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    The Greater Williamsburg area is an exciting place to live and work, especially because of the large number of entrepreneurs who have built businesses from the ground up. These entrepreneurs have taken their passion and made it their profession. Many of us want to take that step. Before you begin, you need to think of the type of business entity you want to form. Our attorneys have extensive business experience, from small one-person companies to publicly traded major corporations. Our attorneys are among the leaders in Virginia in the representation of Common Interest Communities. These communities are generally referred to as "homeowners associations," or "HOAs," and "condominium associations." In the greater Williamsburg area alone, we provide legal assistance to nearly 100 associations. Our attorneys have successfully prosecuted and defended a wide array of civil disputes involving community association covenant enforcement, commercial transactions, construction disputes, contracts, real estate matters, boundary line and easement disputes, employment matters, antitrust litigation, copyright violations, administrative proceedings, and estate issues. Real Estate law encompasses a wide variety of matters, and our attorneys have vast experience to assist you. Whether you need assistance with a commercial or residential closing, or you have questions relating to residential or commercial leasing, we provide experienced advice and counsel to our clients. Zoning law can be a complicated maze of statutes and ordinances. We have ample experience in successful applications for rezoning, variance, and special use permit requests. Finally, commercial and residential construction provide special challenges with respect to financing issues and the construction process. We serve as counsel to various financial institutions.

Community Association COVID-19 Update – Change in Board meeting requirements during State of Emergency and Guidance on Closing Association facilities

April 23, 2020 on 2:00 pm | In Common Interest Community, HOA, HOA litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association | Comments Off on Community Association COVID-19 Update – Change in Board meeting requirements during State of Emergency and Guidance on Closing Association facilities

We have pointed out the fluidity of this pandemic, and now we have some updates for you on holding meetings and closing facilities (including pools). We have received relief on some of the requirements found in the POAA and the Condominium Act on holding remote meetings.  We have also obtained information on the closing of community association pools.

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Arbitration in debt collection: FTC says it’s a broken system

April 22, 2020 on 6:34 pm | In Common Interest Community, State & Federal Litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Weekly Tweets | Comments Off on Arbitration in debt collection: FTC says it’s a broken system

As a follow-up to our post on the costs and benefits of the arbitration process, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently issued a report indicating that the litigation and arbitration practices for resolving consumer debt need major reform.

Debt collection cases are on the rise.  We have seen a tremendous increase in the number of cases we are filing on delinquent homeowner association dues. In James City County/Williamsburg, the local courts have seen a 27% increase in civil filings from 2006 to 2008.  Other courts in Virginia and other states are experiencing similar increases in civil filings.

The FTC has made specific recommendations that the Federal government and the states consider new laws to protect consumers including a recommendation that a temporary ban be placed on the use of binding arbitration until such time that the arbitration forums have initiated changes to address deficiencies in arbitration. The FTC has suggested that state legislatures adopt measures to make it more likely that consumers will defend themselves in litigation, decreasing the prevalence of default judgments; require debt collectors to include more information about the alleged debt in their complaints; take steps to make it less likely that collectors will sue on debt on which the statute of limitations has run; and change laws to prevent the freezing of a specified amount in a bank account including funds exempt from garnishment.

We do not believe that these changes, if they occur, will effect our current practice areas and clients. However, we have also seen instances in which perceived procedural unfairness can lead to overreaching legislation. For example, it is fair to say that when the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed, legislators did not intend for it to reach into the wide-ranging areas it now does, including the collection of homeowner dues. See, e.g., Barry v. Board of Managers of Elmwood Park Condominium II, NT Slip Op 27506, http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ny-civil-court/1211140.html (December 12, 2007, NY Civil Court City of New York, Richmond County) (Judge Philip S. Straniere writing that “Somehow I think that Adams, Jefferson and Madison must be turning over in their graves at the thought that the federal government is regulating such a local activity as the collection of condominium association dues between the homeowner and the association”).

Arbitration tends to release pressure on state courts by handling cases that otherwise would be brought in court. However, if the process continues to be perceived as unfair, restrictions on the use of arbitration could be forthcoming.

Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia

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2014 Legislative Update for Virginia HOAs

June 16, 2014 on 6:28 am | In Common Interest Community, General Interest, HOA, HOA litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association, Weekly Tweets | No Comments

The 2014 session on the  Virginia Legislative Action Committee (“LAC”) created new experiences for our committee. Each year on the LAC brings new challenges, and in my second year as Chair of the LAC, we experienced our most active General Assembly session.

The LAC’s mission is to monitor and advocate for legislation affecting HOAs and condominium associations. All of the bills cited below are effective July 1, 2014 unless otherwise noted.

Williamsburg HOA and Business Law Firm

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CAI Law Seminar 2014 for HOA Lawyers

March 18, 2014 on 8:44 pm | In Common Interest Community, General Interest, HOA, HOA litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association, Weekly Tweets | No Comments

Hard to believe that the CAI Law Seminar in Las Vegas was 7 weeks ago.  I have been meaning to report on the seminar but the practice has kept me very busy.

CAI Lawyer

The Law Seminar provides a unique learning opportunity to discuss emerging trends, practices and legislative issues important to the practice of community association law. Attendees include attorneys, management professionals, and other industry leaders.

The Law Seminar was excellent this year! I attended education sessions each day that were well-presented, topical, and detailed.  My colleagues in the HOA and condominium industry have a lot of experience to share.

