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COVID-19 Virginia Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Civil Rights, Collections and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: How does one "erase" the filing of a UD petition that is later non-suited without judgment?

This will be an issue for many "first time civil defendants" who are filed upon by landlords for UD during the COVID period. There is legislation that enables relief in 2022, but that will be too late for many.

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

The general procedure to accomplish your goal is to file a Motion to Vacate the Judgment, however, a non-suit means that the plaintiff withdrew the case and claims so there is no judgment to vacate. The original case's information cannot be "erased" as you described it. These are... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a landlord evict with reservation twice?

I had an eviction in March, paid it before the court date, the landlord said it was an "eviction with reservations", never gave me paperwork. I found out because I fell behind due to the pandemic, he then file the eviction. He went completely through with the eviction, I paid that in full... Read more »

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger
answered on Jul 14, 2020

If you were fully caught up, there is no "reservations." You fully redeemed the property, but if you fall behind again, then the landlord could issue you a new default notice and file for eviction. If you decide to hire an attorney to help, I'm sure anyone would responds would be... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do i have to allow my manager in my apartment during covid pandemic?
Elizabeth Crego
Elizabeth Crego
answered on Jul 14, 2020

You are required to give your landlord (or the landlord's representative in this case) access to the property, immediately if it is an emergency, or with reasonable notice if it is not an emergency. It is also reasonable to require that the manager be wearing a mask and be physically distanced... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a landlord contact all hours of the day or night through phone calls and text messages?

I have a landlord that has threatened to evict me throughout this "pandemic". I have paid rent every month except June, he has called me, text me, at any and all hours of the night/morning even after filing for eviction.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof
answered on Jul 12, 2020

As of June 24, 2020, the prohibition on evictions in Virginia was lifted. Your residential lease should have a provision for how often and by what means the landlord can contact you. If there is no provisions, the Code of Virginia does not provide one. In any event, you should send the landlord a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Is it allowed for the landlord to increase a month-to-month rent during corona in VA? I heard rent increases are on hold
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof
answered on Jun 12, 2020

The Supreme Court of Virginia has suspended all new eviction cases in the Commonwealth of Virginia for tenants unable to pay rent as a result of COVID-19 through April 6. and then the eviction moratorium has been extended through June 28. I saw no order by the Governor that placed a freeze on... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Collections for Virginia on
Q: In VA does a creditor simply fill out a form to extend a judgement or must it go to court? Will the debtor be notified?

Will I be notified and given a chance to go to court for the renewal (extension) or just notified afterward (or not)?

Will the coronavirus and court closures affect the statute of limitations? I'm almost certain it expired at the end of April.

If so, details will be appreciated.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof
answered on May 30, 2020

If the judgment was recorded in a circuit court in Virginia, as the 20 year period for the first period of the judgment approaches, you must file with the same circuit court a Motion to Renew the Judgment. If the Motion is granted, it will extend the judgment for anther 10 years. The debtor's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: If our landlord is taking a long time to repair the air conditioning, do we have any legal recourse?

We have been without AC for 2 weeks, and have a toddler and 70 lb dog living in the home. Due to the current situation in the outside world, we can't really go anywhere to escape the heat during the day. It is 84 degrees in all the bedrooms. The landlord told us that we could break lease... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof
answered on May 29, 2020

AC is a necessity in a residential lease. The Landlord has a legal obligation to make sure the AC is working. If the AC is not working in hot weather, you should call the Office of Housing Code Enforcement for the county/city where the premises is located and make a formal complaint. An Inspector... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Who pays utilities bills?I'm delayed for qualification of Executor due to Covid.Courts not open. I'm beneficiary of home

I am the executor. But I have to wait to be qualified. Courts have been closed since March. Everything is delayed due to Supreme Court ruling in Virginia. My parent passed in early May. Bills need to be payed. I am willing to pay from my own money to keep power, water etc going as I already lived... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 21, 2020

I'm not sure that you have any duties until the Court appoints you as Executor or Administrator, but it would seem to be in your interest to pay the bills to keep the utilities turned on. In many places, utility companies have either voluntarily or by state orders indicated that they will not... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: My stepson is 18 and due to COVID, he graduated from high school on May 1st.

Does my husband need to go to Court to get the child support terminated? Or can he just stop paying it?

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller
answered on May 4, 2020

The best practice would be to submit an agreed order to the court noting that both parties agree that the support obligation has expired.

However, given the times and the court closures, simply stopping payment could work as well.

The issue is that the other side, if they are...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: buyer for my home, buying a condo, lender called my loan suspended due to covid, can buyers sue me if I can't move

I have a buyer for my home, Due to no fault of my own I cannot purchase my condo because of covid and lenders put halt on funds. This sale is contingent on the successful sale, close and disbursement of funds for the property. I don't know what my rights are?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Apr 18, 2020

This is a unique and unanticipated situation, and we are all struggling to determine the legal effects. The answer starts with reading your contract. There are no precedents that say: "If your sale is halted by Covid-19, the result is always ABC regardless of what your contract says."... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I rent a horse barn for running my horse business. My landlord will not allow me to conduct my business b/c of COVID-19

I wrote the VA Governor's office to see what guidelines for running my business, where they said I am able as long as I follow guidelines. Also, our County Sheriff informed us we are not in violation.

Is the landlord able to legally shut down my business

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof
answered on Apr 7, 2020

There is nothing in the Virginia Code that addresses your factual situation. Your commercial lease may have terms and conditions that address the rights of the landlord and the tenant in your factual situation. if you cannot resolve the matter with the landlord, you will have to seek a decision by... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Do we have to let the landlord show the property during this stay at home order?

Our landlord put the house on the market, and wants to show the property. We do not feel comfortable having strangers in here with our 2 young kids (plus landlord is a doctor, so she’s not exactly risk-free). Is showing a house considered “essential business” during a stay at home order?

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof
answered on Apr 1, 2020

Generally in Virginia, the residential lease controls the authority of a landlord to show the Premises provided there is reasonable advanced notice given by the landlord to the tenant. You should review the lease to identify that provision. Since the Covid-19 crisis is a matter of first impression... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Dear Esq: my daughter had to leave her off campus apartment after COVID19 cancelled everything. She and

her three roomates have paid their rent each month but now the apartment is empty (3 roomates also left -entire town is deserted). I have recently read about the 'force majeure'. With all the death going on everywhere and in that town as well, is this such an event? The students are... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof
answered on Apr 1, 2020

The legal definition of "force majeure" is an unforeseeable circumstances that prevents someone from fulfilling a contract. Generally, a pandemic is not an unforeseeable circumstance since they have occurred many times in the past. Unless the residential lease provides that a pandemic is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Lease is almost up & PM wants to show to renters. W/COVID 19, we worry. What our rights regarding our poss exposure?

We have rented a single family home for almost 4 years. Our lease is up in May and we are planning on moving, but our property manager wants to showing the home to potential renters. WE realize they have a right to show the home under normal circumstances, but these are not normal times, and we... Read more »

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

As you stated, the PM has a right to show the premises to potential renters. You do not have a right of refusal unless the terms of your lease gives you such rights. As a possible and reasonable safeguard from the virus, you may want to ask the PM to have everyone who enters the premises with the... Read more »

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