Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances [Effective October 1, 2019]
Chapter 19. Virginia Condominium Act
10/20/2019

§ 55.1-1947. (Effective October 1, 2019) Transfer of special declarant rights.

A. For the purposes of this section, "affiliate of a declarant" means any person who controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with a declarant. A person controls a declarant if the person (i) is a general partner, officer, director, or employer of the declarant; (ii) directly or indirectly, or acting in concert with one or more persons or through one or more subsidiaries, owns, controls, holds with power to vote, or holds proxies representing more than 20 percent of the voting interests in the declarant; (iii) controls in any manner the election of a majority of the directors of the declarant; or (iv) has contributed more than 20 percent of the capital of the declarant. A person is controlled by a declarant if the declarant (a) is a general partner, officer, director, or employer of the person; (b) directly or indirectly, or acting in concert with one or more other persons or through one or more subsidiaries, owns, controls, holds with power to vote, or holds proxies representing more than 20 percent of the voting interest in the person; (c) controls in any manner the election of a majority of the directors of the person; or (d) has contributed more than 20 percent of the capital of the person. Control does not exist if the powers described in this subsection are held solely as security for an obligation and are not exercised.

B. No special declarant right may be transferred except by a document evidencing the transfer recorded in every county and city in which any portion of the condominium is located. The instrument shall not be effective unless executed by the transferee.

C. Upon transfer of any special declarant right, the liability of a transferor declarant shall be as follows:

1. The transferor shall not be relieved of any obligation or liability arising before the transfer and shall remain liable for warranty obligations imposed upon him by subsection B of § 55.1-1955. Lack of privity shall not deprive any unit owner of standing to bring an action to enforce any obligation of the transferor.

2. If the successor to any special declarant right is an affiliate of a declarant, the transferor shall also be jointly and severally liable with the successor for any obligation or liability of the successor that relates to the condominium.

3. If a transferor retains any special declarant rights, but transfers other special declarant rights to a successor who is not an affiliate of the declarant, the transferor shall also be liable for all obligations and liabilities relating to the retained special declarant rights and imposed on a declarant by this chapter or by the condominium instruments.

4. A transferor shall have no liability for any breach of a contractual or warranty obligation or for any other act or omission, arising from the exercise of a special declarant right by a successor declarant who is not an affiliate of the transferor.

D. Except as otherwise provided by the mortgage or deed of trust, in case of foreclosure of a mortgage, sale by a trustee under a deed of trust, tax sale, judicial sale, or sale under receivership proceedings or the Bankruptcy Code as codified in Title 11 of the United States Code of any unit owned by a declarant or land subject to development rights:

1. A person acquiring title to all the land being foreclosed or sold shall, but only upon his request, succeed to all special declarant rights related to that land reserved by that declarant, or only to any rights reserved in the declaration pursuant to § 55.1-1929 and held by that declarant to maintain sales offices, management offices, model units, or signs.

2. The judgment or instrument conveying title shall provide for transfer of only the special declarant rights requested.

For the purposes of this subsection, "development rights" means any right or combination of rights to expand an expandable condominium, contract a contractable condominium, convert convertible land, or convert convertible space.

E. Upon foreclosure, sale by a trustee under a deed of trust, tax sale, judicial sale, or sale under receivership proceedings or the Bankruptcy Code as codified in Title 11 of the United States Code of all units and other land in the condominium owned by a declarant, (i) that declarant ceases to have any special declarant rights and (ii) any period of declarant control reserved under subsection A of § 55.1-1943 shall terminate, unless the judgment or instrument conveying title provides for transfer of all special declarant rights held by that declarant to a successor declarant.

F. The liabilities and obligations of any person who succeed to any special declarant right shall be as follows:

1. A successor to any special declarant right who is an affiliate of a declarant is subject to all obligations and liabilities imposed on the transferor by this chapter or by the condominium instruments.

2. A successor to any special declarant right, other than a successor described in subdivisions 3 and 4, who is not an affiliate of a declarant shall be subject to all obligations and liabilities imposed by this chapter or the condominium instruments on a declarant that relate to his exercise or nonexercise of special declarant rights, or on his transferor, except for (i) misrepresentations by any prior declarant, (ii) warranty obligations as provided in subsection B of § 55.1-1955 on improvements made by any previous declarant or made before the condominium was created, (iii) breach of any fiduciary obligation by any previous declarant or his appointees to the executive board, or (iv) any liability or obligation imposed on the transferor as a result of the transferor's acts or omissions after the transfer.

3. Unless he is an affiliate of a declarant, a successor to only a right reserved in the declaration to maintain sales offices, management offices, model units, or signs shall not exercise any other special declarant right and shall not be subject to any liability or obligation as a declarant, except the liabilities and obligations arising under Article 4 (§ 55.1-1970 et seq.) as to disposition by that successor.

4. A successor to all special declarant rights held by his transferor who is not an affiliate of that transferor and who succeeded to those rights pursuant to a deed in lieu of foreclosure or a judgment or instrument conveying title to units under subsection D may declare his intention in a recorded instrument to hold those rights solely for transfer to another person. Thereafter, until transferring all special declarant rights to any person acquiring title to any unit owned by the successor, or until recording an instrument permitting exercise of all those rights, that successor may not exercise any of those rights other than any right reserved by his transferor pursuant to subsection A of § 55.1-1943. Any attempted exercise of those rights is void. So long as a successor declarant may not exercise special declarant rights under this subsection, he shall not be subject to any liability or obligation as a declarant other than liability for his acts and omissions relating to the exercise of rights reserved under subsection A of § 55.1-1943.

G. Nothing in this section subjects any successor to a special declarant right to any claims against or other obligations of a transferor declarant, other than claims and obligations arising under this chapter or the condominium instruments.

1982, c. 545, § 55-79.74:3; 1991, c. 497; 1996, c. 977; 2006, c. 646; 2019, c. 712.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.