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2023 Virginia Legislative Changes Affecting Community Associations

The General Assembly had a busy session that involved consideration of proposals for new laws that would affect community associations.  The Virginia Legislative Action Committee monitored dozens of bills.  In addition to supporting some legislation, many of the LAC’s efforts are expended in opposing bills that ultimately do not become law or suggesting modifications to proposed legislation.  The LAC’s lobbying team provides subject-matter expertise to legislators in community association policy and insight into how proposed legislation would affect associations and other stakeholders. 

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History of Community Associations

Community Associations are wonderful organizations benefiting millions of US residents every day. There are countless benefits to living in community associations. One of the beautiful things about people is that we have figured out that banding together in communities is generally beneficial offering clean, cohesive neighborhoods oftentimes with amenities such as parks and pools, further encouraging the idea of community. These inherent benefits have association living on the rise, providing homes for nearly 1 in 5 Americans. But where did it all start?

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Legal SPF: Summer Protection for Community Associations

We are on the cusp of Spring, which means Summer is just around the corner. And pool season is the hallmark of Summer. In addition to securing a pool service contractor and/or lifeguards, community associations should consider the broad spectrum of responsibilities and measures related to the pool. Below is our suggested checklist of items for community associations to review well before the start of pool season for maximum protection.

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Inheriting Old Violations

"Our Board Just Inherited a Host of Old Violations - What Should We Do?" 

We often get calls from new board members after transitioning from developer control. They have questions like this one: Some of the homeowners have added fences, above-ground pools, and sheds without getting approval from the Association. Many of these changes do not appear to meet the standards that are part of our documents. No action has been taken to correct these violations. How do we go about enforcing the covenants and rules?

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How to Crush the M-100 (Or Any Other Course)

If you’re intimidated about taking a Community Associations Institute test because the other students in your class look like they are fresh out of college, fear not! You can boost your confidence by developing your study skills!

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How to Avoid Burnout

Burnout is more than just stress—it’s how your mind and your body tell you a change is needed. Do you find yourself withdrawing from work and caring less about results? Are you working harder, often mechanically or to the point of exhaustion? Just going through the motions? Try a few of these tips for keeping burnout at bay.

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What's Your Annual Plan?

What’s your annual plan?

As we begin another year, it’s important for associations and their business partners to have a clear understanding of what the coming year will look like. What are our goals? What strategies will we use to reach those goals? Did we meet the goals we had for the past year? Without a mechanism in place like an annual plan, it’s almost impossible for an association or business to know where they’ve been and where they’re going. The inclusion of an annual plan can help take the guesswork out of the process.

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Your Community Needs You! A Call to Service

Over the many years I have been practicing in the community association law field I have seen and dealt with many boards of directors.  In doing so I have seen considerable variation in the level of interest and commitment of community members to serve on the board of directors. Some communities have the assistance of professional management companies and others are self-managed.  While a community may have professional management, it is the board of directors that is given the power and responsibility in the governing documents to operate the community.  Regardless of the type of management, a group of homeowners actively participating on the board and on committees is essential for the successful functioning of the association. 

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Toxic Neighbors, and the Association's Role When Anger Strikes

Neighbor to neighbor disputes seem to be at an all-time high right now. Many times, the neighbors are trying to bring the Association into these battles. In order to best utilize the Association’s assets, Boards and managers must recognize when it is appropriate for the Association to engage, and when to stay out of the conflict.

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Security Cameras, Electronic Locks, and Security Officers - Are Condominium Associations Liable to Unit Owners for the Criminal Assaults of Third-Parties?

For many condominiums, a secure and safe premises is the polar opposite of a liability: it is a feature and selling point to bring new residents into the community and increase the property value of individual units. From the perspective of condominium association budgets, most condominium association boards can easily defend, to residents, reasonable expenses on security in the common elements. Most if not all residents understand the need for security measures on the premises whether that expense includes merely exterior lighting in parking lots or a whole security suite of protections from video cameras and swipe-card locks to gates and guards. 

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Time Management...Is It Really That Easy?

Finding a strategy for time management depends on your level of self-discipline and most importantly your personality. If you incorporate some or all of the strategies, you can manage your time more effectively.  You may wish for more time, but you only get 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds each day.  How you use this time will depend on the skills you have learned.

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Why Are My Assessments Going Up?

There is a widespread belief among homeowners who live in associations, that if their assessments stay flat and do not increase, their community is in good shape and the Board is doing its job. And while it’s easy to understand the appeal of a historically flat budget, a lack of increases in an association’s assessments could be an indication of rough seas ahead. 

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Budgeting - What's the Point?

Winston Churchill once stated that, “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” There are several different facets of a community association that allow it to operate properly and effectively, but none so important as the organization’s financial stability.  Within the next couple of months, managers, Boards, and committees will begin acquiring costs of current contracts and projections for the upcoming year to start the arduous process of creating the operating budget for next year.

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Unique Aspects of High-Rise Management

Within the world of condominium management, effectively managing high-rise buildings presents its own set of challenges. Below are a few of the major differences managers of high-rise communities face on a daily basis.

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Shining A Light On Executive Session



Let the sunshine in.  I am not talking about the popular 1969 song by The 5th Dimension.  I am referring to the statutes governing Virginia community associations that require all meetings of a board of directors, including any subcommittee or other committee of the board of directors, where the business of the association is discussed or transacted, to be open to all owners of record[1]. These are known as “sunshine laws” and are the rule for community association meetings.  


As with most rules, there is an exception - executive session, during which it is permissible to “close” the door, so to speak.  Too often in our practice, we are reminded that the permitted reasons to convene in executive and procedure are not well understood. This article will uncharacteristically shine some light on executive session and examine what it is and how to do it correctly.


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Proactive Association Management

Are you managing the association or are you allowing the association to manage you? We all want to be proactive managers but what does that entail and how do you deal with all the items that creep into the day preventing you from dealing with the tasks that you planned to accomplish?

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