Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek

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  • Despite the complaints I have filed, my homeowner's association has not taken care of my noisy neighbors. What can I do?

    Many communities in Norfolk have homeowners’ associations (HOAs), and belonging to one has many advantages. When you pay good money every month to the HOA, you expect it to take care of you if you have concerns.

    Living with a noisy neighbor is difficult and can even affect your quality of life. Most HOAs have rules regarding noise levels, including noise curfews. In fact, even the city of Norfolk has a noise ordinance that citizens are supposed to follow. But when your neighbor is defiant and disturbs you and your neighborhood, you want help.

    When Your HOA Won’t Help

    If you’ve filed numerous complaints with your HOA regarding your neighbor and haven’t received any help, you may still be able to get the results you seek in the following ways:

    • Talk to your other neighbors. Chances are, if you’re having problems with a particular neighbor, others are as well. Compose a formal complaint and ask your other neighbors to sign it, then turn it into your HOA. Seeing that several residents are a united front against those making the noise may prompt your HOA to take action.
    • Talk to the authorities. You’ve probably already called the cops several times to report your neighbors, but if you haven’t, do so the next time they are rowdy. You may also be able to request that a test is conducted to measure exactly how much noise your neighbor is making. If the level is high enough, the noise enforcement officer may issue a citation.

    Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

    When you feel that no one is on your side and willing to help, it’s time to take legal action. The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher believe you should be able to enjoy yourself in your own home, and we want to make that happen. Contact us to find out how we can help.

  • Can I file a dispute against my homeowners’ association?

    You’re not sure what you’ve done, but you feel like your homeowners association (HOA) is attacking you personally. It seems to you that the HOA goes out of its way to make accusations against you that are false, or it allows other residents to get away with the very things it accuses you of. Most recently, you received a violation notice for unauthorized trash can placement, but you know the person across the street from you places her cans in the same spot and isn’t targeted for it.

    When Your Dispute Turns Major

    You believe your HOA’s latest accusations and demands against you are in violation of your contract and you want to take action. Fortunately, you can, with the help of an attorney. You should be aware of the following:

    • The law may be on your side. HOA members have certain rights under the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act and the Virginia Condominium Owners’ Association Act. If you feel your HOA is going against its contract, these acts may protect you.
    • File a dispute. Contact the president of your HOA to discuss your problem. The association may schedule mediation or arbitration to resolve the issue. However, this may take some time and is often stressful. If your complaint is minor, you may not feel the time and effort you have to put into it is worth it.
    • Hire a lawyer. If you don’t think the HOA will take you seriously or you’re not satisfied with the results, hiring a real estate attorney is your best option. You can then make a legal claim against the HOA that will make them take notice and possibly comply, or take your case to court and let a judge decide.

    Don’t Allow Your HOA to Take Advantage of You

    Homeowners associations are legal entities, which means you can take legal action against them. Real estate law is complex, and having an attorney on your side will increase your chances of success.

    The lawyers of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today to learn how.

  • What kind of problems can I face when purchasing a home in probate?

    You saw a home in Norfolk you absolutely fell in love with. It had everything you wanted and is close to the schools you adore. The only catch is that it is in probate. Apparently, the person who lived there before passed away and didn’t leave the home to anyone in a will, so now it is property of the state.

    The price is right and you think you’re ready to buy, but it almost seems too good to be true, and that’s because it very well may be.

    Prepare Yourself for Problems Down the Road

    Buying a probate home means you are taking a chance on the condition of the home and your finances, and here’s why:

    • You may lose money. Those interested in homes in probate must typically have them inspected before they make offers. This means that if the inspector finds major problems with the property and you are no longer interested, you’ll lose the money you paid for the inspection. Additionally, you may also lose the home to another bidder in probate court, and you won’t get the inspection money back.
    • The previous owner probably didn’t take care of the home. The person who lived there before you may have been elderly or sick, which means the home maintenance probably wasn’t taken care of. As a result, the home may need a lot of expensive renovations.
    • The prior owner can’t disclose problems. In a typical home purchase, the person who lived there before you would tell you about any problems with the home. Because the person is now deceased, however, he is unable to, so you may not find out about issues with the home until you move in.

    Tavss Fletcher Wants to Help

    The legal team of Tavss Fletcher is experienced in real estate matters and wants to help you resolve yours. Contact us today to speak with an attorney about your situation and find out what we may be able to do.


  • Buyer Beware: What You Need to Know About Homes in Probate

    Because of your growing family and the need for more space, you’ve decided to move out of your apartment and purchase a home. You’ve looked at many different houses in the Norfolk area, including those in communities like Foxhall, Glenrock, and Greenwood. Your favorite so far as been a four bedroom, three bath colonial that has everything you’ve been looking for. The only problem, however, is that the home is in probate.