I attended a session that reviewed a case study on Repair Projects, Special Assessments, Association Divisiveness and Litigation.  This session provided a lot of good information.  Two of the attorneys involved in advising the association, and in defending the subsequent litigation, provided an in-depth analysis of a community that needed to move forward on repair projects but did not have sufficient funds in its reserve account.  (Sound familiar?).  The program identified the issues faced by the community, the challenges of getting consensus from the owners on the needed repairs, and the solution that the board pursued.   There are many communities in Virginia that have aging infrastructures and will soon, if not already, be facing the challenges of making repairs and having the money to do so.  The presented case study provided a road map for a major repair project.

I also had the opportunity to serve on a “Panel of Pundits.” Along with colleagues from Colorado, Massachusetts, Hawaii and New Jersey, we fielded questions from the audience concerning community association issues.

Attorneys that make the effort to attend and participate in events like these help us all to stay current on issues that affect HOAs. That enables us to provide better service and advice to our clients. Because the law changes quickly, make sure your HOA law firm stays current.

Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia

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2013 Legislative Update – Free Seminars in Williamsburg and Newport News

June 6, 2013 on 8:14 pm | In Common Interest Community, HOA, HOA litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association, Weekly Tweets | No Comments

We have blogged about the many changes coming to your community association as a result of 2013 legislative changes. As an additional service, we are providing free seminars in Williamsburg and Newport News to review those changes. Susan Tarley will discuss what the Association and its members can expect in this FREE seminar.


See this flyer for details! Tarley Robinson June Seminars

Contact:

Monica Godman at Tarley Robinson, PLC to reserve your seat!

(757) 229-4281 or  mgodman@tarleyrobinson.com

Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia

 

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HOAs and Transitions: Now’s the Time to Take Control

May 28, 2013 on 10:36 am | In Common Interest Community, General Interest, HOA, Real Estate Strategies, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association, Weekly Tweets | No Comments

Will your homeowners association or condominium association transition from developer control to homeowner control soon? Have you recently transitioned? Susan Tarley will explain a Developer’s responsibilities, help you establish your first homeowner Board of Directors, and discuss what the Association and its members can expect as they go through transition in this FREE seminar.

Details:

June 20, 2013 6-8PM

William E. Wood Building

5208 Monticello Ave, Williamsburg, VA 23188

Contact:

Monica Godman at Tarley Robinson, PLC to reserve your seat!

(757) 229-4281 or  mgodman@tarleyrobinson.com

Common Interest Communities

 

Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia

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2013 Legislative Update for Virginia HOAs

May 7, 2013 on 7:46 am | In Common Interest Community, HOA, HOA litigation, Land Use Planning, Real Estate Litigation, Real Estate Strategies, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association, Weekly Tweets | No Comments

The Virginia Legislative Action Committee (“LAC”) had a busy 2013 legislative session. This is my third year on the LAC and each year brings new challenges. Our mission is to monitor and influence legislation affecting community associations. This year I served as the Chair of the LAC and we monitored over 30 bills and were active on over 10 of the bills. We were successful in getting some bills tabled, some modified, and some passed. All of the bills cited below are effective July 1, 2013 unless otherwise noted. If you have any questions on the impact of these changes for your community, please let us know.

Williamsburg HOA and Business Law Firm

Legislation

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Sign up for the Community Association Legislative Lunch & Learn in Williamsburg or Richmond

May 24, 2012 on 9:00 am | In Common Interest Community, HOA, HOA litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association, Weekly Tweets | No Comments

The Central Virginia Chapter of Community Association Institute is sponsoring two sessions of the Legislative Lunch & Learn. The June 5 session will be held in Williamsburg at the Ford’s Colony Swim & Tennis Club, and the June 7 session will be held at The Wyndham Foundation. The sessions will cover updates on Virginia legislation and case law that affect Virginia homeowner associations and condominium associations. Managers, HOA Boards of Directors, and interested owners will benefit from this educational opportunity.

Our own Susan Tarley will be teaching both sessions, along with Jerry Wright of the Richmond area law firm Chadwick, Washington, Moriarity, Elmore & Bunn, P.C. Use this registration form for either the Williamsburg or the Richmond event. Already registrations have been strong for this event so sign up soon!

Susan new photo1 150x150 ADA Compliance – (Another) Update on HOAs, Condos and Swimming Pools

Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia

 

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ADA Compliance – Update on HOAs, Condos and Swimming Pools

April 25, 2012 on 8:00 am | In Common Interest Community, General Interest, HOA, HOA litigation, State & Federal Litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Weekly Tweets | No Comments

In the Spring of 2011, we blogged about Homeowners Associations and Condominium Associations that own swimming pools, wading pools, or spas. The issue we addressed was whether your Association needed to be aware of new requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Justice Department had issued new ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which include mandates for removing barriers to access to pools and spas. We suggested that if your HOA or Condo Association allows non-members of the association to use its pool in exchange for some form of compensation, your pool may fall under the definition of a public accommodation. If it does, the association would have to comply with the new ADA Standards and provide accessible entry and exits no later than March 15, 2012.

The March 15, 2012 deadline has come and gone, but Attorney General Eric Holder signed a rule that extended the deadline for a period of 60 days after publication of the rule in the Federal Register.  A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was also filed on March 15, 2012, which proposes a 180-day extension of the compliance deadline. This blog post discusses what these delays mean for your HOA or Condo.

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Virginia Leadership Retreat at The Homestead – 2012

April 25, 2012 on 8:00 am | In Common Interest Community, General Interest, HOA, HOA litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association, Weekly Tweets | No Comments

It’s that time of year again to schedule your attendance at the Homestead for The Virginia Leadership Retreat. This event has become a favorite for Virginia community association attorneys, management companies, and business partners.  The VLR is a very popular seminar sponsored by Central Virginia Community Association InstituteSoutheastern Virginia Community Association Institute, and Washington Metropolitan Community Association Institute. Here are some photos from last year’s event.

 

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