Real Estate Litigation

Real Estate Litigation

Real Estate Contractual Disputes

Contract disputes do and will arise and that is why it is important to hire the right attorney to act in your behalf when disagreements happen. There are several ways to remedy disputes between two parties and Riley Law, PLLC can help.

  • Demand Letters:  Drafting of demand letter(s) to the party that is violating the terms of your contract. These letters are written to provide instruction to the defaulting party what they need to do in order to avoid legal action against them.
  • Litigation:  Aggressively defend contract terms, protect the provisions, and agreements in your behalf to enforce contractual obligations against the offending party.
  • Lawsuits: Lawsuits arise out of disputes between people, businesses, and other entities. Parties can halt this process by voluntarily settling at any time. Most cases settle before reaching trial. Arbitration is sometimes another alternative to a trial.

Landlord/Tenant Laws

Riley Law, PLLC is experienced in defending Landlord and Tenant rights and responsibilities under the Virginia Landlord – Tenant Act. In Virginia, if you own 4 or more properties and rent them to individuals, you have certain fiduciary responsibilities to your tenants under Virginia Code 55-248. Landlord/Tenant legalities are often complex and the various disputes that can arise may result in a Landlord requiring legal assistance.

It’s important to have strong representation. Riley Law, PLLC aggressively defends landlords with:

  • Tenants that have damaged the landlords’ property
  • Tenant lease violations
  • Lease enforcement
  • Tenant evictions


Tenant Lease Evictions

There are certain legal requirements that a Landlord needs to follow for evicting a tenant. Virginia Code 55-248.31 states “the landlord may serve a written notice on the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and stating that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in 21 days, and that the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice”. Landlords are to follow detailed eviction procedures as set forth by state and local law. To lawfully evict a tenant you must:

  • Serve Notice to Tenant – Tenant receives written notice of specific violations of lease agreement.
  • Summons for Unlawful Detainer – the landlord brings proof to the General District Court to obtain a Summons for Unlawful Detainer, which is a civil claim for eviction. There is a 10 day appeal period for the tenant if the judge rules in favor of the landlord.
  • After the 10-day appeal period, the landlord files a Request for a Writ of Possession in Unlawful Detainer Proceedings with the clerk in the General District Court.
  • The court sends the Writ of Possession for the landlord to the Sheriff’s Office.
  • The Sheriff’s Office has 30 days from the court’s signing to execute the eviction document. The Sheriff’s Office then contacts the landlord with the date and time for the eviction.
  • The tenant is given notice. There is a minimum of 72 hours that the tenant must be notified of the scheduled eviction.

These are the general procedures a landlord must follow to legally evict a tenant and Riley Law, PLLC is exceptionally gifted in assertively defending you and enforcing your legal rights. We can give you the assistance you need against a tenant that is in any violation of their lease agreement.

Tenants’ Rights and Responsibilities

It’s important for a tenant to know their rights and responsibilities when leasing a property

LEASE AGREEMENTS – When you lease or rent a property, your landlord will require you to sign a lease agreement. The lease agreement terms should state what the landlord will do and what you as the tenant are responsible for renting the property. Terms for leasing a property should include:

  • How much the property is for rent
  • How much of a security deposit is to be held by the Landlord
  • When the rent is due and when the rent is considered late and what the late fee is
  • How long is the lease, one year, 6 months or even monthly
  • Whether utilities are included or tenant’s responsibility
  • What appliances are being provided by the landlord, stove, dishwasher, etc
  • Who is responsible for repairs and what you need to do to get repairs made to the property
  • If moving, how much advanced notice you need to give the landlord before your lease expires

You are renting a property and let’s say for example, you have an issue with your landlord for not properly maintaining the property or failing to give you notice to enter the premise. A landlord cannot change the locks, turn off your utilities, remove your belongings, or physically remove you from the property you are leasing without first following the legal requirements under the law.

When you have Riley Law, PLLC representing you in court, you can be assured that we will review your case and recommend the right course of action for your specific situation. We can help you with:

  • Rental issues like housing discrimination
  • Property safety and repair grievances
  •  Landlord withholding your security deposit
  •  Unlawful eviction procedures


Contact the Experienced Real Estate Litigation Attorney at Riley Law, PLLC

Property contracts and landlord – tenant issues can become among the most complicated areas of law. Riley Law, PLLC has the experience and dedication to ensure that you are properly represented on paper and in court. It’s critical to have the right attorney that knows the details of real estate contracts and the landlord/tenant laws that protect you when a landlord or tenant is not living up to their responsibilities.

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