Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances
Chapter 19. Virginia Condominium Act
8/2/2021

Article 2. Creation, Alteration, and Termination of Condominiums.

§ 55.1-1907. How condominium may be created.

No condominium shall come into existence except by the recordation of condominium instruments pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. No condominium instruments shall be recorded unless all units located or to be located on any portion of the submitted land, other than within the boundaries of any convertible lands, are depicted on plats and plans that comply with the provisions of subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.45; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1908. Release of liens.

A. At the time of the conveyance to the first purchaser of a condominium unit following the recordation of the declaration, every mortgage, deed of trust, any other perfected lien, or any mechanics' or materialmen's liens affecting all of the condominium or a greater portion of the condominium than the condominium unit conveyed shall be paid and satisfied of record, or the declarant shall forthwith have such condominium unit released of record from all such liens not so paid and satisfied. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply, however, to any withdrawable land in a contractable condominium, nor shall any provision of this subsection be construed to prohibit the unit owners' association from mortgaging or causing a deed of trust to be placed on any portion of the condominium within which no units are located, so long as the period of declarant control specified in § 55.1-1943 has expired and so long as the bylaws authorize such action. This subsection does not apply to any lien on more than one condominium unit in a condominium in which all units are restricted to nonresidential use and in which all unit owners whose condominium units will be subject to such lien expressly agree to assume or take subject to such lien.

B. If any lien, other than a deed of trust or mortgage, becomes effective against two or more condominium units subsequent to the creation of the condominium, any unit owner may remove his condominium unit from that lien by payment of the amount attributable to his condominium unit. Such amount shall be computed by reference to the liability for common expenses appertaining to that condominium unit pursuant to subsection D of § 55.1-1964. Subsequent to such payment, discharge, or other satisfaction, the unit owner of that condominium unit shall be entitled to have that lien released as to his condominium unit in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-341, and the unit owners' association shall not assess, or have a valid lien against, that condominium unit for any portion of the common expenses incurred in connection with that lien, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in §§ 55.1-1964 and 55.1-1966.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.46; 1985, c. 107; 1992, c. 72; 1993, c. 667; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1909. Description of condominium units.

After the creation of the condominium, no description of a condominium unit shall be deemed vague, uncertain, or otherwise insufficient or infirm if it sets forth the identifying number of that unit, the name of the condominium, the name of the county or city in which the condominium is situated, and either the deed book and page number where the first page of the declaration is recorded or the document number assigned to the declaration by the clerk. Any such description shall be deemed to include the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to such unit even if such interest is not defined or referred to in the description.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.47; 1975, c. 415; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1910. Execution of condominium instruments.

The declaration and bylaws, and any amendments to either made pursuant to § 55.1-1934, shall be duly executed by or on behalf of all of the owners and lessees of the submitted land. The phrase "owners and lessees" in this section and in § 55.1-1926 does not include, in their capacity as such, any mortgagee, any trustee or beneficiary under a deed of trust, any other lien holder, any person having an equitable interest under any contract for the sale or lease of a condominium unit, any lessee whose leasehold interest does not extend to any portion of the common elements, any person whose land is subject to an easement included in the condominium, or, in the case of a leasehold condominium subject to any lease executed before July 1, 1962, any lessor of the submitted land who is not a declarant.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.48; 1980, c. 702; 1984, c. 21; 1990, c. 831; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1911. Recordation of condominium instruments.

All condominium instruments and all amendments and certifications of such condominium instruments shall be recorded in every county and city in which any portion of the condominium is located. The condominium instruments, amendments, and certifications shall set forth the county or city in which the condominium is located, the name of the condominium, and either the deed book and page number where the first page of the declaration is recorded or the document number assigned to the declaration by the clerk.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.49; 1975, c. 415; 1982, c. 545; 2019, c. 712; 2020, c. 592.

§ 55.1-1912. Construction of condominium instruments.

Except to the extent otherwise provided by the condominium instruments:

1. The terms defined in § 55.1-1900 shall be deemed to have the meanings therein specified wherever they appear in the condominium instruments unless the context requires a different meaning.

2. To the extent that walls, floors, or ceilings are designated as the boundaries of the units or of any specified units, all lath, wallboard, plasterboard, plaster, paneling, tiles, wallpaper, paint, and finished flooring and any other materials constituting any part of the finished surfaces of such walls, floors, or ceilings are part of such units, while all other portions of such walls, floors, or ceilings are a part of the common elements.

3. If any chutes, flues, ducts, conduits, wires, bearing walls, bearing columns, or other apparatus lies partially within and partially outside of the designated boundaries of a unit, any portions serving only that unit are a part of that unit, while any portions serving more than one unit or any portion of the common elements are a part of the common elements.

4. Subject to the provisions of subdivision 3, all space, interior partitions, and other fixtures and improvements within the boundaries of a unit are a part of that unit.

5. Any shutters, awnings, doors, windows, window boxes, doorsteps, porches, balconies, patios, or other apparatus designed to serve a single unit, but located outside the boundaries of such unit, are limited common elements appertaining to that unit exclusively, except that if a single unit's electrical master switch is located outside the designated boundaries of the unit, the switch and its cover are a part of the common elements.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.50; 1982, cc. 206, 545; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1913. Complementarity of condominium instruments; controlling construction.

The condominium instruments shall be construed together and shall be deemed to incorporate one another to the extent that any requirement of this chapter as to the content of one shall be deemed satisfied if the deficiency can be cured by reference to any of the others. In the event of any conflict between the condominium instruments, the declaration shall control; but particular provisions shall control more general provisions, except that a construction consistent with the statute shall in all cases control over any inconsistent construction.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.51; 1975, c. 415; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1914. Validity of condominium instruments; discrimination prohibited.

A. All provisions of the condominium instruments shall be deemed severable, and any unlawful provision of such condominium instruments shall be void.

B. No provision of the condominium instruments shall be deemed void by reason of the rule against perpetuities.

C. No restraint on alienation shall discriminate or be used to discriminate on any basis prohibited under the Virginia Fair Housing Law (§ 36-96.1 et seq.).

D. Subject to the provisions of subsection C, the rule of property law known as the rule restricting unreasonable restraints on alienation shall not be applied to defeat any provision of the condominium instruments restraining the alienation of condominium units other than such units as may be restricted to residential use only.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.52; 1975, c. 415; 1998, cc. 32, 454; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1915. Compliance with condominium instruments.

A. The declarant, every unit owner, and all those entitled to occupy a unit shall comply with all lawful provisions of this chapter and all provisions of the condominium instruments. Any lack of such compliance shall be grounds for an action to recover sums due, for damages or injunctive relief, or for any other remedy available at law or in equity, maintainable by the unit owners' association or by its executive board or any managing agent on behalf of such association or, in any proper case, by one or more aggrieved unit owners on their own behalf or as a class action. A unit owners' association shall have standing to sue in its own name for any claims or actions related to the common elements as provided in subsection B of § 55.1-1956. Except as provided in subsection B, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees, costs expended in the matter, and interest on the judgment as provided in § 8.01-382. This section does not preclude an action against the unit owners' association and authorizes the recovery, by the prevailing party in any such action, of reasonable attorney fees, costs expended in the matter, and interest on the judgment as provided in § 8.01-382 in such actions.

B. In actions against a unit owner for nonpayment of assessments in which the unit owner has failed to pay assessments levied by the unit owners' association on more than one unit or such unit owner has had legal actions taken against him for nonpayment of any prior assessment and the prevailing party is the association or its executive board or any managing agent on behalf of the association, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney fees, costs expended in the matter, and interest on the judgment as provided in subsection A, even if the proceeding is settled prior to judgment. The delinquent unit owner shall be personally responsible for reasonable attorney fees and costs expended in the matter by the unit owners' association, whether any judicial proceedings are filed.

