New Legislative Changes to Common Interest Communities
As we all know legislation continues to grow and change based on the current needs of our communities. The most recent legislative changes to the Virginia Condominium Act will go into effect July 1, 2015. Here are a few of the changes that may impact your community.
Many associations have adopted leasing policies in their governing documents. New law states that associations may not deny homeowners from renting their unit unless it is outlined in the current governing documents. If it is not described in the governing documents, associations are not allowed to assess charges for rentals and processing in excess of $50 as a condition of approval of the rental. In addition, an association is no longer allowed to require rental leases that are prepared by the association or charge a security deposit. I do want to point out that associations are allowed to require the owner to provide a copy of the lease with the names and contact information for all occupants under the lease. The association may also require the tenant’s acknowledgement and consent to the association’s rules and regulations.
Suspension of Voting Rights:
If an owner’s voting rights have been suspended by the association, the suspended vote will NOT count towards the total number for quorum. For example, if the governing documents require 22 votes for quorum and one homeowner’s voting rights have been suspended, the new quorum number is 21. Ultimately the new bill lowers the quorum requirement based on suspended voting rights of the homeowners.
Meetings of Unit Owners Associations:
This particular Senate bill is aimed at associations that do not hold annual meetings to elect the Board of Directors, even if they repeatedly do not meet quorum. Under the new law, an association or a homeowner may “petition a circuit court to order a meeting of the unit owners’ association for the purpose of electing officers.” In doing so, the court may set quorum for the meeting and any other instructions necessary to hold an election of officers. There are some stipulations that must occur before the court may apply this ruling: First, no annual meeting has been held due to the failure to obtain quorum as stated in the governing documents. Secondly, “the unit owners’ association has made good faith attempts to convene a duly called annual meeting of the unit owners’ association in three successive years that have been unsuccessful because of the failure to obtain quorum.” It is required that the unit owner filing the petition must provide a copy of the petition to the “association executive organ” (Board of Directors) at least 10 days prior to filing in court.
It is important to make yourself familiar with these changes as well as your current governing documents in order to understand how these changes affect your community. If you have questions about the new laws please don’t hesitate to contact your Board of Directors or the Managing Agent.
Source: “Just the Facts” Virginia Common Interest Communities 2015 Legislative Changes. Written by Kevin A. Kernan, Whiteford Taylor Preston
Blog Author: Tara Alrutz