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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.

2013 Legislative Update for Virginia HOAs

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



More disclosure requirements have been added to the resale certificates and disclosure packets. House Bill 1807 amends both Va. Code Ann. §§ 55-79.97 and 55-509.5 and requires an addition to the information disclosed in the resale certificate and the disclosure packet. The information provided must include a statement on whether there are any known project approvals in effect from the secondary mortgage market agencies, such as FHA condominium project approval.

House Bill 2305 also amends both Va. Code Ann. §§ 55-79.97 and 55-509.5 requiring the inclusion of a statement of any restriction, limitation or prohibition against the installation or use of solar energy collection devices on the owners’ property. It does not change or restrict the ability of an association to regulate the installation of solar energy collection devices.


House Bill 1595 amends Va. Code Ann. § 55-79.83 and a new section will be added to Va. Code Ann. § 55-513. It permits both property owners’ associations and condominium associations to impose a maximum late fee of 5% on assessments that are 60 days or more past due, unless the declaration, condominium instruments or rules and regulations provide otherwise.


House Bill 2275 is a bill proposed by the Home Builders Association of Virginia (“HBAV”). HBAV’s initial goal was to specifically expand the ability of condominium developers to control the association for a longer period of time to coincide with the longer sales period experienced in the current economy. Declarants will be able to extend the period of declarant control for up to 15 years from the date the first unit is sold but such an extension will require approval by 2/3rds of the votes in the association. If the extension is approved, there will be a warranty review committee that will investigate whether any breach of the warranty exists. The statutory time period for bringing a warranty action is 5 years after the warranty began or one year after the formation of the warranty review committee, whichever last occurs. The bill amends Va. Code Ann. §§ 55-79.79 and 55-79.74.


House Bill 2200 applies only to property owners’ associations. It will be added as a new section to Va. Code Ann. § 55-513. HB 2200 permits owners to have a home-based business within his personal residence unless the declaration provides otherwise. The association may, however, establish (i) reasonable restrictions as to the time, place, and manner of the operation of a home-based business and (ii) reasonable restrictions as to the size, place, duration, and manner of the placement or display of any signs on the owner’s lot related to such home-based business. Any home-based business shall comply with all applicable local ordinances.


House Bill 2190 was initially a bill designed to allow stormwater facilities to meet minimum state standards. As originally introduced, it prohibited localities from requiring more stringent standards in the construction of stormwater management facilities than the state requires. After substantial rewriting, the bill retains the localities’ authority to regulate stormwater facilities. This bill amends Va. Code Ann. § 10.1-603.7


House Bill 1711 amends Va. Code Ann. §§ 55-79.75 and 55-510 by addressing the notice required when an annual meeting has been cancelled. If an annual meeting is cancelled the subsequent notice of the meeting must be sent at least 7 days prior to the rescheduled meeting, and the notice must include a statement that directors will be elected at the meeting.


House Bill 1861 amends Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-979 and now requires the trustee to give notice to the association of a foreclosure sale within 60 days after the sale. This applies to property owners’ associations and condominium associations.


House Bill 1988 amends Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-225 that limits the liability of those providing emergency aid (“good samaritans”) to those in need. The added language is to address the installation of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). The new bill states that anybody who “[m]aintains an AED located on real property owned or controlled by such person shall be immune from civil liability for any personal injury that results from any act of omission in the use in an emergency of an AED located on such property unless such personal injury results from gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct of the person who maintains the AED or his agent or employee.” (Note: Person is defined in the statute to include an association). There are many factors for an association to consider when installing or providing and AED. See our blog on AEDs.

We intend to conduct two Legislative Update seminars. Please contact our office for dates and details.

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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