Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances
8/10/2020

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 55.1-1800. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Association" means the property owners' association.

"Board of directors" means the executive body of a property owners' association or a committee that is exercising the power of the executive body by resolution or bylaw.

"Capital components" means those items, whether or not a part of the common area, for which the association has the obligation for repair, replacement, or restoration and for which the board of directors determines funding is necessary.

"Common area" means property within a development which is owned, leased, or required by the declaration to be maintained or operated by a property owners' association for the use of its members and designated as a common area in the declaration.

"Common interest community" means the same as that term is defined in § 54.1-2345.

"Common interest community manager" means the same as that term is defined in § 54.1-2345.

"Declarant" means the person or entity signing the declaration and its successors or assigns who may submit property to a declaration.

"Declaration" means any instrument, however denominated, recorded among the land records of the county or city in which the development or any part of such development is located, that either (i) imposes on the association maintenance or operational responsibilities for the common area or (ii) creates the authority in the association to impose on lots, on the owners or occupants of such lots, or on any other entity any mandatory payment of money in connection with the provision of maintenance or services for the benefit of some or all of the lots, the owners or occupants of the lots, or the common area. "Declaration" includes any amendment or supplement to the instruments described in this definition. "Declaration" does not include a declaration of a condominium, real estate cooperative, time-share project, or campground.

"Development" means real property located within the Commonwealth subject to a declaration which contains both lots, at least some of which are residential or are occupied for recreational purposes, and common areas with respect to which any person, by virtue of ownership of a lot, is a member of an association and is obligated to pay assessments provided for in a declaration.

"Disclosure packet update" means an update of the financial information referenced in subdivisions A 2 through 9 of § 55.1-1809. The update shall include a copy of the original disclosure packet.

"Electronic means" means any form of communication, not directly involving the physical transmission of paper, that creates a record that may be retained, retrieved, and reviewed by a recipient of such communication. Any term used in this definition that is defined in § 59.1-480 of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act shall have the meaning set forth in such section.

"Financial update" means an update of the financial information referenced in subdivisions A 2 through 7 of § 55.1-1809.

"Lot" means (i) any plot or parcel of land designated for separate ownership or occupancy shown on a recorded subdivision plat for a development or the boundaries of which are described in the declaration or in a recorded instrument referred to or expressly contemplated by the declaration, other than a common area, and (ii) a unit in a condominium association or a unit in a real estate cooperative if the condominium or cooperative is a part of a development.

"Lot owner" means one or more persons who own a lot, including any purchaser of a lot at a foreclosure sale, regardless of whether the deed is recorded in the land records where the lot is located. "Lot owner" does not include any person holding an interest in a lot solely as security for a debt.

"Professionally managed" means a common interest community that has engaged (i) a common interest community manager to provide management services to the community or (ii) a person as an employee for compensation to provide management services to the community, other than a resident of the community who provides bookkeeping, billing, or recordkeeping services for that community.

"Property owners' association" or "association" means an incorporated or unincorporated entity upon which responsibilities are imposed and to which authority is granted in the declaration.

"Settlement agent" means the same as that term is defined in § 55.1-1000.

1989, c. 679, § 55-509; 1991, c. 667; 1996, c. 618; 1998, c. 623; 2001, c. 715; 2002, c. 459; 2003, c. 422; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2011, c. 334; 2015, cc. 93, 410; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1801. Applicability.

A. This chapter applies to developments subject to a declaration initially recorded after January 1, 1959, associations incorporated or otherwise organized after such date, and all subdivisions created under the Subdivided Land Sales Act (§ 55.1-2300 et seq.). For the purposes of this chapter, as used in the Subdivided Land Sales Act, the terms:

"Covenants," "deed restrictions," or "other recorded instruments" for the management, regulation, and control of a development are deemed to correspond with the term "declaration."

"Developer" is deemed to correspond with the term "declarant."

"Subdivision" is deemed to correspond with the term "development."

B. This chapter supersedes the Subdivided Land Sales Act (§ 55.1-2300 et seq.), and no development shall be subject to the Subdivided Land Sales Act on or after July 1, 1998.

This chapter shall not be construed to affect the validity of any provision of any declaration recorded prior to July 1, 1998, provided, however, that this chapter shall be applicable to any development established prior to the enactment of the Subdivided Land Sales Act (§ 55.1-2300 et seq.)(i) located in a county with an urban county executive form of government, (ii) containing 500 or more lots, (iii) each lot of which is located within the boundaries of a watershed improvement district established pursuant to Article 3 (§ 10.1-614 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 10.1, and (iv) each lot of which is subject to substantially similar deed restrictions, which shall be considered a declaration under this chapter.

