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Virginia Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: if land owner dies how does the lease get "self renewed"

Rental agreement self renews every year 12/1. Home owner died 9/9 is the self renewal still valid?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 29, 2022

You really need a review of your lease rather than a generalized answer that may or may not apply to your lease. But, in Virginia, title to land passes by operation of law to the heir or beneficiary if one is named in a Will subject to recapture to fund the estate. That means that the title now... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: civil judgement against me for 700.in VA 16 years ago. paid cash . didnt get release . selling my house ,

guy wont acknowledge my phone calls or text ... what Do I do

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Oct 26, 2022

Probably pay him again.... Or, pay a lawyer to develop proof that you paid, escrow the disputed funds, and sue.

Reading an answer on the Internet does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are represented by me when we have both signed a retainer agreement (on paper or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Military Law for Virginia on
Q: I live in VA and retired from the military. I have a DD214, and my home of record is Texas. Can I break my lease?

I have the SCRA clause in my lease.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Oct 26, 2022

The SCRA limits anyone from taking a judgment against a service member when he or she is called to active duty. Unless you share the lease for review -- which you should not do in an open on-line forum -- I have no idea what your SCRA clause says, but I would take a wild guess that it has nothing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Is there a seller's defense against the Virginia HOA Clause, or can buyers void contracts due to high interest rates?

We had two ratified contracts since Tuesday morning in Fairfax County, Virginia. The first buyer backed out because of the HOA clause, but told our realtor that they didn't know the mortgage payments would be so high. The second buyer is currently looking to renegotiate or stated that they... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Oct 14, 2022

It would be incompetent to answer this without a factual inquiry and interview, and the Internet in an open forum is not the correct place to get that. Seek counsel licensed on the applicable jurisdiction, and secure a consult.

But, I must ask: Why are you not sharing the HOA docs when you...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Is emergency protection order sufficient justification to break a rental lease?

VA Code § 55.1-1236 (2021)

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Oct 14, 2022

It would be incompetent to answer this without a factual inquiry and interview, and the Internet in an open forum is not the correct place to get that. Seek counsel licensed on the applicable jurisdiction, and secure a consult.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Property seller violates multiple laws, purchaser has hard evidence, judge ignores. What happened?

Edit:

55.1-1204 Section C says Mr Sternberg is incorrect in his answer. He also says perjury and discrimination against protected classes is "irrelevant". I need someone who cares about those things and the law to answer.

Some points (this box isn't enough for all... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Oct 4, 2022

Most of the facts in your question are irrelevant. A contract for land must be in writing or it is void. Depending on where you are, a writing can sometimes be lots of things short of a Purchase and Sale Agreement on the local Board of Realtors form. I think there is one DC case in which a check... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Collections for Virginia on
Q: Can I be sued for damages without any receipts that the plaintiff paid that money.

My landlord is suing me for damages. I received my bill of particulars but only estimates no receipts can the judge rule in the plaintiff's favor without any proof that is what she paid?

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Sep 29, 2022

You have to defend the lawsuit. If you allow a default to be entered, you're done.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Illegal search and seizure?

My aunt and I own a home together. I live there. She never even goes there. She gave the police permission to search inside without my permission and opened the door for them when i wasnt there. Is this legal in virginia? This is my mailing address, I reside there. Not her. Was this illegal at all?... Read more »

Daniel P Leavitt
Daniel P Leavitt
answered on Sep 20, 2022

You say she is a part owner of the home, so it sounds like it is probably a good search. If you have a signed lease entitling you to sole possession and she has no right to possess/enter/inspect then maybe you have something to base that claim on but it seems unlikely.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Virginia real estate law. We are due to close on a home in 10 days. The seller was arrested for murder yesterday.

We have an agent, he has an agent, and a title company. We purchased title insurance.

We are concerned with the potential legal and financial ramifications that could come from this.

We have a repair addendum that will not be able to be done. Can we ask for an escrow of funds for... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Sep 12, 2022

At least the seller, and probably his agent, knew he was looking at a murder charge, so he decided to sell and run. You might want to walk away from this as the victim's next of kin might file a wrongful death action and set aside any transfer of assets. Consult with a VA attorney for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Foreclosure for Virginia on
Q: What legal actions can my aunt, brother, sister and myself take since we were the heirs to my grandfathers estate in Tx.

We were all served paperwork stating that the property would be auctioned off to pay what's owed and we would receive the difference. A couple weeks after the auction date I contacted the law office in charge of the sale to see how much the property sold for. I was told it didnt go to auction... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Sep 8, 2022

Wow. You probably did a very stupid thing by not stepping in. In a foreclosure, the secured and foreclosing party will bid as much but not more than what is called the upset price. That is the amount they are owed after fees and expenses. In a very hot market, especially with all the many varieties... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: When splitting up the money left in an estate, how do I take out judgements against beneficiaries paid by the estate?