    Probate Precautions

    You’re not sure what probate is, and if buying a house in such a state is advantageous or even possible. Here, we look at the ins and outs of probate, and what it means for you as the buyer:

    • Probate specifics. A home goes into probate when the previous owner dies intestate, meaning the home wasn’t left to anyone in a will. When this type of situation occurs, the state takes over ownership and attempts to sell it to the right buyer.
    • Probate homes are often affordable. The state and the bank don’t want to hold onto this property because they want money for it. Accordingly, the house is priced to sell so that it moves quickly. Often the house is sold for much cheaper than other houses in the neighborhood, which can bring down the value of homes nearby.
    • Probate homes can have problems. Often, probate homes were previously cared for by those who are elderly or sick. As a result, they often don’t receive the maintenance they require. This means the buyer typically has to put in a good amount of money in order to get the house in a suitable condition.

    Tavss Fletcher Can Help

    Purchasing a home is already stressful, especially when you’re interested in property that is in probate. The legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you in this process. Contact us today to learn how. 


  • My fiancée and I are getting ready to buy our new home but I’m worried! What if something is wrong with it? Since we’re both first-time homebuyers, can you describe the types of problems we should look for before buying?

    Buying your first home is an exciting time. It’s also very scary. What if something goes wrong? What if the seller scams you? These are all worries homebuyers face no matter how experienced they are at buying houses, but it is especially worrying for first-time buyers.

    Protecting Yourself During the Home Buying Process

    As real estate lawyers, we are very familiar with the problems Virginia homebuyers often run into when buying a home. The best way to avoid falling victim to these hidden defects is to know what to look for before you sign the contract.

    Here are some of the most common costly problems people find in homes after buying:

    • Termites. Termites can eat away at the structure of your home and do serious damage. Make sure you have a pest control expert inspect the house before you buy.
    • Water damage. This can lead to mold, warping, and other serious home issues. A thorough inspection will uncover the damage before it’s too late.
    • Gas leaks. All homes, new and old, should be inspected for gas leaks. Carbon monoxide and radon are both colorless and odorless, but very dangerous. Have the home tested before you buy and always have a working radon and CO detector in your home.
    • Faulty foundations or roofing. The outside of the home must be inspected for faulty structures. An expert should examine the roofing, siding, and foundation.

    Unfortunately you cannot expect the seller to disclose all of the issues with the home. Take matters into your own hands and hire a home inspector before you buy.

    If you notice any defects after purchasing your home, don’t just live with the damages. Get the necessary repairs done by holding the seller accountable. We can help. Contact one of our real estate lawyers as soon as you notice the damage to discuss the details of your case.


  • How much time are landlords legally required to give before serving an eviction notice?

    When you first moved into Southgate Manor Apartments, you were absolutely thrilled. The complex was absolutely beautiful and you felt like you finally found a place you could call home. Unfortunately, you’ve had some payroll issues at work and you’re presently two weeks behind in your rent. You spoke to your landlord a few days ago and promised him that you’ll pay as soon as your check arrives. You thought he empathized with your situation as he agreed to the terms. However, today you found an eviction notice taped to your door, stating that you have three days to pay or get out.

    What can you do? Your boss guaranteed that you’ll have your check by the end of the week, but by then it’ll be too late. Do you legally have to leave?

    Time-frames for Eviction

    Time allotments and eviction rules can vary from state to state. However, North Carolina’s rental laws are conceived to help tenants as much as possible. Therefore, our state demands proper notification, reasonable and adequate time-frames, and the right for an appeal for any and all evictions.

    In North Carolina, the first step of the eviction process is giving the tenant an eviction notice. The most common reason for eviction is non-payment of rent, whereupon your landlord must demand the rent and give you ten days to pay it before issuing the eviction notice. This warning is called, reasonably enough, a “ten day demand for rent.” If you fail to pay within those ten days, then a Summary Ejectment (Eviction) Complaint is filed.

    Once an eviction notice is filed and presented, there are several varying time-frames to comply, depending on the circumstances.

    Staying beyond your lease term, where the landlord told you that the lease would expire and you would have to move out, is called a holdover. When a landlord issues an eviction for a holdover, the notice period is as follows:

    • Seven days if the tenant paid rent monthly.
    • One month if the tenant paid rent yearly.
    • Thirty days for mobile home lot rental.


    However, if you’re contesting the eviction, you have the right to remain on the premises until the claim has been settled.

    Contact us immediately if you believe you are being unjustly or illegally forced out of your home. Experienced real estate lawyers such as ourselves can help you understand your rights, get you the appropriate time you need to move, or help you appeal the eviction altogether. Call us today for the advice, support and knowledge you need to keep the roof over your head.

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  • Why should I use a corporate law attorney?

    If you are in business, the odds are you will need to use an attorney at some point, whether your business is large or small. Being in business means dealing with all sorts of laws governing buying and selling, managing employees, dealing with customers, and sundry other matters.

    If you decide to hire a corporate law attorney, it is important to do your research and use an attorney who will best suit you and your corporation’s needs. Take your time and do your research before hiring an attorney.