In addition, any development established prior to July 1, 1978, may specifically provide for the applicability of the provisions of this chapter.

C. This chapter shall not be construed to affect the validity of any provision of any prior declaration; however, to the extent that the declaration is silent, the provisions of this chapter shall apply. If any one lot in a development is subject to the provisions of this chapter, all lots in the development shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter notwithstanding the fact that such lots would otherwise be excluded from the provisions of this chapter. Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter, a declaration may specifically provide for the applicability of the provisions of this chapter. The granting of rights in this chapter shall not be construed to imply that such rights did not exist with respect to any development created in the Commonwealth before July 1, 1989.

D. This chapter shall not apply to the (i) provisions of documents of, (ii) operations of any association governing, or (iii) relationship of a member to any association governing condominiums created pursuant to the Condominium Act (§ 55.1-1900 et seq.), cooperatives created pursuant to the Virginia Real Estate Cooperative Act (§ 55.1-2100 et seq.), time-shares created pursuant to the Virginia Real Estate Time-Share Act (§ 55.1-2200 et seq.), or membership campgrounds created pursuant to the Virginia Membership Camping Act (§ 59.1-311 et seq.). This chapter shall not apply to any nonstock, nonprofit, taxable corporation with nonmandatory membership which, as its primary function, makes available golf, ski, and other recreational facilities both to its members and to the general public.

1989, c. 679, § 55-508; 1991, c. 667; 1992, c. 677; 1998, cc. 32, 623; 2003, c. 422; 2005, c. 668; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2018, c. 645; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1802. Developer to register and file annual report; payment of real estate taxes attributable to the common area.

A. Unless control of the association has been transferred to the members, the developer shall register the association with the Common Interest Community Board within 30 days after recordation of the declaration and thereafter shall ensure that the report required pursuant to § 55.1-1835 has been filed.

B. Upon the transfer of the common area to the association, the developer shall pay all real estate taxes attributable to the open or common space as defined in § 58.1-3284.1 through the date of the transfer to the association.

1993, c. 956, § 55-509.1; 2018, c. 733; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1803. Limitation on certain contracts and leases by declarant.

A. If entered into any time prior to the expiration of the period of declarant control contemplated by the declaration, no contract or lease entered into with the declarant or any entity controlled by the declarant, management contract, or employment contract that is directly or indirectly made by or on behalf of the association, its board of directors, or the lot owners as a group shall be entered into for a period in excess of five years. Any such contract or agreement may be terminated without penalty by the association or its board of directors upon not less than 90 days' written notice to the other party given no later than 60 days after the expiration of the period of declarant control contemplated by the declaration.

B. If entered into any time prior to the expiration of the period of declarant control contemplated by the declaration, any contract or lease entered into with the declarant or any entity controlled by the declarant, management contract, or employment contract that is directly or indirectly made by or on behalf of the association, its board of directors, or the lot owners as a group may be renewed for periods not in excess of five years; however, at the end of any five-year period, the association or its board of directors may terminate any further renewals or extensions of such contract or lease.

C. If entered into at any time prior to the expiration of the period of declarant control contemplated by the declaration, any contract, lease, or agreement, other than those subject to the provisions of subsection A or B, may be entered into by or on behalf of the association, its board of directors, or the lot owners as a group if such contract, lease, or agreement is bona fide and is commercially reasonable to the association at the time entered into under the circumstances.

D. This section shall be strictly construed to protect the rights of the lot owners.

2012, c. 671, § 55-509.1:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1804. Documents to be provided by declarant upon transfer of control.

Unless previously provided to the board of directors of the association, once the majority of the members of the board of directors other than the declarant are owners of improved lots in the association and the declarant no longer holds a majority of the votes in the association, the declarant shall provide to the board of directors or its designated agent the following: (i) all association books and records held by or controlled by the declarant, including minute books and rules and regulations and all amendments to such rules and regulations that may have been promulgated; (ii) a statement of receipts and expenditures from the date of the recording of the association documents to the end of the regular accounting period immediately succeeding the first election of the board of directors by the lot owners, not to exceed 60 days after the date of the election, such statement being prepared in an accurate and complete manner, utilizing the accrual method of accounting; (iii) the number of lots subject to the declaration; (iv) the number of lots that may be subject to the declaration upon completion of development; (v) a copy of the latest available approved plans and specifications for all improvements in the project or as-built plans if available; (vi) all association insurance policies that are currently in force; (vii) written unexpired warranties of the contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and manufacturers, if any, relative to all common area improvements, including stormwater facilities; (viii) any contracts in which the association is a contracting party; (ix) a list of manufacturers of paints, roofing materials, and other similar materials if specified for use on the association property; (x) the number of members of the board of directors and number of such directors appointed by the declarant together with names and contact information of members of the board of directors; and (xi) an inventory and description of stormwater facilities located on the common area or which otherwise serve the development and for which the association has, or subsequently may have, maintenance, repair, or replacement responsibility, together with the requirements for maintenance thereof.

