The repairs your landlord refuses to make seem vital to the habitability of the lease. The problem comes in that you cannot withhold rent by simply paying rent into escrow. You must file a tenant's assertion suit pursuant to 55-225.12, and pay rent to the Court. Only then would you be protected against an eviction proceeding. You should consult with a lawyer as soon as you can.
You should consult a private process server. The cost is minimal - probably less than $100.00. Proper service will give the court jurisdiction to proceed on the claim. So you should start again, serve a new rule, and then go to court.
It means that the lease is not subject to the Virginia Landlord Tenant Act. The act puts additional duties on landlords, and it gives tenants extra rights.
I have included the link to the statue chapter below.
Certainly you sue and obtain a judgment. You should consult a lawyer as soon as practicable, however, because your rights under the law may lapse. Further, the more time your debtor has before you have your judgment, the more probable it is that he will dissipate the proceeds from this sale.
You should also ascertain whether the note grants you any security interest in the apartment complex or the proceeds.
If you can obtain a judgment and domesticate that judgment as a lien against...
Most clients find attorneys by referral. If you know someone who had a particularly good experience or result, ask about contacting that person's attorney.
If you can't find one by referral, pick the best three of those who have sent you promotional materials, and set up consults. Then pick the one you like best.
Since your stepfather deceased in Michigan, his estate is probably governed by Michigan intestate rules. However your answer shows up in the Virginia searches, so you might want to repost this so that a Michigan lawyer can see it in a search.
That said, I am not a Michigan attorney and cannot give you legal advice. However I have posted below a link to the Michigan statutes governing intestate succession. The link and the next several statutes (click the right arrow next to "Navigate...
Unfortunately there is only one circumstance by which the conviction can be expunged. You would have to seek an absolute pardon from the governor of Virginia. Those pardons are only granted in extraordinary circumstances, one such circumstance being a situation where the defendant was unjustly convicted of the offense. Once an absolute pardon is granted an expungement may be granted by the circuit court pursuant to 19.2-392.2(i). You can research pardons here.
You should absolutely consult with an attorney. Your divorce is in the very early stages, and you should seek professional assistance so that you can get through it as quickly and, believe it or not, as inexpensively as possible.