Real Estate

May 23, 2023

HOA not necessary party in title insurance dispute

Where a title insurer was sued because of a dispute over who holds title to certain real estate, the homeowners’ association who currently owns the property was not a necessary party. The dispute could be resolved based on the various insurance documents and title binders before the court. Background This is a breach of contract […]

May 23, 2023

All elements of adverse possession claim established

In this adverse possession case, appellees’ exclusive 15-year  possession of a disputed area was unaffected when they granted appellant, the adjoining landowner, permission to install a drainage pipe in the area. Overview In 1996, Tarek and Kye Abboushi, the appellees in this case, bought property adjacent to land (the Veldhuis property) owned by Joe Carroll. […]

May 11, 2023

Intervention denied in adverse possession case

Where a county sought to claim by adverse possession a 25-foot circle of land containing a Confederate memorial statue, the trial court correctly denied appellee’s motion to intervene in the county’s adverse possession suit. Appellee did not assert any right involved in the county’s suit. Background “By deed of June 19, 1900, the County’s Board […]

May 9, 2023

Parking space dispute correctly resolved

Where appellant condominium association reallocated parking spaces, the trial court correctly concluded that appellant breached its contract with appellee and violated Virginia’s Condominium Act and a county zoning law. Statement of the case “Following a bench trial in the Fairfax County Circuit Court (trial court), Telegraph Square II Condominium Owners Association (‘appellant’ or the ‘[...]

Apr 24, 2023

Lenders defeat claim over foreclosed house

Where the former owner of a house that was sold at foreclosure alleged that the property had an assessed value of $482,800, but was sold for only $87,114, but the record showed there was an unpaid federal tax lien and the homeowner presented no evidence showing the sales price was inadequate, the defendants were granted […]

Mar 9, 2023

Public welfare includes character of neighborhood

Where county supervisors denied appellant’s special exemption request to rent bedrooms in his house after determining the proposed use would harm the public welfare, the determination correctly included consideration of the neighborhood’s character. Background Appellant Harris bought a house on a two-acre parcel, improved it and sought to rent individual bedrooms. The zoning code allowed [&hel[...]

Feb 26, 2023

Alternate holding not appealed in mortgage case

Where the trial court issued two different rationales when dismissing appellant’s mortgage and foreclosure dispute with a bank, “appellant’s ‘failure to address one of the holdings results in a waiver of any claim of error with respect to the court’s decision on that issue.’” Overview Appellant Mueller alleges that in 2007, when she refinanced her […]

Feb 17, 2023

Prescriptive easement to dock boat recognized

Where appellants docked a boat along appellees’ retaining wall for more than 20 years, they have established a prescriptive easement to dock the boat. The circuit court erred by concluding that after a former owner sold the land, his permission to dock the boat survived the sale. The court correctly concluded that appellants did not […]

Feb 16, 2023

Condo association’s lot inspection fee invalid

Where a statute provides fees and charges must be authorized expressly by statute or a condo association’s “declaration,” appellee condo association’s annual lot inspection fee is invalid because the fee is not authorized by the declaration and does not relate to common area use. Overview “Karey Burkholder and Douglas Thompson Jr., the appellants in this […]

Feb 16, 2023

Plaintiff not entitled to portion of termination fee

Where plaintiff claims entitlement to a portion of a $3.7 million termination fee that defendant lessor received from the lessee for the lessee’s early termination of a lease, defendant is granted summary judgment because the lease does not provide for such distribution. Overview Defendant is the successor lessor of a building. Ace American Insurance is […]

Feb 13, 2023

Homeowners have standing to pursue rezoning claims

The circuit court incorrectly ruled that appellant homeowners lacked standing to pursue claims arising from a rezoning granted by a county board of supervisors to a supermarket chain so that it could build a warehouse and distribution center near appellant’s homes. This ruling is reversed, as is a ruling that several of the claims were […]

Feb 4, 2023

Mold in rental house claim goes forward

Where plaintiff claims defendant landlord did not remediate mold in her rental house from a leaky air conditioner that caused health problems for her and her children, recent Virginia Supreme Court precedent requires that defendant’s demurrers to the claims are overruled. On point precedent “It is not often that a case brought before this court […]

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