The requirement for delivery of stormwater facility information required by clause (xi) shall be deemed satisfied by delivery to the association of a final site plan or final construction drawings showing stormwater facilities as approved by a local government jurisdiction and applicable recorded easements or agreements, if any, containing requirements for the maintenance, repair, or replacement of the stormwater facilities.

If the association is managed by a common interest community manager in which the declarant, or its principals, has no pecuniary interest or management role, then such common interest community manager shall have the responsibility to provide the documents and information required by clauses (i), (ii), (vi), and (viii).

1996, c. 618, § 55-509.2; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2012, c. 671; 2019, cc. 712, 724.

§ 55.1-1805. Association charges.

Except as expressly authorized in this chapter, in the declaration, or otherwise provided by law, no association shall (i) make an assessment or impose a charge against a lot or a lot owner unless the charge is a fee for services provided or related to use of the common area or (ii) charge a fee related to the provisions set out in § 55.1-1810 or 55.1-1811 that is not expressly authorized in those sections. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize an association or common interest community manager to charge an inspection fee for an unimproved or improved lot except as provided in § 55.1-1810 or 55.1-1811. The Common Interest Community Board may assess a monetary penalty for a violation of this section against any (a) association pursuant to § 54.1-2351 or (b) common interest community manager pursuant to § 54.1-2349, and may issue a cease and desist order pursuant to § 54.1-2352.

2008, cc. 851, § 55-509.3, 871; 2011, c. 334; 2014, c. 216; 2015, c. 277; 2019, c. 712; 2020, c. 592.

§ 55.1-1806. Rental of lots.

A. Except as expressly authorized in this chapter, in the declaration, or as otherwise provided by law, no association shall:

1. Condition or prohibit the rental to a tenant of a lot by a lot owner or make an assessment or impose a charge except as provided in § 55.1-1805;

2. Charge a rental fee, application fee, or other processing fee of any kind in excess of $50 during the term of any lease;

3. Charge an annual or monthly rental fee or any other fee not expressly authorized in § 55.1-1805;

4. Require the lot owner to use a lease or an addendum to the lease prepared by the association;

5. Charge any deposit from the lot owner or the tenant of the lot owner; or

6. Have the authority to evict a tenant of any lot owner or to require any lot owner to execute a power of attorney authorizing the association to evict such a tenant. However, if the lot owner designates a person licensed under the provisions of § 54.1-2106.1 as the lot owner's authorized representative with respect to any lease, the association shall recognize such representation without a formal power of attorney, provided that the association is given a written authorization signed by the lot owner designating such representative. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the requirements of § 55.1-1828 and the declaration shall be satisfied before any such representative may exercise a vote on behalf of a lot owner as a proxy.

B. The association may require the lot owner to provide the association with (i) the names and contact information of and vehicle information for the tenants and authorized occupants under such lease and (ii) the name and contact information of any authorized agent of the lot owner. The association may require the lot owner to provide the association with the tenant's acknowledgment of and consent to any rules and regulations of the association.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to lots owned by the association.

2015, c. 277, § 55-509.3:1; 2016, c. 471; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1807. Statement of lot owner rights.

Every lot owner who is a member in good standing of a property owners' association shall have the following rights:

1. The right of access to all books and records kept by or on behalf of the association according to and subject to the provisions of § 55.1-1815, including records of all financial transactions;

2. The right to cast a vote on any matter requiring a vote by the association's membership in proportion to the lot owner's ownership interest, unless the declaration provides otherwise;

3. The right to have notice of any meeting of the board of directors, to make a record of any such meeting by audio or visual means, and to participate in any such meeting in accordance with the provisions of subsection G of § 55.1-1815 and § 55.1-1816;

4. The right to have (i) notice of any proceeding conducted by the board of directors or other tribunal specified in the declaration against the lot owner to enforce any rule or regulation of the association and (ii) the opportunity to be heard and represented by counsel at such proceeding, as provided in § 55.1-1819, and the right of due process in the conduct of that hearing; and

5. The right to serve on the board of directors if duly elected and a member in good standing of the association, unless the declaration provides otherwise.

The rights enumerated in this section shall be enforceable by any such lot owner pursuant to the provisions of § 55.1-1828.

2015, c. 286, § 55-509.3:2; 2018, c. 663; 2019, c. 712.

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

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