Departments

Association Allowed to Hold Special Meeting

Facts: A dispute arose between a member and her neighbors regarding access to the member's air conditioning unit for servicing through a trapdoor in a fence separating their two properties. As the dispute intensified, the neighbors circulated two letters to other members of the association to have the member removed from the association's board of directors. The letters accused the director of abusing her position as chair of the architecture and landscape committee and lying to other members of the board.

Association Not Liable for Member’s Water Intrusion

Facts: A member sued his condominium association to compel the association to make repairs to the common area to prevent water intrusion and flooding into the lower level of the member's condominium. During a period of heavy rainfall, there was standing water in the member's condominium.

Association’s Parking Rule Deemed Valid

Facts: A member sued to have a court declare whether a parking rule approved by the association's board of directors was valid and enforceable. The board passed a rule prohibiting members from parking anything but a single motorized vehicle in a member's assigned parking space. The member testified that he was using his assigned parking space to park a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, and he claimed that the rule was passed solely to eliminate his parking arrangement.

Ruling: The trial court ruled for the association.

Association Didn’t Discriminate Against Members

Facts: An African-American couple filed a discrimination lawsuit against their association. The members asked the court for a judgment without a trial in their favor.

Bylaw Amendment Restricting Rentals Is Enforceable

Facts: A condominium association's declaration that established the association contained no restriction regarding rental of the units. Many years later, the association amended the bylaws to prohibit rentals of condominium units. One of the owners leased her condominium unit over the association's objection, claiming that the rental prohibition was ineffective because it had not been added to the association declaration. The association then filed a lawsuit asking the court to declare that the bylaw amendment was enforceable.

Board Decision Regarding Construction Project Ruled Valid

Facts: A group of members filed a lawsuit to challenge the association board's authority to enter into a contract for construction work on its building without a vote pursuant to its governing documents. The governing documents require a vote if the construction project is “alterations” or “improvements” costing more than 25 percent of the estimated annual budget. Here, the association classified the work as “repairs” and “maintenance.”

VA Governor Signs Community Association Pay Bill

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Virginia Governor Tim Kaine recently signed a revision of the Property Owners' Association Act (POAA) that allows community association members to get salary information for the top six employees earning over $75,000. The revision takes effect July 1. Currently, only aggregate salary information is available. The bill also specifies that all books and records of the association, including individual salary information for all employees and payments to independent contractors, be made available to members of the association's board of directors.

U.S. Foreclosure Filings Jump 30 Percent in February

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Foreclosure filings in the U.S. climbed 30 percent in February from a year earlier as the worsening economy thwarted efforts by the government and lenders to prevent homeowners from losing property.

Assessing Liability for Water Damage Caused by Leaky Roof

Q Due to a leaking roof, rainwater entered the building and caused damage to a condo member's unit. As is typical, the master deed of our condo association requires the association to maintain the roof and other common elements, and requires condo members to maintain the interior of the units.

Association May Be Liable for Slip-and-Fall

Facts: A member sued an association after she fractured her ankle when she slipped and fell while walking on the stairways and landing outside her condominium. The stairways and landing are within the common elements of the condominium property maintained by the association.