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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55700
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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I recently purchased property on It was closed

Customer Question

I recently purchased property on It was closed on Wednesday dec 2 2015 from Bank of America. Former owner is already living there what is the eviction process
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The property is in prince William county Woodbridge, va How long does the eviction process take.
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

Unfortunately, if he will not leave voluntarily, you do need to go through the legal process to avoid being accused of an illegal eviction. Since he is the former owner, if he will not leave voluntarily, under Virginia law, you will need to give a 5-Day Notice to Quit...meaning he must vacate the premises within that period or face formal eviction. Then, if he still has not left, you will have to file a petition for an eviction order. Once that is can have the sheriff evict. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to move his stuff out, change the locks, or take any other means of "self-help" eviction prior to obtaining the eviction order. Virginia has no right of redemption so you don't need to worry about that. :)

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you could just force him out immediately, but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for quick response I am aware of the fact that I cannot force and had to give 5 day notice and then start eviction process. We asked the former owner either to sign the lease or treat that as 5 day eviction. Am I good with that or it has to be more formal process. Do I need to go to court in manassas for eviction process. The property is in Woodbridge VA.
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

You're very's my pleasure to help. Unfortunately, you do need to give a formal written 5 day notice to leave. If it gets to a hearing, you can file this in the county in which the property is located.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can this process be done without going to court and without hiring lawyer. If yes, please let me know I will give you a call.
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

You can do the 5-day notice without going to court. You can also offer the former owner "cash for keys" which means if he leaves immediately, you will pay him some reasonable amount of money. If neither of the foregoing are successful, then a hearing would be required. If it gets to that point, check back with me and I can walk you through that process. :)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The Bankruptcy attorney of the former owner is saying they will vacate by the end of the month. But they are not going to sign the lease document. Do I need to get something in writing. Is so, what document do I need to get from the former owner.
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for following up. It won't make any difference what document they sign, if they don't leave you then need to do the 5-day notice to quit and then the eviction process. So, to prevent losing any time, I would issue the 5-Day Notice to Quit and then if they don't leave, I would at least file the petition with the court for the hearing so that you have the hearing scheduled if they don't move by the end of the month.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I spoke to the sheriffs office of Prince William County of VA and they mentioned that I have to give them 30 day notice as I don't have any contract/lease with the existing owner.
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

There are a number of issues here....1) the sheriff's department doesn't make rulings, the court makes the ruling and then the sheriff enforces that ruling; 2) this is a former owner rather than a tenant....if this were a tenant, then there would need to be a 30 day notice to terminate first, but foreclosed owners are not typically afforded this protection, but rather as a defaulting occupant as the foreclosure terminated their right to occupancy; 3) judges have huge discretion and often bend over backward to avoid people being on the street; so notwithstanding the foregoing, there is always a risk of a judge requiring the 30 day notice.

Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent) so I can get credit for helping you. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is 5 day notice sufficient in my case. Bank has put this property on auction in August 2015. My bid was successfull in August 2015. Closing happend on 2nd December 2015.
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

A 5-day notice should be fine in your instance. If you wanted to be absolutely safe, you could give the 30 day notice to protect yourself from a sympathetic judge.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can you provide me link 5 day notice that I need to provide
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry...I don't have a link to a free form. There are multiple numbers of on-line services offering the form for a small price. I don't have a template for the specific form in VA.