C. The condominium instruments may provide for arbitration of disputes or other means of alternative dispute resolution. Any such arbitration held in accordance with this subsection shall be consistent with the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 21 (§ 8.01-577 et seq.) of Title 8.01. The place of any such arbitration or alternative dispute resolution shall be in the county or city in which the condominium is located or as mutually agreed by the parties.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.53; 1975, c. 415; 1993, c. 667; 1996, c. 977; 2012, c. 758; 2014, c. 569; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1916. Contents of declaration.

A. The declaration for every condominium shall contain the following:

1. The name of the condominium, which name shall include the word "condominium" or be followed by the words "a condominium."

2. The name of the county or city in which the condominium is located.

3. A legal description by metes and bounds of the land submitted in accordance with this chapter.

4. A description or delineation of the boundaries of the units, including the horizontal (upper and lower) boundaries, if any, as well as the vertical (lateral or perimetric) boundaries.

5. A description or delineation of any limited common elements, other than those that are limited common elements by virtue of subdivision 5 of § 55.1-1912, showing or designating the unit or units to which each is assigned.

6. A description or delineation of all common elements not within the boundaries of any convertible lands that may subsequently be assigned as limited common elements, together with a statement that (i) they may be so assigned and a description of the method by which any such assignments shall be made in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-1919 or (ii) once assigned, the conditions under which they may be unassigned and converted to common elements in accordance with § 55.1-1919.

7. The allocation to each unit of an undivided interest in the common elements in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-1917.

8. A statement of the extent of the declarant's obligation to complete improvements labeled "NOT YET COMPLETED" or to begin and complete improvements labeled "NOT YET BEGUN" on plats recorded pursuant to the requirements of this chapter. Such statement shall be specific as to the type and quality of materials to be used, the size or capacity of the improvements when material, and the time by which such improvements shall be completed.

9. Such other matters as the declarant deems appropriate.

B. If the condominium contains any convertible land, the declaration shall also contain the following:

1. A legal description by metes and bounds of each convertible land within the condominium.

2. A statement of the maximum number of units that may be created within each such convertible land.

3. A statement, with respect to each such convertible land, of the maximum percentage of the aggregate land and floor area of all units that may be created in such convertible land that may be occupied by units not restricted exclusively to residential use. Such statement is not required if none of the units on other portions of the submitted land are restricted exclusively to residential use.

4. A statement of the extent to which any structure erected on any convertible land will be compatible with structures on other portions of the submitted land in terms of quality of construction, the principal materials to be used, and architectural style.

5. A description of all other improvements that may be made on each convertible land within the condominium.

6. A statement that any units created within each convertible land will be substantially identical to the units on other portions of the submitted land, or a statement describing in detail what other types of units may be created in such convertible land.

7. A description of the declarant's reserved right, if any, to create limited common elements within any convertible land or to designate common elements in such convertible land that may subsequently be assigned as limited common elements, in terms of the types, sizes, and maximum number of such elements within each such convertible land.

Plats and plans may be recorded as exhibits to the declaration to supplement information furnished pursuant to subdivisions 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

C. If the condominium is an expandable condominium, the declaration shall also contain the following:

1. The explicit reservation of an option to expand the condominium.

2. A statement of any limitations on that option, including a statement as to whether the consent of any unit owners shall be required, and, if so, a statement as to the method by which such consent shall be ascertained, or a statement that there are no such limitations.

3. A time limit, not exceeding 10 years after the recording of the declaration, upon which the option to expand the condominium shall expire, together with a statement of the circumstances, if any, that will terminate that option prior to the expiration of the time limit so specified. After the expiration of any period of declarant control reserved pursuant to subsection A of § 55.1-1943, such time limit may be extended by an amendment to the declaration made pursuant to § 55.1-1934.

4. A legal description by metes and bounds of all land that may be added to the condominium, henceforth referred to as "additional land."

5. A statement as to whether, if any of the additional land is added to the condominium, all of it or any particular portion of it must be added and, if not, a statement of any limitations as to what portions may be added, or a statement that there are no such limitations.

6. A statement as to whether portions of the additional land may be added to the condominium at different times, together with any limitations fixing the boundaries of those portions by legal descriptions setting forth the metes and bounds of such portions or regulating the order in which they may be added to the condominium.

7. A statement of any limitations as to the locations of any improvements that may be made on any portions of the additional land added to the condominium, or a statement that no assurances are made in that regard.

8. A statement of the maximum number of units that may be created on the additional land. If portions of the additional land may be added to the condominium and the boundaries of those portions are fixed in accordance with subdivision 6, the declaration shall also state the maximum number of units that may be created on each such portion added to the condominium. If portions of the additional land may be added to the condominium and the boundaries of those portions are not fixed in accordance with subdivision 6, then the declaration shall also state the maximum number of units per acre that may be created on any such portion added to the condominium.

9. A statement, with respect to the additional land and to any portion of such additional land that may be added to the condominium, of the maximum percentage of the aggregate land and floor area of all units that may be created on such additional land that may be occupied by units not restricted exclusively to residential use. Such statement is not required if none of the units on the submitted land are restricted exclusively to residential use.

10. A statement of the extent to which any structures erected on any portion of the additional land added to the condominium will be compatible with structures on the submitted land in terms of quality of construction, the principal materials to be used, and architectural style, or a statement that no assurances are made in those regards.

11. A description of all other improvements that will be made on any portion of the additional land added to the condominium, or a statement of any limitations as to what other improvements may be made on such additional land, or a statement that no assurances are made in that regard.

12. A statement that any units created on any portion of the additional land added to the condominium will be substantially identical to the units on the submitted land, or a statement of any limitations as to what types of units may be created on such additional land, or a statement that no assurances are made in that regard.

13. A description of the declarant's reserved right, if any, to create limited common elements within any portion of the additional land added to the condominium or to designate common elements in such additional land that may subsequently be assigned as limited common elements, in terms of the types, sizes, and maximum number of such elements within each such portion, or a statement that no assurances are made in those regards.

Plats and plans may be recorded as exhibits to the declaration to supplement information furnished pursuant to subdivisions 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, and 13.

D. If the condominium is a contractable condominium, the declaration shall also contain the following:

1. The explicit reservation of an option to contract the condominium.

2. A statement of any limitations on that option, including a statement as to whether the consent of any unit owners shall be required, and, if so, a statement as to the method whereby such consent shall be ascertained, or a statement that there are no such limitations.

3. A time limit, not exceeding 10 years after the recording of the declaration, upon which the option to contract the condominium shall expire, together with a statement of the circumstances, if any, that will terminate that option prior to the expiration of the time limit so specified.

4. A legal description by metes and bounds of all land that may be withdrawn from the condominium, hereinafter referred to as "withdrawable land."

5. A statement as to whether portions of the withdrawable land may be withdrawn from the condominium at different times, together with any limitations fixing the boundaries of those portions by legal descriptions setting forth the metes and bounds or regulating the order in which they may be withdrawn from the condominium.

6. A legal description by metes and bounds of all of the submitted land to which the option to contract the condominium does not extend. This subdivision shall not be construed in derogation of any right the declarant may have to terminate the condominium in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-1937.

Plats may be recorded as exhibits to the declaration to supplement information furnished pursuant to subdivisions 4, 5, and 6.

