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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.

Benefits of HOAs Part 4: What do homeowners really think about their associations?

We’ve mentioned already the abundance of news articles criticizing community associations. If these news stories are to be believed, then associations are unpopular indeed. But is it true that residents living in community associations are unhappy with their association? Research by the Community Associations Institute suggests that it is not. In fact, the research suggests that more people than ever are choosing to live in communities with associations, and the overwhelming majority of those people are happy with their association.

Statistics compiled by the Community Associations Institute show that the number of associations continues to grow. In 1970, just ten thousand communities, with a combined 2.1 million residents, were governed by associations. Today there are over 309,000 communities governed by associations. More than 62 million Americans live in associations. 1.75 million volunteers serve on community association boards, and a full 26 percent of the eligible U.S. population volunteers for an association at some point during a year, according to one estimate. That kind of service simply would not happen if associations were as widely disliked as has been portrayed.

Williamsburg Virginia Business and HOA Lawyers

Common Interest Communities

Research also indicates that the overwhelming majority of people living in association-governed communities are happy with the experience. In 2009, seventy-one percent reported an overall positive experience living in a community association. Tellingly, that number is the same as it was in 2005, before the foreclosure crisis began straining association resources across the country. Asked if they think members of their association board strive to serve the best interests of the community as a whole, eighty-nine percent of residents said “Absolutely” or “For the most part.” Ninety-one percent of residents say they are on friendly terms with the board members of their association.

Just as we do with leaders in our local municipalities, sometimes we can criticize decisions made by association leaders. However, research confirms that most owners are generally happy with their associations. And just like our local municipalities, these associations depend upon dedicated volunteers behind the scenes, just like the person described in this story of an appreciated and dedicated community volunteer striving to make her neighborhood a better place to live.

The  owner-controlled Board of Directors for your association did not draft the restrictive covenants for your community. Instead, your community association was created by restrictive covenants drafted and recorded in the land records by the project developer, and these covenants will not go away. Furthermore, localities encourage the formation of community associations, partly so those associations provide services to their owners, decreasing the demand for services provided by local municipalities. Homeowners associations are here to stay, so get involved with your neighborhood, and make it a better place to live!

Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia

Susan new photo1 150x150 Benefits of Community Associations Part 3: What Benefits do Owners Receive from Assessments?

Jason Howell e1310425047164 Benefits of Community Associations Part 3: What Benefits do Owners Receive from Assessments?

Susan Tarley

Susan Tarley

Susan chairs the firm's common interest community (HOAs and Condos) practice area. She was admitted into the College of Community Association Attorneys (“CCAL”). Susan is one of fewer than 150 attorneys nationwide to be admitted to CCAL, for distinguishing herself through contributions to the evolution or practice of community association law.

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Filed under: Common Interest Community, HOA, HOA litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association by Susan Tarley

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