We have observed that there are some association boards which are not aware of a distinction between state law requirements and necessary internal procedures for complaints. In this article we distinguish between the process to be followed for a complaint concerning a violation of state law or regulations vs. a complaint about the actions of
Occasionally we have inquiries regarding the authority of an Association exercised by the Board of Directors to assign parking spaces located in the common areas for the exclusive use of particular unit or lot owners.
The Supreme Court of Virginia issued a very important opinion in 2006 that illustrates that the authority of a property…
CA DAY is approaching. After being called off for the last two years it will be held on March 12 all day at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. You can read all about it on www.sevacai.org. An excellent day of information and interaction is planned. Mike Inman and Jeanne Lauer are presenters in two of…
This is an important task that generally does not get accomplished as often as it should. There are three primary reasons for a review of your rules every couple of years: (i) laws and regulations change, (ii) “best practices” change and (iii) desires of the community change. When you do undertake this task consider the…
Two new changes in the law have an impact on community associations court actions.
The first is an increase in the jurisdictional limit of the general district court from $25,000 to $50,000 (exclusive of interest and attorneys’ fees.) It is very helpful to be enabled by this statutory change to pursue larger claims in the…
The recent Fourth Amendment to Governor Northam’s COVID related Executive Order, effective as of April 1, 2021, has updated the limitations for private in-person gatherings. It states as follows:
All public and private in-person gatherings of more than 50 individuals indoors and 100 individuals outdoors are prohibited. A “gathering” includes, but is not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, whether they occur indoors or outdoors. The presence in person of more than 50 individuals indoors, or 100 individuals outdoors, performing functions of their employment or assembled in an educational instructional setting is not a “gathering.” The presence of more than 50 individuals indoors, or 100 individuals outdoors, in a particular location, such as a park, or retail business is not a “gathering” as long as individuals do not congregate. This restriction does not apply to the gathering of family members, as defined in section I, subsection D, paragraph 2, living in the same residence. (emphasis added in various locations)
Continue Reading YET ANOTHER RULE MODIFICATION FROM GOVERNOR ON IN-PERSON MEETINGS
We often get calls from new board members after transition from developer control. They have questions like this one: Some of the homeowners have added fences, above ground pools and sheds without getting approval from the Association. Many of these changes do not appear to meet the standards that are part of our documents. No action has been taken to correct these violations. How do we go about enforcing the covenants and rules?
The first step is to examine the architectural guidelines and the enforcement provisions in the governing documents. Usually an association’s declaration establishes a committee, often called the architectural standards committee, and grants it powers and duties.
There are often architectural guidelines in the nature of rules and regulations which detail the standards for the community and the procedures for enforcement. If these do not exist, the board of directors should pass a policy resolution that clarifies the standards in the association’s governing documents with greater detail and sets the procedures for enforcement. This policy resolution is generally referred to as a “due process procedure.”
One of the most important reasons that these procedures need to be in place is that the actions of the committee are subject to review in any legal action in which the association may become involved. The more clearly the resolution defines the procedures and the more closely the committee adheres to them, the more likely they are to be successful if enforcement of a covenant or rule goes to court.
Continue Reading “OUR NEW BOARD JUST INHERITED A HOST OF OLD VIOLATIONS – WHAT SHOULD WE DO? “
Boards often ask us how to best fund a project that becomes necessary due to unexpected events. This could be a significant leak or structural issue with the swimming pool or a roofing inspection report which states that replacement is needed well before the time planned in the reserve study. For purposes of this article assume that the board has determined that the need for “the fix” is too urgent to wait for fund raising through a significant increase in the regular assessment.
Continue Reading FUNDING SURPRISE PROJECTS – LOAN OR SPECIAL ASSESSMENT?
Many board members and managers may not be aware that the Property Owners’ Association Act (“POAA”) requires that an association’s board of directors provide a member due process prior to taking action against that member in court.
Specifically, §55.1-1819 of the POAA and § 55.1-1959 of the Condominium Act require that if a board of directors believes a member may be violating its covenants or rules and regulations, the board must provide the member notice of the violation, and a reasonable opportunity to correct the alleged violation. If the member fails to correct violation after receiving the notice, the board must then provide the member an opportunity to present his or her position on the violation where the member may elect to be represented by counsel. This opportunity is commonly referred to as a due process hearing. In both of the Acts the Association governing documents must have adopted the provisions of these sections before they may be utilized to assess charges or suspend an owner’s right to utilize facilities or services.
Continue Reading Provide Members Due Process Prior to Suing in Court
We are being deluged with questions about pools. But in the many emails and conversations, we are developing and hearing some good ideas that can be shared. Although we have tried to discourage the use of Association pool furniture and have encouraged “Bring Your Own” policies, some clients have gone to single use covers on …