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Archive for the ‘POA – HOA’ Category

This Act protects property owners from localities that seek to alter past zoning decisions by enacting new zoning ordinances.
For example, if a structure was constructed in accordance with a local government building permit, and the locality issued a certificate of occupancy or use permit, a later zoning ordinance may not remove it for nonconformity with the new ordinance. It also applies to structures on which an owner has paid taxes to the locality for more than 15 years.

Of course, the question remains what happens if the “building permit” was forced on the HELPLESS citizens by a local, say, town, government to the detriment of the taxpayers? Clearly, the state of Virginia made sure, that the government always has the upper hand, no matter how unfair or unjust the decision.

Such was the case of the Mormon Church in Potomac Crossing in Leesburg, Virginia. There was literally NOTHING that the Home Owners could do against the Town government of Kristen Umstattd, Leesburg mayor, once the Town made the decision to rezone and sell a lot to the Mormon Church, a lot that was supposed to be used originally for the tennis courts and play grounds for children.

The Town of Leesburg very unwisely zoned a small lot in the middle of a residential area as COMMERCIAL by PREVIOUS Town Council (1988, no need existed for the commercial area, pure politics), and when opposed by the Home Owners, The Town rezoned the lot and gingerly sold it to the Mormon Church in 2002 without communicating the sale to the Home Owners. The Town contacted the adjacent 92 properties – minimum required by the law. Over 800 HO were never contacted by The Town or the HOA.

To make it worse, many new Home Buyers were issued HOA documents that did not have the church marked on the map, even though an elementary school nearby was marked, long after the rezoning and sale of the lot. The sold lot was “vacant” for many years and many new buyers were told it was a common area. Indeed, many original Home Owners believed the lot was “common area” until one beautiful day in March 2008 they noticed bulldozers  working on the lot.

My point is that The Vested Rights Reform looks good on the surface and it appears to be Property Owner friendly, but in reality, like anything else in life, it can be misused and even abused by government(s) and special interest groups.

SOURCE: Virginia Association of REALTORS

NOTE: The interpretation of this legislature and comment is my personal, and is not a reflection on Keller Williams Realty or Virginia Association of REALTORS

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The most fundamental right of every Home Buyer is the right to purchase a home that is best suited to their needs and lifestyle, and where they know their Family will be happy.  After all, they are purchasing NOT just a house, they are purchasing a HOME.  This is the minimum of protection that should be guaranteed by the CONSTITUTION.  It goes into the heart of individual rights and property rights.

Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act requires Home Seller to disclose if their house is located within a development that is subject to the Virginia Property Owner’s Association Act. The POA Act requires the Seller of the property within such a development to obtain an Association Disclosure packet from the property owners’ association and provide it to the Purchaser.  The information in the Association Disclosure Packet should be current as of  a date-specified on the Association Disclosure Packet.

This is very important to understand because all the information and all the data may be correct in the Packet leading up to the date on the Packet, but very misleading if changes in community bylaws were made after that date or if any other information changed (ex. there is a lawsuit against the HOA).  This is why it is wise and important to ALWAYS request an UPDATE to the Packet. The Seller has the obligation to provide the Packet for the Home Buyer, but the Buyer has the right – at the Buyer’s expense – to request an update to the HOA Packet.

Virginia Jurisdictional Addendum states very clearly: “The Purchaser, at the Purchaser’s expense, shall have the right to request that the association provide an update of the Association Disclosure Packet previously furnished, along with the assurance that there have been no material change, or if there have been material change, a statement specifying such changes”.

Virginia POA Act is the STATE LAW in Virginia.   It means that a Seller of a property CANNOT legally request of a Buyer to forgo the HOA Documents or the Condominium Documents.  This includes the foreclosed properties – banks are NOT above the law.  The Buyer has the right to demand the HOA documents BEFORE making the decision.

What if a POA Packet is delivered with  incomplete, misleading information as to the material facts?

It appears to be the case in Potomac Crossing, Leesburg, VA where Home Buyers received HOA documents that included a MAP of the community with the elementary school near by marked on the map but the Mormon church was NOT marked.  Many Home Buyers were told that the lot was common area and nothing ever was going to be built on it.   The HOA docs should have had the information current as of  a date-specified on the Association Disclosure Packet but did NOT.

Again,  Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act IS THE STATE LAW – whenever there is a proof that the law was violated, an attorney should be contacted for legal advise.

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