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Real Estate

Sep 11, 2023

Notation on deed did not create public easements

Ingress-egress and “turnaround” easements created by notations on a subdivision plat did not create public easements because the notations did not indicate that intention. Overview Appellants own Lot 29 in Brentwood, a residential development. Appellees own Lot 28. Both lots are improved. The lots were created by a deed of dedication, which included a subdivision […]

Sep 11, 2023

Chancery commissioner’s fees taxed in title dispute

Where appellant was divested of title to property in an equity action, appellant was correctly taxed $6,000 to satisfy the commissioner of chancery’s fee and expenses. Overview Appellant Elliot owned two residential lots, Lot 5 and Lot 6. When he refinanced the loan, secured by Lots 5 and 6, the property’s legal description “mistakenly” omitted […]

Sep 11, 2023

Damages awarded for ‘lollipopped’ trees

Where contractors that defendants hired trespassed onto plaintiffs’ property and trimmed pine tree limbs, plaintiffs are entitled to $26,800 in damages. This represents the diminished value of the real estate after the trees were removed, and the aesthetic value of the trees “as a sight and sound barrier,” along with the cost to remove the […]

Wooden fence separating yards
Sep 10, 2023

Court erred creating new property boundary line

The Court of Appeals of Virginia reversed in part a decision from the Fairfax County Circuit Court, finding that the trial court erred in declaring a new boundary line between neighboring properties in a nuisance and trespass case.

Aug 30, 2023

Court could not establish new boundary line

The court lacked jurisdiction to declare a new boundary line between the parties’ properties because this relief was not requested as a cross-claim in this nuisance and trespass case. Overview The parties own adjacent properties. Appellees constructed a fence between their yard and the appellants’ property. Appellants repaired the roof of a utility shed. The […]

Aug 20, 2023

Subdivision deed was misinterpreted

Where subdivision lot owners, relying on the word “modified” in the subdivision deed, added a new restrictive covenant limiting appellants’ intended use of their property, the trial court erred by denying appellants declaratory and injunctive relief. The plain meaning of the term “modified,” as applied in this case, permits amendment of a restrictive covenant rather […]

Man raising hand to indicate silence
Jul 3, 2023

Silence doesn’t bar right of first refusal

A Virginia circuit court has overruled a plea in bar based on equitable estoppel where a landowner contracted with a third party to sell real estate that was occupied by a company with a right of first refusal in its lease agreement. Because the lessee was silent about the sale — aside from saying they […]

Jun 22, 2023

No estoppel by silence in right of first refusal matter

Where plaintiff had a right of first refusal to buy property it had been leasing from defendant and sued after defendant contracted with a third party to sell the property, defendant’s plea in bar based on an estoppel by silence theory is overruled. Overview Boone and Beckner (Boone) leased property from Rudder. Rembold, Rudder’s manager, […]

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 […]

Mar 27, 2023

Character of community nixes homestay exception

A county board of supervisors correctly considered neighborhood character as part of public welfare when it denied a homeowner’s application to rent five of his guestrooms on a short-term basis known as “homestays,” the Court of Appeals of Virginia has held. The homeowner argued that consideration of neighborhood character as a component of “the public […]

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[...]

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