Wednesday, February 26, 2014

General Assembly: Homeowner associations may get more power -

General Assembly: Homeowner associations may get more power - RICHMOND — Legislation that would give more power to homeowners associations cleared the Virginia Senate Tuesday.

It has already passed the House in a slightly different form and seems headed for final passage.

House Bill 791 would let homeowner and condominium association boards levy fines against property owners who run afoul of association rules, even if the power to issue those fines isn't written into the association's controlling documents.

Associations have been doing this for years, but a recent court decision said they can't unless their charter spells out the power, according to the Community Associations Institute, an industry trade association.

There was a Virginia Supreme Court decision some years ago that declared HOA fining an unconstitutional exercise of power reserved to the state. But in an odd twist, the Virginia Legislature and not the courts got the last word on what's constitutional in Privatopia when it comes to fines.

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