I have 2 siblings, both of which had separate judgements paid off by the estate when we sold the family farm. The siblings along with myself were listed as co-owners of the estate when my dad passed, so the judgements had to be paid before any funds from the sale were released. I shouldn't... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Sep 8, 2022

Take the net proceeds of the sale and add back the amounts of the judgements that were paid, then divide that sum by the number of equal shares. Each beneficiary’s share is that quantity less the amount of judgements paid on his or her behalf.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I want to convey my house to three grantees. I was told that I can do a Quitclaim deed.

Also, VA property code must be added the claim. Additional statement must include language that communicate if a party dies what happen to the property.

Shafeek Seddiq
PREMIUM
Shafeek Seddiq
answered on Sep 6, 2022

It depends on how the three grantees will take title/ownership. But, most importantly, you need a lawyer to draft the deed to make sure everything is done properly.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Hello iam the beneficary of my mother's estate and it is in the will to sell her house and to split the preceding with

My 6 siblings and one will not get out for me to sell the house in virginia. What can I do without having to go through probate

Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Sep 2, 2022

Without Probate, the Will means nothing. Any of the Heirs as Tenants In Common can file a Partition action.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: My brother dad wants to buy a house for my brother but has a civil judgement against him. Can house be taken

He has already been pre qualified and both will be on the deed but only my dad will be on the mortgage

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Aug 14, 2022

You need to consult counsel before anyone signs an offer on a home. Depending on the circumstances, it might be possible to contribute funds to the purchase, but I don't know what "brother dad" means; I can't determine from your question who is on the deed and who is on the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Is a verbal commitment legal in the courts.

My parents told me they wanted to leave me their house when they both past away. I sold my house and moved in with them. One year later my father pasted away and not even 2 months later my mom said that she wasn't going to leave me the house because she had 3 other kids to think about. Is this... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
PREMIUM
James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Aug 14, 2022

Almost all contracts are verbal, either oral (spoken) or written. A last will and testament requires certain formalities, as does a revocable or irrevocable trust. Both must be in writing and signed. In spite of the absence of a written will, trust, or contract, in some instances a court can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Divorce, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can my spouse evict my family from while I'm away on deployment?

I currently have my brother and his family residing at my home in preparation for me to leave on deployment since my spouse refuse to take care of the house. My brother is the POA for me while I'm away, however do I need to have additional documents saying I allowed them to live there.... Read more »

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq
answered on Aug 8, 2022

You should provide to him a document expressly authorizing him to stay in your house to care for the same.

Here's some old Virginia law: "One joint tenant, co-parcener, or tenant in common, although he has a right to the possession of the whole against strangers, cannot make a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: House deed is in ex wife and my name but the loan is only me, do I need her to get a home equity loan?

The divorce settlement states that she gets the house only once she can obtain a loan. So can I refinance the loan in any way before she takes it over in order to get some money out of the house? Or will I need her to sign anything?

Shafeek Seddiq
PREMIUM
Shafeek Seddiq
answered on Jul 31, 2022

See a real estate lawyer, show the PSA and title and loan documents. Then, the lawyer can outline your options and how to proceed.

Not a legal advice nor any attorney-client relationship.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Am I obligated to give my girlfriend 50% equity in the home but it is in my name only after we break up

She has been writing rent on her checks and not mortgage.

Shafeek Seddiq
PREMIUM
Shafeek Seddiq
answered on Jul 31, 2022

You need to see a lawyer who will learn more about the arrangements and understanding between you and your girlfriend, then advice, counsel and provide options. Or, it could be as simple as a memo on the check "for rent only".

Not a legal advice nor a an attorney-client...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Environmental and Land Use & Zoning for Virginia on
Q: Bought a 5 bed 3 bath home a yr ago and found out now that it has a 2 persons max 1 bed perk

I bought my listed 5 bed 3 bath home in Jan 2021 . Everything has been great but had a plumbing issue and found after septic people came out and plumber that it has a 2 person max occupancy. It was never disclosed to me . Only reason it has come to light now is that we had the issue of water... Read more »

Shafeek Seddiq
PREMIUM
Shafeek Seddiq
answered on Jul 31, 2022

I am sorry to hear what you just learned and the possible consequences. You might have a recourse against the seller, the seller's agent, your agent, or ask the title insurance underwriter for help. But, without a lawyer reviewing all the relevant documents who can then provide proper advice,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: How can I get a trust accounting if the trustee refuses to communicate with me (a beneficiary)?
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Jul 15, 2022

Hire a VA attorney to file an Action for an Accounting.

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