Reston’s Shadowood condominiums make new Va. case law, can’t impose fees on rule violators - The State of NoVa - The Washington Post:
"In Reston, there is a condominium complex called Shadowood that has written itself into Virginia history. For years, the Shadowood Condominium Association imposed fees for things like calling the management office or having the wrong color blinds. It towed tenants’ cars for unpaid fees — on the day before Thanksgiving. It turned off the heat or air conditioning to apartments of owners who were in arrears or in violation of its many rules.
"Last year, a Fairfax County judge permanently enjoined Shadowood from doing any of that stuff. The association appealed to the state Supreme Court, using its own members/victims’ money to pay its lawyers. This summer they lost there too, enshrining Shadowood in Virginia law under the concept that you can’t make up rules and impose fees if they are not in the development’s original master deed. That ruling has earth-shaking consequences for thousands of condo associations across the state, real estate lawyers say."
This is a long and detailed blog post that tells the horrifying story of a Reston condo association with some major governance problems. It is a good read for the people who keep saying that association governance is no worse than municipal governance. You have to consider the lack of oversight and institutional support for private governments. Thanks to Shu Bartholomew for the link.