Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances
Chapter 23. Subdivided Land Sales Act
7/2/2020

§ 55.1-2303. Blanket encumbrances.

A. It is unlawful for any developer or agent to sell or lease a lot in a subdivision that is subject to a blanket encumbrance unless the blanket encumbrance or effective supplemental agreement contains a release provision permitting legal title to individual lots or other interest contracted for to be obtained free and clear of the blanket encumbrance. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit either the conditions upon which such release may be premise or the modification or amendment of such release provision as to (i) any purchaser other than a purchaser under an installment sales contract or (ii) any purchaser under an installment sales contract that is executed subsequent to the recordation of the amendment or modification.

B. Unless blanket encumbrance release provisions provide that the lien of the blanket encumbrance is subordinate to the rights of persons purchasing from the developer or agent and that those purchasers have the unconditional right to obtain legal title or other interest contracted for free and clear of the blanket encumbrance upon compliance with the terms and conditions of the purchase or lease, it is unlawful for a developer or agent to sell or lease lots except in compliance with one of the following conditions:

1. Any earnest money deposit or advance or other payment made by the purchaser on account of the purchase of a lot is placed in an escrow account that is a trust account maintained in a federally insured depository located in the Commonwealth and that fully protects the interest of the purchaser until:

a. Fee title or other interest contracted for is conveyed to the purchaser free and clear of the blanket encumbrance;

b. Either the developer or purchaser defaults under the contract and a final determination as to the disbursal of sums paid is made by a court of competent jurisdiction; or

c. The developer voluntarily orders the return of the money to the purchaser; or

2. Title to the subdivision is held in trust under a trust agreement until a proper release is obtained and legal title or other interest contracted for is conveyed to the purchaser.

1978, c. 510, § 55-342; 1980, c. 546; 1996, c. 372; 2019, c. 712.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.