A few months ago we informed you that both houses of Congress voted unanimously to pass the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) which, in part, required FHA to lower the required percentage of owner occupied units in condominiums from 50% to 35% unless FHA could prove that a higher percentage of owner occupancy was justified.
By: Jeanne S. Lauer, Esq.
The Virginia General Assembly and the Governor have agreed on several changes to the Condominium Act and the Property Owners Association Act (POAA). As a member of the CAI Virginia Legislative Action Committee I want to let you know about these changes of which you should be aware:
[This article is an excerpt from an article written by Mike Hunter for the
Charlotte Observer. We believe it contains some very helpful information and suggestions]
“Most swimming pools have a list of rules posted somewhere on the premises. We’ve all seen them. The rules contain common sense prohibitions against dangerous pool activities, such as having glass in the pool area and diving into the shallow end.
And almost every set of pool rules contains a statement similar to this: ‘No one under the age of 18 may use the pool unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.’ It makes sense, right?
According to a 2012 federal court opinion from California (Iniestra v. Cliff Warren Investments), a pool rule requiring adult supervision of children violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) because it discriminated against families with children.
In explaining its opinion, the federal court found the rule requiring adult supervision to not make perfect sense if its goal was to ensure the safety of all swimmers. The court noted that the Iniestra children, who were competent swimmers, were not allowed in the pool facility without a parent, but yet adults who never swam a day in their life could use the pool facility without supervision. Also illogical was that a certified lifeguard who was under 18 could not use the pool without the presence of a parent or guardian.
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:
Often associations review their rules when they want to make some change or addition, but it is best to review all the rules at least every 5 years because a few things do change periodically in the make-up and needs of every community. So here are some guidelines for your review that might prove useful to you:
We are all familiar with the Condominium Act and the Property Owners Association Act but how often do we think about the Nonstock Corporation Act? Most of our Associations were formed as nonstock corporations so when we are looking at whether there is compliance with the law, we need to be aware of this Chapter of the Virginia Code.
I understand that at this time all associations are required to have a complaint procedure in place in order for their members to be able to let the CIC Board know of issues they have with their association. I also know that the Annual Report form requires an Association to state whether or not it has a complaint procedure. What is the consequence if an association fails to comply after getting the DPOR’s letter about non-compliance when they have checked “no” on the Annual Report?