The rates, rents, fees or charges when made for the use of any revenue-producing undertaking may be collected by distress, levy, garnishment, attachment or as otherwise provided by law. Any unpaid rate, rent, fee or charge shall become a lien superior to the interest of any owner, lessee or tenant, and next in succession to taxes, on the real property on or for which the use of any such undertaking was made and for which the rate, rent, fee or charge was imposed. However, the lien shall not bind or affect a subsequent bona fide purchaser of the real estate for valuable consideration without actual notice of the lien, until amount of the rate, rent, fee or charge is entered in the judgment records kept in the clerk’s office where deeds are recorded with respect to the real estate against which the lien is asserted. It shall be the duty of the clerk in such office to keep, preserve and hold available for public inspection the judgment records and to cause entries to be made and indexed in them from time to time upon certification by the locality.The lien on any real estate may be discharged by the payment to the locality of the total amount of the lien, plus interest at the judgment rate of interest provided for in § 6.2-302 from the date the rate, rent, fee or charge was due and payable to the date of payment. It shall be the duty of the locality to deliver a certificate of payment to the person paying the lien. Upon presentation of the certificate, the clerk having the record of the lien shall mark the lien satisfied.Jurisdiction to enforce any lien shall be in equity, and the court may order any real estate subject to the lien, or any part of it, sold and the proceeds applied to the payment of the lien and the interest which may accrue to the date of payment.Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prejudice the right of the locality to recover the amount of any lien, or of the rate, rent, fee or charge, and the interest which may accrue, by action at law or otherwise.
Code 1950, § 15-666.18; 1958, c. 640; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-175; 1986, cc. 379, 468; 1991, c. 668, § 15.1-227.7; 1994, cc. 432, 714; 1997, c. 587.