E. If the condominium is a leasehold condominium, then with respect to any ground lease or other leases the expiration or termination of which will or may terminate or contract the condominium, the declaration shall set forth the county or city in which such lease is recorded and the deed book and page number where the first page of each such lease is recorded, and the declaration shall also contain the following:

1. The date upon which each such lease is due to expire.

2. A statement as to whether any land or improvements will be owned by the unit owners in fee simple and, if so, either (i) a description of the same, including a legal description by metes and bounds of any such land, or (ii) a statement of any rights the unit owners shall have to remove such improvements within a reasonable time after the expiration or termination of the lease involved, or a statement that they shall have no such rights.

3. A statement of the rights the unit owners shall have to redeem any reversion, or a statement that they shall have no such rights.

After the recording of the declaration, no lessor who executed such declaration, and no successor in interest to such lessor, shall have any right or power to terminate any part of the leasehold interest of any unit owner who makes timely payment of his share of the rent to the person designated in the declaration for the receipt of such rent and who otherwise complies with all covenants that, if violated, would entitle the lessor to terminate the lease. Acquisition or reacquisition of such a leasehold interest by the owner of the reversion or remainder does not cause a merger of the leasehold and fee simple interests unless all leasehold interests in the condominium are thus acquired or reacquired.

F. Wherever this section requires a legal description by metes and bounds of land that is submitted pursuant to this chapter or that may be added to or withdrawn from the condominium, such requirement shall be deemed satisfied by any legally sufficient description and shall be deemed to require a legally sufficient description of any easements that are submitted pursuant to this chapter or that may be added to or withdrawn from the condominium, as appropriate. In the case of each such easement, the declaration shall contain the following:

1. A description of the permitted use or uses.

2. If less than all of those entitled to the use of all of the units may utilize such easement, a statement of the relevant restrictions and limitations on utilization.

3. If any persons other than those entitled to the use of the units may utilize such easement, a statement of the rights of others to utilization of the easement.

G. Wherever this section requires a legal description by metes and bounds of land that is submitted pursuant to this chapter or that may be added to or withdrawn from the condominium, an added requirement shall be a separate legally sufficient description of all lands in which the unit owners shall or may be tenants in common or joint tenants with any other persons and a separate legally sufficient description of all lands in which the unit owners shall or may be life tenants. No units shall be situated on any such lands, however, and the declaration shall describe the nature of the unit owners' estate in such lands. No such lands shall be shown on the same plat or plats showing other portions of the condominium but shall be shown instead on separate plats.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.54; 1975, c. 415; 1977, c. 428; 1982, c. 545; 1993, c. 667; 1998, c. 32; 2012, c. 520; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1917. Allocation of interests in the common elements.

A. The declaration may allocate to each unit depicted on plats and plans that comply with subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920 an undivided interest in the common elements proportionate to either the size or par value of each unit. If par value is stated in terms of dollars, that statement shall not be deemed to reflect or control the sales price or fair market value of any unit, and no opinion, appraisal, or fair market transaction at a different figure shall affect the par value of any unit or any undivided interest in the common elements, voting rights in the unit owners' association, or liability for common expenses assigned on the basis of such par value.

B. If the basis for allocation provided in subsection A is not used, then the declaration shall allocate to each such unit an equal undivided interest in the common elements, subject to the following exception: Each convertible space so depicted shall be allocated an undivided interest in the common elements proportionate to the size of each such space, vis-a-vis the aggregate size of all units so depicted, while the remaining undivided interest in the common elements shall be allocated equally to the other units so depicted.

C. The undivided interests in the common elements allocated in accordance with subsection A or B shall add up to 1 if stated as fractions or 100 percent if stated as percentages.

D. If, in accordance with subsection A or B, an equal undivided interest in the common elements is allocated to each unit, the declaration may state that fact and need not express the fraction or percentage so allocated.

E. Unless an equal undivided interest in the common elements is allocated to each unit, the undivided interest allocated to each unit in accordance with subsection A or B shall be reflected by a table in the declaration, or by an exhibit to the declaration, containing three columns. The first column shall identify the units, listing them serially or grouping them together in the case of units to which identical undivided interests are allocated. Corresponding figures in the second and third columns shall set forth the respective areas or par values of those units and the fraction or percentage of undivided interest in the common elements allocated to such units.

F. Except to the extent otherwise expressly provided by this chapter, the undivided interest in the common elements allocated to any unit shall not be altered, and any purported transfer, encumbrance, or other disposition of that interest without the unit to which it appertains is void.

G. The common elements shall not be subject to any action for partition until and unless the condominium is terminated.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.55; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1918. Reallocation of interests in common elements.

A. If a condominium contains any convertible land or is an expandable condominium, then the declaration shall not allocate undivided interests in the common elements on the basis of par value unless the declaration:

1. Prohibits the creation of any units not substantially identical to the units depicted on the plats and plans recorded pursuant to subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920; or

2. Prohibits the creation of any units not described pursuant to subdivision B 6 of § 55.1-1916, in the case of convertible lands, and subdivision C 12 of § 55.1-1916, in the case of additional land, and contains from the outset a statement of the par value that shall be assigned to every such unit that may be created.

B. Interests in the common elements shall not be allocated to any units to be created within any convertible land or within any additional land until plats and plans depicting the same are recorded pursuant to subsection C of § 55.1-1920. But simultaneously with the recording of such plats and plans, the declarant shall execute and record an amendment to the declaration reallocating undivided interests in the common elements so that the units depicted on such plats and plans shall be allocated undivided interests in the common elements on the same basis as the units depicted on the plats and plans recorded simultaneously with the declaration pursuant to subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920.

C. If all of a convertible space is converted into common elements, including limited common elements, then the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to such space shall then appertain to the remaining units, being allocated among them in proportion to their undivided interests in the common elements. The principal officer of the unit owners' association, or such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify, shall forthwith prepare, execute, and record an amendment to the declaration reflecting the reallocation of undivided interests produced by such conversion.

D. In the case of a leasehold condominium, if the expiration or termination of any lease causes a contraction of the condominium that reduces the number of units, then the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to any units withdrawn from the condominium shall then appertain to the remaining units, being allocated among them in proportion to their undivided interests in the common elements. The principal officer of the unit owners' association, or such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify, shall forthwith prepare, execute, and record an amendment to the declaration reflecting the reallocation of undivided interests produced by such contraction.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.56; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1919. Assignments of limited common elements; conversion to common element.

A. All assignments and reassignments of limited common elements shall be reflected by the condominium instruments. No limited common element shall be assigned or reassigned except in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. No amendment to any condominium instrument shall alter any rights or obligations with respect to any limited common elements without the consent of all unit owners adversely affected by such amendment as evidenced by their execution of such amendment, except to the extent that the condominium instruments expressly provided otherwise prior to the first assignment of that limited common element.

B. Unless expressly prohibited by the condominium instruments, a limited common element may be reassigned or converted to a common element upon written application of the unit owners concerned to the principal officer of the unit owners' association, or to such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify. The officer to whom such application is duly made shall forthwith prepare and execute an amendment to the declaration reassigning all rights and obligations with respect to the limited common element involved. Such amendment shall be executed by the unit owners concerned and recorded by an officer of the unit owners' association or his agent following payment by the unit owners of the units concerned of all reasonable costs for the preparation, acknowledgment, and recordation of such amendment. The amendment is effective when recorded.

