We want you to know that at this time we are maintaining regular office hours with some of our attorneys and staff occasionally working from home. We are committed to be available to our clients in this difficult and uncertain time. Our attorneys and staff are also prepared, if necessary, to work remotely from our homes. We hope and pray that it will not become necessary and that we will soon be over the peak in the number of cases.
DO YOUR ASSOCIATION’S GOVERNING DOCUMENTS NEED TO RETIRE? OR MAYBE JUST GO TO REHAB?
If the community association you live in is showing some age, then most likely the association’s governing documents are as well. When was the last time your Board of Directors reviewed your documents to make sure they are keeping pace with the way we all live in the modern world? Do your documents comply with current provisions of the Virginia Condominium Act or the Virginia Property Owners Association (POA) Act? Have you ever tried to find an answer to a problem your association was experiencing and found your documents were inadequate in giving the Board clear guidance? Do you have difficulty finding certain topics in your documents? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s likely time to make amendments to your governing documents or, for documents 15-20 years old, it may be time to “throw out the old and bring in the new”, that is, replace your governing documents. Many older documents also do not comply with current requirements of FHA and VA.
Over the past several years the Virginia Legislature has enacted several new statutes in the Condominium Act and the POA Act requiring certain restrictions imposed by the Association to be included in a recorded governing document. That means either the Declaration or Bylaws in a Condominium and only the Declaration in a homeowners association. Restrictions that are required by statute to be in a recorded governing document cannot be enforced if they are only in rules and regulations promulgated by the Board of Directors. Some of these new statutes involve: (i) for rent and for sale signs, (ii) leasing restrictions, (iii) the right of an association to charge fees for violations of the governing documents or rules and regulations, (iv) the right of an association to charge fees for inspection of units or lots in preparation of resale certificates, (v) the right to evict tenants for non-compliance with governing documents and rules, and (vi) the right to charge late fees on unpaid assessments.
Our many years of creating new condominium and homeowner association documents coupled with years of representing hundreds of existing associations has given us the unique experience needed to review any association’s governing documents and making recommendations for amendments. We can also advise associations when making multiple amendments actually becomes more expensive and cumbersome for Boards and owners than simply starting over again with a complete set of new documents. When we provide a new set of documents, we are careful to retain certain provisions of your original documents that provide particular benefit to your community. Because we are also knowledgeable about the requirements of the various federal lending agencies, we can also make sure your documents comply with these requirements (Fannie Mae, VA and FHA).
If you would like to discuss this topic with one of us please give us a call to schedule a time, we can go over the process. In the meantime, we trust you are being safe in your daily activities so we can see an end to this uncertainty and loss of life.
THE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS LAW TEAM