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Advocacy Alert!

Ask Virginia State Senators to SUPPORT H.B. 1554

Thank you to all that have answered prior calls for action – with your calls and e-mails to members of the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee, Delegate Bulova's House Bill 1554 was reported out of committee (14-1) and will be considered by the full Senate this week. 

Despite passing the House of Delegates 99-0 and being reported from the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee 14-1, the Virginia Legislative Action Committee expects opposition to the bill from the Senate floor.

VALAC is again asking that all community association volunteer leaders and community managers again contact members of the Virginia Senate asking that they vote "YES" and support House Bill 1554. Our continued support is critical to the passage of the bill.

House Bill 1554 is available here and is likely to be voted on by the Senate as early as this Wednesday, February 15, 2017, so immediate action is required.

House Bill 1554:

  • Clarifies that the Virginia Property Owners' Association Act should only apply if the recorded governing documents are silent.
  • Clarifies that the amendment cannot be challenged one year after the amendment is recorded.
  • Confirms the validity of all amendments made prior to the effective date of the bill pursuant to the recorded governing documents.
For more information on the background of the bill, see below.

Contact information for each member of the Senate is copied below:

Member NameEmail AddressPartyDistrict
Barker, George L.district39@senate.virginia.govD39
Black, Richard H.district13@senate.virginia.govR13
Carrico, Charles W., Sr.district40@senate.virginia.govR40
Chafin, A. Benton , Jr.district38@senate.virginia.govR38
Chase, Amanda F.district11@senate.virginia.govR11
Cosgrove, John A. , Jr.district14@senate.virginia.govR14
Dance, Rosalyn R.district16@senate.virginia.govD16
Deeds, R. Creighdistrict25@senate.virginia.govD25
DeSteph, William R. , Jr.district08@senate.virginia.govR8
Dunnavant, Siobhan S.district12@senate.virginia.govR12
Ebbin, Adam P.district30@senate.virginia.govD30
Edwards, John S.district21@senate.virginia.govD21
Favola, Barbara A.district31@senate.virginia.govD31
Hanger, Emmett W., Jr.district24@senate.virginia.govR24
Howell, Janet D.district32@senate.virginia.govD32
Lewis, Lynwood W. , Jr.district06@senate.virginia.govD6
Locke, Mamie E.district02@senate.virginia.govD2
Lucas, L. Louisedistrict18@senate.virginia.govD18
Marsden, David W.district37@senate.virginia.govD37
Mason, T. Montgomery "Monty"district01@senate.virginia.govD1
McClellan, Jennifer L.district09@senate.virginia.govD9
McDougle, Ryan T.district04@senate.virginia.govR4
McPike, Jeremy S.district29@senate.virginia.govD29
Newman, Stephen D.district23@senate.virginia.govR23
Norment, Thomas K., Jr.district03@senate.virginia.govR3
Obenshain, Mark D.district26@senate.virginia.govR26
Peake, Mark J.district22@senate.virginia.govR22
Petersen, J. Chapmandistrict34@senate.virginia.govD34
Reeves, Bryce E.district17@senate.virginia.govR17
Ruff, Frank M., Jr.district15@senate.virginia.govR15
Saslaw, Richard L.district35@senate.virginia.govD35
Spruill, Lionell , Sr.district05@senate.virginia.govD5
Stanley, William M., Jr.district20@senate.virginia.govR20
Stuart, Richard H.district28@senate.virginia.govR28
Sturtevant, Glen H. , Jr.district10@senate.virginia.govR10
Suetterlein, David R.district19@senate.virginia.govR19
Surovell, Scott A.district36@senate.virginia.govD36
Vogel, Jill Holtzmandistrict27@senate.virginia.govR27
Wagner, Frank W.district07@senate.virginia.govR7
Wexton, Jennifer T.district33@senate.virginia.govD33

In your e-mail, briefly introduce yourself.  If you previously contacted the Senator about House Bill 1554 (or Senate Bill 1096), please thank the Senator for their continued support throughout the session.  Let the Senator know you are a constituent that lives in or works with community associations in the district. Tell him or her how many individuals reside in the association (total number). Mention that you are a member of CAI, and CAI is international organization dedicated to building better communities through education and advocacy.

CAI's mission is to inspire professionalism, effective leadership and responsible citizenship—ideals reflected in communities that are preferred places to call home.  Be clear on what you want the Senator to do - Ask directly for his or her support to House Bill 1554.  Include any of the bulleted talking points provided above and share any specific experience with the difficulty of amending documents.

After contacting the Senator, please complete our advocacy reporting form.

HB 1554 Background

In 2013, a lot owner filed suit against a Williamsburg property owners association challenging the validity of a 2008 amendment to the declaration, arguing that the amendment was not valid because the amendment was not approved according to the process specified in the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act.  The amendment had been approved by lot owners according to the process established in the recorded governing documents.  And, the amendment included a certification that the proper document-based process had been followed and the required owner approvals obtained.  The certification did not follow the specific language of the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act – but could not – because the amendment followed the document based requirements.  The Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act should only apply if the documents do not address amendment.

The Circuit Court ruled in favor of the Association; the lot owner appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Virginia which reversed the Circuit Court, finding that because the amendment was not approved by the process established in the Act and certified as such - the amendment never became effective.

Thank you again for your support to VALAC throughout this session – the end is near.  Let’s finish this session strong and continue to do what’s best for Virginia communities.

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