in Virginia, if so, then several issues are not clear. The two deeds were not changed. Not sure which deeds you are referring to. The person who sold it to you and the neighbor, I presume. Also, it appears you are saying the deed(s) describe line boundaries. Or the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Home has been sit vacant for 5 yrs. Mort comp lists on last deed of trust does not own prop. Is new comp req 2 file dee
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Nov 7, 2020

English is also a useful language. I'm going to guess that "mort" is short for "mortgage" rather than the old French word for "dead;" "dee" is just a typo for "deed;" "sit" is a grammatical error for "sitting;"... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Are mortgage companies required to file a deed of trust on a property they purchase from another mortgage company?
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Nov 6, 2020

Your question is not clear. I assume you have an existing mortgage, held by company "A". You have now been told that the loan is held by company "B". If that is the case, then no, "B" doesn't have to file a new deed of trust (or anything else for that matter).... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I have property in Virginia in which I asked for, and received, a building permit to have a 30x50 metal workshop on a co

I have a property in Virginia in which I asked for, and received, a building permits to have a 30x50 metal workshop on a concrete slab on my residential property for residential use. Long story short, no one ever asked for a shrink/swell test of the soil before building, and as I now know was a... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Nov 3, 2020

I've never heard of such a law suit. My guess is that the building inspector is immune, but it would require some research. I don't think the issuance of a building permit is a form of insurance for the safety of the building from claims by the applicant. The liability might lie with the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: My mom and stepdad owned 2 houses. My mom died and stepdad 9 months later (no wills). My mom has 5 children, stepdad 2.

They had no children together. The properties were in my mother's and stepdad's names. My stepbrothers name are on the houses. The houses are now up for auction due to delinquent taxes. Do my siblings and I have any rights to the properties? We are all basically in the city. No one... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Nov 1, 2020

You need to get thee to a lawyer pronto to run a title search. It matters very much how the houses were titled. That might not matter after the auction. If, however, you have rights, and, potentially, even if you don't, this is one of those times when you might be able to "buy it for the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: My parents was never married my dad was a cosigner my mom passed away my dads name is still on the title to my moms hous

What rights does he have he havent lived in the house over 10 yrs how i can put my name on the title

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Oct 25, 2020

You question leaves out a lot of information that is needed for us to provide an answer. This forum is designed and good for simple, general questions that will get you to the 'next step' for legal situations. Sometimes all people need is a simple answer. From the facts you’ve given, it... Read more »

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