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 lower court which will significantly speed up the process of obtaining a judgment or settlement. See Virginia Code Section 8.01-195.4.
The second is an amendment to the Property Owners Association Act which will make it mandatory, rather than discretionary, for a court to award reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs to the prevailing party in a suit to enforce rules and regulations. Also, the Condominium Act was amended to address the authority of boards of directors to adopt, publish and enforce rules pertaining to the common elements usage and other areas of responsibility provided for in the governing documents. Finally, this statute provides condo unit owners with the right to repeal or amend any board-adopted rule at a duly-called special meeting of the membership. See Sections 55.1-1959 of the Condominium Act and 55.1-1819 of the POA Act.
STAND BY FOR INFORMATION ON AN UPCOMING EDUCATION EVENT IN WHICH WE WILL DISCUSS LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE SURFSIDE CONDO COLLAPSE. WE EXPECT TO HAVE A VERY QUALIFIED GROUP OF PANELISTS.