C. A common element not previously assigned as a limited common element shall be so assigned only pursuant to subdivision A 6 of § 55.1-1916. The amendment to the declaration making such an assignment shall be prepared and executed by the declarant, the principal officer of the unit owners' association, or by such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify. Such amendment shall be recorded by the declarant or his agent, without charge to any unit owner, or by an officer of the unit owners' association or his agent following payment by the unit owners of the units concerned of all reasonable costs for the preparation, acknowledgment, and recordation of such amendment. The amendment is effective when recorded, and the recordation of such amendment shall be conclusive evidence that the method prescribed pursuant to subdivision A 6 of § 55.1-1916 was adhered to. A copy of the amendment shall be delivered to the unit owners of the units concerned. If executed by the declarant, such an amendment recorded prior to July 1, 1983, shall not be invalid because it was not prepared by an officer of the unit owners' association.

D. If the declarant does not prepare and record an amendment to the declaration to effect the assignment of common elements as limited common elements in accordance with rights reserved in the condominium instruments, but has reflected an intention to make such assignments in deeds conveying units, then the principal officer of the unit owners' association may prepare, execute, and record such an amendment at any time after the declarant ceases to be a unit owner.

E. The declarant may unilaterally record an amendment to the declaration converting a limited common element appurtenant to a unit owned by the declarant into a common element as long as the declarant continues to own the unit.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.57; 1983, c. 230; 1991, c. 497; 1998, c. 32; 2019, c. 712; 2020, c. 592.

§ 55.1-1920. Contents of plats and plans.

A. There shall be recorded simultaneously with the declaration one or more plats of survey showing the location and dimensions of the submitted land, the location and dimensions of any convertible lands within the submitted land, the location and dimensions of any existing improvements, the intended location and dimensions of any contemplated improvements that are to be located on any portion of the submitted land other than within the boundaries of any convertible lands, and, to the extent feasible, the location and dimensions of all easements appurtenant to the submitted land or otherwise subject to this chapter as a part of the common elements. If the submitted land is not contiguous, then the plats shall indicate the distances between the parcels constituting the submitted land. The plats shall label every convertible land as a convertible land, and if there is more than one such land, the plats shall label each such land with one or more letters or numbers different from those designating any other convertible land and different also from the identifying number of any unit. The plats shall show the location and dimensions of any withdrawable lands and shall label each such land as a withdrawable land. The plats shall show the location and dimensions of any additional lands and shall label each such land as an additional land. If, with respect to any portion, but less than all, of the submitted land, the unit owners are to own only an estate for years, the plats shall show the location and dimensions of any such portion, and shall label each such portion as a leased land. If there is more than one withdrawable land, or more than one leased land, the plats shall label each such land with one or more letters or numbers different from those designating any convertible land or other withdrawable or leased land, and different also from the identifying number of any unit. The plats shall show all easements to which the submitted land or any portion of such submitted land is subject and shall show the location and dimensions of all such easements to the extent feasible. The plats shall also show all encroachments by or on any portion of the condominium. In the case of any improvements located or to be located on any portion of the submitted land other than within the boundaries of any convertible lands, the plats shall indicate which, if any, have not been begun by the use of the phrase "NOT YET BEGUN" and which, if any, have been begun but have not been substantially completed by the use of the phrase "NOT YET COMPLETED." In the case of any units the vertical boundaries of which lie wholly or partially outside of structures for which plans pursuant to subsection B are simultaneously recorded, the plats shall show the location and dimensions of such vertical boundaries to the extent that they are not shown on such plans, and the units or portions thereof thus depicted shall bear their identifying numbers. Each plat shall be certified in a recorded document as to its accuracy and compliance with the provisions of this subsection by a licensed land surveyor, and the surveyor shall certify in such document or on the face of the plat that all units or portions of such units depicted on such plat pursuant to the preceding sentence of this subsection have been substantially completed. The specification within this subsection of items that shall be shown on the plats shall not be construed to mean that the plats shall not also show all other items customarily shown or hereafter required for land title surveys.

B. Plans shall also be recorded with the declaration. Such plans shall show every structure that contains or constitutes all or part of any unit and that is located on any portion of the submitted land other than within the boundaries of any convertible lands. The plans shall show the location and dimensions of the vertical boundaries of each unit to the extent that such boundaries lie within or coincide with the boundaries of such structures, and the units or portions of the submitted units so depicted shall bear their identifying numbers. In addition, each convertible space so depicted shall be labeled as convertible space. The horizontal boundaries of each unit having horizontal boundaries shall be identified on the plans with reference to established datum. Unless the condominium instruments expressly provide otherwise, it shall be presumed that in the case of any unit not wholly contained within or constituting one or more such structures, the horizontal boundaries thus identified extend, in the case of each such unit, at the same elevation with regard to any part of such unit, lying outside of such structures, subject to the following exception: In the case of any such unit that does not lie over any other unit other than basement units, it shall be presumed that the lower horizontal boundary, if any, of that unit lies at the level of the ground with regard to any part of that unit lying outside of such structures. The plans shall be certified on their face or in another recorded document as to their accuracy and compliance with the provisions of this subsection by a licensed architect, licensed engineer, or licensed land surveyor, and such architect, engineer, or land surveyor shall certify on the plans or in the recorded document that all units or portions of the submitted units depicted on such plans have been substantially completed.

C. When converting all or any portion of any convertible land, or adding additional land to an expandable condominium, the declarant shall record, with regard to any structures on the land being converted or added, either plats of survey conforming to the requirements of subsection A and plans conforming to the requirements of subsection B, or certifications conforming to the certification requirements of such subsections of plats and plans previously recorded pursuant to § 55.1-1922.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections A and B, a time-share interest in a unit that has been subjected to a time-share instrument pursuant to § 55.1-2208 may be conveyed prior to substantial completion of that unit if (i) a completion bond has been filed in compliance with subsection B of § 55.1-1921 and remains in full force and effect until the unit is certified as substantially complete in accordance with subsections A and B and (ii) the settlement agent or title insurance company insuring the time-share estate in the unit certifies to the purchaser in writing, based on information provided by the Common Interest Community Board, that the bond has been filed with the Common Interest Community Board.

E. When converting all or any portion of any convertible space into one or more units or limited common elements, the declarant shall record, with regard to the structure or portion of such structure constituting that convertible space, plans showing the location and dimensions of the vertical boundaries of each unit or limited common elements formed out of such space. Such plans shall be certified as to their accuracy and compliance with the provisions of this subsection by a licensed architect, licensed engineer, or licensed land surveyor.

F. For the purposes of subsections A, B, and C, all provisions and requirements relating to units shall be deemed equally applicable to limited common elements. The limited common elements shall be labeled as such, and each limited common element depicted on the plats and plans shall show the identifying number of the unit to which it is assigned, if it has been assigned, unless the provisions of subdivision 5 of § 55.1-1912 make such designations unnecessary.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.58; 1975, c. 415; 1984, c. 601; 1991, c. 497; 1999, c. 560; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1921. Bond to insure completion of improvements.

A. The declarant shall file with the Common Interest Community Board a bond entered into by the declarant in the sum of 100 percent of the estimated cost of completion, to the extent of the declarant's obligation as stated in the declaration, of all improvements to the common elements of the condominium labeled in the plat or plats as "NOT YET COMPLETED" or "NOT YET BEGUN" located upon submitted land and which the declarant reasonably believes will not be substantially complete at the time of conveyance of the first condominium unit. Such bond shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of the declarant's obligation to complete such improvements in strict conformity with the plans and specifications for the same as described in the declaration.

