• Recent Posts

  • Martindale Hubbell AV Rating

    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.

HOA Case Study: A Board’s statements or conduct may establish the enforceability of its governing documents

May 26, 2023 on 4:49 am | In Common Interest Community, General Interest, HOA, HOA litigation, John Tarley, Real Estate Litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association | Comments Off on HOA Case Study: A Board’s statements or conduct may establish the enforceability of its governing documents

An article in the Washington Post discussed a pending case in the Virginia Supreme Court regarding a dispute between property owners and a community association regarding the owners’ operation of a vineyard and retail store on their property. In an unpublished Order, the Virginia Supreme Court upheld a Fauquier County jury verdict for the property owners that had been set aside by the trial court.

Although unpublished orders do not have “precedential value or . . . significance for the law or legal system,” this case does provide us with a look at how difficult it can be for community associations to interpret their governing documents and also how a board’s previous actions may have an effect upon future enforcement of the community’s declarations and covenants. This blog post will review the facts of that case and its applicability to your HOA.

Continue reading “HOA Case Study: A Board’s statements or conduct may establish the enforceability of its governing documents”

Comments Off on HOA Case Study: A Board’s statements or conduct may establish the enforceability of its governing documents

How important are state statutes and case decisions in governing your HOA?

May 26, 2023 on 4:49 am | In Common Interest Community, HOA, HOA litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association | Comments Off on How important are state statutes and case decisions in governing your HOA?

We discussed Governing Documents for homeowners associations and Governing Documents for condominium associations. These governing documents for your community association must be read in conjunction with certain state and federal laws. In this article, we will discuss those relevant laws that must be considered by your HOA.

Continue reading “How important are state statutes and case decisions in governing your HOA?”

Comments Off on How important are state statutes and case decisions in governing your HOA?

Can HOAs Prohibit Owners From Flying the American Flag?

May 26, 2023 on 4:49 am | In General Interest, HOA, HOA litigation, John Tarley, State & Federal Litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association | Comments Off on Can HOAs Prohibit Owners From Flying the American Flag?

Flying the flag is an important way that Americans celebrate their liberty and the sacrifices of past and present heroes who defend it. There were news stories about a dispute between an Ohio homeowners’ association and a Vietnam veteran over a flagpole that brought an important issue to the forefront.

In Ohio, a homeowner erected a large flagpole on his property to fly the flag. The homeowners’ association told him that the flagpole (not the flag) violated the declaration of covenants for the neighborhood, and asked him to take the flagpole down. It offered to place flagpoles in common areas in the neighborhood, and suggested that the covenants would allow him to fly a flag on a pole attached to his house. He refused. After a firestorm of publicity, the HOA averted litigation by permitting the homeowner to keep his flagpole. The underlying question remains: can a homeowners’ association really prohibit an owner from flying the American Flag?

Comments Off on Can HOAs Prohibit Owners From Flying the American Flag?

Homeowner cannot be forced to join a voluntary HOA

May 26, 2023 on 4:49 am | In Common Interest Community, HOA, John Tarley, Real Estate Strategies, State & Federal Litigation | Comments Off on Homeowner cannot be forced to join a voluntary HOA

In a case from the Chesterfield Circuit Court, the circuit court judge determined that a homeowner could not be forced to pay association dues to a voluntary association. This result is not surprising.


Continue reading “Homeowner cannot be forced to join a voluntary HOA”

Comments Off on Homeowner cannot be forced to join a voluntary HOA

Benefits of Community Associations Part 1: Are HOAs really as bad as some portray?

May 26, 2023 on 4:49 am | In Common Interest Community, HOA, HOA litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Real Estate Strategies, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association | Comments Off on Benefits of Community Associations Part 1: Are HOAs really as bad as some portray?

 

Community Associations have been the subject of a lot of bad press lately. An Associated Press article is typical of news reports that lambast associations. The article tells about a 55-and-older condo complex in Florida. According to the article, units in the Inlet House condo complex used to be worth $79,000, but sold for as little as $3,000 after rats started chewing through toilet seats and sewage started leaking from the ceiling. The article goes on to vilify the condo association for levying a $6,000 special assessment on residents and then foreclosing on owners who don’t pay their dues.

In its eagerness to blame the condo association for the woes of these senior citizens, the article and many blogs pointing out the “abuses of HOAs” miss an important point: the association may be the only group really looking out for the interests of the owners. Let’s look at what the article does not allege: it does not allege that the Association was responsible for the rat infestation or the sewage leak and it does not allege that the Association could have prevented the housing meltdown that contributed to the decline in property values.

Continue reading “Benefits of Community Associations Part 1: Are HOAs really as bad as some portray?”

Comments Off on Benefits of Community Associations Part 1: Are HOAs really as bad as some portray?

