Virginia Real Estate Law Questions & Answers

Q: Can heirs of an original owner claim a portion of land which was reserved from a deed conveying the balance of the land?

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Jan 15, 2019
Richard Sternberg's answer
Of course, the heirs can claim title. In most circumstances, I would then reiterate the teachings of a professor of mine from Penn, and I'd say that any idiot can make a claim if they have a pen, paper, and the filing fee. Usually, prospective clients want to know if they can win, and can be a different question. In this case, however, making the claim may be quite effective, particularly if the objective is to ensure that the respect due to a family gravesite is protected. The chances of being...

Q: When putting in an offer on a home as the buyer is it my responsibility to give a dollar amount for closing costs in Va

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Jan 14, 2019
Richard Sternberg's answer
No, your offer should simply describe your offer in sufficient detail to be unambiguous. The allocation of closing costs is adequately described in every standard local or state contract form I have seen, though there are often other provisions that should be changed, such as extraordinary protections of the realtors providing the form.

Q: How long is the unlawful detainer process against a family member, in Virgia Beach?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Jan 9, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
My office is in Alexandria City. I have no experience with Virginia Beach. Sorry.

Q: Can I kick my adult son , his girlfriend and her kids out of my house. They were supposed to leave before Jan 1

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Jan 9, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
Generally, family members are not considered tenants, however, if you want to make them vacate the premises, you will have to proceed with the requirements for an unlawful detainer in court since self-help, such as refusing the use of the washer and the kitchen, is prohibited in residential lease matters in Virginia.

Q: Can a former landlord sue for damages if he didn't notify as per required under the contract, hence then there are none?

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Jan 9, 2019
Andrew Strickland's answer
Question: "If I win as per the terms of our contract (no proper notification,, no communication until way way later, no nothing) do the damages still exist then to sue me later?"

There's a few things going on with your question and some assumptions that I need to make in order to tailor it. Let me start with the assumptions: (1) You have a claim against Landlord; (2) Landlord shows up to small claims and disputes the claim; (3) you win final judgment in your favor in small claims...

Q: Received summons for unlawful detainer.Plaintiff decided to ask the judge to dismiss the case.do i need appear on date

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Jan 8, 2019
F. Paul Maloof's answer
To be safe, I would appear at court to make certain the case is dismissed.

Q: I rent a apartment in Norfolk, VA. My lease is up Feb 28, 2018.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Dec 27, 2018
Richard Sternberg's answer
Virginia courts are most likely to enforce leases exactly as they are written. You may, however, need to defend your position in court, and that may cost more than the amount in dispute. Most of the cases before the judge will have little or no defense, and there will be a large number of cases, so it will be incumbent on you to stand out from the crowd. The best way to accomplish this is to be prepared with a lawyer at the hearing with your arguments and evidence ready to go. If you are going...

Q: If my lease is up on January 26th and the rental office has not sent a renewal notice to me, do I have to pay February

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Dec 26, 2018
Richard Sternberg's answer
The answer depends on what the lease says as to whether you can depart the lease on January 26th with no further obligations. If you are asking whether you may stay as a free permanent guest of the landlord because he fails to produce a renewal timely, that also depends on the lease, but it is rather unlikely.

Q: Q: Can a jointly and severally liable clause be applied to me if a prior renter defaulted before I joined?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Dec 26, 2018
F. Paul Maloof's answer
It depends on how the lease is written, but if you replaced the other person, who may be held liable for the default.

Q: Can I be charged for items being renovated if the apt plans to use the old items (carpers, cabinets) in another apt?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Dec 26, 2018
F. Paul Maloof's answer
I have never heard of a landlord or landlord representative removing carpeting from one rental unit, reinstalling it in another unit and charging the tenant for the unusable carpeting. Generally, carpeting is a depreciable asset and the landlord is not entitled to charge the tenant for replacing the carpeting that was in the rental unit. You have a right to challenge the landlord for this type of charge. You should read your lease very carefully as it may provide that the landlord is...

Q: Garnishment Hearing

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Dec 14, 2018
F. Paul Maloof's answer
At a garnishment hearing, the court will hand over any checks received from the employer. If the employer does not provide any checks, you can ask for a Rule to Show Cause. The employer and/or the defendant do not have to appear at the hearing.

Q: What Virginia law, requires a Homeowners’ Association with a court recorded Declaration, to have a Board of Directors?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Nov 26, 2018
F. Paul Maloof's answer
You should review the Property Owners' Association Act, which is codified under Virginia Code Sections 55-508 through 55-516.2. The Act is multifaceted with provisions and may provide answers to your several questions.

Q: I live in public housing in Roanoke Virginia can I stay if the letter for notice reservation was delivered 11 days after

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Nov 20, 2018
F. Paul Maloof's answer
Based on what you stated in your message, it sounds like everything was done correctly by the landlord.

Q: Who receives escrow after sale? The previous owners or new owners?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Nov 16, 2018
Vincent Gallo's answer
Whoever may be entitled to the escrow pursuant to the terms of the contract or, alternatively, pursuant to the terms of an executed escrow agreement.

Q: The officers of my HOA claim they are the Board of Directors despite never having been elected.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Land Use & Zoning for Virginia on
Answered on Nov 16, 2018
Richard Sternberg's answer
Virginia Law has soecific requirements for the creation and recordation of a condominium association or homeowners association. It is highly unlikely that the situation you describe is factually accurate. Get a lawyer to run a title search and read the Declarations, which are required to be published to you before your contract to buy your property was final and binding. If your neighborhood association pre-existed the homeowners association laws, which is common in the Washington metro area...

Q: Can a private individual own a state road?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Virginia on
Answered on Nov 13, 2018
Richard Sternberg's answer
It is possible for a private individual to own the land on which a right of way is given to another. Many jurisdictions prohibit creating and selling parcels that are “landlocked,” but it sounds like yours isn’t. Often, though, the neighbor’s claimed rights don’t match the recorded rights. The next step is to get a title search and a survey, and then have a lawyer read them.

Q: if you are joint owner in a property with your spouse can he sell your property without your consent?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Nov 12, 2018
Richard Sternberg's answer
No. Your signature is needed on the deed.

Q: Can I sue my real estate agent and inspector?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Nov 10, 2018
Richard Sternberg's answer
As to the Seller or the realtor, the question will be whether the rotten wood was known or should have been known and whether it was concealed by the Seller or the realtor. If you didn't know about it for five years, you might have a tough time proving that they knew about it, but I can think of facts that would meet that burden, like construction that covered up the existing problem but was not intended to remediate it.

As to the inspector, you need to start by reading the contract,...

Q: Easement by a previous lender.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Nov 7, 2018
Richard Sternberg's answer
You need a title search, which it sounds like you have. You need the easement read by a lawyer to determine whether it expired with the release of the note by the prior lender. If it did not, you need to get the lender to record a release of the easement, or you need to file an action to quiet title. Letting it hang could be a disaster years in the future when you cannot get the prior lender to execute a release.

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