• Recent Posts

  • Martindale Hubbell AV Rating

    The Greater Williamsburg area is an exciting place to live and work, especially because of the large number of entrepreneurs who have built businesses from the ground up. These entrepreneurs have taken their passion and made it their profession. Many of us want to take that step. Before you begin, you need to think of the type of business entity you want to form. Our attorneys have extensive business experience, from small one-person companies to publicly traded major corporations. Our attorneys are among the leaders in Virginia in the representation of Common Interest Communities. These communities are generally referred to as "homeowners associations," or "HOAs," and "condominium associations." In the greater Williamsburg area alone, we provide legal assistance to nearly 100 associations. Our attorneys have successfully prosecuted and defended a wide array of civil disputes involving community association covenant enforcement, commercial transactions, construction disputes, contracts, real estate matters, boundary line and easement disputes, employment matters, antitrust litigation, copyright violations, administrative proceedings, and estate issues. Real Estate law encompasses a wide variety of matters, and our attorneys have vast experience to assist you. Whether you need assistance with a commercial or residential closing, or you have questions relating to residential or commercial leasing, we provide experienced advice and counsel to our clients. Zoning law can be a complicated maze of statutes and ordinances. We have ample experience in successful applications for rezoning, variance, and special use permit requests. Finally, commercial and residential construction provide special challenges with respect to financing issues and the construction process. We serve as counsel to various financial institutions.

I want to rent my house to a tenant, do I need an attorney to draft a lease for me?

Frequently, a homeowner contemplating renting out his property believes that he will be able to save money by writing his own lease or using a do-it-yourself lease form found or purchased online. Almost as frequently, the homeowner realizes too late that if he had spent a little money up front to have an attorney prepare a lease, or at least review his proposed lease, he could have saved himself a lot of time, money, and aggravation. By the time problems arise with a tenant, it is too late to ensure that the lease contains all of the provisions necessary to protect the homeowner’s interests.

For example, if the home in question was constructed before 1978, federal law requires that the lease must contain certain disclosures regarding the presence of lead-based paint and the homeowner must provide a prospective tenant with certain information about lead-based paint. Failure to make the proper disclosure or to provide the required information may make the entire lease unenforceable. Similarly, state law may require the homeowner to make disclosures regarding the presence of mold in the home.

Provisions for recovery of attorney’s fees are also often overlooked by do-it-yourself landlords. Under Virginia law, a plaintiff may recover attorney’s fees spent in pursuing a lawsuit only if a contract or statute provides that he may do so. If a landlord owns ten or fewer rental properties, the applicable Virginia landlord and tenant law does not provide for recovery of attorney’s fees by statute. Therefore, if the lease does not contain a provision for attorney’s fees, the landlord will pay for his own attorney if he has to sue.

The examples above are just a few of the many issues that could occur when a homeowner drafts his own lease. Having an attorney draft a lease for him would normally cost a few hundred dollars when doing it himself might eventually cost him thousands.

Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia

John Tarley

John Tarley

John is the firm's managing partner and chairs the firm's small business, zoning, and litigation practice areas.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:

Filed under: General Interest, Real Estate Strategies, State & Federal Litigation, Weekly Tweets by John Tarley

Comments are closed.

« | »
  • Phone Numbers

    (757) 229-4281- Office

    (757) 229-7439 - Fax
  • Address

    4801 Courthouse Street Suite 122 Williamsburg, Virginia 23188
Web Development by OneWaveMedia.Com