B. The declarant shall file with the Common Interest Community Board a bond entered into by the declarant in the sum of 100 percent of the estimated cost of completion of a unit in which a time-share interest is conveyed before the unit has been certified as substantially complete in accordance with subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920. The bond required by this subsection shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of the declarant's obligation to complete such improvements in strict conformity with the plans and specifications for the same as described in the declaration.

C. All bonds required in this section shall be executed by a surety company authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth or by such other surety as is satisfactory to the Board.

D. The Board may promulgate reasonable regulations that govern the return of bonds submitted in accordance with this section.

1977, c. 428, § 55-79.58:1; 1988, c. 15; 1999, c. 560; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1922. Preliminary recordation of plats and plans.

Plats and plans previously recorded pursuant to subsections A, B, and C of § 55.1-1916 may be used in lieu of new plats and plans to satisfy in whole or in part the requirements of subsection B of § 55.1-1918, subsection B of § 55.1-1924, or § 55.1-1926 if certifications of such plats and plans are recorded by the declarant in accordance with subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920; and if such certifications are recorded, the plats and plans that they certify shall be deemed recorded pursuant to subsection C of § 55.1-1920 within the meaning of §§ 55.1-1918, 55.1-1924, and 55.1-1926. All condominium instruments for condominiums created prior to July 1, 1991, are hereby validated notwithstanding that the plats were prerecorded as if in compliance with this section and not recorded with amendments converting convertible land or adding additional land if the plats or subsequent amendments contained the required certifications.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.59; 1991, c. 497; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1923. Easement for encroachments.

To the extent that any unit or common element encroaches on any other unit or common element, whether by reason of any deviation from the plats and plans in the construction, repair, renovation, restoration, or replacement of any improvement or by reason of the settling or shifting of any land or improvement, a valid easement for such encroachment shall exist. The purpose of this section is to protect the unit owners, except in cases of willful and intentional misconduct by them or their agents or employees, and not to relieve the declarant or any contractor, subcontractor, or materialman of any liability which any of them may have by reason of any failure to adhere strictly to the plats and plans.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.60; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1924. Conversion of convertible lands.

A. The declarant may convert all or any portion of any convertible land into one or more units or limited common elements subject to any restrictions and limitations that the condominium instruments may specify. Any such conversion shall be deemed to have occurred at the time of the recordation of appropriate instruments pursuant to subsection B of this section and subsection C of § 55.1-1920.

B. Simultaneously with the recording of plats and plans pursuant to subsection C of § 55.1-1920, the declarant shall prepare, execute, and record an amendment to the declaration describing the conversion. Such amendment shall assign an identifying number to each unit formed out of a convertible land and shall reallocate undivided interests in the common elements in accordance with subsection B of § 55.1-1918. Such amendment shall describe or delineate any limited common elements formed out of the convertible land, showing or designating the unit to which each is assigned.

C. All convertible lands shall be deemed a part of the common elements except for such portions of such convertible lands as are converted in accordance with the provisions of this section. Until the expiration of the period during which conversion may occur or until actual conversion, whichever occurs first, the declarant alone shall be liable for real estate taxes assessed against the convertible land and any improvements on such convertible land and all other expenses in connection with that real estate, and no other unit owner and no other portion of the condominium shall be subject to a claim for payment of those taxes or expenses, and, unless the declaration provides otherwise, any income or proceeds from the convertible land and any improvements on such convertible land shall inure to the declarant. No such conversion shall occur after 10 years from the recordation of the declaration, or such shorter period of time as the declaration may specify.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.61; 1975, c. 415; 1986, c. 324; 1991, c. 497; 1993, c. 45; 2012, c. 520; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1925. Conversion of convertible spaces.

A. The declarant may convert all or any portion of any convertible space into one or more units or common elements, including limited common elements, subject to any restrictions and limitations that the condominium instruments may specify. Any such conversion shall be deemed to have occurred at the time of the recordation of appropriate instruments pursuant to subsection B and subsection E of § 55.1-1920.

B. Simultaneously with the recording of plats and plans pursuant to subsection E of § 55.1-1920, the declarant shall prepare, execute, and record an amendment to the declaration describing the conversion. Such amendment shall assign an identifying number to each unit formed out of a convertible space and shall allocate to each unit a portion of the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to that space. Such amendment shall describe or delineate any limited common elements formed out of the convertible space, showing or designating the unit to which each is assigned.

C. If all or any portion of any convertible space is converted into one or more units in accordance with this section, the declarant shall prepare and execute, and record simultaneously with the amendment to the declaration, an amendment to the bylaws. The amendment to the bylaws shall reallocate votes in the unit owners' association, rights to future common profits, and liabilities for future common expenses not specially assessed, all as in the case of the subdivision of a unit in accordance with subsection D of § 55.1-1933.

D. Any convertible space not converted in accordance with the provisions of this section, or any portion of such convertible space not so converted, shall be treated for all purposes as a single unit until and unless it is so converted, and the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed applicable to any such convertible space, or portion of such convertible space, as though the same were a unit.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.62; 1999, c. 560; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1926. Expansion of condominium.

No condominium shall be expanded except in accordance with the provisions of the declaration and of this chapter. Any such expansion shall be deemed to have occurred at the time of the recordation of plats and plans pursuant to subsection C of § 55.1-1920, together with an amendment to the declaration, duly executed by the declarant, including all of the owners and lessees of the additional land added to the condominium. Such amendment shall contain a legal description by metes and bounds of the land added to the condominium and shall reallocate undivided interests in the common elements in accordance with the provisions of subsection B of § 55.1-1918. Such amendment may create convertible or withdrawable lands or both within the land added to the condominium, but this provision shall not be construed in derogation of the time limits imposed by or pursuant to subdivision D 3 of § 55.1-1916 and subsection C of § 55.1-1924.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.63; 1975, c. 415; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1927. Contraction of condominium.

No condominium shall be contracted except in accordance with the provisions of the declaration and of this chapter. Any such contraction shall be deemed to have occurred at the time of the recordation of an amendment to the declaration, executed by the declarant, containing a legal description by metes and bounds of the land withdrawn from the condominium. If portions of the withdrawable land were described pursuant to subdivision D 5 of § 55.1-1916, then no such portion shall be so withdrawn after the conveyance of any unit on such portion. If no such portions were described, then none of the withdrawable land shall be withdrawn after the first conveyance of any unit.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.64; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1928. Easement to facilitate conversion and expansion.

Subject to any restrictions and limitations the condominium instruments may specify, the declarant shall have a transferable easement over and on the common elements for the purpose of making improvements on the submitted land and any additional land pursuant to the provisions of those instruments and of this chapter and for the purpose of doing all things reasonably necessary and proper in connection with making such improvements.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.65; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1929. Easement to facilitate sales.

The declarant and his duly authorized agents, representatives, and employees may maintain sales offices or model units on the submitted land if and only if the condominium instruments provide for maintaining such sales offices or model units and specify the rights of the declarant with regard to the number, size, location, and relocation of such sales offices or model units. Any such sales office or model unit that is not designated a unit by the condominium instruments shall become a common element as soon as the declarant ceases to be a unit owner, and the declarant shall cease to have any rights with regard to such sales office or model unit unless it is removed forthwith from the submitted land in accordance with a right reserved in the condominium instruments to make such removal.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.66; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1930. Declarant's obligation to complete and restore.