    While you may be able to take care of some of the corporations legal matters on your own, it is wise to use an attorney. Three reasons you should use a corporate law attorney for your company are:

    • Experience. The odds are you do not have the necessary knowledge to best handle corporate law situations. On the other hand, an experienced attorney will have the know-how you need.
    • Saving money. Yes, hiring an attorney does cost you money initially. What many people do not understand is that they may actually be saving money and time in the long run. The cost of hiring an often outweigh the long term cost when one is not used. Hiring legal help when appropriate should be considered just a normal cost of doing business.
    • Ease of mind. When handling the legal work on your own, you may be asking yourself, Did I miss something? Did I cover all the legal requirements? You wont have to think about these issues when using a corporate attorney.


    Put your mind at rest and use an experienced Virginia corporate law attorney at Tavss Fletcher. Simply fill out the contact form on this page to request more information.

  • What are some of the common mistakes people make when it comes to negotiating the purchase price for residential real estate?

    With mortgage interest rates so low, now is a great time to purchase residential real estate. Perhaps you have finally found a perfect house on Magnolia Avenue, near Virginia Park, so that your son can attend Larchmont Elementary School and your spouse can attend classes at Old Dominion University. The house has been recently updated and the yard is private and beautiful—just waiting for that first backyard barbecue. This is an exciting time for your family, but a stressful one at the same time. After all, this is the biggest purchase you have made in your entire life!

    Because it is such a large purchase, obtaining the best possible purchase price is an absolute must. Unfortunately, many do not get the best possible deal because of negotiation errors. Following are four common price negotiation mistakes:

    • Not negotiating in person – It is tempting to deal with a seller through email, phone, text, or fax—these are great ways to communicate. However, when negotiating a deal, the best way to persuade a seller to accept your offer is to meet face to face to discuss your proposal.
    • Not doing enough research – Before going into a price negotiation, it is important to understand the local market and as much about what motivates the seller as possible.  Important factors such as comparable sales, how long certain houses have been on the market, and whether the market in the area is hot or cold can provide you with great insight. Speaking with neighbors and learning more about the area can also provide you with information you can use at the negotiating table.
    • Offering a set amount – Many buyers feel it is necessary to present a set figure to the seller. However, it may actually be more beneficial to present a range of prices, such as $225,000 – $255,000, which provides more flexibility throughout the negotiation process.
    • Not using a professional – It may be tempting to try to save a few dollars and negotiate without the help of a professional real estate attorney, but it is generally a bad idea. Experienced real estate lawyers are skilled negotiators and can save you money on the purchase price of your home while ensuring that the purchase process proceeds smoothly.


    If you found this article helpful, click on the Like button to share it with your Facebook friends. If you need help with a residential real estate transaction, call us today!

  • I’m a Virginia taxpayer and have just been notified that I’m getting audited by the IRS. Do you have any tips that may help me during the audit?

    If you are like many other Americans, you pay your taxes on time and honestly every year and never expect that you will be audited by the IRS. The fact is that many people can and will be audited at some point during their working years. It seems like the audit happens at the worst time. It can be a stressful period of time.


    If you are audited, it is your duty to prove to the IRS that you have properly filed your taxes. This is usually done by providing the IRS with documentation to back your tax statement. There are a number of things that you should keep in mind during an audit.


    Some tips to keep in mind during an IRS audit are:

    • Know your rights – Take the time to read through IRS information such as the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. You may also want to speak with a Norfolk tax attorney to discuss your situation.
    • Prepare – Go through your documents to check for completion. If you are missing receipts or other documents, you are allowed to reconstruct the missing records.
    • Don’t give too much info – Do not give the auditor more information than they are entitled to. Don’t give answers unless you are directly asked. Do not give copies of other years’ tax returns to the auditor.
    • Delay – Try to postpone the audit when possible. This can work in your favor. Requesting more time will allow you to get your records together or any other items you will need time to prepare.


    Do not try to go through an audit on your own. There are many pitfalls and the codes can be very confusing. It will be beneficial for you to contact an experienced Virginia tax attorney at Tavss Fletcher. Call 757-625-1214 today for a free case evaluation.

  • What should I look for when searching for a Norfolk tax attorney?

    An attorney can be used for almost any aspect of your life. Especially in today’s society where it seems as if the simplest contract has become pages of complex legal speak. And when it comes to taxes, this is especially true. Tax law is complex and seems to only get more complex as time goes on.

    When you are searching for an attorney, it is important to be sure that the attorney practices in the field you are looking for. You may encounter attorneys who will be willing to take on any case regardless of the situation. As a client, you should be very wary of an attorney who does this.

    As you are looking for a tax attorney in Virginia it is important to know what to look for. Three attributes you should be sure that your attorney has are:

    • Knowledge – One of the most important things your attorney should have is a knowledge of the tax law. An attorney may be able to practice tax law but that does not mean they know details of it.
    • Experience – A tax attorney should have experience with other similar tax situations as what you are dealing in. The attorney will not be able to fully use the knowledge they have if they do not have experience.
    • Trust – You will be discussing and handing over information to your attorney that may be very personal. You will also be putting a lot of faith in your attorney that they will do what is right for you. You want to be sure that you have the trust in your attorney that you need to feel secure.


    For an attorney that has these attributes, contact a Norfolk tax attorney at Tavss and Fletcher. Call 757-625-1214 today for a free legal consultation.