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Special Assessment
Spring 2020 Edition
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Seminar Series
Our Firm’s 2020 Seminar Series has been scheduled! The dates and locations for the Seminar sessions can be
found on our website, https://www.chadwickwashington.com/seminars/. Each Seminar includes a Legislative
Update, plus four or five other topics. The sessions will be approved by the Community Association Managers
International Certification Board (www.camicb.org) to fulfill continuing education requirements for the
CMCA® certification. We hope to see you there!
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You MUST Beat the Architectural Review Shot Clock
By Daniel B. Streich
March Madness would be approaching right now, if the NCAA
tournament had not been cancelled because of COVID-19. This
article was written before that unfortunate occurrence.
Nevertheless, we’ll stand pat on the basketball analogy to
remind our association clients to keep their eyes and minds on
the (figurative) shot clock relative to their architectural
application review processes. If you let the clock run out, you’ll
risk considerably more than simply losing possession of the
ball.
If you’re not basketball-oriented, you may be thinking: What in the heck are they talking about? Simple. A
specified time period, set forth in your association’s recorded document (declaration for HOAs, bylaws
(usually) for condominiums) during which your association must receive, consider and either approve or
disapprove a request for an alteration, modification or improvement submitted by one of the association’s
members. Here is an example of the type of deadline provision to which we’re referring:
“The Committee’s approval or disapproval as required in these covenants shall be in writing…[i]n the event the
Committee or its designated representative fails to approve or disapprove such design and location within
sixty (60) days after said plans and specifications have been submitted to it, approval will not be required and
this Article will be deemed to have been fully complied with.”
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HUD’s Latest Guidance Regarding Service/Support Animals
By Daniel B. Streich
In late January 2020, the Department of Housing and Urban
Development (“HUD”) issued updated guidance regarding service /
support animals as “reasonable accommodations” pursuant to the
Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, specifically 42 U.S.C.
3604f(3)(B). Of note is that this “guidance” does not have the
force of law or even federal regulation. Failure by a housing
provider to abide by the guidance “does not necessarily constitute
a violation by housing providers of the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) or
regulations promulgated thereunder.” FHEO Notice 2020-01.
If it isn’t law or enforceable regulation, why should community associations pay any attention?
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What Does “Good Standing” Mean?
By Daniel B. Streich
Do you know? With respect to community associations, the term
appears twice in the Virginia Condominium Act (Section 55.1-
1939, pertaining to unit owner rights, and Section 55.1-1945,
pertaining to inspection and copying of association books and
records) and twice similarly in the Virginia Property Owners’
Association Act (Section 55.1-1807, pertaining to lot owner
rights, and 55.1-1815, pertaining to inspection and copying of
association books and records).
Surprisingly, however, the term isn’t defined in any of the statutory sections cited above, nor in the definitions
section of either Act. Nor is the term defined in any manner relevant to community associations anywhere
else in the Code of Virginia.
Thus, if your community’s self-appointed watchdog requests (which is usually couched as a demand) to
inspect, review and copy your association’s books and records, but the busybody is 30 days in arrears in the
payment of his monthly assessment obligation, is he in “good standing” in your association? If he isn’t, you
could deny the request. But if he is in good standing and you deny the request, stand by for a complaint to the
CIC Ombudsman regarding your association’s alleged violation of a law or regulation pertaining to community
associations in Virginia. There are potentially adverse consequences to getting that answer wrong.
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Chadwick, Washington, Moriarty, Elmore & Bunn, P.C.
3201 Jermantown Road, Suite 600
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
(703) 352-1900
www.chadwickwashington.com

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