A. No covenants, restrictions, limitations, or other representations or commitments in the condominium instruments with regard to anything that is or is not to be done on the additional land, the withdrawable land, or any portion of either shall be binding as to any portion of either lawfully withdrawn from the condominium or never added to the condominium, except to the extent that the condominium instruments so provide. But in the case of any covenant, restriction, limitation, or other representation or commitment in the condominium instruments or in any other agreement requiring the declarant to add all or any portion of the additional land or to withdraw any portion of the withdrawable land, or imposing any obligations with regard to anything that is or is not to be done on such land or with regard to such land, or imposing any obligations with regard to anything that is or is not to be done on or with regard to the condominium or any portion of such condominium, this subsection shall not be construed to nullify, limit, or otherwise affect any such obligation.

B. The declarant shall complete all improvements labeled "NOT YET COMPLETED" on plats recorded pursuant to the requirements of this chapter unless the condominium instruments expressly exempt the declarant from such obligation and shall, in the case of every improvement labeled "NOT YET BEGUN" on such plats, state in the declaration either the extent of the obligation to complete the same or that there is no such obligation.

C. To the extent that damage is inflicted on any part of the condominium by any person utilizing the easements reserved by the condominium instruments or created by §§ 55.1-1928 and 55.1-1929, the declarant together with any person causing the same shall be jointly and severally liable for the prompt repair of such damage and for the restoration of the same to a condition compatible with the remainder of the condominium.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.67; 1975, c. 415; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1931. Alterations within units.

A. Except to the extent prohibited, restricted, or limited by the condominium instruments, any unit owner may make any improvements or alterations within his unit that do not impair the structural integrity of any structure or otherwise lessen the support of any portion of the condominium. However, no unit owner shall do anything that would change the exterior appearance of his unit or of any other portion of the condominium except to such extent and subject to such conditions as the condominium instruments may specify.

B. If a unit owner acquires an adjoining unit, or an adjoining part of an adjoining unit, then such unit owner shall have the right to remove all or any part of any intervening partition or to create doorways or other apertures in such unit, notwithstanding the fact that such partition may in whole or in part be a common element, so long as no portion of any bearing wall or bearing column is weakened or removed and no portion of any common element other than that partition is damaged, destroyed, or endangered. Such creation of doorways or other apertures shall not be deemed an alteration of boundaries within the meaning of § 55.1-1932.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.68; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1932. Relocation of boundaries between units.

A. If the condominium instruments expressly permit the relocation of boundaries between adjoining units, then the boundaries between such units may be relocated in accordance with (i) the provisions of this section and (ii) any restrictions and limitations not otherwise unlawful that the condominium instruments may specify. The boundaries between adjoining units shall not be relocated unless the condominium instruments expressly permit it.

B. If the unit owners of adjoining units whose mutual boundaries may be relocated desire to relocate such boundaries, then the principal officer of the unit owners' association, or such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify, shall, upon written application of such unit owners, forthwith prepare and execute appropriate instruments pursuant to subsections C, D, and E.

C. An amendment to the declaration shall identify the units involved and shall state that the boundaries between those units are being relocated by agreement of the unit owners of such units, and the amendment shall contain conveyancing between those unit owners. If the unit owners of the units involved have specified in their written application a reasonable reallocation as between the units involved of the aggregate undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to those units, the amendment to the declaration shall reflect that reallocation.

D. If the unit owners of the units involved have specified in their written application a reasonable reallocation as between the units involved of the aggregate number of votes in the unit owners' association allocated to those units, an amendment to the bylaws shall reflect that reallocation and a proportionate reallocation of liability for common expenses as between those units.

E. Such plats and plans as may be necessary to show the altered boundaries between the units involved together with their other boundaries shall be prepared, and the units depicted on such plats and plans shall bear their identifying numbers. Such plats and plans shall indicate the new dimensions of the units involved, and any change in the horizontal boundaries of either as a result of the relocation of their boundaries shall be identified with reference to established datum. Such plats and plans shall be certified as to their accuracy and compliance with the provisions of this subsection (i) by a licensed land surveyor in the case of any plat and (ii) by a licensed architect, licensed engineer, or licensed land surveyor in the case of any plan.

F. When appropriate instruments in accordance with this section have been prepared, executed, and acknowledged, they shall be recorded by an officer of the unit owners' association following payment by the unit owners of the units involved of all reasonable costs for the preparation, acknowledgment, and recordation of such instruments. Such instruments are effective when executed by the unit owners of the units involved and recorded, and the recordation of such instruments is conclusive evidence that the relocation of boundaries so effectuated did not violate any restrictions or limitations specified by the condominium instruments and that any reallocations made pursuant to subsections C and D were reasonable.

G. Any relocation of boundaries between adjoining units shall be governed by this section and not by § 55.1-1933. Section 55.1-1933 shall apply only to such subdivisions of units as are intended to result in the creation of two or more new units in place of the subdivided unit.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.69; 1991, c. 497; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1933. Subdivision of units.

A. If the condominium instruments expressly permit the subdivision of any units, then such units may be subdivided in accordance with (i) the provisions of this section and (ii) any restrictions and limitations not otherwise unlawful that the condominium instruments may specify. No unit shall be subdivided unless the condominium instruments expressly permit it.

B. If the unit owner of any unit that may be subdivided desires to subdivide such unit, then the principal officer of the unit owners' association, or such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify, shall, upon written application of the subdivider, as such unit owner shall hereinafter be referred to in this section, forthwith prepare and execute appropriate instruments pursuant to subsections C, D, and E.

C. An amendment to the declaration shall assign new identifying numbers to the new units created by the subdivision of a unit and shall allocate to those units, on a reasonable basis acceptable to the subdivider, all of the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to the subdivided unit. The new units shall jointly share all rights, and shall be equally liable jointly and severally for all obligations, with regard to any limited common elements assigned to the subdivided unit except to the extent that the subdivider may have specified in his written application that all or any portions of any limited common element assigned to the subdivided unit exclusively should be assigned to one or more, but less than all of the new units, in which case the amendment to the declaration shall reflect the desires of the subdivider as expressed in such written application.

D. An amendment to the bylaws shall allocate to the new units, on a reasonable basis acceptable to the subdivider, the votes in the unit owners' association allocated to the subdivided unit and shall reflect a proportionate allocation to the new units of the liability for common expenses formerly appertaining to the subdivided unit.

E. Such plats and plans as may be necessary to show the boundaries separating the new units together with their other boundaries shall be prepared, and the new units depicted on such plats and plans shall bear their new identifying numbers. Such plats and plans shall indicate the dimensions of the new units, and the horizontal boundaries of such units, if any, shall be identified on such plats and plans with reference to established datum. Such plats and plans shall be certified as to their accuracy and compliance with the provisions of this subsection (i) by a licensed land surveyor in the case of any plat and (ii) by a licensed architect, licensed engineer, or licensed land surveyor in the case of any plan.

F. When appropriate instruments in accordance with this section have been prepared, executed, and acknowledged, they shall be recorded by an officer of the unit owners' association following payment by the subdivider of all reasonable costs for the preparation, acknowledgment, and recordation of such instruments. Such instruments are effective when executed by the subdivider and recorded, and the recordation of such instruments is conclusive evidence that the subdivision so effectuated did not violate any restrictions or limitations specified by the condominium instruments and that any reallocations made pursuant to subsections C and D were reasonable.

G. Notwithstanding the definition of "unit" found in § 55.1-1900 and the provisions of subsection D of § 55.1-1925, this section shall have no application to convertible spaces, and no such space shall be deemed a unit for the purposes of this section. However, this section shall apply to any units formed by the conversion of all or any portion of any such convertible space, and any such unit shall be deemed a unit for the purposes of this section.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.70; 1991, c. 497; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1934. Amendment of condominium instruments.

