Virginia HOA Laws and Regulations
Know your association’s laws
Know your association’s laws
The Virginia Property Owners Association Act and the Condominium Act went into effect on October 1, 2019, and apply to all homeowners’ associations and condominium associations respectively. Although they went into effect in 2019, they retroactively apply to all community associations that have been established since 1959, for developments, and 1974 for condominiums and horizontal property regimes.
The primary purpose of an HOA is to provide maintenance to common areas and protect property values within a community. To raise funds to cover the cost of maintenance projects, the association has the power to collect regular assessments from homeowners following the annual budget. All assessments collected must be used for a service provided.
Special assessments may also be required to cover additional maintenance costs that are not covered by the regular budget. The board of directors may impose these additional fees if they deem it is in the best interest of the association.
If an account becomes more than 60 days overdue, the board of directors may suspend the homeowner from using common areas, cease utility service, or place liens on the property. No punishment can endanger the health or safety of the tenant. Written notice is required before any action is taken and the homeowner must be allowed reasonable time to correct any violations.
The board of directors has the sole authority to establish, adopt, and enforce rules and regulations regarding the use of common areas. Notice of any changes to regular policy must be posted in conspicuous locations around the community and common area affected.
It is the responsibility of the board of directors to maintain detailed records regarding association finances and happenings. All records must be made available to members during reasonable business hours or at a mutually convenient time. These records must include financial records and association membership lists.
An annual budget summary must be created and made available to association members upon request. Members must be notified of any changes to the budget for the upcoming year. The board of directors must also prepare an annual report to be sent to the Common Interest Community Board.
Homeowners have the right to access all association books and records, participate in elections for the board of directors, vote on amendments to the declaration, and to attend meetings of the board of directors. Association members in good standing also have the right to serve on the board of directors if elected.
Member meetings must be held annually at a fixed time as described by the community bylaws. Voting in board elections and for proposed amendments to community regulations take place during these meetings. Homeowners also have the right to attend any board meetings and are permitted to record them if desired. The board of directors must provide reasonable notice for all meetings.
The HOA may not prohibit the display of the United States flag on private property. While they may not prohibit the act entirely, they may, however, regulate the size, location, and duration that the flag may be displayed. The association may restrict the display of the flag in common areas.
Upon purchase of property within a common interest community, the seller must provide the buyer with a disclosure packet containing important association information such as the community rules and regulations as well as financial statements. The seller is responsible for obtaining the packet from the HOA and delivering it to the buyer. The HOA may charge a reasonable fee for creating the packet.
Once the potential buyer obtains the disclosure packet, he or she has the right to cancel the contract within three days if the information in the packet is not to their liking. If the buyer decides to proceed with the sale, they are then obligated to abide by any regulations set forth by the community association.