2006 Code of Virginia § 55-527 - Broker\'s lien

55-527. Broker's lien.

A. Any principal broker who either himself or through the principal broker'sor associated broker's employees or independent contractors has providedlicensed services that result in the procuring of a tenant of commercial realestate upon the terms provided for in a written agreement signed by the ownerthereof, or which are otherwise acceptable to the owner as evidenced by awritten agreement signed by the owner, shall have a lien, in the amount ofthe compensation agreed upon by and between the principal broker and theowner, upon rent paid by the tenant of the commercial real estate, or by thesuccessors or assigns of such tenant. The amount of the lien shall not exceedthe lesser of (i) the amount of the rent to be paid during the term of thelease or (ii) the amount of the rent to be paid during the first twenty yearsthereof.

B. The lien provided by this chapter shall not attach or be perfected until amemorandum of such lien signed under oath by the broker and meeting therequirements of this subsection has been recorded in the clerk's office ofthe circuit court of the county or city where the commercial real estate islocated, from which date the lien shall have priority over all liens recordedsubsequent thereto. The memorandum of lien shall state the name of theclaimant, the name of the owner of the commercial real estate, a descriptionof the commercial real estate, the name and address of the person againstwhom the broker's claim for compensation is made, the name and address of thetenant paying the rent against which the lien is being claimed, the amountfor which the lien is being claimed, and the real estate license number ofthe principal broker claiming the lien. The lien provided by this chapter andthe right to rents secured by such lien shall be subordinate to all liens,deeds of trust, mortgages or assignments of the leases, rents or profitsrecorded prior to the time the memorandum of lien is recorded and shall notaffect a purchaser for valuable consideration without constructive or actualnotice of the recorded lien.

However, a purchaser acquiring fee simple title to commercial real estate andhaving actual knowledge of terms of a lease agreement which provide for thepayment of brokerage fees due and payable to a real estate broker shall beliable for payment thereof, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by theparties at or before the time of sale regardless of whether the real estatebroker has perfected the lien in accordance with this chapter. The termpurchaser shall not include a trustee under or a beneficiary of a deed oftrust, a mortgagee under a mortgage, a secured party or any other assigneeunder an assignment as security, nor successors, assigns, transferees orpurchasers from such persons or entities.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a subsequentpurchaser of commercial real estate subject to a lien under this chapter fromestablishing an escrow fund at settlement sufficient to satisfy the lienwhich may otherwise affect transferability of title.

(1992, c. 877; 1996, c. 557; 1998, c. 617.)

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