A. If there is no unit owner other than the declarant, the declarant may unilaterally amend the condominium instruments, and an amendment signed by the declarant is effective upon recordation. This section shall not be construed to nullify, limit, or otherwise affect the validity of enforceability of any agreement renouncing or to renounce, in whole or in part, the right hereby conferred.

B. If any of the units in the condominium is restricted exclusively to residential use and there is any unit owner other than the declarant, the condominium instruments shall be amended only by agreement of unit owners of units to which two-thirds of the votes in the unit owners' association appertain, or such larger majority as the condominium instruments may specify, except in cases for which this chapter provides different methods of amendment. If none of the units in the condominium is restricted exclusively to residential use, the condominium instruments may specify a majority smaller than the minimum specified in the preceding sentence.

C. An action to challenge the validity of an amendment adopted by the unit owners' association pursuant to this section may not be brought more than one year after the amendment is recorded.

D. Agreement of the required majority of unit owners to any amendment of the condominium instruments shall be evidenced by their execution of the amendment, or ratifications of such amendment, and the same is effective when a copy of the amendment is recorded together with a certification, signed by the principal officer of the unit owners' association or by such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify, that the requisite majority of the unit owners signed the amendment or ratifications of such amendment.

E. Except to the extent expressly permitted or expressly required by other provisions of this chapter or agreed to by 100 percent of the unit owners, no amendment to the condominium instruments shall change (i) the boundaries of any unit, (ii) the undivided interest in the common elements, (iii) the liability for common expenses, or (iv) the number of votes in the unit owners' association that appertains to any unit.

F. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the declarant may unilaterally execute and record a corrective amendment or supplement to the condominium instruments to correct a mathematical mistake, an inconsistency, or a scrivener's error or clarify an ambiguity in the condominium instruments with respect to an objectively verifiable fact, including recalculating the undivided interest in the common elements, the liability for common expenses or the number of votes in the unit owners' association appertaining to a unit, within five years after the recordation of the condominium instrument containing or creating such mistake, inconsistency, error, or ambiguity. No such amendment or supplement may materially reduce what the obligations of the declarant would have been if the mistake, inconsistency, error, or ambiguity had not occurred. Regardless of the date of recordation of the condominium instruments, the principal officer of the unit owners' association may also unilaterally execute and record such a corrective amendment or supplement upon a vote of two-thirds of the members of the executive board. All corrective amendments and supplements recorded prior to July 1, 1986, are hereby validated to the extent that such corrective amendments and supplements would have been permitted by this subsection.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.71; 1993, c. 667; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1935. Use of technology.

A. Unless expressly prohibited by the condominium instruments, (i) any notice required to be sent or received or (ii) any signature, vote, consent, or approval required to be obtained under any condominium instrument or any provision of this chapter may be accomplished using electronic means.

B. The unit owners' association, unit owners, and other persons entitled to occupy a unit may perform any obligation or exercise any right under any condominium instrument or any provision of this chapter by use of electronic means.

C. An electronic signature meeting the requirements of applicable law shall satisfy any requirement for a signature under any condominium instrument or any provision of this chapter.

D. Voting, consent to, and approval of any matter under any condominium instrument or any provision of this chapter may be accomplished by electronic means provided that a record is created as evidence of such vote, consent, or approval and maintained as long as such record would be required to be maintained in nonelectronic form. If the vote, consent, or approval is required to be obtained by secret ballot, the electronic means shall protect the identity of the voter. If the electronic means cannot protect the identity of the voter, another means of voting shall be used.

E. Subject to other provisions of law, no action required or permitted by any condominium instrument or any provision of this chapter need be acknowledged before a notary public if the identity and signature of such person can otherwise be authenticated to the satisfaction of the executive board.

F. Any meeting of the unit owners' association, the executive board, or any committee may be held entirely or partially by electronic means, provided that the executive board has adopted guidelines for the use of electronic means for such meetings. Such guidelines shall ensure that persons accessing such meetings are authorized to do so and that persons entitled to participate in such meetings have an opportunity to do so. The executive board shall determine whether any such meeting may be held entirely or partially by electronic means.

G. If any person does not have the capability or desire to conduct business using electronic means, the unit owners' association shall make available a reasonable alternative, at its expense, for such person to conduct business with the unit owners' association without use of such electronic means.

H. This section shall not apply to any notice related to an enforcement action by the unit owners' association, an assessment lien, or foreclosure proceedings in enforcement of an assessment lien.

2010, c. 432, § 55-79.71:1; 2019, c. 712; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 9, 494.

§ 55.1-1936. Merger or consolidation of condominiums; procedure.

A. Any two or more condominiums, by agreement of the unit owners as provided in subsection B, may be merged or consolidated into a single condominium. In the event of a merger or consolidation, unless the agreement otherwise provides, the resultant condominium shall be the legal successor, for all purposes, of all of the preexisting condominiums, and the operations and activities of all unit owners' associations of the preexisting condominiums shall be merged or consolidated into a single unit owners' association that holds all powers, rights, obligations, assets, and liabilities of all preexisting unit owners' associations.

B. An agreement to merge or consolidate two or more condominiums pursuant to subsection A shall be evidenced by an agreement prepared, executed, recorded, and certified by the principal officer of the unit owners' association of each of the preexisting condominiums following approval by owners of units to which are allocated the percentage of votes in each condominium required to terminate that condominium. The agreement shall be recorded in every locality in which a portion of the condominium is located and shall not be effective until recorded.

C. Every merger or consolidation agreement shall provide for the reallocation of the allocated interests in the new unit owners' association among the units of the resultant condominium either (i) by stating the reallocations or the formulas upon which they are based or (ii) by stating the percentage of the overall allocated interests of the condominium that are allocated to all of the units comprising each of the preexisting condominiums, provided that the portion of the percentages allocated to each unit formerly comprising a part of the preexisting condominium shall be equal to the percentages of allocated interests allocated to that unit by the declaration of the preexisting condominium.

D. If the condominium instruments of a condominium to be merged or consolidated require a vote or consent of mortgagees in order to amend the condominium instruments or terminate the condominium, the same vote or consent of mortgagees shall be required before such merger or consolidation is effective. No merger or consolidation shall affect mortgagee rights, alter the priority of the lien of any mortgage, materially impair or affect any condominium unit as collateral for a mortgage, or affect a mortgagee's right to foreclose on a condominium unit as collateral without the prior written consent of the mortgagee. A vote or consent of a mortgagee required by this section may be deemed received pursuant to § 55.1-1941.

2014, c. 659, § 55-79.71:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1937. Termination of condominium.

A. If there is no unit owner other than the declarant, the declarant may unilaterally terminate the condominium. An instrument terminating a condominium signed by the declarant is effective upon recordation of such instrument. But this section shall not be construed to nullify, limit, or otherwise affect the validity or enforceability of any agreement renouncing or to renounce, in whole or in part, the right hereby conferred.

B. Except in the case of a taking of all the units by eminent domain, if any of the units in the condominium is restricted exclusively to residential use and there is any unit owner other than the declarant, the condominium may be terminated only by the agreement of unit owners of units to which four-fifths of the votes in the unit owners' association appertain, or such larger majority as the condominium instruments may specify. If none of the units in the condominium is restricted exclusively to residential use, the condominium instruments may specify a majority smaller than the minimum specified in this subsection.

