Navigating Virginia’s Condominium & HOA Laws

Virginia State Capitol building where condo and HOA laws are passed

As a community manager in Virginia, your role involves understanding and navigating Virginia’s condominium and HOA laws. Two key pieces of legislation central to your work are the Virginia Condominium Act and the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act. Let’s delve into these two pieces of legislation to help you better fulfill your role as a community manager.

The Virginia Condominium Act

The Virginia Condominium Act, established in 1974 and continually revised, provides a comprehensive framework for creating, managing, and dissolving condominium associations. The following are some salient features:

Governing Documents: The Act stipulates the contents required in the condominium instruments, including the declaration and bylaws. These documents, along with the rules and regulations, provide the blueprint for managing the condominium association.

Management and Operation: The Act grants condo associations the powers necessary for effective management. It details procedures for electing the executive board, the responsibilities of the board, and guidance on handling conflicts of interest.

Financial Management: The Act has strict guidelines on maintaining reserve funds, levying assessments, and handling delinquent owners. It also mandates an annual audit of the financial statement by an independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for condo associations above a certain size.

Insurance: The Act details insurance requirements, specifying the kinds of insurance the association must carry, such as hazard and liability insurance.

Resale of Units: It requires associations to provide a resale certificate containing vital information to prospective buyers. This certificate should include a statement of any lien or encumbrances, details on insurance coverage, pending suits, and unpaid assessments, among others.

The Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act

The Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act, applicable to homeowners’ associations (HOAs), shares similarities with the Virginia Condominium Act but has its unique nuances.

Governing Documents: Like the Virginia Condominium Act, this legislation regulates the contents of the declaration and bylaws that govern the association’s management.

Disclosure Packet: One critical difference is the need for an association disclosure packet in an HOA. This packet is required for prospective homebuyers and contains information similar to the resale certificate in condominiums.

Architectural Standards: The Act provides guidance on maintaining and enforcing architectural standards, a common issue in many HOAs.

Meetings: The Act contains detailed requirements for conducting meetings, notice periods, and voting procedures to ensure fair and transparent governance.

Association Records: The Act stipulates the records that the association must maintain, such as meeting minutes, and guidelines for homeowners accessing these records.

As a community manager, it’s vital to understand these laws’ nuances to manage your community effectively. Staying informed about the legislation can help you avoid pitfalls and ensure a well-run, compliant, and harmonious community. However, these summaries only scratch the surface of these two comprehensive pieces of legislation. For specific legal advice, always consult a qualified attorney well-versed in Virginia condominium and property association law.

Remember, your role as a community manager extends beyond just understanding the legal landscape. You are a mediator, a planner, a communicator, and an advocate for your community. The better you understand the legal framework you operate within, the more effectively you can serve your community.

To learn more about the specifics of Virginia’s condominium and HOA laws, you can visit:

Minutes Solutions Inc.

Minutes Solutions is a professional, third-party minute-taking company that specializes in prompt, accurate, and objective minutes for community associations. Since 2014, the company has provided minute taking services for over 40,000 meetings for more than 3,000 organizations across North America, including the Community Associations Institute. Its cohort of over 100 professionally trained minute takers in the U.S. and Canada undergoes rigorous training in industry best practices that help protect community associations and instil confidence in residents, allowing community managers to focus on operational responsibilities.