HOAs and a Reserve Study…it’s the law! (Part 1 of a 3 part series on Reserves)

May 26, 2023 on 4:49 am | In Common Interest Community, HOA, Susan B. Tarley | Comments Off on HOAs and a Reserve Study…it’s the law! (Part 1 of a 3 part series on Reserves)

Yes, Virginia, property owners’ associations and condominium associations are required to have a reserve study.  At least once every five years an association must obtain a study to determine the necessity and amount of reserves (i.e. financial savings) required to repair, replace and restore capital components.  Capital components are those items, regardless of whether they are part of the common area or common elements, for which a) the association has an obligation to repair, replace or restore, and for which b) the board or executive organ determines that funding is necessary.

Continue reading “HOAs and a Reserve Study…it’s the law! (Part 1 of a 3 part series on Reserves)”

Comments Off on HOAs and a Reserve Study…it’s the law! (Part 1 of a 3 part series on Reserves)

Pool Season: Is Your Association Ready to Take the Plunge?

May 26, 2023 on 4:49 am | In Common Interest Community, HOA, HOA litigation, Unit Owners Association | Comments Off on Pool Season: Is Your Association Ready to Take the Plunge?

Many Community Associations prepare to open their neighborhood pool by adding chemicals and performing maintenance to ensure the health and safety of the Owners. But just as HOAs take care in measuring chlorine and skimming leaves, Boards of Directors are well-advised to take care in preparing the Association’s Pool Rules. This blog post reviews the possible “rules” that HOAs may implement for pool safety.

HOAs, Swimming Pool and the ADA

Continue reading “Pool Season: Is Your Association Ready to Take the Plunge?”

Comments Off on Pool Season: Is Your Association Ready to Take the Plunge?

Virginia Statute – HOAs must adopt “Cost Schedule” to recover copy costs

May 26, 2023 on 4:49 am | In Common Interest Community, General Interest, HOA, HOA litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association | Comments Off on Virginia Statute – HOAs must adopt “Cost Schedule” to recover copy costs

The Virginia Code has provisions that provide members of condominium associations and homeowner associations with the ability to request copies of books and records. The statutes have also permitted  associations to recover the costs of copying the requested books and records.

This blog post highlights a new statutory provision affecting common interest communities. On July 1, 2012, HOAs and condo associations will only be able to recover these copying costs if the association has adopted a cost schedule.

Continue reading “Virginia Statute – HOAs must adopt “Cost Schedule” to recover copy costs”

Comments Off on Virginia Statute – HOAs must adopt “Cost Schedule” to recover copy costs

HOAs and the Power to Adopt Rules and Regulations: Is it more limited than we think?

May 26, 2023 on 4:49 am | In Common Interest Community, HOA, HOA litigation, Unit Owners Association | Comments Off on HOAs and the Power to Adopt Rules and Regulations: Is it more limited than we think?

Community Associations that have adopted rules and regulations that permit the association to avail itself of the enforcement capabilities found in Va. Code Ann. § 55-79.80:2 or § 55-513(B) should have counsel review the governing documents or condominium instruments, as applicable, in light of an unpublished Virginia Supreme Court order in Shadowood Condominium Association et al., v. Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority. In Shadowood, the Court determined that community associations do not have the authority to impose charges or suspend owner’s rights unless the authority is specifically granted in the condominium instruments or governing documents. This blog post analyzes that Court order.

Continue reading “HOAs and the Power to Adopt Rules and Regulations: Is it more limited than we think?”

Comments Off on HOAs and the Power to Adopt Rules and Regulations: Is it more limited than we think?

ADA, FHA, and HOAs And Service Animals: Florida Association Sued for housing discrimination

May 26, 2023 on 4:49 am | In Common Interest Community, General Interest, HOA, HOA litigation, John Tarley, State & Federal Litigation, Unit Owners Association | Comments Off on ADA, FHA, and HOAs And Service Animals: Florida Association Sued for housing discrimination

A short while ago we wrote a blog piece on the issues relating to community associations regulating service animals. In that blog we noted that the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”)  “permits individuals with disabilities to keep an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation when there are limitations imposed by the homeowner or condominium association on animals and pets.”  In Broward County, Florida, that county’s Civil Rights Division filed suit against a condominium association for violating the FHA by refusing to consider a person’s request for an “emotional servant animal,” a chihuahua.

Comments Off on ADA, FHA, and HOAs And Service Animals: Florida Association Sued for housing discrimination
« Previous PageNext Page »
  • Phone Numbers

    (757) 229-4281- Office

    (757) 229-7439 - Fax
  • Address

    4801 Courthouse Street Suite 122 Williamsburg, Virginia 23188
Web Development by OneWaveMedia.Com