C. Agreement of the required majority of unit owners to termination of the condominium shall be evidenced by their execution of a termination agreement, or ratifications of such agreement, and such agreement is effective when a copy of the termination agreement is recorded together with a certification, signed by the principal officer of the unit owners' association or by such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify, that the requisite majority of the unit owners signed the termination agreement or ratifications. Unless the termination agreement otherwise provides, prior to recordation of the termination agreement, a unit owner's prior agreement to terminate the condominium may be revoked only with the approval of unit owners of units to which a majority of the votes in the unit owners' association appertain. Any unit owner acquiring a unit subsequent to approval of a termination agreement but prior to recordation of the termination agreement shall be deemed to have consented to the termination agreement. Upon approval of a termination agreement and until recordation of the termination agreement, a copy of the termination agreement shall be included with the resale certificate required by § 55.1-1990. The termination agreement shall specify a date after which the termination agreement is void if the termination agreement is not recorded. For the purposes of this section, an instrument terminating a condominium and any ratification of such instrument shall be deemed a condominium instrument subject to the provisions of § 55.1-1911.

D. A termination agreement may provide that all of the common elements and units of the condominium shall be sold or otherwise disposed of following termination. If, pursuant to the termination agreement, any property in the condominium is sold or disposed of following termination, the termination agreement shall set forth the minimum terms of the sale or disposition.

E. In the case of a master condominium that contains a unit that is a part of another condominium, a termination agreement for the master condominium shall not terminate the other condominium.

F. On behalf of the unit owners, the unit owners' association may contract for the disposition of property in the condominium, but the contract shall not be binding on the unit owners until approved pursuant to subsections B and C. If the termination agreement requires that any property in the condominium be sold or otherwise disposed of following termination, title to the property, upon termination, shall vest in the unit owners' association as trustee for the holders of all interest in the units. Thereafter, the unit owners' association shall have powers necessary and appropriate to effect the sale or disposition. Until the termination has been concluded and the proceeds have been distributed, the unit owners' association shall continue in existence with all the powers the unit owners' association had before termination. Proceeds of the sale shall be distributed to unit owners and lien holders as their interests may appear, in proportion to the respective interests of the unit owners as provided in subsection I. Unless otherwise specified in the termination agreement, for as long as the unit owners' association holds title to the property, each unit owner or his successor in interest shall have an exclusive right to occupancy of the portion of the property that formerly constituted his unit. During the period that the unit owner or his successor in interest has the right to occupancy, each unit owner or his successor in interest shall remain liable for any assessment or other obligation imposed on the unit owner by this chapter or the condominium instruments.

G. If the property that constitutes the condominium is not sold or otherwise disposed of following termination, title to all the property in the condominium shall vest in the unit owners, upon termination, as tenants in common in proportion to the unit owners' respective interests as provided in subsection I. In such an event, any liens on a unit shall shift accordingly, and a lien may be enforced only against a unit owner's tenancy in common interest, but the lien shall not encumber the entire property formerly constituting the condominium. While the tenancy in common exists, each unit owner or his successor in interest shall have the exclusive right to occupancy of the portion of the property that formerly constituted the unit owner's unit.

H. Following termination of the condominium, the proceeds of any sale of property, together with the assets of the unit owners' association, shall be held by the unit owners' association as trustee for unit owners or lien holders on the units as their interests may appear. Following termination, any creditor of the unit owners' association who holds a lien on the unit that was recorded before termination may enforce the lien in the same manner as any lien holder. Any other creditor of the unit owners' association shall be treated as if he had perfected a lien on the units immediately before termination.

I. Unless the condominium instruments as originally recorded or as amended by 100 percent of the unit owners provide otherwise, the respective interests of unit owners referred to in subsections F, G, and H shall be as follows:

1. Except as provided in subdivision 3, the respective interests of the unit owners shall be as set forth in the termination agreement.

2. Except as provided in subdivision 3, if the respective interests of the unit owners are based on the respective fair market values of their units, limited common elements, and common element interests immediately before the termination, the fair market values shall be determined by one or more independent appraisers selected by the unit owners' association. The decision of the independent appraisers shall be distributed to the unit owners and become final unless disapproved within 30 days after distribution by unit owners of units to which one quarter of the votes in the unit owners' association appertain. The proportion of any unit owner's interest to the interest of all unit owners is determined by dividing the fair market value of that unit owner's unit and common element interest by the total fair market values of all the units and their common element interests.

3. If the method of determining the respective interests of the unit owners in the proceeds of sale or disposition is other than the fair market values, then the association shall provide each unit owner with a notice stating the result of that method for his unit and, no later than 30 days after transmission of that notice, if 10 percent of the unit owners dispute the interest to be distributed to their units, those unit owners may require the association to obtain an independent appraisal of the condominium units. If the fair market value of the units of the objecting unit owners is at least 10 percent more than the amount that the unit owners would have received using the method agreed upon by the membership, then the association shall adjust the respective interests of the unit owners so that each unit owner's share is based on the fair market value for each unit. If the fair market value is less than 10 percent more than the amount that the objecting unit owners would have received using the agreed-upon method, then the agreed-upon method shall be implemented and the objecting unit owners shall receive the distribution less their pro rata share of the cost of their appraisal.

4. If the method of determining the respective interests of the unit owners cannot be implemented because any unit or limited common element is destroyed, the interests of all unit owners are the unit owners' respective common element interests immediately before the termination.

5. Unless the termination agreement provides otherwise, each unit owner shall satisfy and cause the release of any mortgage, deed of trust, lease, or other lien or encumbrance on his unit at the time required by the termination agreement.

J. Except as provided in subsection K, foreclosure of any mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien, or enforcement of a mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien or encumbrance against the entire condominium, shall not alone terminate the condominium, and foreclosure or enforcement of a lien or encumbrance against a portion of the condominium, other than withdrawable land, shall not withdraw that portion from the condominium. Foreclosure or enforcement of a lien or encumbrance against withdrawable land shall not alone withdraw the land from the condominium, but the person who takes title to the withdrawable land shall have the right to require from the unit owners' association, upon request, an amendment that excludes the land from the condominium.

K. If a lien or encumbrance against a portion of the property that comprises the condominium has priority over the condominium instruments and the lien or encumbrance has not been partially released, upon foreclosure, the parties foreclosing the lien or encumbrance may record an instrument that excludes the property subject to the lien or encumbrance from the condominium.

1993, c. 667, § 55-79.72:1; 2019, c. 712; 2020, cc. 592, 817.

§ 55.1-1938. Rights of mortgagees.

No provision of this chapter shall be construed in derogation of any requirement of the condominium instruments that all or a specified number of the beneficiaries of mortgages or deeds of trust encumbering the condominium units approve specified actions contemplated by the unit owners' association.

1993, c. 667, § 55-79.72:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1939. Statement of unit owner rights.

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

1. The right of access to all books and records kept by or on behalf of the unit owners' association according to and subject to the provisions of § 55.1-1945, including records of all financial transactions;

2. The right to cast a vote on any matter requiring a vote by the unit owners' association membership in proportion to the unit owner's ownership interest, except to the extent that the condominium instruments provide otherwise;

3. The right to have notice of any meeting of the executive board, to make a record of such meetings by audio or visual means, and to participate in such meeting in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-1949;

4. The right to have (i) notice of any proceeding conducted by the executive board or other tribunal specified in the condominium instruments against the unit owner to enforce any rule or regulation of the unit owners' association and (ii) the opportunity to be heard and represented by counsel at the proceeding, as provided in § 55.1-1959, and the right of due process in the conduct of that hearing; and

5. The right to serve on the executive board if duly elected and a member in good standing of the unit owners' association, except to the extent that the condominium instruments provide otherwise.

The rights enumerated in this section shall be enforceable by any unit owner pursuant to the provisions of § 55.1-1915.

2015, c. 286, § 55-79.72:3; 2019, c. 712.