Due to some shepherding of this bill by CAI’s Virginia Legislative Action Committee, as of July 1 you can get help from the Circuit Court if you have made a good faith attempt (3 times) to get a critical amendment passed without success. The statute details exactly what must be done to achieve the amendment. We hate to say it but you really need to read this statute as it lays out exactly how and when it works. Here it is:
A. A unit owners’ association may petition the circuit court in the county or city wherein the condominium or the greater part thereof is located to reform the condominium instruments where the unit owners’ association, acting through its executive organ, has attempted to amend the condominium instruments regarding ownership of legal title of the common elements or real property using provisions outlined therein to resolve (i) ambiguities or inconsistencies in the condominium instruments that are the source of legal and other disputes pertaining to the legal rights and responsibilities of the unit owners’ association or individual unit owners or (ii) scrivener’s errors, including incorrectly identifying the unit owners’ association, incorrectly identifying an entity other than the unit owners’ association, or errors arising from oversight or from an inadvertent omission or mathematical mistake.
B. The court shall have jurisdiction over matters set forth in subsection A regarding ownership of legal title of the common elements or real property to:
1. Reform, in whole or in part, any provision of the condominium instruments; and
2. Correct mistakes or any other error in the condominium instruments that may exist with respect to the declaration for any other purpose.
C. A petition filed by the unit owners’ association with the court setting forth any inconsistency or error made in the condominium instruments, or the necessity for any change therein, shall be deemed sufficient basis for the reformation, in whole or in part, of the condominium instruments, provided that:
1. The unit owners’ association has made three good faith attempts to convene a duly called meeting of the unit owners’ association to present for consideration amendments to the condominium instruments for the reasons specified in subsection A, which attempts have proven unsuccessful as evidenced by an affidavit verified by oath of the principal officer of the unit owners’ association;
2. There is no adequate remedy at law as practical and effective to attain the ends of justice as may be accomplished in the circuit court;
3. Where the declarant of the condominium still owns a unit or continues to have any special declarant rights in the condominium, the declarant joins in the petition of the unit owners’ association;
4. A copy of the petition is sent to all unit owners at least 30 days before the petition is filed as evidenced by an affidavit verified by oath of the principal officer of the unit owners’ association; and
5. A copy of the petition is sent to all mortgagees at least 30 days before the petition is filed as evidenced by an affidavit verified by oath of the principal officer of the unit owners’ association.