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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.

Get your fence off my property!

Clients sometimes come to us with disputes regarding real estate litigation matters involving boundary line and easement encroachments. We provide legal advice and counsel, trying to balance your real estate rights with neighborly harmony, always looking to avoid a lawsuit when possible.

Easements provide a broad range of legal rights and obligations. In a fairly recent Virginia Supreme Court case, Snead v. C&S Properties Holding Company, a landowner blocked access to a validly recorded easement. The easement holder filed a lawsuit, asking the court to order the obstruction removed. The Virginia Supreme Court ordered the fence removed, concluding that “a significant portion of the easement would be rendered unusable for ingress and egress if injunctive relief were denied.”

Common Interest Communities

In our representation of homeowner associations, we have had many cases involving an owner encroaching upon common area. Sometimes homeowners treat the common area as their own, rather than recognizing that common area is owned by all the homeowners in common.

Recently, in one of our associations, a homeowner obtained HOA permission to install a fence on his back boundary line. Instead, the homeowner constructed the fence in the common area, property owned by the HOA. Despite numerous requests, the homeowner refused to relocate the fence to his property. The HOA had no alternative but to file a lawsuit. Fortunately, the owner’s attorney prevailed upon his client to relocate the fence without the association incurring substantial legal fees.

Many of us have easements on our properties, including utility easements. You need to be aware of all the encumbrances on your real estate, and the location of your boundary lines. If you have any questions about encroachments on your property, or on common area in an HOA, you should contact an attorney experienced in real estate litigation to inform you of your rights.

Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia

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, John Tarley, Real Estate Strategies, Susan B. Tarley by Susan Tarley

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