Community Associations Institute's (CAI) Virginia Legislative Action Committee (VA LAC) was extremely busy this session of the General Assembly. CAI members volunteered hundreds of collective hours to review bills, draft testimony, work with the LAC's lobbyists, meet with legislators and other decision-makers, and testify in Richmond for and against bills. The LAC reviewed over 100 bills that directly or indirectly impacted community associations. Of those bills, 41 were pursued vigorously by the VA LAC. Ultimately, 14 bills passed and 27 were neutralized. Below is a brief list of highlights from the 2018 General Assembly:
Information on covenants and association disclosure packets (HB923) – Effective July 1, condominium associations must now also include cover sheets with resale certificates. The bill was amended to ensure no additional burden on associations and managers. This bill also requires the Common Interest Community Board to include additional disclosures on the one-page cover sheet. CAI VA LAC worked on the language with the Virginia Realtors Association, who are intent on proposing changes to resale disclosure documents, prior to the start of 2018 session.
Disclosure packets (HB1031) – Effective July 1, this bill allows an association that is not professionally managed to charge the same fees that a professionally managed association may charge so long as disclosure documents are delivered electronically. CAI VA LAC worked on this bill for the last three years and it was finally passed with amendments this session.
Access to association books and records (SB722) – Effective July 1, this bill allows associations to withhold from review only those portions of the books and records containing information that by law may be withheld. The amendment provides that the information shall be disclosed and redacted at the requesting member's expense.
Bills that Failed
Reserves for capital components (SB706) – As introduced, this bill would require community associations to detail and disclose the amount of any shortage in cash reserves, as indicated by a five-year reserve study. The Chair of the Senate General Laws Committee requested that the Housing Commission review the issue this summer.
Home-based business (SB707) – This bill would have prohibited a property owners'associations from regulating the operation of home-based businesses unless the governing documents expressly prohibit or authorize regulation of home-based businesses.
Your assistance is needed: The CAI Virginia LAC uses professional, paid lobbyists as a vital and integral part of the legislative process. As volunteers, CAI VA LAC members significantly rely on this highly effective professional representation. To help fund the CAI VA LAC advocacy activities in 2018/2019 and beyond, donations are vital to our continued successes. We encourage donations from Virginia community associations and individuals. Please visit www.caionline.org/lacdonate/ and donate to “Virginia" to support our continued efforts.