All citizens of the Commonwealth have the right to notify VOF of any activity that may appear inconsistent with the terms of the easement. VOF takes these notifications seriously and will investigate them as appropriate. If a problem is discovered, VOF will work with the current landowner to resolve it. We do not provide reviews or determinations to anyone other than the current landowner. Once a determination has been made and a report filed, that report becomes part of the public record.
Easement monitoring is a required and integral part of protecting the land. Once a year, VOF stewardship staff strives to make contact with the landowner and/or the property through a variety of technological and in-person methods. VOF desires to build and maintain strong relationships with all of our landowners. We view this process as a partnership.
No. If VOF receives a request for a determination or interpretation of the easement terms from a third party, such as a prospective buyer or their agent, VOF will always contact you first for permission to discuss it.
VOF recommends questions from prospective buyers to be directed to regional stewardship staff. Informing buyers of what they can and can’t do is a serious matter, one that generally requires a comprehensive understanding of the easement and the current conditions and/or improvements on the land. Only VOF stewardship staff can provide official determinations.
VOF recommends that you make everyone aware in the transaction that the property is covered by an open-space easement. While the easement will be present in the chain of title, it is helpful for prospective buyers to understand the terms and conditions of the easement. VOF is happy to provide a courtesy copy of the deed of easement to anyone who asks.
No, the covenants, terms, conditions, and restrictions contained in the deed of easement are binding upon the land and shall continue notwithstanding owner opinion or support.
Open-space easements are held in perpetuity by VOF, meaning they last forever. In addition, the restrictions in your easement run with the land and are not tied to any specific easement donor or property owner.
Whether you are planning to sell all or a portion of the property, VOF does require prior written notice. Correspondence should be provided to your nearest regional office listed on page 2. You are also required to reference the deed book and page number, easement instrument number, or other appropriate information, such as dwelling rights or square footage allocations, in any deed of conveyence.