The General Assembly made several minor changes affecting property law in Virginia. The most significant of these changes was the amendment of the Code's provisions regarding a spouse's dower and curtesy interests in the separate estate of a deceased spouse. In addition to this legislation, the Virginia Supreme Court decided several cases dealing with varied property issues. The decisions discussed below are those which should have the most interest to the general practitioner. The real estate specialist, no doubt, is already aware of most of them. In the majority of the cases which follow, the Virginia Supreme Court affirms and reinforces long-standing judicial precedent in Virginia. The most significant development deals with zoning regulations and residential restrictive covenants which affect group homes for the mentally handicapped. In another decision, the court had the opportunity to recognize tortious interference with a prospective contract for the sale of real estate as a cause of action for the first time.
W. Wade Berryhill, Property, 19 U. Rich. L. Rev. 769 (1985).