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Real Estate

Jan 18, 2022

Eviction moratorium tolled writ of eviction deadline

A writ of eviction obtained by the Virginia Housing Development Authority more than 180 days after being awarded possession of the foreclosed premises is enforceable. A federal COVID-19-related eviction moratorium tolled the 180-day statutory period. Overview Ononuju defaulted on his FHA mortgage. The VHDA asked Evans to conduct a non-judicial foreclosure sale. Evans purchased the […]

Jan 11, 2022

Easement owners necessary parties in boundary dispute

Where the owners of an easement over a riparian area were not made parties to litigation involving the land that was subject to the easement, the circuit court’s judgment in that litigation is void. Because the litigation involved the easement owners’ property interest, and no party to the litigation sought to protect that interest, the […]

Oct 28, 2021

Claims reinstated in lis pendens case

Where the circuit court sustained, on the basis of absolute privilege, appellee’s demurrers to claims arising from a lis pendens filing on property, this was error. Absolute privilege is an affirmative defense, which may not be raised in a demurrer. As to the merits, absolute privilege is a defense to defamation claims, such as the […]

Oct 14, 2021

Holdover tenant owes rent for post-lease occupancy

A holdover tenant owes a landlord rent for the period of occupancy after the lease expires. The law implies a contract to pay even if there is no oral or written agreement. Background Tran, the plaintiff, leased property to Lewis under a lease that ran from April 8, 2017, to April 31, 2018. The monthly […]

Oct 4, 2021

‘Construction vehicle’ incorrectly defined in enforcement action

Where the county zoning administrator and the Board of Zoning Appeals determined that landowners were illegally parking and storing construction vehicles on their commercially zoned properties, the ruling is reversed. The administrator and the BZA used an incorrect definition of “construction vehicle.” Background The zoning administrator notified the landowners that they violated § 4-805(5) o[...]

Sep 30, 2021

Restrictive covenants cannot be enforced in statue removal case

The commonwealth has the authority to remove a state-owned monument from state owned property. The monument is a form of government speech. To the extent that the document conveying the property to the state and a legislative resolution accepting the property created restrictive covenants that purportedly bar the monument’s removal, public policy prevents enforcement of […]

Jun 10, 2021

Transient occupancy tax applies to home rentals

The circuit court correctly upheld the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ amendment of the county’s zoning ordinance, and the imposition of a two percent lodging tax on short-term rentals of residential homes. Zoning amendments Appellants (hosts) are a group of homeowners who use online platforms to make short-term rentals of their homes. The Fairfax County […]

Jun 10, 2021

Historic foundation was not ‘aggrieved’ by renovation permits

A historic foundation did not show that it suffered a particularized harm different than that of the general public when the Alexandria City Council approved permits to renovate property located in a historic district. As a result, the foundation was not an “aggrieved party” and thus lacked standing to challenge the approval. Overview The Historic […]

Jun 2, 2021

Failed real estate purchase suit proceeds

Where the defendants allegedly promised to finance the plaintiff’s purchase of real property, but never provided the promised funds, the claims for fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation and tortious interference with contract survived the motion to dismiss. Background In 2018, Potomac Auto Mall Holdings Inc. sought to “purchase and develop real property in Virginia” from a third­party [&helli[...]

Jun 1, 2021

Landlord had no common-law duty to repair roof

Where a department store was in possession and control of the leased premises when torrential rains resulted in a collapsed roof, an injured employee and considerable damage to inventory, its attempt to recover costs failed because the landlord had no common-law duty to repair or maintain the premises. Background On May 18, 2018, after several […]

Apr 23, 2021

Association expenses and charges properly calculated

Where plaintiff, a commercial owners association, based its assessments on the total square footage of defendant member’s property instead of the developed portion only, this was in accordance with the parties’ contract. As a result, when defendant did not fully pay the assessments because it disagreed with plaintiff’s calculations, defendant was in default and is […]

Apr 23, 2021

Reverter clause in 1875 charitable gift upheld

Where land was conveyed to a church under an 1875 deed that provided the land would revert to the grantors or their heirs if it was not used for church purposes, this was not an unreasonable restraint on alienation. As a result, when there was a default on a loan secured by the land, the […]

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