Va. Attorney General Opinions



Opinion Number Requestor Summary                  Date
16-029 Honorable R. Lee Ware, Member, House of Delegates A restrictive covenant in the declaration of a property owners’ association that bars non-residential use of a lot in a residential area is enforceable, subject to the exception in the restrictive covenant that a home office that does not generate customer or client traffic is deemed a residential use. 1/18/17
15-073 The Honorable Bryce E. Reeves, Member, Senate of Virginia A property owners association may not deactivate a member’s barcode for nonpayment of assessments if deactivation would endanger health, safety, or property, or—for certain special assessments—if deactivation would deny an owner direct access to his or her property. 2/19/16
14-057 Honorable Joseph R. Yost, Member, House of Delegates Under § 67-701, a property owners’ association (“POA”) may prohibit solar panels on private property only through a recorded declaration, but not through any other means.  Other than as may be contained in recorded declarations, such prohibitions are unenforceable, regardless of when or how they were imposed.  However, a POA retains the authority under § 67-701 to establish reasonable restrictions concerning the size, location, and manner of placement of solar panels on private property, either through a recorded declaration or by any other legal means. 4/14/15
13-106 The Honorable Bryce E. Reeves, Member, Senate of Virginia Virginia law limits the manner in which a Property Owners’ Association may regulate traffic on its private streets. A vehicle driver may be compelled to stop only if enforcement of the traffic laws is done by a local law enforcement agency or by a private security service that is properly licensed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, and whose employees have also been appointed as conservators of the peace. Otherwise, a POA may not compel a vehicle driver to stop. As to how traffic laws can be enforced on privately owned streets, a POA may request the local law enforcement agency to do so, or the local governing body may designate the private streets as “highways” for law enforcement purposes. Also, the use of blue or green lights on a private patrol vehicle is strictly prohibited, and that amber lights may be used only if the patrol is operated by a licensed private security business or an approved neighborhood watch group. 8/13/14
12-003 The Honorable Randy C. Krantz
Commonwealth’s Attorney, Bedford County
A management company that manages short-term transient occupancy rentals of fewer than thirty days for a portion of the condominium units in a condominium must be licensed with the Virginia Real Estate Board and must employ a licensed real estate broker before renting or offering to rent those condominium units on behalf of the units’ owners. 1/17/13
12-104 The Honorable Bryce E. Reeves
Member, Senate of Virginia
The Virginia Property Owners Act does not expressly provide or otherwise allow for a developer to maintain control of a homeowners’ association for a specific period of time or until a specific number of lots or units are sold, there is no Virginia Code provision to evaluate for constitutionality.  In addition, whether an impermissible conflict of interests exists when a lawyer is employed by the developer to serve simultaneously as the attorney for the developer and the association is not a matter of law upon which this Office can opine, but rather an ethical issue properly addressed by the Virginia State Bar. 1/11/13
10-078 The Honorable Kathy J. Byron
Member, House of Delegates
If properly written, adopted and enforced, and authorized as to purpose and not in conflict with an association’s declarations, bylaws or rules and regulations, a homeowners’ association may covenant to limit the number of housing units within the association that may be offered for rent by the owner to tenants. 1/24/11
04-060 The Honorable H. Russell Potts, Jr.
Member, Senate of Virginia
Restriction on locality’s authority to regulate display of political campaign signs on private property does not apply to private homeowners’ associations. 9/30/04
03-107 The Honorable Vincent F. Callahan, Jr.
Member, House of Delegates
Members’ petition for special meeting of board of directors of property owners’ association is not ‘communication’ requiring board to provide reasonable, effective, and free method of exchange with other owners. 2/17/04
01-111 The Honorable Robert G. Marshall, Member, House of Delegates Act does not address question whether developer of retirement community, which controls homeowners’ association of development, may establish budget for association that is not based on fact. Developer must provide to potential buyers disclosure statement reflecting financial status of association. Developer may retain control of association and bill homeowners for association expenses, provided developer retains ownership of majority of lots constituting development. 4/17/02
01-064 The Honorable L. Karen Darner
Member, House of Delegates
Nonresident condominium unit owner whose unit leases for period less than 20 years has not disposed of unit and is not disqualified from membership eligibility on unit owners’ association board of directors. 7/30/01
00-035 The Honorable Vincent Callahan Jr., Member, House of Delegates Authority of board of directors of condominium association to forbid door-to-door solicitation and/or dissemination of material and to censor material is governed by Act and recorded documents. Rules and regulations adopted by board constitute mutual agreements among several unit owners that cannot infringe on free speech and expression. Unit owner’s dissemination of printed materials announcing time and place of board meeting and encouraging attendance by other unit owners violates no Virginia law. Attorney General declines to render opinion regarding reasonableness of house rule without availability of condominium documents and specific facts. 6/5/00
99-111 The Honorable Robert G. Marshall, Member, House of Delegates Assuming member of property owners’ association identifies purpose of request for minutes of meeting of association’s board of directors, availability of minutes is not contingent on board’s approval of such minutes. 12/17/99
98-083 The Honorable Philip J. Kellam, Commissioner of the Revenue for the City of Virginia Beach  Real estate cooperative association, and not proprietary lessee with possessory interest in individual cooperative unit, is owner of real estate subject to real estate tax assessment. Tax exemptions for elderly and handicapped are not available to individual proprietary lessee. 7/16/99
97-11-4 The Honorable Linda T. Puller Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act applies to every mandatory membership homeowners’ association upon which maintenance or operational responsibilities are required or which possesses authority to impose regular annual assessment in any amount per lot, pursuant to declaration recorded before July 1, 1991, and to every mandatory membership homeowners’ association upon which maintenance or operational responsibilities are required in amount exceeding $150 per year per lot or which possesses authority to impose regular annual assessment in excess of $150 per lot, pursuant to declaration recorded after July 1, 1991. 11/7/97


One lawyer's compilation of online legal resources and comments related to issues involving condominiums, HOAs, timeshares and cooperatives in Virginia and the District of Columbia.